Learn how to make a wine bottle accent lamp with mini Christmas lights to amaze your guests at your next party …or razzle-dazzle your domicile with a little ambiance!
I have a great backstory for this one. I got to attend the Cotton Pickin’ Fair in Gay, Georgia in 2006 (look it up – it’s a fun bi-annual craft fair) In one of the booths a vendor was selling handmade wine bottle lamps filled with midget lights. All of them one of a kind with different art on them. That one was hard to leave empty-handed; I left with one that had pretty grape clusters.
Now I enjoyed using mine, but you know I was thinking, “I gotta make one of those, too” I had so much fun making this wine bottle with midget lights inside…yep, just an ordinary string of clear midget lights to make this show-stopper. Yep, the same kind I use for my funky light string covers.
First a string of clear midget Christmas lights – between 20-35 lights in all; fewer work best. Also it needs to be the kind with one plug and not the multi-string connector thingy at the other end, as we are going to be feeding the lights through a small hole in the bottle.
You could also use colored midget lights too, instead of clear – which I didn’t think of at the time – they would really look snazzy in a transparent clear bottle!
Next the wine bottle itself, but be judicious in choosing one – if you have a collection, pick your favorite! Some wine bottles come in dark colors like green, red or brown and that in themselves can look great all on their own. Also, skinnier bottles may be easier to thread lights through. And a clear bottle, like mine, could also be painted on too, which is what I did.
Other tools include: a special glass drill bit, tape.
Optional: Paints (acrylic enamel for use on glass works best), decor pieces like raffia ties, ribbon, flatbed faux gemstones, etc.
Preparing Your Wine Bottle
First carefully remove the label from the bottle If you’re a wine aficionado, you may prefer to leave the label on, especially if the type is rare or unique, and it adds to the bottle’s appeal. In that case you may want to apply a coat of Mod Podge to preserve it.
Drilling the Hole for the Light Cord
To make a bottle lamp with Christmas lights the right way, there’s some technical skill involved first. You’ll have to make that little bitty hole so the light string can pass through easily.
You need a diamond drill bit for this task, very important. They don’t look like the kind of bits I use for other crafty tasks. If you are in any way unsure of yourself for this step, please seek assistance from a friend or relative with the know-how. It’s not worth swallowing your pride if the bottle breaks cause then you’ll be SOL 🙁
I was kind of scared to attempt it and so I got my ex at the time to do it. This is pretty much the same procedure taken that was necessary for my other lamp from a mason jar 🙂 I was very fortunate, because this is NOT a step I felt confident about.
In addition to the special drill bit you would also need some tape to go over the spot, a misting bottle (all that friction can cause heat and this would be more likely to cause the potential to break) and safety goggles.
The hole just needs to be about the size of a dime to be able to thread midget lights easily.
The area around the cutout hole may be sharp. You’ll want to use a little sandpaper or an emery board to go around it so you don’t accidentally cut yourself when threading the light string through. You also may want to consider the use of a grommet in this spot to further protect the light string cord.
Inserting the Light String
Now take your string of Christmas lights and begin to thread it through the hole. Proceed carefully; only insert one light at a time.
You may have to tip the bottle sideways and upside down from time to time so the lights will be evenly dispersed in the wine bottle. I had this issue at first where the lights would clump at the bottom. If you’ve got a skinnier wine bottle, you may not have this problem so much 🙂
One thing that works is taking a coat hanger and cutting out the straight part up to the corner and using the corner piece to pull out the light string through the top. I found another cool trick when I got my hands on some floral decor filler – it looks so pretty and really highlights the lights too when I plug it in, in addition to filling in space around the light string.
Can You Make a Wine Bottle Lamp Without Drilling?
This question does get asked from time to time – and, yes. yes you can it just takes a little bit different strategy. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who’s squeamish about the idea of cutting through glass! The first option is to outsource it – like I did. If you know and trust someone who has the skill.
Second approach is to look for a wine bottle light adapter that has the lights attached. You can find these online and now they are making them with the battery compartment inside the bottle stopper so they will be discreet and not show. They also come in multiples so you can light up a whole passel of wine bottles just for kicks! You can make a special occasion like a wedding, outdoor garden party, or backyard bbq really spectacular.
Below is my own adapter – This was a nice little surprise I found in my 2018 Christmas stocking (yep we still do that 🙂 It takes 3 AAA batteries which are concealed in the tube that goes into the bottle, and turns on and off by pushing the round bulgy top piece.
Jazz Up Your Christmas Light Wine Bottle Lamp
I replaced the cork when I had the crystal filler/lights all in the right place I wanted them. The finishing touch…I wrapped a few strands of raffia near the top in a bow…seems no repurposed bottle is complete without a sprig of raffia on it.
If your wine bottle is clear you might want to consider doing something similar just for the heck of it… I painted a rose and a few other designs on the sides. Another great way to jazz up your lamp; just be sure to use this kind of paint.
When the paint dries you should be able to plug it into any standard wall outlet and …walla! Beautiful! Now you know how to make a bottle lamp with Christmas lights to wow your friends or family.
So there you have it…I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Let me know how it goes for you.