This all came around because of a bottle of beer (and really, isn’t that how all good stories start?). The Fireman loves Sam Adams beer, and wanted to try their limited edition 13th hour, which came in a big bottle. Once the beer was gone, he liked the bottle and wanted to keep it because “maybe we can make something out of it.” He then mentioned something about asking his brother if he could make a lamp out of it.
DING DING DING!! My uncle is a freaking genius electrician, so a week before Christmas, I smuggled the bottle out of the house and over to my uncle. Over the next few days, we put it all together. He’d never worked with glass before, so honestly, we had no idea if it would even work…but it did!! I managed to take some photos (with my phone, sorry about the quality), and I’ll try to explain it all!
First, we started with drilling the bottle. He found a special glass drill bit that was 3/8″, and we found some PVC piping to hold the bottle upright (he still held the base while I drilled). It took quite a while to get through the glass, since it was so thick. Every few minutes, I’d stop drilling and he’d wipe away the glass dust and let it all cool off. We were both surprised when the glass didn’t even crack after the bit went through the bottom.
Some of the components that we used (which he had all on hand): white wire, a lamp kit, wood, and a pipe that the wire runs through. Honestly, I’m sure that there’s a name to it but I have no idea what it is.
Since the base of the bottle was only a few inches wide, we decided that it should be put on a wooden base to help stabilize it. We found this gorgeous piece of wood in his basement, and it’s from my great grandparent’s farm. It was so thick and sturdy compared to the wood you buy now at Home Depot! Since the exposed edge wasn’t cut straight (and I wanted a rustic look), he gave me his uncles hand saw and let me go to town on it. We ended up with a fairly lopsided square, with some of the loveliest grain I’ve ever seen in a board. Once it was cut, he found the middle and then I drilled another hole through (also 3/8″), so that we could run the wire through the board.
Since the wire was going to be under the board, it needed a channel cut out. Here’s the thing though: we used another 3/8″ drill bit to drill holes all the way to the end, but then ended up using a combination of a Sawzall and chisel to finish it out. It probably would have been easier to start that way, but you know, live and learn. Once all of the pieces were ready, it was time to assemble it all!
The tube was put down the neck of the bottle, the wire was threaded up through the bottle and the tube, and the socket was screwed on. At least that was the plan. Fast forward three days to my uncle showing up with the entire lamp constructed “because he got bored.” So yeah, I’m pretty much going off of what he said for the rest of the post.
So he built the rest of the top with a harp (you can see the little harp arms on the sides), but we ultimately ended up using a shade that sits on the socket. You can see that he found a piece to go between the bottle and the cup holding the socket, which gives it so much more stability. Once that was all screwed on, he threaded the wire down through the bottom of the lamp…
Added a metal screw piece to help hold the bottle in place, then just staple gunned the wire into the channel. Originally, we were planning on gluing the bottle to the wood, but by adding the metal piece to the bottom, he was able to screw the bottle to the wood. There was a slight wobble to it because the wood was mildly warped, but it was solved by tiny pieces of rubber between the bottle and the wood.
You can barely see them, but they’re there. The bottle is completely stable and doesn’t rock at all.
I mean, seriously. How could you not love that? The shade is from Target, and it’s a gray tweed pattern that matches perfectly. Oh, and the socket is a multi watt one, so we have a 100 watt bulb in there and it’s super bright.
And the verdict? The Fireman loved it, and I loved how much more light was added to the living room! I shall call this one a win!
Now tell me, have you ever done this? It was hard for me to find tutorials! Share if you have any secrets!!!
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