I knew that I would want my upcycle project to be something that provides enjoyment for me and the people I care about. I wanted it to be something I would use, be proud of, and potentially even gift to someone. I began my search by looking around the house for seemingly useless items. I immediately knew what I was going to make after finding some empty glass bottles lying around. 

My mom had decided to start getting rid of a bunch of random things around the house in preparation for a move while I was home last Thanksgiving. She was going to throw out some empty, ornate tequila bottles when she remembered a post she had seen on Facebook of someone turning old glass bottles into lamps. She appreciates the vibrant colors and natural patterns of Mexican art, and the bottles were seemingly too pretty to get rid of. She came to me for help. She wanted me to take initiative and create the product she was looking for. However, I was half invested and opted to spend time with my friends instead. I regret putting her request aside and am looking to finally get to work. 

The adaptability of the desired aesthetic achieved is the coolest part about this project to me. The choice of bottle, lamp shade, and lightbulb allow the creator to mix and match to attain a plethora of aesthetics. Unfortunately for me, I am fairly limited on the aesthetics I will be able to achieve with the resources at hand in my college house. I do not have access to the beautifully decorated Spanish bottles and fancy, spiral filament light bulbs my mother had suggested. I am going for a speakeasy aesthetic instead. I want the final product to look like a fixture that could be found at a small table in a dimly lit room with big leather chairs around it. I believe I can achieve this by filling the clear bottle with tan colored glass beads and selecting an amber hue lamp shade and light bulb. 

The project will require me to get a lamp kit and glass drill bit along with the bottle, lamp shade, and light bulb. The most difficult step in the manufacturing process will be tapping a small hole in the glass to feed wire through. It may take some trial and error, but I believe it is achievable. Once that is complete, it should be smooth sailing towards completion. The actual circuitry of the lamp will be taken care of by the lamp kit, and securing the light bulb socket to the top of the bottle may require some hot glue. Other than that, there should not be too much more to it. 

I hope to gain a sense of the process involved in making these lamps throughout this project in hopes of one day being able to make my mother what she asked for. For now, I am going to start by making something to bring joy to the friends I live with. 



[1] “Clase Azul Reposado Tequila 750ml.” Folsom Wine & Spirits, www.folsomwinespirits.com/products/clase-azul-reposado. Accessed 31 Jan. 2024. 

[2] Brown, Alyssa. “All of the Speakeasies & Hidden Bars You Need to Visit ASAP.” The Venue Report, 3 Oct. 2019, www.venuereport.com/roundups/all-of-the-speakeasies-and-hidden-bars-you-need-to-visit-asap/ [3] Tom. “Buffalo Trace Bourbon Bottle Lamp (1.75 Liter) Large Bottle.” BottleCraft By Tom, www.bottlecraftbytom.com/products/buffalo-trace-bourbon-bottle-lamp-1-75-liter-large-bottle. Accessed 31 Jan. 2024.

[3] Tom. “Buffalo Trace Bourbon Bottle Lamp (1.75 Liter) Large Bottle.” BottleCraft By Tom, www.bottlecraftbytom.com/products/buffalo-trace-bourbon-bottle-lamp-1-75-liter-large-bottle. Accessed 31 Jan. 2024.

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6 Comments. Leave new

  • This is such a cool project that I have always thought about doing! I appreciate you using some cool spirits bottles in order to make these lamps. Would certain bottles and bottle shapes affect the lamps you can make? And which bottles would be your favorite ones to use?

    • I have decided to use a Jameson and Tito’s bottle since they are what I had available. I think I will be able to achieve the speakeasy aesthetic with the Jameson bottle.

  • Juliette Goubeaud
    February 4, 2024 11:52 pm

    This sounds like a really interesting project idea I never would’ve thought of but would love to see the finished product of! I mostly wonder how you’ll be able to get your hands on bottles big enough from your idea as there aren’t a lot of big bottles easily avaible or cheap and the bottles I can think of that are more readily available might not be stable enough for what you’re thinking of.

    • You are correct. The bigger bottles are easier to work with since it is easier to start drilling the hole. Thankfully, my roommate had a big empty glass bottle I could use.

  • Maddox Mitchell
    February 1, 2024 3:40 pm

    Hey Oliver! I really like the 1920 speakeasy aesthetic you chose to do for this project. I also appreciate the inspiration for your project, a little motivation from mom never hurt nobody. I think you have a lot of potential for this project with all the cool bottle designs there are so I am excited to see where you take this. I am curious to see how your personal preferences on spirit choice affect what bottle you choose to use for this project. Also I am curious if thrift stores may have some cool vintage speakeasyesque light bulbs that could help with your aesthetic.

    • Maddox, what a wonderful idea! I will be sure to check out some thrift stores for materials. Thank you!


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