In Sepetmber 2015, we launched the #Under50Dollars Challenge, our creative twist to #SG50, to commemorate the 50th birth-year of Singapore. It was devised for our readers to appreciate the inherent value of things used and old. If you have a good eye, enjoy upcycling… and have some dollars in the pocket, you too can join in and take up the challenge!
Our latest entry comes from Neha Agrawal in Singapore. A banker by profession and craftsman by heart, she is always caught up in some upcycling project to add to her home decor or gift out to friends! Here is how she fashioned a lamp out of old pasta and pickle jars, in her own words:
I love making things/crafts, and when I am able to do that out of what otherwise would have ended up in trash, it is even more gratifying. Usually my recycling projects are limited to using wedding cards (they are a treasure trove for repurposing), and other paper related crafts. This time, I decided to be a little more ambitious and fashion a whole lamp out of old glass bottles.
I keep stashing glass bottles from pasta sauces, pickles etc, and wanted to make something out of them, So after scrubbing them clean, I got myself glass paint from the local 2 dollar shop. Just trying to get a stained glass look, I made a simple grid pattern. The idea was to put tea lights inside them. But it became more elaborate after I saw pretty Turkish lamps at Arab street.
I decided to put bulbs inside a few of my painted bottles and hang them as an ensemble lamp. But I needed something from which I could hang them. Hat stands came to mind, and I may do that next, but this time I went for a jewellery stand that I came across for 20 dollars. I also bought a few bulb sockets, and had electric wire lying around. Now I had painted glass bottles, a stand, the bulbs (I suggest using LED bulbs as they don’t heat up that much, since the bottles are closed), and wires.
All I needed to do now was to assemble it. I punched one big hole through the center of the bottle lid (easy to do with a screwdriver and hammer), for putting the wire through, and 4 smaller holes on the sides for hanging the bottle, and for providing some sort of heat vent for the bulbs. I then attached each lid to a bulb socket, and using a strong thread, strung it to the arms of the stand.
You can choose however many bottles you like, and in whatever shapes and sizes that you have available (as long as the assembly of socket and bulb fits inside the bottle). Attach all the wires to a main wire connected to a plug (the engineering skills required are extremely basic, and absolutely doable). Add some ribbons, place a small painted bottle strategically to hide the wires, and voila, the lamp is ready!
The total cost was 20 dollars for the stand, 7 dollars for the sockets and 6 dollars for the paints. The bulbs can be as expensive or cheap as you like, and will of course be a recurring expense.
– Neha Agrawal. Neha is a banker by profession but loves cooking, making crafts, and stitching toys when not tied down by the financial markets. She stays in Singapore and through her craftwork, sincerely hopes to inspire people to ‘create more, waste less’.