Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tutorial Tuesday: Ship-In-A-Bottle Lamp

Last March I participated in a drawing-a-day art challenge and well to put it bluntly I failed. I completed the challenge's prompts and number of pieces but there was a week in the middle where I just got caught up in other things. This year I decided to try a challenge that is a baby-step in the direction of the d-a-d art challenge, a monthly craft challenge, hosted by Ellen over at The Chilly Dog.

Just one project a month? Plus I get an prompt for a project every month? Can't say no to that! My brain gets taped on ideas sometimes but having a prompt will help me get ideas flowing. This month's prompt: Upcycled glass. Find out how to make your own kitschy Ship-In-A-Bottle lamp below!


  1.  Empty Bottle (Mine is a wine bottle, a glass soda bottle could work for a mini lamp)
  2. Aqua Mod Podge Sheers
  3. String of 50 White Christmas Lights (just one plug end)
  4. White Puffy Paint
  5. Scissors
  6. Paint brush
  7. Pencil
  8. Foam Bush
  9. Mod Podge
  10. Paper (Sturdier than printer paper)
    Not Pictured:
  11. E6000
  12. Wooden plaque (for base)
  13. Acrylic Paint (for base)
 I forgot to include this vital supply at first, so basically you need some sort of flat surface that your bottle-lamp can be secured to.

Step 1: Begin applying the aqua mod podge sheer to the side of your bottle. Make triangular shapes near the top for waves and cover 3-4 inches. (remember this is just on my bottle, yours may be larger or smaller and require more or less)
Let dry between coats.

Apply as many as you need for a satisfactory aqua. This was 8 thin layers.

Step 2: Draw and cut out a ship-shape. You can make it as complicated or as simple as you want but I just googled ship clip art and combined some basic features for mine. Then I painted it.

Step 3: Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the back of your ship using your foam brush.

Place your ship on your "water line". Apply a coat of Mod Podge on top as well. Let dry and apply 1-2 more coats.

Step 4: Feed your lights into the neck of your bottle. I found this was easiest to do by beginning with the one light on the very end of my string. I'm not sure if you can do this project string of lights that has a plug on each end.

Step 5: Whoops! I was so excited to get to the lights part that I forgot to add some crests and definition to the waves. Use your puffy paint to add foam to your waves/ make waves that overlap the boat. (If you do that make sure to add some of the mod podge sheers to the overlap so it looks like there's water there)

Step 6: Apply a line of E6000 down the middle of your plaque.

Lay your bottle exactly down on the line. Use whatever you have on hand to prop it in place if necessary. Let dry.

This is how your lamp should look when it's done:

With the twinkle lights on!

I need a really nice place to put this so I can both look at it a lot and utilize it for its lighting purposes...hmmm I'll keep you guys updated

It's not to late to join the challenge! We're pretty lax on the rules, you can choose to just participate in months that have prompts you enjoy, or just whenever you can make time! I'd love to see your projects so let me know if you decide to participate!

Til Next Time!


  1. This is such a creative "ship in a bottle". ;) I like it!

  2. What a fun project! Thanks so much for sharing it. Can't wait to see what you'll create for the craft-a-month challenge next :)

  3. This is so cute. I love it so much.

  4. I love this post, so creative. I build ships in bottles and came across your post while I was researching my own hobby. I've gotta say, I'm definitely interested in trying to come up with a way to incorporate lighting in one of my projects now. I keep a sketchbook of ideas I hope to turn into projects and this is going in it tonight!