I have to admit, even I doubted if this one was going to work out. But I have to say, I surprised myself.
I’m so excited to show you today how to make a floor lamp out of bottles. You all know I love to upcycle and use trash whenever I can in my projects. Sometimes I even hoard strange things that most people would throw away. Yes it’s a little crazy but whenever I get to use something that would normally be in the rubbish, it makes me so happy. This time that thing is sprite bottles. Yep, plastic bottles from my parent’s anniversary party, that I kept. And came up with a this idea to make my dream lamp. Read on for more.
Materials you need to make a floor lamp out of bottles
- Empty 2L soft drink bottles (I used sprite and the straight shape worked really well)
- Painters tape
- Lamp base and shade (my base was a knocked up old one my parent’s were getting rid of and the shade is one I’ve had in my cupboard for a while)
- Multi Joint Compound
- Scissors (I love these for cutting tough stuff)
Lets talk a little bit about materials. My parents had this old lamp base which was quite scratched up but was the perfect shape for this project. You’ll want to make sure that the bottles you have and the lamp base work together. The pole of the lamp base needs to be fairly slim so you don’t have to cut too much of the bottle away at it’s narrowest point. The height of your lamp base will also dictate how many bottles you can fit in, this will be something that’s different for everyone. I used about 14 bottles on mine which fit quite nicely and sat right under the top of the lamp.
How to make a floor lamp out of bottles
I began by cutting up my bottles. I wanted to just use the bottle neck so I cut away the rest of the bottle and then sliced up the side of the bottle neck to get to the lid. I cut the screw part off and tried to stay as close to the narrowest point as possible.
If you are using a different type of bottle your shape will be slightly different and you may choose to cut a little further up or down the bottle. You can experiment here to see what gives you the best shape. Once you know where to make your cuts, do your best to cut every bottle in the exact same spot.
Once my bottles were cut I began to place them around the base and tape them on one at a time. I started with the first one upside down and then alternated so that the narrowest and widest points all lined up nicely and created the shape I wanted. One of the reasons for cutting the bottle up the side is not just to make it easier to cut but also to be able to open it up and place it easily on the lamp base.
Once everything was securely taped on, I painted the whole thing white. I find painting something before plaster goes on really helps with coverage later on. You don't want blue tape showing through if you have a section of plaster that is thinner. At this point the bottles start to look less like plastic you can begin to see how its going to look!
After the paint is completely dry, its time to plaster! Cover the whole thing in multi joint compound. Using a spatula to smooth it out, work around the bottles horizontally. I find around is better than up and down because the finish looks a little more natural. Once dry, you will likely need a second coat so sand down any rough bits and add a second layer.
Next, sand the whole thing down to make it nice and smooth. You can sand as little or as much as you like, I find this is more about personal preference as to how textured you want it to look. I simply kept sanding until I liked how the texture looked and then stopped.
Finally, Choose a lamp shade that works for the size of your lamp. I had a large fabric shade in my cupboard which worked really well.
See, it’s so easy to make a floor lamp out of bottles! One of my favourite things is trying weird and wonderful ideas that don’t seem like they’ll work! I love the challenge and I love it when the results are THIS GOOD. Safe to say, this one is a keeper!