Wine Bottle Lamps.

Posted by DmentD | Domestica,House,Links,Pictures | Saturday 20 November 2010 5:26 pm

I frequently run across things while surfing on the web, and say to myself “Self, wouldn’t it be cool to make that?” and that’s about where it ends.  Don’t get me wrong… I like making things, often in spite of the time and money involved versus just going out and buying something similar — it’s the ‘figuring’, you see… I like to know how something works, and what better way than to make it yourself, and even see if you can improve on a design someone else has come up with.

Recently, a project did catch my eye — something that struck chord in my brain upon first sight.  I stumbled upon THIS page on how to build an oil lamp from an empty wine bottle.  I thought it was elegant, and would work fantastically well to replace the old (and leaky in one case) tiki-style torches I have on the patio, and wouldn’t cost too terribly much to do.  Here’s the basics of what you’ll need (the image and list are blatantly “borrowed” from the original project site):

  1. 1) Empty Wine Bottle (You can use any bottle you like as long as it’s glass and the neck is 1” in diameter. Be clever!)
  2. 2) Teflon Tape ½”
  3. 3) Copper Top Plate Connector (threaded for ⅜”-16 thread rod)
  4. 4) 1” Split Ring Hanger (threaded for ⅜”-16 thread rod)
  5. 5) ½” x ⅜” Copper Coupling
  6. 6) ½” Copper Cap
  7. 7) Two Hex Nuts (threaded for ⅜”-16 thread rod)
  8. 8 ) Two #10 x 1” Zinc Plated Wood Screws (if your mounting it to wood)
  9. 9) ⅜”-16 Zinc Plated Threaded Rod (I bought a 3’ rod and cut it down to 8, 4½” rods with a hacksaw.)
  10. 10) Tiki Replacement Wick
  11. 11) Torch Fuel (For safety reasons, only use fuel made specifically for outdoor torches. i.e. Tiki brand)

Starting with that page and its core concept, I started gathering my materials.  I liked the look of the blue bottle, especially against the copper.  I gathered up some bottles from the homebrew store that suited my needs, and a stop at Lowes and Home Depot netted me most of the rest of the hardware.  No matter how hard I looked, I couldn’t find anyone local who had the tiki-torch wicks (this late in the season, with autumn upon us already), or the copper flanges in stock.  I turned to my trusty pal,, and ordered what I needed.  The flanges, while being copper colored, are just powder-coated cast metal, and not even copper plated.  If you look at the pieces on the picture above, you’ll notice they are too… but! my split ring hangers are copper plated, and will age nicely with the rest of the holders (except the flange… oh well).

I made a few improvements to the overall design.  First, rather than leave a plain ol’ threaded (non copper colored!) rod out in plain sight I sleeved it with a length of ½” copper pipe that tied the whole design together.  The hex huts actually make a nice accent color amongst all the copper and cover the open ends of the copper pipe perfectly.  Second, I soldered a length of copper chain to the cap so it won’t get lost, and put a copper clasp on the other end to easily fasten it around the neck of the bottle.  Lastly, I drilled through the ½” x ⅜” copper coupling and put a 2″ copper pin through it and the wick to keep the wick from slipping down into the bottle accidentally — I found that the wicks were just a hair narrower than they needed to be to actually stay put in the coupler by themselves.

That addressed the lamps I wanted to mount to the house around the perimeter of the patio, but I still wanted one out on the corner by the yard.  With nothing to mount it to, I set out to build a stand.  Keeping with the copper theme, I used ⅜” copper tubing to build the holder cage, flattening the tube in a vice to make the flat pieces where needed, and ½” copper pipe and fittings to make the stake from.  I even built in a cross-piece at the bottom so I could use my foot the help sink the stake into the ground.

Filled with a Citronella lamp fuel (which is yellow, and is what is making the blue bottles look a little green) they make a nice attractive addition to the patio, and will help fend off flying critters as well.

Also, as a bonus, the same concept can be applied to making attractive wall hanging flower vases.  Check out the how-to HERE.



  1. That’s really pretty. You’re so very crafty!

    November 20, 2010 @ 8:18 pm
  2. Crafty… like a FOX!

    November 21, 2010 @ 12:54 am
  3. Nice. Wait a minute! That isn’t one of my wine bottles is it?! hehehe Just kidding! Really cool there Stuffarino. =)

    November 22, 2010 @ 7:32 am
  4. Wonk…wonk…here comes “Debbie Downer” ):
    Very nicely done. However, placing open flames 1 foot from a wooden wall is is sort of living on the edge, eh? I hope there’s an ABC fire extinguisher on the patio or inside those sliding doors (better, outside). I want to be there if you ever need to file an insurance claim for fire damage. I can hear the claims agent laughing even from here, just before he says…”NO WAY!” :)

    November 23, 2010 @ 11:08 am
  5. So, a cement wall then?

    November 29, 2010 @ 9:33 pm
  6. Post something else so I can see about your frigging life!

    December 3, 2010 @ 8:47 pm

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