Let There Be (Dollar Store) Light!

Psssst… this post *might* contain affiliate links: see my disclosure here.

One of our favorite restaurants in town has an amazing pendant light in the ladies’ room made of wine bottles similar to this (affiliate). I love the repurposed chic of it! Well, this isn’t the same thing by any means, but I credit that restaurant pendant with giving me the idea!

These plastic dollar store bottles were transformed into a fun and decorative chandelier

This, my lovelies, cost $20. Max. While cruising around the dollar store, I saw these travel bottles. 3 for $1.25. A pendant light in the making.

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These plastic dollar store bottles were transformed into a fun and decorative chandelier

I started by lopping off the neck of the bottles with our miter saw so that they looked a little less like plastic travel bottles. I quickly ran a flame over the edge to melt down any rough spots.
These plastic dollar store bottles were transformed into a fun and decorative chandelier

These plastic dollar store bottles were transformed into a fun and decorative chandelierWhen I started arranging all my lopped off bottles, it was clear that they could use a little more sparkle. Thankfully Amazon provided these plastic baubles (affiliate) for the right price ($8). I drilled a hole in the bottom of each bottle and used a small bead to secure my clear thread and then tied off the hanging crystal. (Crystals… that’s luxury right there, folks. Just in case the hacked off travel bottles weren’t fancy enough for you…)

These plastic dollar store bottles were transformed into a fun and decorative chandelier

These plastic dollar store bottles were transformed into a fun and decorative chandelier

For the light socket itself, I grabbed a socket like this and some lamp wire at the hardware store… they’re like $5 (Update: you can also buy an actual pendant light socket as is!). If you’ve never wired one of these, don’t be scared. (Obviously don’t be reckless either, but I bet you can figure it out is what I’m saying!)

1. Remove the cap on the socket.

These plastic dollar store bottles were transformed into a fun and decorative chandelier

2. Pull the sleeve and the cardboard off of the socket base.

These plastic dollar store bottles were transformed into a fun and decorative chandelier

3. Thread your wire through the socket; notice that one side of wire has a slight ridge along it, and the other side is smooth… this will be important to note in the next step. There are 2 screws on the socket base that you’ll need to loosen… one is brass and one is silver. If your lamp wire isn’t already, split about 3″ with a sharp blade and then strip the plastic sheath away from the last 4/5″ to expose the wires. You’re going to wrap the ridged (neutral) wire around the silver screw and the smooth (hot) wire around the brass screw.

These plastic dollar store bottles were transformed into a fun and decorative chandelier

4. Last, make your wire into an underwriter’s knot so that the weight of your pendant is on the wire and not the wrapped connection around the screws.

These plastic dollar store bottles were transformed into a fun and decorative chandelier

Once I had a zillion of these bottle/ crystal rigs, it was time to bring them all together into all their pendant glory. I wish I had seen this post earlier, as Jen nailed it with the infrastructure of her chandelier… but I just used this thrift store lampshade.

These plastic dollar store bottles were transformed into a fun and decorative chandelier

Okay, so recap… I have a pile of chopped off bedazzled dollar store bottles, and a stripped down shade…. next step? I pondered the idea of stringing up all my bottles, but… then I got lazy. So I tested whether or not a hot glue gun would do the trick. Like I should have questioned the trusty hot glue gun. Worked like a charm.

These plastic dollar store bottles were transformed into a fun and decorative chandelier

I started by hot glueing (hot glue gunning?) a row of bottles directly to the lamp shade frame.

These plastic dollar store bottles were transformed into a fun and decorative chandelier

Then, working from there, I kept adding layers of bottles by hot glueing them directly onto the first row of bottles. I glued a row on the outside, and then another on the inside… I wanted to make sure there was room for the lightbulb to hang without touching (and possibly melting) the plastic bottles. These bottles are SUPER light so the hot glue was plenty strong enough.

These plastic dollar store bottles were transformed into a fun and decorative chandelierUpdate: lots of people have been worried about the heat of the lightbulb melting the bottles… I totally get that. I have a pretty low wattage bulb in there, but you could also use an LED bulb. Use your common sense. I don’t keep this light plugged into for hours at a time and have never had any issues.

These plastic dollar store bottles were transformed into a fun and decorative chandelier

These plastic dollar store bottles were transformed into a fun and decorative chandelier

This is a plug-in pendant light which isn’t ideal because you always have a cord dangling, but it’s a much easier solution for renters or anyone who doesn’t want to pay their electrician $250 to add a hardwired socket… I used a simple cup hook into a stud on the ceiling to hang this and then some Command Cord Clips to keep the cord flush to the corner. You can definitely still see it… but what’s a DIY gal to do.

These plastic dollar store bottles were transformed into a fun and decorative chandelier

These plastic dollar store bottles were transformed into a fun and decorative chandelier

Confession. I love this thing. It’s not perfect. I’d love to tweek it and make it bigger. But the concept and execution came together like that picture in my head. When it’s not turned on, you don’t really notice it tucked into the corner, but when it is turned on, it’s just like a real glass chandelier with all the sparkles and reflections and prettiness.

These plastic dollar store bottles were transformed into a fun and decorative chandelier

These plastic dollar store bottles were transformed into a fun and decorative chandelier

These plastic dollar store bottles were transformed into a fun and decorative chandelier

This could be such a sweet little light for a nursery or a craft room… and for, um, UNDER TWENTY DOLLARS, sort of hard to go wrong.

These plastic dollar store bottles were transformed into a fun and decorative chandelier

 

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Definitely trying this one... NEVER would have believed it was made from plastic bottles. Perfect way to recycle.

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38 Comments

  1. wow! this looks great.. you were very creative with this.. it really added a touch of bling to the room (which is gorgeous).. great job

  2. What an awesome project! Fantastic job. I used to think I was creative, but now when I look at all these blogs, I think who am I kidding?!!!!

  3. I’m just curious, the bottles never get too hot and start melting?? I would imagine it’s very cheap plastic, I would be concerned about that. Otherwise it looks awesome. Very cool idea!

    1. Sarah, That was my #1 concern… because you’re right… not the hightest of quality bottles. 😉 They’re at least an inch from the lightbulb believe it or not and the bulb is very low wattage. I’m also thinking of swapping it out for an LED light. (Finally, I don’t remember to turn it on very often… so usually it’s not even lit up!)

  4. I see where you glued the bottles inside and out on the lampshade metal. I cannot figure out what you glued the 2nd lower level to. Did you have another metal ring inside?

  5. I wonder if using bottles with a bunch of ridges (straight planes vertically) would cause the light to be refracted even more and result in even more sparkles? Nice job! This post has made me bookmark this blog among my other favorites, YHL and EC2. As a new homeowner, I’m realizing how expensive if can be to try to make the home I’m so proud of as appealing to others as it is to me! Thank you for such a great blog!

    1. Oooohhh… I wonder too! It would look more like “bottles” but I suspect most people would notice that mine is made from bottles so who am I fooling?! 🙂 And to even be in the same sentence as YHL and EC2 makes me verklempt! Thanks! And yes… SOOOOOO expensive!!

    1. Thanks, Jamie! I found these at our random dollar store in the ‘travel’ section. (They’re technically travel sized bottles…) Good luck finding them!

  6. LOVE LOVE this lamp… I saw you drilled a hole into the bottom of the bottle… have you tried attaching the line directly to the lamp shade frame? I am going to try this one..

    1. Thanks, Loretta. I haven’t but that would totally work! I think it just depends on the shape you’re looking for and the lampshade you’re working with! Great idea!

  7. I have to ask what type of gluesticks you use. MIne always seem to “let-go” after a while. Stuff just doesn’t hold =( And I’m not using near heat,like a lamp/light bulb, either. Just wondering if I need a different type of gluestick.

    1. Oh goodness… I have no idea! I get them at the craft store… these are the larger/ thicker size vs. the smaller thin ones that you often see for a few dollars. Maybe that’s the trick?

  8. This is soooooo incredibly creative! I will be featuring this project in a DIY lighting round up on my blog soon if that is okay with you. 🙂 Great job!

    Best,
    Meredith

  9. You did a beautiful job. You could use a chain to hide the cord. My mom had a light in the kitchen hung that way. Hidden in plain sight.

    1. Sorry for the slow response! 🙂 YHL= Young House Love. They have an AMAZING blog and are basically the cream of the crop! EC2 is East Coast Creative. I know the site is still up, but not how active she is anymore! Thanks for reading!

  10. Hi Charlotte! I’m floored by this lamp {all I’ve done so far is just read the diy!) My mimnd id already flooding with the possibilities of what can be done with this…when i get it made with what i have in mind (i’ll have to hust pick an idea, or do them all…haha!- I’ll post pi’s & what i did ….I’m trying to figure out how to incorporate fairy light, lfro one thing……waddaya think? & any tips on this?

  11. Hi, I just found your site – it was mentioned on a you tube video. This lamp is adorable! I also love the pillow on the chair – do you happen to remember where you got it? Thanks!