How to Make a Lampshade From Plastic Bottles

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Learn how to make an inexpensive and environmentally friendly lampshade.
Learn how to make an inexpensive and environmentally friendly lampshade. (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Make a lampshade with a modern flair; people won't even be able to tell you made it from plastic bottles. You can use empty plastic bottles to make a lampshade in a number of ways, but one of the easiest involves attaching them to a bare wire lampshade frame to give it the right shape and ensure it fits on a lamp correctly. Use clear bottles or colored transparent bottles to get a colored light from the lamp.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Utility knife
  • Hot glue gun
  • Wire lampshade frame

Wash about 10 20-oz. empty plastic bottles, and soak them in warm water for an hour to soften the adhesive that holds the labels in place. Peel off the labels, and scrape off the adhesive. Dry the bottles with a paper towel, and let them sit upside down on a paper towel for five hours to let the insides dry.

Cut the tops and bottoms off the bottles with a sharp utility knife so you only have the cylindrical parts of the bottles. Cut these cylinders in half lengthwise on both sides so you have two halves of the cylinders.

Glue the top edges of the cylinder halves to the top wire of a lampshade wire frame with a hot glue gun. Check to ensure the curved side of the cylinder half is touching the top of the lampshade frame, and hold them together for 30 seconds while the glue hardens.

Glue the side of the next cylinder half to the side of the first one to connect them. Glue the top edge of the second one to the top wire of the frame. Repeat this process until you have cylinder halves glued all the way around the top wire of the lampshade frame.

Apply hot glue to the top edge of another cylinder half, and attach it to the bottom of one of the halves in the first row. Repeat until you have created second and third layers below the first one or until you have reached the bottom wire of the lampshade frame. Apply glue to the bottom wire of the lampshade to attach the cylinder halves of the bottom layer to the frame. Wait 30 minutes for the glue to harden before using the lampshade.

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