My dad has always been hard to buy for. He's not a tie guy and a man only needs so many flashlights. In recent years, he's taken up drinking Scotch, so it's been a bit easier and more fun to shop for new varieties for him to try. But even that gets a bit stale after a few birthdays and holidays. So when I came across the DIY bottle lamp from I Like That Lamp, I knew I could turn it into the perfect "Dad" gift for this holiday season.
There are two parts to this project: assembling the bottle lamp base and making the lampshade.
Assembling the base took me less than ten minutes and that included a mid-way break for my son’s diaper change and numerous shooings of a curious cat (see photo below). It was a super easy process. Here's how:
Gather your materials:
You may also need glue (hot glue or super glue) to secure the adapter in your bottle if it's too loose.
Now, just jump right in. Clean out your bottle, being careful to keep the label dry, if it's not waterproof. Allow the inside of the bottle to air dry before assembling.
Choose the appropriately-sized adapter for your bottle. It should fit snugly. If it's a little loose you can use a bit of super glue or hot glue when you insert it into the bottle later.
Insert the nipple into the adapter. This may be a bit snug. I used a combination of twisting and pushing to get the nipple through the adapter. You want to end with a 1/4-inch of the nipple sticking out.
Then screw the washer on to the 1/4-inch end of the nipple. Slip the check ring onto the nipple on top of the washer (it will be loose).
Next, grab the socket. You'll notice a little screw in the bottom end of the socket. Loosen it and then insert the 1/4" of exposed nipple and retighten the screw to secure the nipple to the socket.
Now it's time to insert the assembled piece into the bottle by placing the adapter-end into the bottle. If the fit is not snug enough, use some glue to secure it in place.
And that's it for part one! Now on to the lamp shade.
This part took a bit longer but was still super easy.
Gather your materials:
Picking a fabric for the lampshade was fun. Once I had the bottle chosen, it was a matter of finding a color and texture that went well with the bottle (and my Dad!). 100% cotton fabric is recommended for first-time lampshade makers, but I had my heart set on burlap once I saw it in the craft store, so I went with it.
Next, you'll need to determine the size of your lampshade. To do this, just measure the height of your bottle. For table lamps like this one, the height of the lampshade should be between 60-80% of the height of the bottle. So, for a 10-inch bottle, the height of the lampshade should be between 6-8 inches.
Once you've got your measurements, you'll need to cut the styrene accordingly. Next, lay your fabric on a flat surface. To make the fabric easier to work with, you may need to cut it down so that there are a few inches around all the edges of the styrene once it's applied.
To apply the fabric to the styrene, peel back the paper liner to expose the adhesive side of the styrene and begin pressing it into the fabric. Working in sections, continue peeling back the liner and pushing the exposed styrene onto the fabric. More on how to use adhesive styrene, here.
Once you're done, trim the fabric down to a 1/2 inch along one short side and both long sides. Trim the remaining short side flush with the styrene edge.
Next, use the glue to secure the overhanging fabric over the edge of the styrene on the short side. This creates a neat seam that will be seen on the outside of the lampshade.
Bring the short edges of the styrene together to make a cylinder and secure with a binder clip at both the top and bottom where the edges meet.
Place the top lampshade ring inside the cylinder, with the loops pointing down. You may need to loosen or tighten the cylinder to fit snugly around the ring. Once in place, begin folding the fabric over the ring and secure in place with the remaining clips. Then, working in sections, use the glue to attach the fabric to the styrene. The burlap fabric I used worked better with hot glue. Leave the original binder at the seam in place.
Once the top is finished, repeat the steps with the bottom ring.
Because I used burlap, the edges of the fabric weren't very neat and they had also started to unravel. So I used some ribbon, secured with hot glue, to create a neater edge along the insides of the lampshade.
Once the shade is complete, you're ready to attach to the lamp base. Screw in a light bulb to the base and fit the circular rings on the inside of the stage to the bulb. Plug in. Turn on. And that's it. You made a lamp! And one that's fitting for that hard to buy fella in your life!
Posted by Nicole Sanchez.
About the author of this tutorial: Nicole Sanchez is a family documentary photographer in Northern Virginia. She’s passionate about documenting family life and finding fun ways to display family photos so they’re not doomed to collect digital dust. She blogs about photo display projects and tips for documenting family at www.nicolesanchezphotography.com/blog.
We sell styrene, lampshade rings, lamp harps and lampshade glue - everything you need to make a custom lampshade.