Upcycled Hot Water Bottle in a Wall Lamp




About: I love to build things especially starting from recycled objects and materials.

I've always liked the design of this old hot water bottle, which in the past was used to warm up the bed. One day I looked for the one I had brought with me as I moved several times, from one house to the next. Of course I did not find it so I bought a couple from a flea market at the affordable price of 6 €.

The raised pattern recalled the sun so it was natural to think of a lamp. I love the upcycling so I looked for the most apropiate materials and techniques for this transformation I followed the most effective line to reach the final result.

Working on pre-existing objects and transforming their function is a great challenge that gives new life to interesting stuff and makes us discover unexpected solutions and skills. The lovely of the "work in progress".


• aluminum hot water bottle

• chestnut wood plank 22x30x2 cm minimum

• metal lamp holder

• moka rubber gasket

• incandescent bulb 30 W

• rigid plastic pipe 25 mm diameter x 10 cm

• 4 wood screws 20x4 mm

Power tools

• screwdriver drill

• jig saw

• combined planer

• table saw

• belt sander

• mini drill

• Mini torch welder

• bench polishing machine

Manual toos

• draw knife

• round rasp

• workmate bench

• ratchet straps

• clamps

• screwdriver

• metal hacksaw

• Mini torch welder

• iron hammer and plastic hammer

• gouge

• drill bits and hole saw

• sand paper and scotch-brite abrasive sponge

• indelible marker and double-sided adhesive tape

Step 1: Tighten the Bottle

In this project there are basically two problem, the first is to lock the bottle in a vise. I solved by making a kind of male screwed into the threaded bottle bore. I had a fence stake available that I tapered and created furrows to bite the thread in the most effective and safe way.

Step 2: Saw the Bottom of the Bottle

On a straight plane I fixed the bottle with double-sided adhesive tape. I looked for the best form of cut and with an indelible marker fixed on a thickness I traced the line. I screwed the modified stake in the bottle bore so I could fix the bottle to the vise.

At this point after making a hole to insert the blade of the jig saw saw it was easy to cut the bottom of the bottle.

Step 3: Repair the Dent

On a piece of scrap wood I dug a recess, and on this with an iron hammer and a plastic one I repaired the dent. With the sandpaper I retouch the superficial imperfections of the dent, after which I level out the bottom on a flat abrasive surface.

Step 4: Aluminum Polishing

Generally I like the ancient patina of objects, but in this case it seemed better to proceed with polishing. With a bench polishing machine and the blue buffing compound I polished the surface and I removed the compound residues with a cloth soaked in alcohol.

Step 5: Adapt the Bore to the Metal Lamp Holde

The bottle bore was slightly smaller than the lamp holder so I had to enlarge it with a hole saw, but it was not enough because the combined thickness of the moka rubber gasket and the bore collar prevented the closing of the lamp holder flanges. I cut the collar with a mini drill so everything went in place.

Step 6: Wooden Base

The wooden base was obtained from a chestnut plank of unknown origin, planed with a thickness of 20 mm, cut in half and glued to the sides to reach the necessary width for the purpose.

I placed the bottle on the wooden board and I traced his profile which I then cut with the jig saw. I brought the edge to the final size with a belt sander and by hand with 220 sandpaper I finished the side.

Step 7: The Half Bottle Holder

This was the second problem that unlike the first one, it took me a lot to get the solution. Many ideas crossed my mind until finally I thought of something flexible .... In the laboratory I had a piece of 25 mm plastic pipe of the electrical system whose external profile was well suited to the internal profile of the half bottle. I cut 4 pieces 15 mm long, I made a 4 mm hole for the screw and a 7 mm hole for the screwdriver, so I made a cut to stop the continuity of the circumference so as to create the spring effect. Some attempts on a piece of scrap wood to determine the placement of these flexible holders (7 cm between two and 9 mm from the sign of the perimeter) and that's it. I must say that I am very satisfied with this solution, which was simple and cheap, as well as absolutely effective.

Step 8: Final Touches and Assembly

I made a 40mm hole in the middle on the wood and as a finishing edge I chose the technique of shou sugi ban followed by a light cleaning with scotch-brite to remove the carbonized wood and make a dark brown color appear.

Someone may have wondered what the moka rubber gasket is for .... it is useless but it softens the transition between the two metals. It is just an aesthetic solution.

Step 9: Final Result

One thing that only video can give is the wonderful sound that this half-bottle does when it is played.

The hot water bottle in its new guise has found its place in a wooden wall of my house.

I apologize for my English and I thank you for the patience of having read up to here.

Step 10:

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    4 Discussions


    6 months ago

    ..eilà !!.. Grazie Fabio.


    6 months ago on Step 9

    I like your problem solving skills, I hope to find a similar hot water bottle and try out your tecniques, Thanks for sharing!