If you are like me and my wife, you always have wine on hand and usually a decent amount of empty bottles. To not let this great material go to waste, I decided to upcycle a few of the bottles. So, I decided to make a quick wine bottle light. This will provide a nice soft lighting accent to any room.
This was a fairly quick afternoon project and only requires an empty bottle of wine and a strand of christmas lights. I also included an optional set of instructions if you want to do a little bit more work and have a switch installed. I personally like the switch option. It gives the wine bottle light more of a store bought feel.
- Bottle of Wine (I prefer how the darker wine bottle lights look)
- Short Strand of Christmas Lights (about 25-50 LED bulbs) <= I found this cheaper locally
- Mini cord switch or Feed-through Cord Switch (*optional) <= I found this cheaper locally
- Extension Cord (*optional) <= I found this cheaper locally
- Or get some 18/2 Lamp wire and standard 2 prong plug
- Hand Drill
- 1/2″ Glass and Tile Bit (carbide bit) <= Bit size depends on the lights you buy.
- Masking Tape
- Damp Sponge
- Plumber’s Putty (*optional)
- Hot Glue Gun
- File or Sandpaper
- Electrical Tape (*optional)
- Wire Cutter (*optional)
- Wire Stripper (*optional)
How To Make the Wine Bottle Light
- Drink the wine.
- Clean out wine bottle. Now would be the time to remove the label and residue if you so choose.
- Towards the bottom on the back of the bottle, figure out where you want the power cord to come out. Apply a piece of masking tape. The tape not only helps keep the bit from slipping, but also prevents the glass from splintering.
- Even with a new sharp drill bit, this will take a while (took me about 20 minutes)! I used a clamp and hand drill, but I recommend using a drill press if you have one available (it would be a lot easier and safer). It will also create a decent amount of heat. To mitigate some of the heat, I filled the bottle with cold water. periodically I would stop drilling and replace the water and wipe down the area that I was drilling with the cold damp sponge. Be patient with this step, it will make or break the project…literally.
- Another Technique would be to use plumbers putty and create a well around the hole. Fill the well with cool water and replace when it starts to warm up.
- Once the hole is drilled, remove the leftover tape and get rid of the remaining water.
- Sand down the hole. You don’t want any sharp edges that will be able to cut through the wire.
- Once you removed any sharp edges, rinse and clean the bottle. You don’t want to have any leftover glass shavings or dust.
- If Christmas lights have female socket, cut it off.
- If 2-wires (like mine)
- Wrap each wire in electrical tape.
- Wrap taped wires together with electrical tape.
- If 2-wires (like mine)
- If you want to add the optional switch, here is where you would do it. Otherwise, proceed to step 11.
- Stuff the strand of lights into the bottle.
- Use the hot glue gun to fill in the drilled hole. This is to hold the wire in place and provide strain relief as well. If you installed the optional switch/extension, then make sure the spliced wire is pushed inside the bottle prior to hot gluing.
- Put the cork back in the bottle (or screw the top back on).
- Plug in your new wine bottle lamp and bam! You are done.
- Cut off the male plug from the Christmas lights.
- Since my lights had 2-wires, i just stripped the the wires and lights strand on the side.
- If you are using an extension cord, cut off the female socket and strip the two wires.
- If using lamp wire, add 2 prong plug to one end
- Stuff the Christmas lights into the bottle and pull the cut end (the former male end) through the drilled hole.
- Splice the light strand wires together with the extension cord (or lamp wire).
- Install the cord switch along the extension cord (or lamp wire) by cutting one of the wires. See the picture below.
- Continue on to step 11 above.