DIY: How to Make a Bottle Lamp

by Kira @ Her New Leaf on August 30, 2011

Finally, I’m going to show you how I made the glass bottle lamp I’ve been blabbing about for weeks. Woo hoo!

I’ve been pining over glass bottle lamps like those below for months now, but why oh why are lamps and light fixtures so expensive?

West Elm Gourd Table Lamps, $125 each

They’re so organic and beachy and beautiful! So you can see why when I found this giant bottle in the HomeGoods clearance section for only $5, I put it in the cart and didn’t look back. Marcus was with me at the time, I’m pretty sure I said mumbled something like, “I’m gonna make a lamp out of this, just trust me, okay?” while speeding to the checkout before any other bargain-hunting lamp artists could spot my bottle.

For this project, you will need:

  • a bottle (it doesn’t need to be as big as mine)
  • a lamp kit (like this one)
  • a lamp harp (like this one)
  • a lampshade
  • a lightbulb

I got my bottle at HomeGoods, lamp kit and harp from Home Depot, and lampshade from Target, if you’re interested.

The mouth of my bottle was super wide, so I picked up the biggest washer I could find at Home Depot and glued it in with silicone.

Follow the directions on your lamp kit to assemble the body of the lamp. Is that the technical term? Lamp body? I dunno, I guessed. Remove the bottom of your harp and attach it to the lamp body. You also should attach the rubber stopper thingy to the bottom of your lamp body. Most lamp kits come with several sizes so test them out to find out which fits your bottle best. Mine ended up a little small so Marcus showed me how to wrap it with this stretchy plastic tape. I can almost guarantee that’s not the technical term. (I just asked Marcus, he said it’s called Teflon tape.)

Stick it in! If it’s a little crooked, you can use some Quakehold like I did to make it stand up straight. Just go with it, I didn’t say this would be a professional tutorial. Squeeze the sides of your harp to attach it.

At the top of your harp, there will be some kind of knobbly thing. Mine happens to look like an acorn. Yours might look different. Like an artichoke or something. That’s okay! Unscrew it and balance your lampshade on its post.

Inside my acorn was a smaller screwy thing, so I screwed that on first. Not sure if all knobbly things have this or not, but I figured I’d let you know. Then screw on your acorn, put in a bulb, plug it in, and light it up!

Hold crap, you just made a lamp! You now have a sexy bottle lamp for less than half of the cost of those from the fancy stores!

What’s a fancy home accessory you’ve been lusting after?

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Anni August 30, 2011 at 7:13 am

Oh you read my mind! Those gourd lamps have been on my lust list at West Elm forever. (I have a WE credit card. Bad, bad Anni.) but I just can’t justify that much on a lamp. Will have to try this!

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Kira@hernewleaf August 30, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Oh man, a West Elm credit card would be such bad news for me.. I bet you could find a cool vintage bottle at a flea market or thrift store!

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joanne August 30, 2011 at 9:35 am

very cool bottle! very cool lamp! very cool kira!!

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pham August 30, 2011 at 9:41 am

I don’t get it!!! where does the power cable come out? Did you drill a hole at the bottom?

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Kira@hernewleaf August 30, 2011 at 9:23 pm

The cord comes out the back of the lamp “body” – no drilling necessary! This is one of the benefits of using a bottle lamp kit vs. a regular old lamp kit.

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Lori August 30, 2011 at 12:30 pm

You’re right, it’s perfect for your beach house! So proud of you for shopping the clearance shelf!

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Lori August 31, 2011 at 6:54 am

And the only thing I would love to afford is awesome art for the walls.

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Sheena May 4, 2012 at 11:54 pm

I have a lonely vase from Marshalls that I can use as a lamp. Thanks for sharing!

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Ann-Marie May 10, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Hello Kira, I would like to make lamps out of interesting liquor bottles and have searched years ago on how to drill the hole in the bottom back of the bottle. My bottles are large and I could fill them with pebbles, sand, beads and so on. Would so love some help on this. Thanks and keep up the awesome crafting.

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Kira @ Her New Leaf May 10, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Hi Ann-Marie! If you purchase a lamp kit like the one I used, there is no need to drill into the bottle at all since the cord comes out of the side of the kit instead of the bottom. I don’t have any experience drilling into glass – sorry about that! I hope your project works out, it sounds really cool!

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Suzanne February 22, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Hey Kira,
I know this comment is almost a year old, but I thought I could reply with a solution to Ann-Marie’s question. I make lamps with liquor and wine bottles sometimes. Here is how I cut a hole in the glass.
http://suziscrafts.com/how-to-make-a-liquor-bottle-lamp/

I love your blog btw! :-)

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Ann July 24, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Ummm…. Pretty much just got extremely excited about this tutorial I can wait to try this!!
Ann recently posted..HMMM… well if its not one thing its always anotherMy Profile

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Ana September 16, 2012 at 5:11 am

Hi Kira!

I just found your blog yesterday and I am sniff it out! It is just GREAT! Congrats!
About this lamp proyect that I have always wanted to do: I am guessing that the wire goes beneath the lamp, right? The reason why I never made this proyect was becouse I couldn’t figure how to make the hole on the glass! :) Please let me know!
Thanks a lot!

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Ana September 16, 2012 at 7:47 am

Hi Kira!

I guess I should have read the Bolgiquette before asking! I just realized that Anne Marie made the same question.. So new at this bloguing thing! Ups, shouldn’t said that either!;) Thanks for your posts!

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Kassie O'Driscoll October 3, 2012 at 1:16 am

I’m thinking about all the different things I would use to make this! I’ve been itching to try a Pinterest “sea glass” technique (white glue and food coloring) and combining it with this project might make the whole thing that much cooler!
Kassie O’Driscoll recently posted..Big Ropes and Fun TimesMy Profile

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Rina February 25, 2013 at 7:48 am

Thank you so Very much Kira, I just started to decorate my new home with a Coastal Cottage look so needles to say I love Pottery Barn stuff but can quiet afford them. My father -in law got me for Christmas 2 glass color lamp (Eva recycle glass) which was a great deal $99 each with the shade and usually the shade alone is that much; but in a recent trip to Homegoods I found the must beautiful recycle giant glass bottles made in Spain very similar to yours and each one was $24 same size and shape as PB except theirs was $349. I had to buy them and now I like them more then PB small ones I have… so I want to make them lamps for mt living room. Thanks to you now I will ..I was a bit worried but not anymore and your lamp looks identically to the PB. and better. THANK YOU

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Learn about Knee Doctor Dr Alexandria Schnee January 12, 2014 at 1:11 am

What a great idea! Looking forward to see more of your work here.

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