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How to Make Lamps and Vases From Bottles

All you need to convert an old bottle into a lamp is a bottle adapter lamp kit which you can find at your local hardware / lighting store, and a lamp shade. The easiest method is to leave the lamp cord running from the socket instead of being concealed in the base.

Your kit should include drilled corks in different sizes, a spindle, harp, sock with cover, lamp cord with plug, and nuts and washers to put them all together. If the bottle is tall and slender you'll want to fill it with marbles, small stones, shells, sand, etc., to give it some ballast. Another option is to detach the harp from the socket assembly and use a lamp shade that will snap directly over the light bulb. That will the lamp's center of gravity.

Select the drilled cork that fits your bottle neck. Insert the spindle and secure washers and knurled nuts on both ends. Then twist the cork into the bottle.

Place the harp cradle over the spindle. Screw the socket base over the spindle and tighten the setscrew. Insert the cord through the socket base and strip the ends.

Attach the wire ends to the socket connections, wrapping clockwise before tightening the terminal screws. Install the socket cover and snap the assembly into the socket base.

Unscrew the finial on the harp, place a shade over the spindle, and replace the finial.

To hide the cord inside the bottle:
With a hacksaw, cut a 4" length from the threaded part of the spindle. Screw it into the hole in the metal arm attached to the socket, leaving enough room for the wires that will pass through.

Push the bottom of the spindle through a 1" washer, the drilled cork, and another washer. Secure with a nut.

Drill a hole in the base of the bottle. Push the sripped end of the electric cord through the hole and up through the neck of the bottle, then through bottom of the spindle and out the top. Connect the wires to the screws on the socket. Pull the wire taut and replace the socket cover.


Method 1: Dip a piece of common string in alcohol or kerosene and squeeze dry or as dry as it will get without dripping. This string should then be placed on the already marked glass and tied tight. Light the string and let it burn off. Immediately, while the glass is still hot, plunge it into cold water. Be sure the container of water is large enough to let the glass go completely under as well as your arm up to the elbow, so as to deaden the vibration when you strike the glass. Strike the glass with your other hand outside the line of cutting using a stick of wood and hitting a sharp stroke. This quick, sharp stroke will break the glass where it has been weakened by the burning string into a clean cut as if done by a regular glass cutter. This method may be used to cut bottles in any shape and to make vases and to perform many such cuttings on glass.

Method 2: Here is a method that rarely fails to break the glass clean in the place you want it broke. First, scratch the glass with the corner of a file or sharp graver. Have a piece of wire bent to the desired shape you want to cut the glass. Heat the wire red hot and lay it upon the scratch. Sink the glass into cold water just deep enough to come on a level with the wire, not quite covering it. The glass will break clean.

HOW TO CUT GLASS WITH SCISSORS: To do this you must place the glass under water completely, then with a pair of ordinary scissors, proceed to cut the glass as you would paper or cloth. This method is, of course, not as smooth as job as the methods described above. The edges will not be as smooth, but for getting a piece of glass down to size and where the edges are not needed to be smooth, this method is satisfactory.

HOW TO DRILL GLASS: Get a piece of steel wire and file to shape of drill. This must be tempered as follows: Heat the end of the drill on a flame until it is dull red, then place it in metallic mercury. This drill, tempered in this manner will bore through glass as easily as through soft metal. When using in glass, always use oil of turpentine with a little camphor added to lubricate the drill. As you drill, be careful not to drill clear through from one side as you will break the glass this way. Drill partly, or almost through, then start from the opposite side and finish the hole. Or, if you cannot do this, as when you are drilling bottles, etc.. fill this bottle with water or place the glass in water. CAUTION: When you make the drill, do not make the cutting edges so sharp or too acute. The drill will cut slowly but you will have better holes with less breakage.

Color It!
Rainbow colors for bottles, vases, etc: Use floating art colors obtainable from most paint stores. Take a pail and fill it with water and drop a few drops of several different colors on top of the water. Now, take any article you wish colored and dip down through the colors, slowly back and forth. You now have a rainbow colored article. You can color bottles, vases, and many articles this way.

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