We didn’t rewrite the book on empty bottle crafts, that’s already been done, we simply expanded upon it.
It’s hard to believe that it was over three years ago that Silke and I sat down to write the first Recycled Bottle Lamps book. We had just moved into our townhouse in Summerville and it seemed like the right time to accomplish something that we had talked about for so long, creating a print book.
After writing so many bottle craft blog posts for the web site I thought it would have been easy to transition over to writing the book. It was easy from the stand point that I was confident we understood the material we would be covering. Writing blog posts about a very specific subject and writing a detailed, comprehensive craft book proved to be two completely different tasks. Not easy at all!
Three editions of the same craft book.
In the beginning… (I always wanted to write that) we started out with a short e-book that we gave away to people who visited the website and subscribed to our newsletter. It was written over five years ago, had a very generalized step by step overview of the glass drilling process and was downloaded by thousands of people. It was a good e-book on drilling glass, but left everything else up to the readers own imagination as to what they wanted to do after the drilling was complete. We didn’t include any other resources in this free electronic guide.
The Second Edition of our book was more than just a little e-book. Taking it a step further we designed a color cover and wrote a print book that would be available at multiple online retailers. We added many full color photographs, step by step instructions and a section with different inspirational photographs. Drilling a hole in a bottle was only a small portion of this book. We took it further with explaining the different variations of wiring that could be done: bottles with lights, a bottle lamp, and a bottle with lights and a lamp.
The printed Recycled Bottle Lamps book also includes a resources section, information about glass recycling and different bottle types, bottle decorating ideas, references and a very detailed glossary.
The Third Edition now covers glass cutting. It was a trend that we saw our readers were interested in and we get a lot of questions about. There are a lot of different bottle cutters on the market and we’ve come a long way from using string and finger nail polish to cut glass bottles ourselves. Yes, we actually tried this and I wish we had shot a video for it. The whole process was quite comical and really didn’t accomplish anything useful. The video would have saved everyone who even considered doing this a lot of time.
Cutting glass bottles has opened a whole new avenue to bottle crafting.
You can easily make very cool crafts, like beverage containers, pendant lights and candle holders. The process of scoring, separating and sanding glass bottles has become easily accessible, thanks to the many tools that have become available. All of the products we mention in the book we have actually used and reviewed on bottle-lamp.com.
Not everything is wonderful. I mentioned earlier that I had wished we would have shot a video while we were attempting to score and separate a glass bottle with string and finger nail polish. There is an honest truth to that, and that is; not everything works.
There are some things that just don’t work out as planned. One of the first bottle cutters that I tried was a complete disaster. It was starting to look like the thing had completely wasted my time and then after numerous attempts it actually worked. More astonishing is the fact that Silke actually caught it on video. It was a EUREKA! moment that was littered with broken glass bottles from our counter to our recycle bin.
We could have published this crowning achievement and left it at that. Not only would this have been misleading but no one would have really gained anything from it. Instead of opting to create a feeling of constant success we went ahead and published one of our other video failures using the same bottle cutting device. It got some attention from both people who had gotten it to work and from people who felt my same level of frustration. The comments on the video and the blog post helped start a great conversation about the product and the techniques used in separating glass bottles after you have created a score line.
Recycled Bottle Lamps has expanded upon both the tools that have evolved in creating bottle crafts and our own personal experiences. It has always been a pleasure being able to answer questions and point people in the right direction for finding the tools that they need to accomplish their projects. The bottle lamp community has not only grown but has become more engaging for our readers.
Sharing ideas and techniques has allowed every bottle crafter to benefit from communicating through the site and the social media.
Silke insisted that we name the Facebook page Bottle Crafts DIY. By encompassing more than just bottle lamps, we can share other glass bottle crafts that people have created. The Pinterest page originally started out with a ‘bottle lamps‘ board and has since evolved into several different ones including boards specially for beer bottles, wind chimes, wine bottles, and pendant lighting.
If you have ever created anything with your own hands than you know that one of the most enjoyable things about it is to both see and hear how other people received it. Our book is no exception! If you do get the chance to read it, or have read an earlier version of our Recycled Bottle Lamps book, we would be very grateful if you could leave us a comment on Amazon.
Writing a book that nobody reads is like throwing a party and forgetting to invite anyone. Here is your invitation to share your thoughts with us. We are open to constructive criticism.
It has been five years already! Yes it’s hard to believe but here we are. With the book, over 250 blog posts, 25 + videos, and countless social media shares we have enjoyed a really great experience with all of you. Thank you for reading, sharing and laughing with us through it all.
Nick and Silke