DIY: Bottles Full of Light

November 29, 2010

bottle christmas lights twinkle DIY

The other day, I wrote about attempting to drill through glass and I finished up the project this weekend. I think it turned out beautifully — I love the idea of bottled light!

These would be pretty by a wintery window or under an entry table. I like the way the gold paint makes the bottom of the bottles look misty and glow-y, even during the daytime.

bottle christmas lights twinkle DIY

I’ve got a ton of images and DIY instructions below if you’d like to try this too. For tools and supplies, I started at my local True Value. (Lately, I swear I’m in there every single day.)

I started with these apple juice bottles from Whole Foods. I have long admired these bottles — I love the contrast of the big round barrel and the teeny little handle — and was glad to finally come up with a project where I could use them. The juice is good too! I got impatient waiting for the family to finish up the contents, so I had Ralph pour what was left into another pitcher, then I washed out the inside.

bottle christmas lights twinkle DIY bottle christmas lights twinkle DIY

Next, I used my handy scraper tool to take off the label. This tool is basically a straight edge razor blade with a handle. When you’re done using it, you can flip the blade upside down so the sharp part is hidden in the handle. Such a useful tool! I use it to take sticky things off windows and other glass — no chemicals required.

bottle christmas lights twinkle DIY bottle christmas lights twinkle DIY

Once the bottle was clean and label free, it was time to drill through the glass. We used a 3/8″ drill bit designed for glass and tile. The drilling takes a little while — maybe 20 minutes — because you can’t go too fast. The drilling will create white dust (I guess it’s technically sand) and as the hole gets bigger, it will smoke a bit from the heat.

[UPDATE: Hah! Apparently I did it all wrong. Lots of readers are chiming in with suggestions for safer and easier and faster ways to do this. Among other things, suggestions include wearing a mask, drilling while using water to cool the bit, and using other tools entirely.]

bottle christmas lights twinkle DIY bottle christmas lights twinkle DIY bottle christmas lights twinkle DIY bottle christmas lights twinkle DIY bottle christmas lights twinkle DIY

Next we painted. I experimented with some old jam and baby food jars first to try different techniques — like paint dripped from plastic spoons. But the kids voted and liked the sponged look best, so that’s what we did for the final project.

bottle christmas lights twinkle DIY bottle christmas lights twinkle DIY bottle christmas lights twinkle DIY

I used a disposable sponge brush and Liquid Leaf paint — but any metallic enamel paint should work. The paint is not water-cleanup, so a disposable brush is great for this project. I only needed a little bit of paint to get the coverage I wanted. Instead of brushing the paint on, I was mostly “patting” into place.

bottle christmas lights twinkle DIY bottle christmas lights twinkle DIY

Once the paint was dry (it dries very quickly), we started stuffing the lights in. You’ll need a 50 light string that is not made to connect end-to-end. We had the hardest time finding lights like this. We went to 4 stores, but they all carried only end-to-end lights (which are the kind I prefer for my Christmas tree). Finally, I tried to think of who might carry old-school Christmas lights and Big Lots came to mind — because they often carry items from last season. Hooray! They had just what we needed.

bottle christmas lights twinkle DIY

The lights fit through one at a time, but it was a bit tight — I would recommend using a slightly larger drill bit and the light stuffing would go much faster. Oscar and Maude loved this part the best. Stuff every light on the string in, and the plus will dangle out the back, ready to find an outlet.

bottle christmas lights twinkle DIY bottle christmas lights twinkle DIY

And that’s it! A very satisfying project and a fun addition to our holiday decor. Though really, these don’t have to be holiday at all. We could use these for any sort of event where we want a little glow-y light happening. Maybe we need to have a party where bottled light is the theme. : )

bottle christmas lights twinkle DIY bottle christmas lights twinkle DIY bottle christmas lights twinkle DIY

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This is another project as a True Value Blog Squad Member. It’s been such a great way for me to try new tools and ideas. A big thanks to True Value for helping me make it happen.

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{ 291 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ana November 29, 2010 at 11:37 am

Beautiful! I love the way they look!

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2 TJ August 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Be aware that the “white powder” is NOT sand. It is tiny shards of glass. It is NOT something you want to accidentally inhale, ingest or get into your eyes (or those of your children/loved ones). Consider using protective goggles and a dust mask. Gloves would not be a bad idea either in case the glass suddenly shatters.

Great project, but SAFETY FIRST!

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3 nicole August 14, 2012 at 10:35 am

Totally agree!! You were actually VERY lucky the bottle didn’t break since you had no means to cool the glass or drill. A safer way would be to take this outside and have a small but steady stream of cool (it doesn’t have to be cold, just not hot) water over the place you are drilling. Also, goggles and a mask are a MUST! Gloves are a good idea.

I’m glad you didn’t get hurt, and what you made is really cute, but please please please amend your post to include these safety precautions!

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4 Fran Baribeau September 1, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Ana is correct. It is glass dust which can cause silicosis. It is a good idea to wear goggles, a dust mask, and ear plugs. You can also lay the jar on its side in a bucket. Fill the bucket with enough water to cover the area your going to drill. The glass dust will collect in the water instead of the air, plus your drill bit will last longer.

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5 Sarah Walton April 17, 2013 at 8:00 am

Make sure if you are drilling into a bucket of water that you are not using an old drill with a cord that plugs in…it mifght seem obvious to not electrocute yourself but we all have ditsy days!

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6 Cynthia October 17, 2012 at 9:29 pm

I agree. I tried to cut a wine bottle with my dremel with a diamond blade. It worked, but I had shards of glass in my arms. Thank Goodness I had on eye protection. Glass is very unstable, and can break or split at any time.

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7 JOELMA PEREIRA February 24, 2013 at 6:49 am

Vi nos comentários que você conseguiu perfurar uma garrafa de vinho com a dremel. Qual broca usou? Qual a rotação (5, 10, 15)? Como fez para que o vidro não quebrasse? Eu tenho uma dremel 4000 e quando começo a perfurar o vidro, ele se quebra. Agradeço se me informar

Att

Joelma

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8 Cameron May 2, 2013 at 7:25 am

Joelma voce ja consegiu a perfurar a garrafa? Voce esta em brasil?,Portugal talvez? Use agua e mais importante, fora disso nem sei pode usar uma vice para segurar com um velho toalha para que nao fractura a garrafa.

9 Carol June 9, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Dremel does ok, just take your time. Ilike to use drill press and carbide bits myself. Another way to protect your bit and keep down heat is to make a ring around hole location, using grout or caulk. Fill area with oil or water , then drill thru liquid! Tada, no shatter glass, no smoke!

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10 Linda Budd June 16, 2013 at 3:04 pm

You can make a well with a bit of plumbers puddy, the size of and quarter or so.. and put it over where you mark your hole to be drilled…make sure it is sealed all ther way around… put a few drops of water in the well, and drill thru the water, it keeps the bit and the glass cool and lets you go thru it safely, make sure you control your arm so when it drops thru the drill does not hit the bottls breaking it…

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11 Gala Diggs February 3, 2014 at 2:11 am

Goo Gone is excellent for getting sny kind of stickers or paper off most everything

12 dee September 12, 2012 at 8:07 am

use a hair dryer to get that nasty sticker off the bottle :) cute idea!

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13 Tammy October 20, 2012 at 10:18 am

Yes..hairdryer works wonders on removing labels off of stuff. My mom uses this trick and now so do I.

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14 Holly October 31, 2012 at 3:49 pm

You can actualy use vegetable oil to remove it too. Just put some on a paper towel and rub and it comes off almost any surface! Works magic and doesn’t take as long as heating it up with a hair dryer (sometimes hair dryers dont work to take all the sticky stuff off either) i did this when i had 10 glass vases i had to take huge stickers off of and it was so easy and fast! Loved it

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15 Rebecca W December 10, 2012 at 3:54 pm

soaking it in vinegar works great!

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16 David December 27, 2012 at 9:43 am

Just made about 30 candles out of wine bottles for the holidays. Get some baking soda and fill a sink or bucket with water and a fair amount of soda and let them soak for an hour or more. Most labels will peel right off. Some require a little extra soaking and work.

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17 Kevin January 17, 2013 at 12:14 am

Any tips on making those candles? My own keep getting suffocated, and I was just wondering how you went about making yours

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18 Elisabeth January 24, 2013 at 6:26 pm

I also would like to know how you made your candles.

19 Kirstin April 14, 2013 at 8:30 pm

The blog I found for those candles used little clear furniture padding (those little clear dots you stick to the bottom of chair legs to protect the floors) to promote air flow into the bottle :)

20 Jeanette May 20, 2013 at 11:44 am

The key is the proper size wick . Your local candle making store should have the proper size for the container you will be using.

21 Sarah November 8, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Actually, I have removed a fair amount of labels from glass (and plastic) jars, vases, etc. All I have really ever needed was a wet dishcloth or towel (depending on the size, of course) and time. Most labels just lift right off. Once the label is saturated and loose, just grab the corner and pull. Wash the jar and dry. No scraping required and no accidentally scratching the glass! =D

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22 Ren November 29, 2010 at 11:46 am

Nice! Great job.
I was just talking to my hubs this weekend about drilling through glass- I have never tried it before and am a bit scared- I want to drill through a mirror- have you ever tried drilling through a mirror?
I love keeping pretty glass jars/jugs for the PERFECT project.

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23 Kathy November 4, 2012 at 5:00 pm

I’ve never drilled a mirror, but wanted to attach stained glass as a frame. I discussed it with my stained glass teacher & was told once mirrors are cut they lose the mirrored effect. I saw one at Value City & they had stained glass connecting with leading.

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24 ANNETTE July 30, 2013 at 10:08 pm

I think the “teacher” was a phoney. Mirrors only lose their reflective qualities when the silvering comes off the back or the ftont gets badly scratched and grazed.

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25 Peggy December 15, 2013 at 12:25 am

I was wondering how to fix old mirrors cheaply. I found some being thrown out and would love to make them new again they have a cloudy spooky look. Some are very large.

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26 cass vann August 27, 2013 at 9:06 am

thats impossible, a mirror is nothing but a painted piece of glass. unless you scratch ALL the silvering off of the back of it, nothing is going to happen. it isn’t magic. if you shatter a mirror on the floor, its still going to be a mirror, just tiny pieces. i think your teacher was testing your gullability.

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27 Debbie September 9, 2013 at 2:52 pm

The flux used for the soldering process dissolves the reflective silver backing. I found sealing the back and sides of the mirror with several layers of polyurethane prior to soldering prevented the flux intrusion more often than not. Unfortunately there is no guarantee that the sealing is 100% effective until after the project is finished. And definitely wash the area immediately after the area has cooled. Also, it works better using copper foil method rather than lead came. I guess the stickiness of the copper foil acts as a barrier against flux intrusion too.

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28 Natalie April 6, 2014 at 9:36 am

I also think your teacher doesn’t know what he is talking about. Think about it…when a mirror breaks…all those tiny pieces are still reflective.

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29 k a t y November 29, 2010 at 11:53 am

My favorite part of this project was that you let your kids vote on the painting technique. Very fun project.

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30 Maren November 29, 2010 at 12:03 pm

this is such a neat project idea! I love it! They are so festive! You could easily keep these up all winter long!

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31 Maria Petrova November 29, 2010 at 12:21 pm

!*!*!*!*!*! totally bowled over… so worth the wait :) THANK YOU!

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32 deborah@applesinwonderland November 29, 2010 at 12:22 pm

i’ve wondered how to do this for years. great, like i need another project to obsess about in december. maybe i’ll scrap the holiday cards for this project–cause i can wear goggles doing this one. i have my own drill and goggles. did you wear goggles? i think you probably should have. i’m quite the safety girl. i’m sure true value sells goggles. :)

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33 Amanda Conley November 29, 2010 at 12:41 pm

great project! I might try it myself! I’m always saving old jars and things thinking I can use them, but I never do. This would be perfect. A helpful hint on drilling the glass – if you take a little sponge and get it wet, hold it near the spot where you are drilling and every so often squeeze it to let a little water run down on the hole, the water will help the bit and the glass not get so hot and it’ll keep that dreaded dust from rising. =)

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34 Mel November 29, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Oh that’s cool!! Thanks so much for sharing how you did this. I want to make one now.

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35 Chris November 29, 2010 at 1:12 pm

this is fantastic. I am going to book mark it. I don’t think this is the year but at some point I will do this. I actually think they could just be a cool installation in a room too–bottle with fuchsia light sitting on a side table. oooooo0000!

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36 T November 29, 2010 at 1:35 pm

These look amazing! I think I have some old non-end to end lights that I never use, I totally want to do this with them!

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37 monika@stylemadesimple November 29, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Wow, that looks truly amazing!

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38 CEO November 29, 2010 at 2:28 pm

These look amazing.. love them…..

xxx
CEO

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39 Polly November 29, 2010 at 2:42 pm

This has worked so well! Well done. They look absolutely beautiful and looks like it was fun to make as well. xxx

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40 Renee November 29, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Oh they’re perfect! Well done. May have to try it myself!

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41 TeeeRay November 29, 2010 at 2:48 pm

That is so gracefully beautiful and it looks like something even a dork like me could pull off! Love the pics!

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42 Kelly November 29, 2010 at 2:58 pm

I love the pool-of-twinkling-light effect. So gorgeous and clever!

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43 JWK November 29, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Love how they turned out!! I’m definitely going to try this!

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44 Chris November 29, 2010 at 3:31 pm

HI,

it looks really great, and I hat to come here making remarks, but I just want you, and all your readers, to be aware that you need to be causious when you don’t “unwind” electrical lighting like this – cords are normally always supposed to be somewhat stretched, and not curled up in a ball.

Unwinded cables can, worst case scenario, cause hasard through fires.

Again, I don’t want to come here and take all the fun out of your project, but it could be dangerous.

i.e. this item http://granit.se/?id=3761 clearly states on the box in comes in that you can not connect it to electricity with the item still in the container due to electrical hasard.

Regards

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45 amanda February 14, 2013 at 1:06 am

I can see how the more traditional lights (incandescent?) would be a fire hazard. My mom actually melted a spot of her carpet because one bulb was touching the floor! I assume, however, that fluorescent bulbs would be safe to use for this project as they don’t generate nearly so much heat. Thoughts?

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46 Bev March 3, 2013 at 11:50 pm

If you use led lights there will be no issue. They generate almost no heat.

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47 kalanicut November 29, 2010 at 3:35 pm

I love them! Love how you put it all together and with such fantastic bottles. And yes, wouldn’t they be lovely on the deck for a summer dinner party too! Charming! Love how handy and courageous you are.

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48 stephanie November 29, 2010 at 5:18 pm

my mom and i have made something similar with glass blocks (the large ones used for shower walls). fill with lights and tie up with a bow like a package. the ones we have purchased have been open on the bottom so no drilling is required.

just search “glass block lights” for lots of ideas.

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49 purejoy November 29, 2010 at 5:24 pm

beautiful! i think it might be fun to empty out wine bottles {i’m just sayin…} and do this. there are several varieties with clear bottles… but i’ve seen the others used to and the pretty ambers and greens are really nice in the fall!
love the project. i’m gonna bookmark this to use next year as i’m already perfecting my holiday lamaze breathing. i’m already lightheaded! ; )

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50 Nicole November 29, 2010 at 5:57 pm

LOVE LOVE LOVE IT. Running to empty out my recycling bin NOW.

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51 Adrienne Conner November 29, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Gorgeous!!! I am making a special trip to Whole Foods tomorrow! Good to know their apple juice is 100% pasturized too as I am expecting. Did you get the liquid leaf paint from True Value? Thanks for the post Gabby!!!

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52 sherri/the claw November 29, 2010 at 8:26 pm

they came out beautifully.

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53 Rian November 29, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Oooooo! I think a line of bottled lights would look lovely lining the walk way up to our house.

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54 judith November 29, 2010 at 10:44 pm

I love these so much that I did this tonight. I had a glass drill bit from a project several years ago I did with shells, and so my six kids gathered around and watched while I drilled through a wine bottle and then threaded lights through. I love the finished product, but might sponge on some silvery paint for added holiday cheer!

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55 Anna September 7, 2013 at 12:44 am

To anyone trying this – please, please read the comments on the glass dust and the risks of the bottle breaking.

If you do do it, please do it with safety equipment not just for yourself, but for anyone else around in the room, so that they don’t get injured or breathe in the dust.

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56 Kelly November 30, 2010 at 8:58 am

this is a great project! I love the idea of doing a bunch for the holidays in different sizes- not being a fan of “scrapbook” decor- these are grown-up but whimsical. Thanks for sharing:)

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57 Seanna Lea November 30, 2010 at 9:59 am

This looks so awesome!

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58 aimee @ smiling mama November 30, 2010 at 10:48 am

Beautiful! I wonder, if you capped the bottle and used outdoor lights, if you could somehow use these outside lining a sidewalk or driveway like luminaries? So much potential!

Also, I wanted to share a variation of this project…A few years ago my mom bought a glass block stuffed with lights at a craft fair. The crafter had “wrapped” the glass block with a lovely Christmas ribbon and my mom usually puts it under her Christmas tree, among other gifts. It is lovely!

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59 Tanya November 30, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I love these. My mom made some a few years ago.

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60 Aphrodite December 1, 2010 at 12:43 am

This is absolutely beautiful! Love the outcome! Well done Gabrielle :D

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61 Rose December 1, 2010 at 7:12 pm

i wish i had the tools to tackle this!

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62 Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife December 3, 2010 at 11:42 am

I just LOVE this! What a brilliant idea…

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63 Joanna December 5, 2010 at 9:01 am

would love to make this

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64 Lisa O Shea December 8, 2010 at 12:37 pm

This is so good, i wouldnt even mind going out and buying a drill, cos you will always use it anyhow. You think you could spray paint the lights too?So cute!Just found your blog, its great!!

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65 Kathy November 4, 2012 at 5:09 pm

I would be afraid the paint would cause a fire, because paint IS flammable. If you look up craft lights on-line, you can order all colors..

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66 Brooke December 9, 2010 at 12:44 am

Ikea sells white battery powered lights that do not connect end to end.

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67 Angela December 11, 2010 at 10:11 am

This is so cool. I cannot wait to try this. Thanks for the step-by-step.

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68 Mamabear December 12, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Thanks for the inspiration! I have a gallon pickle jar that my aunt used for tea – it has “unsweet” in her handwriting on the lid – and I’ve been keeping baking soda in it though it wants for a better use! I’ll be storing this idea away to make me a “nana lamp”

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69 sarah December 14, 2010 at 9:53 pm

This was so helpful! Nikki over at http://www.NikkiInStitches.wordpress.com directed me to you after I asked her how to make a glass bottle lamp. Drilling the hole was the biggest question I had in preparation for this project and I loved your easy instructions. Can’t wait to try this.

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70 Mod Podge Amy December 26, 2010 at 9:37 pm

This is so awesome – and the fact that the kids voted makes it all the better!

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71 Mary December 27, 2010 at 8:08 am

Hi The bottle is very nice; I also have drilled out wine bottles, you can also use a Diamond drill hole bit for cutting holes in Glass bottles and blocks, this is what we use to drill the holes! for the wine bottles and glass blocks I use strands of 20 lights in them!

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72 Melbourne Electrician January 25, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Great source of information and tips. Thanks

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73 Itzpzpalotl April 27, 2011 at 9:18 am

This looks like so much fun! Maybe even a heat-resistant paint for the cables to brighten up that green would be a sweet touch, too

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74 LS Wright August 28, 2011 at 7:30 pm

My dad helped me with a project much like this last year. I asked him to drill a hole in Bud Light and Coors Light amber colored beer bottles. We put a 20 strand of lights in them and I gave “LIGHT BEER” as gifts to some friends. Then, one night, wanting to display a beautiful strand of white lights without the ugly cords showing, I put them, randomly, in a basket filled with pine cones. It created a lovely effect.
Love your website!

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75 Shannon Fox November 5, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Found your photo on pinterest and followed it to your blog. I shared the blog post on my fb page too. Love this!! It’s so magical. Will be attempting ;) Thanks for the great idea =)))

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76 Barb November 13, 2011 at 3:37 pm

I often wondered how you got the cord to come out the bottom of the hole in the bottle…now I know…you stuff the lights in…
I have done these but never had the cord come out the bottom…looks much nicer…I want to do some glass blocks like this too…thank you for this tutorial…
I do love your website…have bookmarked it..!

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77 Penny hardey November 14, 2011 at 8:27 am

Hi, you really should be dripping a bit of water over the drill bit to keep it cool while drilling..as for the mirror, the silver will chip off some but it’s about the same as the glass bottles..love this idea too!!

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78 Cynthia McAlpine January 26, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Don’t use water……that will break it. You need to build a dam around where you want the hole, with clay, and put some oil, (cooking , motor, olive), in the dam before starting to drill. The oil helps cool the drill. That is the way my husband has drilled all my blocks. Diamond tipped drills are not inexpensive, but that is what you need.

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79 Gloria February 12, 2012 at 8:40 am

Antifreeze works great to put in the well you make with the clay or window putty works great for making the dam to keep the drill bit cool.

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80 Laura Ogershok June 23, 2012 at 9:52 pm

As someone who works a lot with glass (stained glass) I use a diamond coated drill bit and water to drill holes in the glass and it has never broken and is much less messy that oil. The trick is to drill slowly and drill a little at a time and lift up so whatever coolant you use gets into the hole to cool it. It works best with a drill press but use whatever you can. The clay idea is great but you can use it with water as well as oil.

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81 Liz Howard January 21, 2013 at 3:23 am

Oil is the last thing you should use when drilling- it will set alight!
Building a dam means that any liquid in there can squirt into your face by the centrifugal force of the drill bit.
The correct way is to embed the piece of glass in a bucket of sand and use a hosepipe to gently trickle water over the glass. I also keep a bowl of water nearby and dip the drill bit in every minute.

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82 Cookie November 14, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Cool info! I saw these at a local craft show with wine bottles and was wondering how I could make them myself! I’ll be trying it this weekend!

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83 Cris November 14, 2011 at 6:05 pm

You could also bend a hanger tight enough to fit thru top. Catch some of the lights bring to top of bottle and use a little hot glue to hold the lights in place then the whole bottle glows.

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84 Kelley November 14, 2011 at 8:14 pm

This is so neat! I dis it with a wine bottle along with printing black and white pictures of family and friends! You seal the pictures on the outside of the bottle with the lights on the inside of the bottle! It us a orerty cool thing

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85 miranda November 15, 2011 at 12:55 am

Did you/is it possible to drill a large hole in the bottom of a glass vase without it breaking.

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86 Nadia Pimentel November 18, 2011 at 11:04 am

Interesting! I just saw the same thing at a craft show.
They were selling the bottles for $25.00 each – CRAZY!!!.
Of course I right away thought I could do it myself and was wondering how to drill the hole. Thanks for sharing the steps. I’ll be sure to try this weekend.

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87 Allycat November 20, 2011 at 6:03 pm

J’adore! I absolutely love this! What if you sprayed the lights with some sort of paint, maybe spray paint with a white or maybe gold paint! Give the lights and jar more of a glowing effect?! Just a thought!

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88 Eve November 22, 2011 at 1:31 am

These are incredibly gorgeous, and I had no idea that was how they were done until now! Thanks for the tutorial.

Something I picked up about cutting / drilling glass, though, is that I really don’t want to inhale that dust, on account of it being glass and all – what kind of mask for mouth and nose should be worn for this project?

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89 Robyn November 22, 2011 at 9:16 am

The “sand” that you get from drilling through the glass is GLASS!! Ground up small , pieces of glass that would be extremely dangerous to inhale or ingest.

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90 Jenny November 23, 2011 at 12:42 pm

ok–for those of you who have done this…I drilled a 1/2 in hole (bigger than DesignMom) but still have trouble getting the lights in…maybe I need more mini-lights but what is the trick?? Know it takes awhile to push in but but between the width of the cord plus the width of the light, it is still too big. Maybe my lights are too big??!

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91 megan November 23, 2011 at 8:49 pm

those are fantastic… when I saw a tutorial for drilling glass I cringed… but then saw the bit…

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92 Sylvia Kauhl November 25, 2011 at 8:54 am

I love this idea and what would finish off the glow of the lights would be fiberglass angel hair in the bottle or large container as well. or perhaps drop very small ornaments (slide down at an angle) in with the lights. Perfect idea as entry lighting to greet your guests……Thanks for posting your instructions .

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93 Lana November 27, 2011 at 9:29 pm

I’ve made this project before, but with potpourri added, and as the lights warm up, its lets out the lovely scent. I kept mine in the bathroom, but I never liked the cord coming out the top, but drilling through the bottom of the container is genius! Thanks for sharing.

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94 Belinda November 28, 2011 at 11:36 pm

I too wondered how to cut a hole thru glass without it breaking!…This was a great step-by-step!…Thank You!

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95 Karen December 6, 2012 at 5:21 pm

go online, look up diamond drill bits, they look like a whole saw, drill under water, takes less than a minute, depending on thickness of bottle

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96 Barbara November 30, 2011 at 4:56 pm

I have found the bit you used does not work as well as a diamond coated bit. I use a drill press to put holes in dishes or canning jars, keep the glass wet and you want get the dust or heat. When I saw you photo I was wondering how many people had trouble drilling like you showed, easier with a drill press , not everyone has one but they probably have a friend that does. A lot safer.

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97 Cynthia McAlpine January 26, 2012 at 1:30 pm

You’ve got the right idea. My husband always uses his drill press. The oil used while drilling holds down the dust and cools the bit. This is a project that could be dangerous, and if the jug or bottle breaks while drilling, one could be cut severely. Not something children should be around while attempting this.

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98 Nicole Boothe December 2, 2011 at 1:26 pm

I have tried this but when the lights have been turned on for awhile..it causes the bottle to collect sweat inside which makes it wet..Does anyone know how this happens or a way I could fix it. PLEASE HELP!!!! Im using wine bottles..does that make a difference????

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99 irene December 8, 2011 at 7:04 am

oh what a brilliant idea!! thanks for sharing the DIY tips:)

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100 tara December 8, 2011 at 10:41 am

hi! great project! been looking for a cool solstice type decoration, i’m not a big decorator fan… but the kids are!! this looks great!

i didn’t read all the comments so i don’t know if someone told you this already, i’ve worked with glass a lot, (i technically have a glass degree! imagine that…) anyway the dust you get from drilling glass is silica dust, if you breathe enough of it over time you can get silicosis, silica dust never clears from your lungs so it will build up over time. you should use water when drilling to keep it down you can even set it up in the sink and make a slow drip. if you find you are getting lots of dust from glass or you find yourself spending a really long time on lots of glass drilling or sanding projects, you should get a good quality particulate respirator to wear, for the kids too, these have to fit really well so that is seals all else out and should be stored in a ziplock plastic bag so it’s not filtering when you’re not wearing it.

good luck and thanks!!

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101 Cara December 18, 2011 at 10:35 am

Hi, Tara With A Glass Degree :)…How do I keep the drill bit from ‘dancing around’ on the glass. I tried this yesterday, but couldn’t keep the drill bit in one spot due to the smooth glass. Any suggestions?

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102 Jason December 18, 2012 at 8:51 pm

the easiest way to stop the drill bit dancing around is use a bit of masking tape (not sticky tape) and drill through that

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103 Charlotte December 10, 2011 at 1:34 pm

An acquaintance gave me one of these a few years ago as a gift. She painted her’s with a frosted look paint and also used some stencils such as holly leaves. Was very beautiful with the clear lights.

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104 Bonne December 13, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Really like this idea. I like your scraping tool – planning to look for one.

I have a question, do you know what I can use to get the screen-printing off plastic yogurt and butter containers?

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105 Jane December 18, 2011 at 12:42 pm

25 years ago my Mother was going through a sad time in her life and put little lights in a glass jar on the kitchen counter like your picture and called them her “Happy Lights”… They became a family tradition and we all have them…

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106 Paula December 18, 2011 at 6:37 pm

My thoughts on the commenter who thought it was a fire hazard…it is in a jar… so probably would be difficult for the fire to get out of control before it went out from lack of oxygen, if that happened. Or you noticed it was smoking, ha. Beautiful!! Love it! Great tutorial! :)

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107 linda December 19, 2011 at 12:57 pm

went to whole food and bought the cider. consumed the cider. bored hole in glass and *poof* broke bottom off jar in the process. going back to whole foods…

Reply to Cara above. place a piece of masking tape on bottle then x mark the spot and go slowly at first to ‘start’ a divot to be your guide.

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108 Cara December 20, 2011 at 8:18 am

Thank you, Linda :)

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109 joanne December 20, 2011 at 10:09 am

have you seen the beautiful olive jars at Costco?
Look soon, i think they are discontinuing them.
i like your idea of light in a bottle.
Joanne

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110 Deniece December 21, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Adding potpourri will make the room smell great! I have one with pinecones and potpourri in a vase, sits on my dresser for that warm glow and nice aroma. I like the gold paint idea. Thanks!

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111 JOE December 22, 2011 at 4:41 am

Drilling hole…..Place bottle in shallow pan fill to about 1/4 of an inch above the bottle when submerged, fill bottle with water put drill bit an an angle and start to drill then move the drill over the bottle so it is perpendicular to the bottle level.
NO, Dust…… bottle will not break……Joe

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112 Lynne June 30, 2012 at 8:48 am

Joe! What are you doing awake at 4.41am? Try to sleep, or maybe get a soothing bottle of Happy Lights!
I’m in the UK and I’m not certain we can get hold of these bottles, but maybe a demijohn will do it. I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for something that will do. I’m very broke so anything I can make as presents for friends and family works for me.
I can’t remember who was saying that her lights were creating moisture in the wine bottle, but I’d definitely try a bigger bottle with led lights – I think her lights might be making too much heat, and in too small a space?
Keep on trucking everyone, the ideas are inspiring! x

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113 Lew January 13, 2014 at 7:16 am

That’s exactly what we did, with the added step of putting an aluminum foil ‘rope’ molded around the bottom of the bottle to hold it in place. Ground glass was all contained by the water, no problems, hole drilled in under two minutes.
It’s a Penderyn whisky bottle, with a ragged golden lightning bottle screened on the side already (we have a Welsh corgi named Penderyn). Going to look cool when we get the lights and some glass beads in there.

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114 Kim Boyd January 3, 2012 at 7:56 pm

This is fun project thanks for sharing! A friend gave me a glass block done in a similar way. She used a glass block left over from a project done in her home and she “frosted” it with some kind of spray, which gave it a beautiful look and then added a bow around the outside. I really love mine, but reusing the glass jugs is a wonderful idea and much less expensive. Thank you!

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115 Diane Johnson January 4, 2012 at 5:33 pm

I love this Idea My son is getting married in July and I have been looking for a table Idea , they are getting married at our lake and I’m putting on the Grooms supper,I think this would really dress up the tables. Thanks for the wonderful Idea.

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116 Barb Harman January 5, 2012 at 2:52 pm

It is so much easier to drill a hole in glass with a dremel

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117 Barb Harman January 5, 2012 at 3:03 pm

It is so much easier to drill a hole with a Dremel drill. Hold the bottle under the faucet and let the water just dribble over the bottle where you want the hole. Don’t let the water hit anything on the drill but the bit. This keeps it cool. I use a 1/4 glass and tile bit. If the hole needs to be bigger, I use a bigger bit with a normal drill because that is the biggest bit that I can find for the Dremel! It easier to start it with the Dremel because it is a fast little drill. The whole process takes me less than 5 minutes!

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118 Jackie Berry January 11, 2012 at 6:55 am

I love this! I was wondering, what do you do when the light strand goes out & you need to replace it? Can you get the old ones out??

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119 Angie January 20, 2012 at 1:53 pm

yes, just pull them out the same way you put them in.

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120 Karen January 11, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Loved this – Had another idea for you – have you seen how to make the mercury glass using the Krylon Mirror spray paint? That project + your project = Brilliance! Thanks for posting!

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121 Angie January 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm

If you can’t find the lights without the plug at the other end you can cut the plug off. When it you cut it you just need to be careful to not let the wires touch after you cut them. Keep them separated and tape the ends with electrical tape.

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122 Mike October 28, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Make sure you get the (cheap at Target) 2-strand lights. Then just cutting them off works great. The 3-strand ones might require some fiddling…

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123 Wayne June 22, 2013 at 9:19 am

Were you at the ROT last week?

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124 Wayne June 22, 2013 at 9:20 am

Mike, were you at the ROT rally last week?

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125 Jill January 21, 2012 at 10:12 pm

I am going to start this tomorrow. I have decided that it will make a super cute night light in my daughters room. I will post pictures when completed!!

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126 Suzi January 22, 2012 at 10:07 pm

You can use wine bottles too. I have a green one with colored lights in it. Then it has a decorative wine bottle beads over the glass and an inexpensive bottle stopper on the top. I keep it on all year in my bar. It is so pretty. Thanks for the tips on how to cut the glass.

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127 debbie January 26, 2012 at 8:42 am

When drilling a hole in glass use a cordless drill and put the glass under a slow running fawcet to keep the glass cool, if the glass doesn’t stay cool it will break, this is much faster than the 20 minutes recommended. I can usually drill a hole in glass in about 5 min.

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128 Libby January 26, 2012 at 3:31 pm

One thing I don’t see mentioned in this How-To is that you should always wear breathing (and eye) protection. Once glass dust gets in your lungs it can only be removed through surgery.

A good dust mask and some safetly glasses will protect you and you can drill away without worry.

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129 Lori Zambito January 28, 2012 at 2:54 pm

I love this idea and I’m pinning it. Cool!

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130 BRENDA January 30, 2012 at 3:20 pm

First of all this is a nice idea BUT by drilling like you are putting the drillers and any other person in proximity of the drilling in DANGER! Silica sand is cancerous it not as simple as you make it out to be! Furthermore, anyone with glass knowledge will tell you Silica sand is life threatening and that any glass that is drilled is supposed to be in water….which unless you are a PROFESSIONAL you are putting them in danger of being shocked by electricity and water combo. I just hope you don’t get sued over this being on Pinterest and connecting to your site!

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131 Aschmidt March 19, 2012 at 10:07 am

Yes people need to use COMMON SENSE & use a mask. Also, about the remark on being sued for her putting this how-to on pinterest in relation to the dangers…when did people quit being responsible for their OWN actions! Too many people these days look to blame someone else for their own mistakes & mishaps!! We have turned into a country of frivolous lawsuits because nobody thinks they are at fault for anything…buck up people and quit blaming everyone else! If you are looking for different project ideas and choose to do them, YOU are responsible for what happens when you do it, NOT the person who was kind enough to share info. Do your homework and think things through BEFORE you start. I’m grateful to have all these wonderful ideas on Pinterest and don’t want others to ruin it for us!

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132 angelia September 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Amen! There a people that sit at the courthouse thinking of who they want to sue that day and make a living at it. It’s such a shame that someone would even bring that up when someone is kind enough to show us step by step. You haven’t even looked at the comments before you or you had a brain fart! I’m not sure which one because if you had you would see the comments on the dangers of drilling glass. Oh, by the way it would be nice in the future to read ALL the comments before you reply. That person didn’t deserve that.

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133 Judy July 30, 2013 at 10:41 am

Amen, It’s such a shame that someone would even bring that up when OTHERS is kind enough to show us ideas step by step. if you had followed and read the other comments you would of seen the danger of drilling glass they couldn’t express it enough.

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134 Melanie January 31, 2012 at 8:49 am

Couldn’t you just use battery powered lights and avoid drilling the hole in the glass? Love this look!

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135 Linda February 27, 2012 at 8:40 am

Melanie,
That is the best idea that I have seen so far!!!

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136 Ame Leon July 25, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Or solar ones

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137 Sherrie February 2, 2012 at 9:44 pm

TIP for drilling glass. Submerg the drilling area in water. This will keep the glass cool while drilling. No smoking and it will keep the shards of glass confined in the water. Use a sink size tub for small projects or for larger projects let water run over the drilling area with a hose.

Love this idea. I have a very old glass jug simular to the one your using. Been wondering what to do with it. PERFECT

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138 Tina February 5, 2012 at 9:49 am

Hi great minds think alike! i use wine bottles for a project similar to this….i decorate them with stones and grape leaves or i paint on them….game some away for Christmas!:)

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139 Stacy March 12, 2012 at 8:10 am

Thanks for this tutorial, I did my first bottle this morning. I’ve been doing lots of tissue paper + jar lanterns with the kids, and I think the effect will look really sweet on a bottle full of lights.

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140 kit March 12, 2012 at 7:07 pm

I’ve drilled wine bottles and glass blocks. I got a diamond drill bit and used water to keep the bit lubricated. Of course wet glass dust collected in the blocks. I rinsed them out with water then rinsed them with rubbing alcohol, which will evaporate.

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141 Susan-LiseLighting March 19, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Your mental imagery of chipping away at the glass rather than drilling straight through is exactly the advice I received following several less than perfect tries on vintage glass when I was first getting started. Like you, I found that visual to be very helpful! Slowing down and a patient approach were the other helpful bits I received, since at that time I was almost always on “hurry while they nap” speed! ;)
Kit’s tip of using alcohol to prevent interior water spots is also great. Dishwasher rinse agent in your rinse water is another trick if you don’t happen to have alcohol or want to avoid the odor.

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142 Susan-LiseLighting March 19, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Oops–thought I was commenting on the “How to Drill a Hole in Glass” post. Sorry! I started reading here, however. This is such a pretty project!

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143 Jen March 23, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Hi there! Sherrie (above comment) is correct – get a tub of water that is large enough to submerse your jug (room temperature water is best – too cold and it will break from the contrast of the heat while drilling). I use a dremel and a diamond coated drill bit. You can get a variety pack of 50 diamond coated drill bits for dremel tools at Harbor Freight Tools, for under $20.00!!! yes, 50 drill bits!!!! http://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsearch/result?q=diamond+drill+bit
Just make sure not to get your dremel tool in the water above the drill bit! :)
The water naturally collects the glass dust with no worries of inhalation.

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144 Yvonne Oborowsky March 25, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Drill the glass under running water, using a drill press to hold the glass down is also good. I use the glass bathroom blocks. By using the glass under running water is is cooling down the blade as it works as it can overheat and cause the glass to break thus having glass all over. The drill bit needs that cooling down effect, takes only 3 minutes to cut through that thick bathroom glass blocks.

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145 Roma April 24, 2012 at 9:13 pm

My senior citizen Mom’s craft class entwined the lights with potpourri in the jars/bottles. Pretty lights and nice aroma, too.

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146 Roma April 24, 2012 at 9:42 pm

The technique: FOR DRILLING HOLES IN GLASS.
Submerging your bottle in water does work, but you could also set up a drip system.
Above your drill, hang a bottle full of water with a pin hole in it, that lets the water out at a steady regular drip, onto the area being drilled. You’ll have to decide for yourself: where you want the water to drip, the rate of the water flow, and the height of the drip bottle.
This keeps the focus on one spot and it is not distorted.
When you are finished drilling, simply turn the bottle up-side down. Save that water for the next project.
Namaste
Created, tried and proven true by a master stained-glass artist in Baltimore MD.

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147 pam May 2, 2012 at 8:14 pm

so you dont have to put tape on the glass to keep it from spliting?

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148 the Strawboss May 4, 2012 at 9:54 am

Use a diamond drill bit, corded drill and running water and save yourself 19 minutes.

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149 Millie May 15, 2012 at 2:35 pm

I do this same thing with old wine bottles. You can cut a piece of the cork out and pull the plug right through that to plug it in. They look so pretty. I leave the labels on the wine, always looking for bottles with interesting labels. I’ve made them for friends at Christmas and they love them.

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150 juliemarg May 25, 2012 at 7:53 am

so wonderful! very creative!

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