Happy Holidays! I hope everyone had a great Christmas and is ready for the new year. If you're a college student on break, like me, and need something to do or forgot to get your parents presents, like me again, then this is a super easy and classy gift to make. In addition, since we just celebrated Christmas there are bound to be empty wine bottles lying around and, as a special bonus, Christmas lights will now be on sale! So, not only is this an easy project but it's also very affordable.
For your convenience, I've also made this video tutorial to serve as a visual aid if you become confused at any point.
Please consider voting for this intsructable. Enjoy!
Step 1: Materials
For this project you will need:
- One Wine Bottle
- One Cordless Drill
- One 1/2" Diamond Hole Saw (Or Alternative to Cut Glass)
- Christmas Lights
- One 1/2" Grommet
- Aluminum Foil (Or Plastic Wrap)
If you need to modify the Christmas Lights you will also need:
- 1/8" Heat Shrink
- A Heat Source
Step 2: Drilling
If your wine bottle has paper labeling, then the first step is to cover them up with the foil and tape. This is to prevent the water we will be using from damaging the labels.
Next, place your bottle in the sink underneath the faucet and turn on cold water (this will cool the saw). Taking your drill, slowly being to create a notch. Make sure your drill is on the lowest speed and torque settings. At first you will want to drill at an angle to easily create the notch and then transition to drilling perpendicular to the bottle. This took me about three minutes, but the slower you go the better the result!
Once you have cut through the bottle, remove the circular glass piece inside and rinse the bottle.
Step 3: Modifying Lights (If Necessary)
This step is only necessary if you have an extension on the end of your christmas lights.
First, cut the wires after the last bulb (about 1/2" away) to remove the extension. Then, if your christmas lights has a wire that isn't connected to the last bulb, begin to unravel it. This wire should go all the way back to the very first light bulb. Once you reach the end of it, cut it near the first bulb.
Next, we will need to cover the exposed wires. Take your heat shrink and cut two 1/2" pieces. Place these pieces halfway on the exposed wires and use your heat source to shrink it.
Step 4: Placing Lights
Take your christmas lights and find the very last bulb. Push this bulb through the hole you drilled and then take the next bulb and push it through. You may need to "fold" the bulbs and wire together to help get them through the hole. Continue until all the bulbs are in the bottle.
Step 5: Finishing Up
You're almost done! The last step is to place a grommet in the hole to make sure that the glass will not cut the wires. First, take your scissors and make one radius cut on the grommet. Then take the grommet and push it into the hole. Depending on the thickness of the bottle this may take some time. Be patient and try using a pencil or pen to force the grommet along the hole.
Step 6: Tips and Tricks
You now have a finished bottle light! However, if your looking to touch it up a bit there are two more things you can do. Create a hook (I used a paperclip attached to a chopstick) and use it to rearrange the lights in your bottle until you're satisfied. You can also take a razor and neatly cut the foil at the top of the bottle to make it look cleaner. An easy way to do this is to spin the bottle as you hold the blade to it.
I would like to end with a few pointers. In this tutorial I used a string of 20 lights, but you can use up to 50. However, keep in mind that the more lights there are the hotter the bottle will become. Also, instead of using a grommet you can grind the sharp edges of the hole. Finally, if you were confused at any point in this tutorial make sure to watch the video I made!
I'm trying to make my instructables better so if you have any constructive criticism, I'd appreciate it if you could leave them in the comments or message me!
Thanks for checking out my tutorial and I hope you enjoyed!