How to turn a glass bottle into a lamp

K – Seriously, where did April go? It’s hard to believe it’s time for another DIY Challenge! In May, all of us bloggers were challenged to turn Trash To Treasure. There are some amazing transformations in all the links at the end of this post – so as always, lots of encouragement to visit them all! My contribution to this month’s challenge involves turning a broken lamp and a milk bottle ...essentially I’m going to show you How to turn a glass bottle into a lamp!

Full Tutorial for How to Turn a Glass Bottle into a Lamp

Here’s what you need to make a bottle lamp of your own:

Here’s the back story. This little blue lamp was supposed to be part of our blog office. But when the renovations were happening and the upstairs was crazy messy and all out of sorts, one of the kitties (I honestly don’t know which one) knocked it over and smashed it.

Being the looney that I am, I kept the pieces in a bin (Looney bin?) Once again, I can’t explain why I kept something that was literally in pieces. But I knew the actual lamp mechanism was fine. (This is why I didn’t actually use a lamp kit, but the chances of you having and keeping a broken lamp are slim…so use a kit..)

I had a couple of milk bottles lying around on my storage shelves in the basement and I instantly knew  one of them would make the cutest new lamp base.Milk Bottle Lamp Before

First up, with my screw driver, I freed the lamp piece from the broken ceramic bits. In fact, I took it apart entirely. Now came the scary part! I had to make a hole in the glass so I could pass the lamp cord through it.

I researched and researched and researched. Praise Goodness for You Tube!

In the end, I bought a 5/16 Carbide-Tip Glass & Tile Drill Bit for $10. Dan had to help me with this part because when you’re drilling through glass, the most important things are a) to go really slow and steady and b) to keep the drill tip lubricated with cool water.How to turn a glass jar into a lamp

We rigged up quite the set-up to get this done. Both of us put on safety goggles and we lined our giant roasting pan with a thick towel and put the milk bottle in there. We were lucky because the bottle has flat edges, so it stayed. If you’re doing a wine bottle or something round, you’ll probably need to couch it between two blocks of wood to stop it from rolling around on you.

We marked basically where we wanted the hole with tape and started a little wee mark with the drill to guide us.How to safely drill through glass

Then as Dan drilled, applying next to no pressure, I poured water over the moving bit. I had to fill our measuring cup about 6 times and we dumped the water from the roasting pan once during the process.How to safely drill through glass

As the drill is going, you can see the water kind of turn white-ish. That’s the glass particles being scraped away by the carbide bit. (Sorry no pics of this because we both had our hands full!)

Anyway – after about 10 minutes of slow and steady drilling, we had a hole! It really wasn’t that scary. It was actually more tedious than scary!How to safely drill through glass and turn a vase into a lamp

Then I went back to my broken lamp bit. I disassembled the socket and memorized exactly how it all went together. You’ll notice on basic lamp cords there’s a wire with ridges and a smooth wire. The ridged one typically attaches to the gold or brass screw. But don’t take my word for it, I’m no electrician. If you’re not familiar with wiring, consult someone who is before attempting to do something like this 🙂

How to Wire a Lamp
How to Wire a Lamp


Then I rolled up some medium grit sand paper and stuck it into the hole in my milk bottle just to make sure there weren’t any jagged edges that could pierce my wire. How to turn a glass bottle into a lamp

From here, I strung my lamp cord through the hole in the bottle and out the top and then reassembled the socket. Easy peasy!Turn a glass bottle into a lamp

It was a bit wobbly, so I used a few dabs of hot glue to hold it in place and while I was at it, I added burlap to the bottle. Then I stuck on my lamp shade and called it a day!

I turned it on just to show you that it actually works 😉 though I recognize that photos of lit lamps in the daylight don’t look very good. Make a Lamp From a Glass Bottle


How to turn a Bottle into a lampAnd since THIS post was a DIY Challenge – make sure you check out all these other links by my girlfriend bloggesses!! They are all pretty much my besties…so please show their Trash to Treasure links some love!


Here are some other posts you might like!

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One thought on “How to turn a glass bottle into a lamp

  1. Great post, I have an upcoming lamp project with some wood that I have milled from logs and will definitely be using your post as a reference. I really enjoy your blog.

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