Accessories red-bottle-lamp

Published on November 28th, 2009 | by Wenona Napolitano

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Handmade Holidays: Wine Bottle Lamps

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I love the look of wine and wine bottles and when I saw one of these wine bottle lamps at a craft show I knew I wanted to make my own.

It took a little practice and a lot of help from my husband but we figured out how to make them just right. Then we ran out of lights and couldn’t find anymore. Hopefully this season we can.

Most of the wine bottle lamps you see at craft shows and on Etsy are made with cheap strands of mini Christmas lights…that get hot and are not eco-friendly. These lights may look pretty but you risk the bottle getting too hot, plus they suck energy.

All of my wine bottle lamps are filled with LED lights. Last year we found single strands (one end) LED lights with 30 lights on the strand. They fit perfectly into the bottles but we didn’t buy a lot.

Then we couldn’t find any more. All the LED light strands had 50 or more lights which made the bottles look over stuffed. And all the other LED strands we found had double ends. Which if it has a double end the large female plug end will not fit through the small hole that we feed the lights into to fill the bottle.

Now that the holiday season has hit I have been searching but still not finding those lights. I will keep looking though.

Anyway if you can find the lights, the bottles are easy enough to make.

You’ll need:

A couple glass wine bottles (a few to spare to test out the drill bit, sometimes it takes a little practice before you are able to drill the hole without cracking the bottle)

A diamond tip drill bit made to cut glass, don’t buy a cheap one either get a good brand name one like DeWalt

A drill press or a guide to keep the bottle in place while drilling the hole

A single end strand of LED lights

And any decorations you want to add to the lamp, grapes, raffia, vines, etc.

Start out by making sure your wine bottle is clean and dry.

Then steady the bottle in a guide so it doesn’t move while you are drilling the hole.

A trick to make sure the glass doesn’t shatter- you need to keep the glass and the tip of the drill bit wet, this should keep the glass from breaking as you drill into it.

After the hole is drilled and the glass is dry you may want to coat the inside of the hole with an epoxy or file the edges slightly so the hole isn’t too sharp. You don’t want it to wear through your light cord.

Feed the light strand through the bottom hole and pull up to the top of the bottle. You can do this with a piece of wire coat hanger, it will help pull the lights upinto the bottle neck.

Once the lights are how you like you can decorate your lamp and the possibilities are endless.

I stick a cork in the top of mine and use the cork to adhere vines, grapes, and other decorations to.

We gave a couple of these lamps as gifts last year and they were a big hit. Now everyone wants their own so hopefully we can find some lights.

Good luck and have fun.

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About the Author

Wenona is married with three crazy kids that range in age from 4 to 18. She is a freelance writer, poet and the author of The Everything Green Wedding Book. She enjoys reading, writing, crafting and gardening. She tries to do all of these as "greenly" as possible. Her writing has appeared in several local and regional publications, Pack O Fun, Today's Creative Home Arts, and Indiana Living Green magazines as well as numerous online sites including PlentyMag.com, EthicalWeddings.com, MyEcoChicWedding.com, eHow, Associated Content, Suite101 and Life123.com.



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  • Barb Greenwood

    We made these bottles without the decorations at the top. To avoid the look of the wires inside the glass, we smeared the entire bottle with ELmer’s glue, then doused the entire bottle with clear crystallized glitter. Work over a shoebox to capture and reuse the glitter. Wipe bottom rim and Dry on a piece of waxed paper.

    You can also smear with glue, tear random pieces of top layer of a decorative napkin, adhere, then add glitter.

  • http://www.giulinelpaesedelriciclo.blogspot.com giulia

    Wonderful!

  • Erin

    You don’t actually say where to drill the hole…

  • http://profiles.google.com/angeloeno Angelo Eno

    Wow! This is awesome creation. Using LED xmas lights in a bottle of wine is a great idea for a decoration this christmas. Thank you for sharing.

  • Sandy

    I make these wine bottle lamps and I found a company to buy 20 light strands in bulk. Priced at $2.75 each
    in bulk of 36. 3 day shipping and no tax. #1-800-209-6122 or NoveltyLights.com
    I don’t use the LED as makes the lamp to expensive to sell. I cover the bottle with material or decorative paper and decorate.
    contact me with your email address and I can send a picture of a finished product. Sandy

    I

  • Krissy

    Hello, I am going to make these as presents for Christmas but I was wondering what size drill bit you recommend? There are various sizes so I’m not quite sure. Also, is there a way to drill the hole without buying a diamond drill bit? I have access to drill bits just not one specifically made for cutting glass. Thanks!

    • Leslie

      If you look on Lowe’s webpage they have a set of four and the large one is best and then use a dremmel tool to finish widening the hole and smoothing it out. There not DeWalt but they are close. Good luck!

  • Nita

    Hi Sandy I was reading your post and would like for you to send me a pic of your wine bottles. Thanks, Nita

  • http://www.bottle-lamp.com Nick

    Very nicely one! The bottles look awesome and your descriptions for the bottle drilling process are spot on.

  • Leslie

    I have been making these lamps for a while and enjoy it very much. People love them and you get a great smile from someone you have given a gift to. I painted some of mine with ivy vines and such. Finding the drill bits were not easy and the size wasn’t quite right, but I managed. Love doing my crafts and its a great relaxer!

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