How to Make a Lamp from Detergent Containers

landry bottle lamp
The Spruce

Got a big, empty laundry detergent container? Don’t toss it—upcycle it! Your detergent will take on new life as an adorable bottle lamp. With googly eyes and even feather boas, these funky creations will add color—and light—to any room. They make the cutest addition to a kid's room and bring smiles to an office. They surprisingly don't require too much work and everyone will be impressed with your green smarts!

Supplies You'll Need

  • Empty detergent bottle
  • Craft glue
  • Hot glue
  • Foam paper (2 colors of your choice)
  • Lantern Cord (with ON/OFF switch capability)
  • Low wattage LED bulb
  • Googly Eyes
  • X-acto Knife
  • 4 carriage bolts with nuts
  • Garland
  • Scrap paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

Watch Now: How to Make a Lamp from Detergent Containers


  1. Rinse out any remaining detergent from your empty bottle, and let dry.
  2. Trace the bottle’s side label onto a piece of scrap paper.
  3. Cut out the traced shape to use as a pattern.
  4. Place the pattern on the foam paper and trace.
  5. Cut out 2 pieces of the foam pattern, one for either side of the bottle. These will be used to cover the labels on each side of the detergent bottle.
  6. Use craft glue to cover the labels with the foam paper.
  7. Cut two large almond shapes out of the second foam color. These will be the ears for your lamp.
  8. Flip over your bottle to the opposite side of the handle. Use your X-acto knife to make a 1-inch slit along the seam of the bottle towards the base.
  9. Add 2 more cuts perpendicular to the original slit making a capital "I" shape large enough for the cord/plug to fit through. In the center of that shape, use your X-acto to cut a half circle on either side of the slit, making a circle large enough to secure the base of the bulb between the flaps.
  10. On the same underside as the hole for the cord, use the X-acto to create 4 holes, in each corner of the bottle, large enough to screw in the legs, but still small enough to be snug.
  11. On the opposite side of the bottle, at the top of the handle, cut 2 small holes (for the ears).
  12. Open the bottle top and use your X-acto to remove the spout.
  13. Pull apart the capital "I" shape and feed the cord through the bottle. Screw in the LED light bulb before pulling the cord all the way into the lamp. Be sure that the bulb is not touching any part of the container’s walls. It’s very important to use an LED bulb because it will not get hot and melt the plastic of the bottle.
  14. Secure the base of the bulb between the flaps.
  15. Screw bolts about a ¼ inch down the screw, then screw in each to the bottle for legs and stand your bottle up, adjusting bolts as necessary until the container sits level on the table.
  16. Tuck the ears into the top holes.
  17. Glue on googly eyes below the ears.
  18. Decorate and make it your own! You can add a glittery boa for hair, or feathers on its foam side.
  19. Screw the cap back on the bottle. Plug it in and illuminate the room.