How to Use a POM Bottle to Create a Midcentury Modern Lamp

  • 01 of 10

    Exclusive: How to Make a Midcentury Modern Inspired Hanging Lamp

    Deirdre Sullivan / Small Spaces

    The POM Wonderful juice bottle is the perfect shape for a chic, modern lamp. So I figured out three different ways you can capture this bottle's curved form to make beautiful lighting.

    The first DIY in this three-part project series shows how to create a midcentury modern-inspired double gourd hanging lamp using liquid plastic.

    Here are the other projects featured in this series:

    How to Make a Table Lamp Using a POM Bottle

    Make Your Own Pendant Lamp Using ArtPlaster and a POM Bottle

    Continue to 2 of 10 below.
  • 02 of 10

    Supplies: Casting Material

    Deirdre Sullivan / Small Spaces

    This DIY uses Smooth-Cast 300. One box of this stuff costs around $25, and it will provide you with enough material to create one plastic pendant lamp. You can find Smooth-On products at Dick Blick Art Supplies.

    Here's what you need to know about Smooth-Cast:

    • It's odorless.
    • It will produce a bright white plastic lamp base with a smooth finish.
    • It takes minutes to cure.
    • Castings are paintable.
    • Unpainted castings will turn yellow over time.
    • It's nonflammable. However, the material may "soften" if it's heated to 120 F. This is why we selected an LED light bulb for this project and placed it outside of the lamp base.

    NOTE: Smooth-Cast is super easy to work with, but it's also expensive. So I also created a separate hanging lamp tutorial that uses ArtPlaster. It costs around $6 a box and provides enough material for three or four lamps.

    Continue to 3 of 10 below.
  • 03 of 10

    Supplies: Lamp Parts and Tools for Pom Bottle Pendant Lamp

    Deirdre Sullivan / Small Spaces

    Here's a breakdown of additional materials needed.

    Bottles (shown upper left):

    • 48 ounce POM Wonderful bottle
    • 50.7 ounce Smart Water bottle

    Pipe and nuts (shown lower right)

    Electrical supplies (shown lower left)

    • Light socket, lamp cord, and plug (more on this later)
    • Light bulb: G25 LED

    Tools and additional supplies:

    • Power drill
    • Drill bits 
    • Coffee can 
    • Tape
    • Glue
    • Plumber's tape (optional, more on this later)
    • Kitchen shears or utility knife 
    • Goo Gone
    • A casting release spray or Vaseline
    • Sandpaper: medium, fine and ultra fine grits

    • Plastic paint primer

    • Craft paint

    Continue to 4 of 10 below.
  • 04 of 10

    Prepping the Bottles for Casting

    Deirdre Sullivan Small Spaces

    Before you get casting, you'll need to prep both plastic bottles (shown in the upper left corner.)

    1. Remove the bottom portion of the Pom bottle. The image in the upper right corner shows where to cut. Utility knives freak me out so I used a pair of sharp kitchen shears to get the job done.
    2. Remove the Smart Water label using Goo Gone. After it's removed wash the outside of the bottle until it's squeaky clean and dry. 
    3. Clean the inside of the Pom bottle with warm soapy water then rinse and dry.
    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Attaching the Lamp Pipe

    Deirdre Sullivan / Small Spaces

    The POM bottle creates the lamp's unique shape, and the Smart Water bottle is used to make room for the electrical stuff. Here's how you assemble the bottles together before casting.

    1. Drill a small hole in the center of both bottle caps. Afterward, use a larger drill bit to widen the hole. You want to create a snug fit for the lamp pipe. 
    2. Next, insert the lamp pipe in the Smart Water bottle cap. Apply a small strip of plumber's tape to the pipe and tighten the nut. Afterward, seal the area between the drill hole and pipe on top of the bottle cap with glue. The plumbers tape and glue create a watertight seal that prevents the casting solution from leaking.
    3. Repeat step 2 using POM bottle cap.
    4. While the glue on both bottle caps dry, apply the mold release spray or a thin layer of Vaseline on the inside of POM bottle.
    5. Afterward, twist the Smart Water bottle onto its cap. Then use tape to cover the cap and the bottle's neck with a portion of the label you removed earlier. Doing so will prevent the bottle from getting stuck in your casted lamp. Now coat the outside of the bottle with mold release spray or a thin layer of Vaseline. 
    Continue to 6 of 10 below.
  • 06 of 10

    How to Cast the Pom Bottle

    Deirdre Sullivan / Small Spaces

    Next, twist the POM bottle into its cap and secure in place as described in step 2 on the previous page. Before proceeding, make sure the Smart Water bottle is perfectly centered. The middle and right upper images show how the bottles should look when assembled.

    The image on the upper left is a glimpse of how all the electrical stuff will fit inside the casted lamp base. Now it's time to get casting!

    1. Place the assembled bottles, POM cap first into a coffee can as shown in the lower left photo. Level the bottles and secure in place with tape. 
    2. Next, using a funnel pour the casting solution in a separate clean and disposal container like a 2-liter soda bottle. Please follow Smooth-Cast's instructions for additional details about mixing the solution.
      • NOTE: We made a funnel for this project using a paper cup.
    3. Afterward, using a funnel pour the casting solution into the POM bottle. 
    Continue to 7 of 10 below.
  • 07 of 10

    The Casted Lamp Base

    Deirdre Sullivan / Small Spaces

    The casting solution gets super warm while it's curing. The molding process takes around 15 minutes. Keep these tips in mind while removing the plastic bottles:

    • It is much easier to remove both bottles while they're still warm.  
    • To remove the Smart Water bottle, twist and pull to release the cap and bottle.
    • To remove POM bottle, peel off carefully with pliers.
    Continue to 8 of 10 below.
  • 08 of 10

    Now It's Time to Sand and Paint

    Deirdre Sullivan / Small Spaces

    Here's what you need to know.

    • Sanding prepares the lamp for painting. Start off with a medium grit and work your way to an ultra fine grit.
    • Before painting, prime the lamp with a plastic primer. FYI, placing your lamp on an empty wine bottle makes it easier to paint.
    • Afterward, you can apply a craft paint. I used one 2-ounce bottle of Martha Stewart Crafts Multi-Surface High Gloss Acrylic Craft Paint, in Haberno. After waiting one day for the paint to fully dry, I protected the painted surface with a couple of coats of American DuraClear Water-Based Varnish.  
    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Time to Wire Your New Pendant Lamp

    Deirdre Sullivan / Small Spaces

    I wired the lamp with an IKEA HEMMA cord set  (it costs only five bucks!) Here's what I did:

    • Snipped off the electrical plug, so the cut end could be threaded through the lamp pipe.
    • Next, I attached a snap-on electrical plug similar to this one.
    • Use an LED light bulb. They stay cooler than incandescents. 
    Continue to 10 of 10 below.
  • 10 of 10

    Congrats Your Are Done!

    Deirdre Sullivan / Small Spaces