Recycled Wine Bottle Chandelier
One of the most attractive aspects of glass is the way it plays with light, so a bottle chandelier is a natural project. A chandelier can be a fairly traditional shape, or a Chihuly-esque profusion of color. Some designers create modernistic grid-style chandeliers [source: Droog]. Some create rounder, more organic shapes. Some opt for a line of single-bottle lights [source: Apartment Therapy]. Slumping the bottles creates free-form bases for light bulbs. Leaving the labels on creates a funky, relaxed feeling.
Plan your chandelier according to the space where you plan to hang it. If it will be above a table, remember to leave adequate headroom, so your dinner guests can see each other. In general, the chandelier should not be as wide as the table; a good rule of thumb is that its diameter should be a foot less than the table's width [source: Lowe's].
Some crafters simply arrange bottles, either mobile-style or on a grid structure, around a light source. (Do an image search on Google for "wine bottle chandelier" and you'll find several examples.) The effect can be gorgeous, particularly if you're working with a high ceiling that allows for drama.
For this discussion, though, let's assume you're taking a more involved approach -- turning each wine bottle into a lampshade. You'll cut the bottom off the bottle and then install a light bulb in the bottle neck. Depending on how much light you want to create, you could install a string of mini lights (or, even better, energy-efficient mini-LEDs) instead of a large bulb. If you take this approach, you may want to leave the bottom of the bottle intact.
If you have a single light source, a simple hanging-light kit -- which includes a bulb mount attached to wire -- will suffice. The wiring gets more complicated when you have multiple bulbs. The wire from the ceiling to the chandelier will be a multi-strand wire, and you'll need to connect the central strands to the wires for the individual bulbs.
Installing a chandelier takes some care, but you can do it. You'll need a metal hanger bar or brace to support the new fixture. Step-by-step photos of the installation process are available online [source: Hammer Zone]. And remember, electricity can kill you if you don't observe safety precautions. Review chandelier installation tips and ways to connect your new fixture with your home's wiring [source: Lowe's].
On the next page, we'll look at a way to go from green bottle to green thumb. Read on.