Inspired by the recent MacGuyver Challenge in Readymade magazine (www.readymademag.com), I made this lamp out of pill bottles, LEDs, and my old windshield wipers. It can hang on the wall or sit on the floor or a table.
So, start poppin' those pills until you have six bottles, preferably the jumbo ones . . . .
Step 1: Wiring
Drill two parallel rows of six 1/16" holes each in each cap, about a quarter to a half inch apart. Fit the leads from the LEDs through the holes and dab them into place with a little hot glue on the outside surface of the cap. Make sure all the leads in one row are positive and all the leads in the other are negative. For a primer on LEDs, check out Wikipedia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LED
Wire the leads together in a parallel circuit, i.e. two wires as the "sides" and the resistors as the "rungs" in a ladder-like formation. This distributes equal voltage to all the LEDs, as well as continuing to function even when one of the LEDs is burned out. I used speaker wire with a translucent coating that lets the copper color show, which plays well with the orange bottles.
Last, I wired it to a 6V transformer, formerly of an Aiwa discman. This steps down the house's current enough to keep the bulbs from burning out.
Step 2: Substrate
To make an effective substrate, or frame, for the bottles, I turned to some old plexiglass. It was scratched, pitted, and dented. Lacking the right tools to cut plastic, I made do with a hand saw, a dremel, and makeshift guides. Drill out a grid of 1-1/2" holes, (or whatever the spout diameter of your particular bottle), 7 fastener holes for machine bolts, and a hole for the switch. Sand down the plastic with 100, 120, and 150 grit sandpaper to frost it and cover up flaws in the material.
Step 3: Assembly
Bolt the winshield wipers to the front piece of plastic. The backer piece is a replica of the front, but one that cracked when I was cutting it. All the holes can be used to hang the lamp.
Put rubber gaskets around the bottle spouts so they will be sandwiched tightly when the caps are screwed on. Twist the bottle through the holes, and screw the caps on from the other side, taking care not to twist off the wires -- screw by turning the bottle, not the cap.
Wire and mount the switch. Bolt on backer piece. Dig it.