DIY Plastic Bottle Lamps

DIY Plastic Bottle Lamps

With so many plastic bottles floating around the world today, it is nice to know there are many ways to reuse them rather than sending straight them off to the landfills once their original usefulness is through. Of course we know we can put them in our recycling bins, but those of us with a creative side can actually do some really neat things with them as well.
 
Some of the most interesting (and actually very attractive) uses for plastic bottles of all varieties is to make lamps. Lamps??  I know, but bear with me: there are many articles online that show how to use them for lamp bases as well as entire light fixtures.
 
Thanks to the current recycling craze, Popular Science has re-posted a DIY plastic bottle lamp base project they originated in 1961. They provide step by step instructions (with pictures) for making the lamp base. You can use virtually any empty bottle, from a water bottle to a bleach bottle, to create lamp bases in differing shapes and sizes.Technically this isn't the best way to give new life to an old bottle, as it is just used to mold a base and is then cut away from the finished product. You are at least reusing the bottle but will still need to recycle it when you are finished.
 
An better example of repurposing plastic bottles is this ideas for a lamp base that uses the actual bottle over at Instructables. Admittedly their sample looks like it belongs more in a dorm room or a perhaps an ultra modern cafe rather than your living room, but with a little dressing up and a bit of creative flair I'm sure you'll find ways to make a design to lend in with your home decor. For example, in your kitchen try a clear plastic bottle filled with dry beans. This has typically been done with canning jars, but should work with a plastic bottle just the same.
 
I New Idea has a post by a designer who has created a spherical light fixture from plastic soda bottles that looks pretty amazing. The bottles screw into a sphere using the threads at the top. This would be a fun idea for a children's room or possibly a game room. You could use bottles that are all the same size, shape and color or mix them up in a unique style.   The various shapes of the bottle bases diffuse the light and create interesting shadows.
 

For a look at some very inspiring work, check out Reta and Vana Howell, the creative sisters who own This Gallery. They have a great selection of lamps created from the stuff people throw away....mainly plastic bottles. Their works of art are gorgeous and absolutely innovative. Maybe they can inspire you to even greater things!  I know I am now keenly storing all of my plastic bottles to transform into a new lighting fixture.