Here is a design project you can do with all the leftover bottles you’ll have tomorrow morning!
I created this “Bubbly Chandelier” for my (now closed) retail store Green and Greener back in 2007. It hung over my register counter for many years, and was even written up in the LA times by David Keeps. Putting the individual pendant lights together into a chandelier may require a bit of outsourcing.
Step 1: Cut your bottles. Take your empty champagne, wine, beer bottles to a glass store and ask them to cut off the bottom for you. In my experience between 10-20% of bottles will shatter during this process so be prepared to have back-ups. I’ve seen videos of people explaining how to cut glass from home, that is something I would personally never recommend or try. My glass guy would charge me $10/a bottle to do this. If you want to keep the cage and foil from your champagne bottles, cut through the foil with an Exacto blade so that it comes off cleanly. Many other projects take the labels off the bottles, but I chose the Perrier Jouet bottles specifically because I like the artwork and it brings back wonderful memories of a trip to New Zealand. For me part of the fun is the memories the bottles have!
Step 2: String electrical wire. You can get all the supplies to do this from a local hardware store or ask an electrician to do it for you. Check out the blog posts below on how to do this. The most important thing to remember is to creat a knot with the wire on the inside of the bottle to take the weight of the bottle off of the socket. See the Remodelaholic pictures.
Step 3: Choose your bulbs. I chose the round LED bulbs that look like bubbles to complement the champagne bottles (hence Bubbly Chandelier). These bulbs are made by a company called TCP and are their medium-sized festive light. The bulbs last a long-time and the Tivoli white color (pictured) gives off a gentle candle-like glow. They are not bright enough to do work by. The festive light also comes in a small size and a really large size that would also be fun to incorporate if you can get your hands on them (not easy, they are mostly to the trade.) The bulbs inside the bottles are TCP flame-tip CFL bulbs in Las Vegas white. TCP makes really high-quality products that cost a bit more but are worth it.
Step 4: Hang the lights. You can either hardwire them so you can use a switch to turn them on, or you can wire them to a plug. See blogs below for more on that. To space out my lights my electrician fabricated a structure that worked for my industrial-looking space. He took some hollow curtain rods, drilled holes every few inches and passed the wire through. We used 2-rods that were spaced a few inches apart so that there was some depth to the fixture as well as some width. Have fun and be a spark in the world! Here is to an amazing 2015.
Here are some other instructional blog posts and videos on this same type of project.
Remodelaholic shows a step-by-step blog including glass-cutting:http://www.remodelaholic.com/2010/09/how-to-make-a-glass-wine-bottle-pendant-light-diy/
Decoist shows 50-ideas for similar DIY light projects. http://www.decoist.com/2013-10-31/diy-pendant-lights/
youTube demo by a South African designer https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=EnZa9i2B4cs