The Bottle-abra Accent Light




About: I like to build, create, and invent new things to use in life. Sometimes I like to share them with others, that's why I joined Instructables. :-)
Welcome! This instructable covers how to make a Bottle-abra Accent Light.
This is also entered in the "DIY 2007 Halloween Contest" and the "Mash It Contest".

The idea of this light came from marc_alain and his Small-eco-footprint-living-room-light . In particular it was how soft the light was in his pictures that gave me the idea.

It was my thought "The Bottle-abra Accent Light" would create an Old Italian restaurant style atmosphere and I think it does. The videos just don't capture it as well as seen in person. The flicker flame bulb turned out great. There are many versatile uses for this lamp. You can create a spooky atmosphere, and old world Italian or Spanish restaurant look, a pirate ship look, a romantic interlude, or many other styles.

The video below is a condensed version of the steps take to make and assemble the Bottleabra.

Step 1: Materials and Tools List

Safety glasses or goggles
Glass cutter
Roll of tape
200 Grit sandpaper
80 grit sandpaper
Wood stain (Golden Oak)
Wood glue

1 frosted wine bottle (Arbor Mist) $3.47 @ Wal-Mart
1 flicker bulb
Some wood you can cut in to respective sizes
Wire and light receptacle

Total cost for this project about $10 I only had to buy the wine, the light bulb, and wire and receptacle. I had everything else on hand.

Step 2: Cut Off the Bottom of the Bottle

Cut off the bottom of the bottle

Becareful while cutting glass, don't let it cut you and wear your safety glasses.

1. I used painters tape to help me keep a straight line when cutting. It helped quite a bit from scoring higher on the bottle.

2. After I had my tape on I used a glass cutter to create a score line around the bottle. I did this nice and slow.

3. Fill the sink with cold tap water.

4. Next I removed the tape from the bottle and lit my candle.
--4.1 I rotated th bottle over the flame along the score line. Heating the score line is going to aid in cracking the bottle when i dunk it in cold water.

5. Dunk the hot bottle straight into the cold water, hopefully this will be all you need to do. I had to do more.
--5.1 I tapped on the bottom of the bottle with my glass cutter trying to get it to fall away, it didn't.
--5.2 * What I did was blow my breath air into the bottle as soon as i did that it popped right off.
NOTE When I tapped on the bottle with my glass cutter I think it skewed my score line because the bottle didn't separate evenly. I should have just blown in the bottle and never tapped it.

6. Now the bottle is separated and I need to level out the edges.

Step 3: Sand the Glass

3Sand the Glass
This step is where I sanded the glass

I used my orbital sander and started with 80 grit sandpaper.

I put the sander right on the bottom of the bottle and let the paper do its work. This took a while but it did a satisfactory job.

Next I used 200 grit sandpaper on the bottle to smooth it down more. This worked very nice and now I don't have any sharp edges.

Step 4: Build the Base

Next I needed a base to stand the bottle on.

1. I found/made a square piece of wood.

2. Drawing an X from corner to corner of the wood enabled me to find the center of the wood.

3. Instead of exact measuring I guesstimated the bottle in the middle of the base and used a pencil to draw a circle around the bottle.

4. At this point I measured the hole for the light socket and cut out a hole in the middle of the X so it would fit snugly in the base.

5. Then I needed to cut a notch in the wood, to run the wire from underneath the base, so that it would sit level.

6. I decided to make the base two tiered. This will help keep the bottle steady and provide more surface are to secure the bottle to.

7. I made the second tier slightly smaller than the first and repeated the previous steps to find the center and then drew a circle around the bottle on it.

8. I used a scroll saw to cut the hole out, when I was done the bottle fit right in, but not as snuggly as I would have liked.

Step 5: Insert the Socket and Place the Second Tier

Insert the Socket and Place the Second Tier.

This step requires inserting the socket in to the base and finding the correct placement of the second tier.

Make sure the socket fits in the hole correctly and make any last minute adjustments tot he hole.

The remove the socket and grab your wood glue.

Apply your glue, then center the second tier on top of the base and center it. Press down on the second tier to get a good and tight bond.

Step 6: Staining or Painting

Staining or Painting
I decided to stain the base a light oak color to match the kitchen cabinets.

It just so happened that it was the only stain I had in the garage, lucky me.

I was thinking cedar, maple, or even a cherry wood color would look really nice.

Before staining I used my router and routed a nice curve shape on all of the edges. I also had some sanding to do to the face of both tiers because they both still had pencil marks.

Now one final fit test after the glue has dried. Place the socket back in the base, insert the bulb, then place the bottle on the base. Turn on the light and see how it looks.

Then it is time for the stain, so apply stain.

Step 7: Candle Waxing

I figured that a little actual candle wax would make this project look even better as well as help diffuse the light. So that is where this step comes in.

You could use a hot glue gun to simulate the wax and would probably have an easier time with it.

OK Lets stop for a minute and remember don't play with matches or fire people can get hurt killed or worse (burned beyond recognition and live to talk about it) so be careful.

You will need a candle, I used a generic unscented candle, or you can use more than one candle or different colored candles. This is the look I was going for.

Light your candle

Let some wax melt into the bottom and then start pouring it at the top of the bottle.
it will help to blow on the wax as it is rushing down the side of the bottle.

Just keep pouring the wax over the bottle until you are satisfied with the amount of build up.

Step 8: Putting It All Together

Putting It All Together
Now it is time to assemble and see what this light will give us.

Gather all the pieces

1. Insert the light socket through the bottom and into the mounting hole.

2. Insert the bulb

3. Place the bottle over the top of the bulb and make sure that it is fully seated to the base.

4. Plug it in; turn on the switch and... Wow that came out better than I expected! I got exactly the look that I wanted, which is rare.

5. This is the perfect accent light for many different applications.

Need a romantic atmosphere, create and old world atmosphere, or an eerie haunted atmosphere. This is a light of many uses.



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    22 Discussions


    I don't recall what the name of it was. Now I feel bad because I should have cited it. I think I got it off of some free music techno site but I don't know which one.


    9 years ago on Introduction

     I think the name is the best part! Not saying anything bad about the rest either. I am gonna make one to be wall mounted.  Here's an idea... so many people are throwing out their old tube based monitors and TV's. Why not cut off the face and use that part as the diffuser? I just love to turn trash into treasure. Don't know whether or not that would work though. 

    2 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    how about giving it a try and make an instrucable about it... that what this does inspires the mind


    Where Can i find the tool to cut the glass?How much would that cost? Thanks

    spark master

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Interesting, but what is the misic in backround of video, Tangerine Dream? tnx Spark Master


    11 years ago on Introduction

    poor gallery glass inside roll it around a bit and it will color it and give it a bit of a liquid texture

    1 reply

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Personally, I would've nixed the wax on the outside and made battery-powered and with LEDs... but those are just stylistic choices. Would it be possible to paint the inside of the bottle and frost the outside, so as to get diffuse patterns? or stick a transparency inside the bottle to show through?

    4 replies
    Mr. Rig Itjongscx

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    The outside is already frosted it came that way (Arbor Mist bottle). A transparency is a good idea. The LED version is coming soon, I just have to get to it. The wax gives it an old world charm. Thank you for the ideas and suggestions.

    jongscxMr. Rig It

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    agreed, though personally, I'm more for utility than aesthetics... the wax just made it to messy for my tastes. Do you have any experience with sanding the outside of the bottle with sandpaper by any chance? I was thinking, maybe mini ones of these made with beer bottles...

    Mr. Rig Itjongscx

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Well it does work just the way I wanted it to and it looks the way I wanted it to. So really I got the best of both utility and aesthetics. The wax makes it smell good also, next time I will use hot glue for the same effect and it shouldn't be as messy. I used 80 grit and 200 grit to sand down the sharp edges, but I would think you could use 200 grit and maybe get that effect. But I don't really know. I think there are some other instructables on how to frost the glass. you may have to do a search. I am gong to make a smaller one using and led and hot glue. ihave so many things going I am not sure when I will get the time to do it. Thry using the mini-bar liquor bottles that would be cool.

    jongscxMr. Rig It

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I was thinking even going up to 800 grit, or my 1500 grit rubbing compound and a buffer... Dunno, I'll try it over fall break, maybe. Yeah, I definitely never thought about scented oils being released by the bulbs heat, tho using hot glue appeals more to me than dripping wax.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Nice. When I first saw the title I read it "bottle bra" and was utterly confused/intrigued. But that's neither here nor there...

    3 replies
    Mr. Rig Itzoxx

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    LOL I see what you are saying, I didn't look at it that way :-) I really tried to come up with a better name but this was the best I could do.

    Mr. Rig Itzoxx

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    No problem, I didn't think you were. I just wish I could have had something better. Oh well it's named guess I will have to live with it. Thanks for the positive comments they are appreciated.