Water Bottle Illuminator

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In this instructable you will learn how to make a modern looking lamp out of water bottles. I got the idea to make one of these lamps after seeing some plastic lamps of a similar design. My thought was "I could make that" so I tried it. I decided to use empty water bottles because recently the area that I live in had flooding. Due to the flood our water treament plant was shut down. This meant that we had a lot of extra water bottles. After looking over different materials, I decided that water bottles were the way to go. I hope you enjoy making this fun and cool lamp!

Step 1: Needed Materials

For this project there are a few items that you will need. I got everything but the water bottles from Hobby Lobby:

  • One 4'' plastic Christmas ornament that separates into two halves
  • Approximately 50 water bottles with lids (may depend on spacing and size of water bottles)
  • Battery powered fairy lights
  • Glue gun with glue
  • Batteries for fairy lights

Step 2: Fairy Lights

Since this project is a lamp, you will of course need lights! I decided to use fairy lights from Hobby Lobby. These lights will go inside of the ornament with the water bottles on the outside. Later on, you will put the lights inside of the ornament, but you need to do something to them first. If you try to put the lights inside as they are, the battery pack will easily show and the lights won't fit well. I fixed this problem by wrapping the string of lights around the battery pack, covering everything but the on/off switch. The images above show what they look like after being wrapped.

Step 3: Water Bottle Pre-Work

Before you attatch the water bottles you may notice that they are still slightly wet on the inside and have not so nice looking labels on the outside. If you want to leave the water in them and the labels on them, be my guest; but I removed both. You could leave them upside down in a drying rack, or you could use the item I made (shown above). To make it, simply wrap a few paper towels around the end of a pencil and tie them on with a rubber band/hair band. Then put the paper towel end into the water bottle and twist until dry.

Step 4: Part A: Attatching the Water Bottles

Start by taking one half your ornament. Then pick one of your water bottles to start with and make sure that it has the water and label removed, and also make sure the cap is on it. If you want any dents out you can do what I did which is pop them out with a skewer shown above. Next you are going to take a heated hot glue gun and make a filled in circle of hot glue over most of the top of the lid. Then stick it on so that it is centered on the top of the ornament right against the hole for hanging. See photo above.

Step 5: Part B: Attatching the Water Bottles

Next you should make a line of water bottles going down the ornament. This line should end at the side of the ornament opposite the hanging end with the first water bottle. You should attatch them using the same process that you used in Part A. I used 5 water bottles making this line but you might use a different amount depending on your water bottle and ornament size.

Step 6: Part C: Attatching the Water Bottles

Now you are going to follow the same process that you used in part B. This time instead of starting centered move slightly to the left or right of the first row. A little tip for this part is to put each water bottle in a "window" of the other line so that from the top the two lines of water bottle look more like one zig-zag line then two straight ones. Continue this on both sides going down. You most probably will have to use less water bottles as you go down the rows each time, my last row only included 2-3 water bottles on each side.

Repeat full process on other half of ornament.

Step 7: Finishing the Lamp

To finish the lamp, put the fairy lights inside of one half and line up the two halves of the ornament. Then push them together. If the two sides won't hook together un-twist some of the water bottles from each side that are pushing them apart.After the two halves fit together loop a piece of ribbon or string through the hole on top of each half for hanging. Tie the ends together and you're done! I hope you had fun making this upcycled water bottle lamp.

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    3 Discussions

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    SydG4747

    8 weeks ago

    @seamster
    Yes, it was created as part of a school project. We used it as an imformative writing assignment in which we had to show that we could explain a process. Our teacher let us make instructables as a way to make the assignment more fun. Thanks for asking!

    1 reply
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    seamsterSydG4747

    Reply 8 weeks ago

    Very cool! We love seeing students and teachers using the site like this. Keep up the good work, and keep making stuff! : )

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    seamster

    8 weeks ago

    Nicely done, and a very clever resuse project!

    It looks like you're in a classroom in a couple of the photos - was this instructable created as part of a school assignment? If so, can you tell a little bit about the assignment?