A wine bottle lamp works much the same way a chandelier does, but on a smaller scale. Because a lamp usually has a single-bulb setup, for most designs you'll be able to use a lamp kit [source: Lowe's]. That leaves you relatively free to play with design, without worrying so much about technical needs.
Your first decision is whether you want the light inside or outside the glass. The easiest option is to treat the bottle as the base, with the bulb and shade mounted atop the bottle neck. You'll need to make sure the base is heavy enough to support the shade and bulb you've chosen, so you may opt to fill the bottle with colorful rocks or other trinkets. (You could decoupage or paint the outside, or let the inside arrangement show as part of your design.) You'll also need to drill a small hole near the base for the cord.
A lovely option is to paint the bottle with translucent stained-glass paint, and then fill it with a string of mini-lights in lieu of a single bulb. Remember that, like any other light bulbs, mini-lights get hot. They could very well heat the bottle so much that it scars the surface it's resting on or -- worse -- poses a fire hazard. Work to arrange the mini-lights in such a way that the bulbs are evenly distributed, with no bulbs touching the base of the bottle. Keep the lamp on a ceramic trivet to reduce the risk even more.
If you decide to use the bottle as the shade rather than the base, the design becomes more flexible. As with the chandelier, you'll need to remove the base of the bottle. You'll also need to figure out how to support the glass shade. Free-form coils of sturdy wire are an artful option. This arrangement also lets you turn the bottle into a wall-mounted lamp or sconce. Stained-glass paint can be particularly effective in these lights.
Finally, don't forget the simplest arrangement of all. Take a tall, taper-style candle. Light it, and drip wax around the mouth of the bottle. Then, blow out the candle and insert it into the mouth of the bottle. The melted wax will help stabilize it. (You may need to trim the candle to fit with a paring knife.) Voila! Instant candlestick -- and an instant classic.
To learn more, visit the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Links
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- Ferhenbacher, Jill. "Recycled Bottle Cascade Chandelier." Inhabitat. May 28, 2007. (Accessed 4/10/2009). http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/05/28/recycled-water-bottle-cascade-chandelier/
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- Instructables. "How to Cut a Glass Bottle" (Video). Instructables: Make, How To, and DIY. (Accessed 4/6/09) http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Cut-A-Glass-Bottle./
- James, Paul. "Container Planting." HGTV. 2009. (Accessed 4/6/09) http://www.hgtv.com/landscaping/container-planting/index.html
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- Lowe's. "Making a Lamp." Lowe's Hardware. 2009. (Accessed 4/5/09) http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=howTo&p=HomeDecor/MakeALamp.html
- OSHA. "Hazards of Using Flammable Liquids in Cutting Laminated Glass." U.S. Department of Labor Safety and Health Information Bulletin. October 6, 2008. (Accessed 4/5/09) http://www.osha.gov/dts/shib/shib100608.html