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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{ 292 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Diane June 7, 2012 at 10:07 am

I read another blog about drilling glass. That person said you would need a face mask of high quality on for this process due to glass particles in the air. A painters mask would not work. Don’t know if this is true though.

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2 Julie June 14, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Am I missing something? Why didn’t you just put the
Ights into the bottle through the cap?

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3 Kathy June 15, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Because then the plug would look silly coming out the top. A hole in the back at the bottom hides that.

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4 Kathy June 15, 2012 at 12:49 pm

This was so informational! I have some nice bottles to do this with but I’m going to use silicone glue and glue glass beads to the outside of the bottle. Then it could be used for a bedroom or even outside! Picture all different shades of pink for a girls room.

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5 cynthia June 15, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Use a mask so as not to breathe in the glass dust. Safety glasses as well.

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6 janet lindsey June 15, 2012 at 9:33 pm

My sister made me a christmas gift with a glass tile brick. She drilled ahole in it and put lights in it with a christmas theme picture on outside, it is verrrry cute!

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7 Shannon June 16, 2012 at 5:56 am

Not just Christmas, Use red/white/blue strands for the 4th of July coming up too! If you wanted to add multiple strands and need a larger hole, you can use a small diamond tipped hole saw. Just be sure to use water as a lube so the glass doesn’t get too hot while drilling.

Alternate ideas – frost the bottle with spray window frost (krylon makes some) or color the glass with a translucent glass paint! :-)

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8 Leah June 16, 2012 at 7:13 am

“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 ”

Wow… I’ve never even heard of end-to-end lights. In Australia, pretty much ALL fairy lights are in a string which don’t connect end to end!! How interesting o.O At least we wouldn’t have any problems with that part of the craft!

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9 Cheryl June 16, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Wear safety glasses. If you use a small misting bottle to keep the drill site moist you will not have the dust, just wet dust that looks like mud, and keeps the spot from getting so warm and smoking.

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10 Roberta June 18, 2012 at 2:43 am

How lovely!!! I don’t suppose you’d be willing to sell a pair? :-)

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11 Silke June 20, 2012 at 10:47 am

Wow, your bottles turned out very nice. My husband and I also make lighted bottle and bottle lamps from wine bottles, beer bottles, growlers and other recycled glass bottles. We made a video to explain the drilling process for our blog readers. It’s on the homepage of our blog http://www.bottle-lamp.com if anyone is interested. :)

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12 nick June 21, 2012 at 1:09 pm

You’ve turned ordinary into extraordinary with a little paint. Very well done.

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13 Lynette Meyers June 23, 2012 at 10:55 pm

A very innovative idea you are very clever.Thank you.

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14 MJ June 24, 2012 at 8:36 pm

This is great but I think you should really put in something telling ppl to use a mask while drilling. If that glass dust gets in your lungs it can be veeeeeerry bad!

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15 Tara June 26, 2012 at 7:44 am

Add some potpourri and the lights will warm it up. Makes the house smell great and it looks pretty.

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16 jamie June 27, 2012 at 6:22 am

There is a special glass kit u can buy..I make these from mason jars and older big bottles..a regular drill will break it…I put cinnamon soaked potpurri and sticks in with lights and even small glass balls ..use your imagination.:)

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17 Martha Judge April 4, 2013 at 4:43 pm

where can you get this special glass kit?

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18 Dot June 27, 2012 at 8:09 am

it helps keep it cool if you keep the hole and drill tip wet- you can use a spray bottle.

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19 lainey June 28, 2012 at 11:37 am

I have some old colored andclear jugs (bleach) I plan on using for this project. Can’t wait to see how they turn out!

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20 Lynne June 30, 2012 at 8:56 am

I bought some solar power light strings from a website called greenfingers.com. (I think its a UK company) I intended them for Christmas but they ended up decorating my chicken run. They are still there now, in June and they still work brilliantly.
I wonder if it would be a lovely idea to use these lights to make outdoor bottles of light. Perfectly safe, and all you do is hang the bottles up, connect the lights to the solar panel and they’ll give a lovely light from dusk onwards.

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21 patti July 5, 2012 at 8:31 pm

You can also use a wet sponge to add small amounts of water to mitigate the heat (not so much that it splashes up to the drill). Water will cut down the friction which is causing the heat, eliminate the dust, and lower the risk of cracking. It will also speed the process. This is why tile and glass are cut with wet saws. Also, that “white powder” is glass dust (silica) and is very unsafe to breath (responsable for a lung desease called silicosis). Please use a respirator if you are dry drilling or sanding glass or ceramics.

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22 Michelle July 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Love this idea.
I received a glass block filled with rainbow lights as a Christmas gift from a friend one year. They tied it with a ribbon to make it look like a present.
It is the envy of all of our Christmas decorations haha.

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23 betsy July 13, 2012 at 8:27 am

I love this idea. I am wondering if the lights get too hot after a while .
Betsy

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24 Mary July 17, 2012 at 2:33 pm

You can also find the small string lights At Hobby Lobby. The color ones you can find in the craft department in the glass jar aisle or straight lights in the floral department.

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25 Jess July 19, 2012 at 4:24 pm

I just found this tutorial through pinterest and I am so glad! I cant wait to do this at Christmas :) Thanks so much!!

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26 Bill July 19, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Try using some wedding lace swtretched tightly around the bottle and then taped at the seam. Use your sponge and paint lightly on all the lace. Set aside and let dry thoroughly. Peel lace off carefully for a beautiful pattern. Golds and silvers and frosted paints work best.

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27 Janetlynn July 24, 2012 at 10:31 am

If you spray water or put vegetable oil where you are drilling…it helps to keep the dust (glass shards) from flying around :)

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28 Vickie July 27, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Just thought I would give you a new tip on removing labels – I learned this tip from my handyman husband. Heat the label with your hairdryer. The glue will melt and the label comes right off. No more sharp blades!

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29 Melissa August 7, 2012 at 6:43 am

These are nice as gifts too….just add dried potpourri to jar or jug and the lights act as a warmer….

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30 psanders August 9, 2012 at 6:44 pm

You could also put the 1st light on the string out the top of the bottle and glue it with hot glue put a little lamp shade on it and you have a beautiful lamp.

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31 Carol Pepi August 12, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Good details!

I would just suggest that you drip small amounts of water as you drill to keep the glass from getting too hot and to reduce the glass ‘dust’. With the gold paint on the base of the jug, brown wire lights might blend well.

Great project…great instructions. Thanks!

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32 Gail August 13, 2012 at 8:35 pm

WEAR A MASK!!! Any time you are working with any product that causes dust you should always wear a mask. The dust you get when drilling into the jar is glass and you do not want to breath that in to your lungs.

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33 teen August 22, 2012 at 1:49 am

I too have enjoyed this project. I made them as gifts for a Chrismas party I hosted and filled the jugs/jars with lights and Chrismas Scented Potpourri. Use cool light bulbs and it gives just enough heat to warmup the potpourri and intensifies the scent! ~happy crafting :)

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34 Linda August 23, 2012 at 7:05 am

Always liked ththe look of lights in the jars/bottles. After reading all the comments, I was thinking maybe cut the bottom off using the yarn and lighter trick, sorry do not have instructions but have seen them on several blogs. Then you do not have to have a drill, a bit or worry about the dust. Use the battery pack lights with timers or if using plug in cut the bottom at an angle so cord can come out of the higher end of the cut. Amd would also cut down time of stuffing lights into bottle. Now you would have to figure out something fire/moisture proof for bottom, maybe alumin foil? I have not thought that far, so you are on your own for that LOL. Also maybe use one of the push lights and use chopstick to turn them on thru the top. You know the lights you push the top to turn on? Would give a different look but might look good if frosted stencil on the bottle/jsr.
As for the person who even thought of someone sueing, it has become a sad sad world when people look at things with maybe a chance to make money from it for their stupidity of not thinking things thru. Oh and no offence to the lawyers out there, but I wonder about some of their ethics on the cases they take on. Yeah I do mean offence to them LOL after all most of our congress is made up of lawyers and look what they have done to the country.

Have a good day and thank you for the very informative tutorial. Take care.

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35 Linda August 25, 2012 at 12:57 pm

I do this with wine bottles – leave the labels on for decoration – and then tie artificial grapes or leaves around the neck. These turn out GREAT and everyone loves them for gifts!

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36 Angel August 30, 2012 at 3:26 am

I had a project that required me to drill holes into over 100 glass wine bottles. I quickly learned the best technique. I did the walmart isle, grabbed a plastic storage shoebox, the kind with the lids. Used regular sand and filled the box half way. then added warm water, not cold, not hot, but luke warm water to just above the level of sand. When it came time to drill holes in the bottle, it settled nicely into the sand, the small amount of water would fill into the bottle to settle it into place. It worked wonderful, and the (glass powder) would be kept at bay into the water and the sand. When the project was finished, I simply poured the sand into a bucket to save for when I do my concrete stepping stones.

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37 julie August 31, 2012 at 11:33 am

I’ve done something very close to this. I found the WHITE corded lights look prettier in my projects. They are widely available online if you can’t find them in the store. I also use “warm white” LED so they don’t get so hot.

Very pretty project!

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38 DJ September 4, 2012 at 12:55 am

What a super idea. The comments left by your readers were very helpful too. I can’t wait to try this. I’ve always wanted to do it but never took the time to learn how — until now. I put you on my Pinterest page to share with others. – that’s how I found you, on another Pinterest page.

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39 chloe September 4, 2012 at 11:52 am

Do you still live in the french countryside?

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40 Cris September 4, 2012 at 2:16 pm

It’s really beautiful idea, but it’s a little dangerous do the hole without water. My english is not good but I saw some people talking about it and it’s true. We can not do any polishing in glass without water.
I hope everybody read it and really do it.
I’ll do it for sure ;o)

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41 Amy September 5, 2012 at 4:35 pm

The Plugs come apart on the end so you can Actually put the lights into the bottle and pull the end through Reattach the plug in part and same Yourself a lil more time!!!

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42 KK September 6, 2012 at 4:11 am

Love this idea! Question though-do regular string lights make the bottle warm/hot to the touch? We have a kamikaze toddler around and he seems to find the most dangerous things to get into sometimes *sigh*

Also, was wondering is anyone had suggestions for a project I’m working on. I have a few LED lit orchid branches that I’d like to do roughly the same thing with but these things are battery operated and thus come with large, clunky battery boxes. Not sure how to get the branches into something that hides the cords and maybe some of the battery boxes with drilling (or something…) a slit all the way down the back of a vase or other vessel.

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43 Janet King September 7, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Thank you for posting this project. I also appreciated all the helpfull advise from others. My son drills wine bottles and then wires them for lamps. We use a large grommet used for belts and glue to the outside with E6000. This gives a smooth hole to thread the cord thru and gives a nice finished look. Thanks again. Loved your project

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44 RhondA September 9, 2012 at 12:06 am

Thanks for sharing. I have always wanted to put lights in wine bottles. I can’t wait to try this.

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45 Lois MacKenzie September 10, 2012 at 5:36 am

Just a suggestion: Use a drill press to safe time. It takes me about one minute tops. Continually run a soft stream of water as you are drilling. Good idea to take it outside or in your garage to do this!

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46 Kathryn September 10, 2012 at 7:12 am

Oh yay! I’m going to do this with wine bottles and those great big shower cubes for my winter wedding. To line the isle and center pieces.

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47 Bernadette Penn September 11, 2012 at 11:18 am

ok, I just look at the picture’s real good. very nice, i can do this.

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48 Mandi September 11, 2012 at 9:25 pm

I have not read all the comments, but I’m sure that a lot of them told you- THIS IS NOT HOW YOU SHOULD DRILL THROUGH GLASS!!! I have been working in stained glass for years and worked with an artist that I had to drill a lot of holes. I recommend using a dremel tool with a dimond head round bit. Make a pool of water or stream water on the spot you are drilling. Start by making a small divet with the drill bit straight on then start to rotate in a circle- should not take very long.

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49 Cindy September 12, 2012 at 5:50 pm

It only takes a few minutes with a diamond hole saw. We use a 1/2″ hole saw bit and spray occasionally with water.

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50 Randy September 13, 2012 at 9:48 am

Great idea , here’s a great time saver. Cut plug in off the light . Fish cut off wire from bottle neck hole back down to small drilled hole,Use a coat hanger as your fish tape, then feed lights into bottle from the top . Install new plug on wires and your done.

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51 Sharene September 13, 2012 at 8:06 pm

I’ve seen this done with those “glass-blocks”, looked great too.

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52 Lynn September 14, 2012 at 1:04 pm

I really like this idea.My husband used to make beautiful lights from the glass blocks he would get at the hardware stores. He would put clay on the side where the hole was to be and had a tiny stream of water dripping and would drill the hole. It may become hot. Stop and let it cool. I would insert the lights and make a beautiful bow. I added stems of flowers, holiday decorations, little baby gifts, etc, use your imagination, inserted into the bows and they would hang over. I gave about 20 as gifts. I have to make the jug now.

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53 Lynn September 14, 2012 at 1:06 pm

51 Lynn September 14, 2012 at 1:04 pm
I really like this idea.My husband used to make beautiful lights from the glass blocks he would get at the hardware stores. He would put clay on the side where the hole was to be and had a tiny stream of water dripping and would drill the hole. It may become hot. Stop and let it cool. I would insert the lights and make a beautiful bow. I added stems of flowers, holiday decorations, little baby gifts, etc, use your imagination, inserted into the bows and they would hang over. I gave about 20 as gifts. I have to make the jug now.

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54 Debbie Fink September 19, 2012 at 4:54 am

I like you ideal, maybe white light would look good too.

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55 Vicki September 24, 2012 at 10:21 pm

how would angel hair, or metallic shred look, poked down the neck, in and around, to disguise the wires?

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56 VivianSebastian September 28, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Why not add paper dollies with a glue gun to outside of bottle to make a snowfla ke design?

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57 Annie September 29, 2012 at 8:21 am

I am so excited to see that I have the same exact drill! I just need to buy the bit!
Thanks for this tutorial. No glass is safe near me!

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58 Jeanette September 29, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Looks great. I think I’ll try it with a white light cord. Thanks for the tip on the drill bit.

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59 Teresa September 30, 2012 at 9:20 am

I also drill bottles. I have only drilled wine bottles and liquer bottles. I found a diamond tip drill bit at Lowes and use a drill press. I also broke many bottles before I kindof found something that worked best. I spray the hole as I am drilling with a water bottle and that keeps it from getting too hot and breaking on me. I have seen some who have immersed the bottle as well. It also only takes a couple of minutes instead of 20. Just a little tip for you:-)

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60 Marguerite Dawson October 4, 2012 at 8:54 am

Loved this site. I make bottles with lights, but have not done the drilling into them. I have the cord coming out of the top and then decorating the cord. But I do like your way and will have to try that.

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61 Teresa October 6, 2012 at 8:40 pm

I had someone give me me one of these in a wine bottle with the label still on it. I love it and want to try doing the same thing. Thank you for the instructions.

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62 Ann Brownson October 7, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Another version of this is to use a jar instead of a jug and put a string of lights in with potpourri. The lights head the potpourri to release the fragrance. And you use lace instead of the lid, so this is best done with mason jars.

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63 tami October 18, 2012 at 8:32 pm

i also add potpourri threw the top hole of the bottles and with the lights warming the potpourri the aroma fills the house :)

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64 Claire October 26, 2012 at 6:43 am

If you wet a sponge and hold it near the hole it will not dust and bottle is less likely to crack. I did stained glass for a few years and the sander had a base with water so the glass didn’t crack.

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65 Sharon October 29, 2012 at 12:39 pm

It is great fun and beautiful. I have done it for years, I use a glass bit in a drill press that has water running over it, and that is right the sand is really glass. I always wear a mask and glasses and gloves. No matter how careful you are once in a while one is going to break. So if you have children helping, be sure they are properly protected. But have fun with it, it is worth it.

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66 Hannah October 29, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Just a thought… Why post all of the lights through. Just take the plug off and post plug end wire through. Then put plug back on. Simple.

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67 Trishess November 3, 2012 at 12:42 am

Hi. I have just come across this on Pinterest I cannot wait to try it. I have been collecting wine bottles and forcing myself to drink the winery be ready for Christmas. I am grateful for all the other hints too so off to Bunnings tomorrow for my diamond tip drill bits and my eye protection. Thanks for inspiring me try something moderately creative for the first time in about 15 years. Plus I get to drink the wine first!!
Trish

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68 Donna November 8, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Add some potpourri to the jar with lights and the warmth from the lights will release the scent.

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69 maya bruz November 19, 2012 at 10:54 am

Loved. Could you put something else in place of these bulbs?

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70 Jill November 19, 2012 at 7:00 pm

I saw this link through Pintrest and really wanted to attempt this. I followed the tutorial step by step but I was disappointed when I realized the 3/8″ drill bit did not create a large enough hole for the lights to pass through. I know further down in the tutorial you stated a larger hole would make stuffing the lights go quicker but I think the larger hole is needed to fit the lights through at all. I would suggest moving that part to the top part of the tutorial where you discuss the drill bit size needed. I just think that might be a better place for people to really take that thought into consideration when deciding how large of a drill bit to purchase :) Thanks for sharing this great idea though!

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71 Patsy Schwedler November 19, 2012 at 10:51 pm

Do you paint on the outside, or inside the bottle? And, do to you use an kind of shade or stopper on top?

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72 GramSandy November 23, 2012 at 8:36 am

Much easier method of removing labels. Immerse object in warm soapy water and let soak for 10 minutes. Then, simply rub over label with sponge and voila! Label removed!

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73 Sabra McCraw November 26, 2012 at 7:22 pm

If you will put a piece of tape over the area you are going to drill it will keep all the glass dust from getting on you, and if it cracks or shatters it won’t be as dangerous,

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74 Karen Griffith December 6, 2012 at 10:17 am

buy a diamond drill bit, drill under water, takes about 30 seconds!!!

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75 Ruby December 8, 2012 at 8:52 am

True Value…Big Lots… the French countryside?

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76 Bella's Bookshelf December 12, 2012 at 5:46 pm

I’ve done this with those huge, kinda but not really homely, thick green & clear glass vases. I didn’t drill a hole though, I threaded it out the top and down the back. At night that was our “night light” I used the blinky colored lights too. I got so many compliments on my vases with lights in them.
I want to try Millie’s idea with the cork. I dont have a drill, but I am sure i can get one of my pals with tools to drill a few cool larger bottles for me :)

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77 Mary Jo Arhart December 14, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Im so surprised you got through the bottle with that kind of a bit, Have you tried it on wine bottles? I was doing them for awhile and they were very hard to get through and the bit I had was a special glass one and I had a drill press also. Very nice job.

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78 Sandi December 15, 2012 at 1:34 am

My ex mother in law and I did this ten years or so ago but we added some strong fresh potpourri. When the lights heated up out came the smell and everyone loved them. The opening needs to be larger but a mason jar works well and cover with a doily or fabric lid You can change the potpourri frequently to keep it fresh but it looks so pretty when the potpourri has larger flowers and such and the lights accent it all. I still have mine and change out the potpourri and light it up!!

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79 GWEN December 18, 2012 at 8:36 am

HI – WOW WHAT AN AWESOME IDEA – I REALLY LOVE THE WAY YOU EXPLAIN EACH STEP/INSTRUCTIONS/ITEMS USED TO CREATE THE LIGHTED BOTTLE – THANKS SO MUCH I AM GOING TO LOOK @YOUR OTHER PROJECTS AS WELL. I AM KINDA CRAFTY – BUT I HAVE TO LOOK @OTHER THINGS TO GET IDEAS – THANKS AGAIN -

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80 Nanette December 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm

You live in the French countryside? I live in France and none of those stores/products are available where I live. The project was interesting and simple. It’s fun to learn about fabulous and inexpensive ways to be festive.

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81 victoria December 25, 2012 at 8:53 am

We used a diamond tip drill bit and secured the bottle using a drill press, also, we took putty and created a small ‘well’ around the area we were going to drill and poured coolant into it, and drilled THROUGH the coolant and by doing that we did over 20 bottles and didn’t have a single one break on us. Definitely use safety goggles and wash the bottles AS SOON as you are done to get the coolant off.

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82 Clare December 26, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Put masking tape on the spot where you want the hole before you drill. Should keep glass shards from flying.

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83 Megan Anderson December 27, 2012 at 6:19 pm

My parents adn I have been making “lamps” like these for years! They are beutiful. Some other good tips are adding a small amount of tinsel (the kind on a string you wrap around a tree), it looks really cool as it reflects the christmas lights inside, adn is a good way to add some color. Also, a small amount of glitter on the inside looks really neat too. Just some fun ideas. Also, certain plastic wrapping papers that are colored but translucent as well as ones that are mettalic and reflective look really neat in these as well.

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84 Megan Anderson December 27, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Also, using the round globes from ceiling lights and simply turning them upside down with the lights inside look great too!! Clear or colored ones work best, but white ones look neat too. It’s simple and quick while still visually pleasing and creative! Vases can also be used this way, once you’ve got the idea, the posibilities are endless. I

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85 Josh December 27, 2012 at 8:57 pm

I have made a bunch and the easier way to avoid over heating and the glass shards is to make a ring out of plumbers putty and full with water. Make it about 1 inch high on all sides. This keeps the glass from flying and also cools the blade and glass. Lastly when it drains into the bottle stop every minute or so and add a little water to the glass and blade to cool. Try and enjoy

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86 Kristine December 31, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Saw something similar in mason jars with battery-operated lights. Very charming. I do like the adding paint idea.

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87 Angie January 8, 2013 at 6:35 pm

My boyfriend builds glass buildings & they use antifreeze instead of the cool water. He says it works much better.

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88 latest fashion trends January 11, 2013 at 12:47 pm

You have great style and are so creative! I love stopping by to see what you have come up with. GREAT thanks for sharing your idea.

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89 stephanie January 12, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Awesome idea! do you have any problem with the wire melting in the jar or does it stay cool enough?

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90 Brandie K January 20, 2013 at 12:06 am

Love these!! Great idea!!

Suggest putting a piece of tape (Sellotape or whatever sticks best to the bottle) where you are going to drill to stop the bit “skating”.

And definitely wear goggles, long sleeves and a dust mask…silicosis is deadly.

Bless
B :) x

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91 CleverDick January 29, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Hi, am I the only one whose thought it would be a whole (pun intended) lot easier to thread the wire bit you attach to the plug through the top and then out the bottom AND then shove all the bulbs down the top? …….

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92 Michelle January 31, 2013 at 10:20 am

PLEASE, PLEASE use the diamond bits instead of the “arrowhead” type! They work much faster, create less heat, give you a cleaner hole, and rarely break the glass. They cost more but are well worth it. You just have to start them at a 45 degree angle then slowly tip them to a 90 degree angle from the glass. As with the arrowhead it is VERY important to keep both the glass and the bit wet and cool. When there is too much heat it is a sure bet the glass will break. Spritz the area with water as you are drilling and stop now and then to dip the bit in water to cool it. Go SLOW and let the bit do its work. I have worked in a tool dept.for years and have helped many, many people with these projects. If you want to use your Dremel they now make a 1/8 and 1/4 inch diamond bit for drilling glass. Not big enough for lights but useful for other projects.

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93 Cherie Hartwick February 2, 2013 at 11:39 am

I have been selling lighted wine and whiskey bottles on eBAy for several years. My husband does the drilling but I do know how to do it. He started out the way discribed here but broke a lot of bottles and wasn’t satisfied with the results. We now use a drill press and he made a wooden cradle form to hold the bottles. We use diamond core drill bits and a solution that cools the glass as we drill. The core drill bits come in different sizes and we use a 5/8″ one for the Christmas lights. We make a circular dam out of modeling clay, pressing it down onto the bottle, to keep the solution in place where we are going to drill. Steady pressure for a few seconds and then release, repeat until it cuts through. Usually only takes a couple minutes. It would be good to wear protective eye and hand gear.

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94 Kelly February 3, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Just pinned this! I’ll definitely do this for Christmas next year. :-)

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95 Bobbie February 10, 2013 at 11:03 pm

If you use a battery drill you can put it under water to drill about the only bottle I could not drill was beer bottles they are too thin

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96 susan February 17, 2013 at 7:58 am

If the only lights you find are with plugs on both ends, do you think you could start with the middle of the strand, and put them in that way so that the two plugs are sticking out the hole? If so, this would allow a few bottles to be connected.

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97 Weber February 25, 2013 at 9:10 am

Wow, this looks beautiful! I love the touch of gold on the ground!

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98 Ian March 2, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Interesting, I’ve never seen the actual lights threaded in through the drilled hole before!

When I did mine I threaded a string through the bottle and pulled the cable into the bottle and OUT of the drilled hole, then all the lights simply went into the much larger regular hole at the top!

I was re-wiring mine as I had just moved country and so the plug etc was coming off anyways.

I have another lovely blue sherry bottle waiting until I pick up a set of lights to have another go, thanks for reminding me!
Stay well

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99 Angela March 8, 2013 at 12:47 pm

When drilling through glass it’s best to have running water running over the spot that you’re drilling through. Also use eye protection and a mouth and nose shield if you have one. It’s not good to enhale. The project is very cute though!

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100 Lance March 12, 2013 at 2:15 am

Just an extra thought…
For those that want this effect but are not too sure about all the drilling and hazards/dangers that might accompany this project might want to read on.

I have also done this using larger mouth jars and there is no need to drill through the glass at all if you buy Battery Operated Lights.

The battery packs are not that big and can even fit through some smaller mouthed jars or jugs

They have the lights in clear, single colors or multi~colored strands.
Some have 25 or 50 lights per strand.

A simple hook shape on the end of something like a metal coat hanger can be used to fish out the packs at the end of the night so they may be switched off.

Both ways (drilling or the above choice) look fantastic and my goal here is to open the opportunity to those that might not want to try drilling…Not to discredit the original authors wonderful idea in any way.

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101 Danny March 31, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Check at a local bar if you want some really pretty bottles most of them tend the throw them away… The liquor companies spend a lot of time and money on these bottles. All different shapes colors and sizes.

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102 Martha Judge April 4, 2013 at 4:40 pm

It was suggested to me by a women who has been working with stain glass for years, to put ice cubes in the bottle to keep it cool while you are drilling. (I haven’t tried it yet)

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