Picture of Wine Bottle Accent Light
When you're finished with this project, you will have a low-cost accent light made with commonly available materials. The project is simple and produces great-looking results. If you want to do this with a bottle that has sentimental value to you, I recommend that you practice first because glass is a hard, brittle material and you need to get a feel for the process to increase the likelihood of success.

This instructable is easily adapted to assembly-line processes... Once you have all the jjgs built and materials together, you can whip out bottle after bottle. Total time per bottle is about 10 minutes.
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Step 1: Equipment and Materials List

Here's the materials and equipment list:

- Craftsman drill press or equivalent (you can do this project with a hand-held drill, but you'll have less control)
- Safety glasses
- Gloves
- Bottle and stopper jigs (See below for materials; instructions included)
- 1/2-inch diamond hole saw
- 5/16-inch drill bit
- 7/16-inch Forstner bit or standard drill bit the same size (the Forstner bit will work best, because it drills a flat-bottomed hole)
- A condiment bottle or other type of squeeze bottle
- A box knife or other sharp cutting tool
- Pliers

- Wine or liquor bottle, with cork or cap
- 12-inch section of wire coat hanger
- A 12-inch piece of 2x8 for the jig base
- 2 12-inch pieces of parting stop or similar material
- 6 1 1/2" wood screws
- 20-bulb string of white or multicolored Christmas lights
- #00 rubber stopper
- Modeling clay
- Goo-Gone brand adhesive removal product

Step 2: Choose Your Wine

Picture of Choose Your Wine
This is the most fun part of the project. Find a distinctive wine bottle, and drink responsibly. I chose a 2004 Jailhouse Red Merlot with a picture of The King.

Try to choose a bottle with a clean, undamaged label. Colorful labels will give a quasi stained-glass look. Rinse out the bottle and either allow it to dry or dry it out with paper towels. Make sure the exterior of the bottle is clean and free of price stickers or other extraneous labels. Use Goo-Gone or other adhesive removal products to clean up the outside of the bottle.
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leannehr3 years ago
I love this project, I made a couple and want to put a cute bottle stopper on it but then I really think it will get to hot and if I try to sell them I don't want to risk fires for someone else. I have 20 light strand and I want LED lights but they are all to long with to many lights. Does any body know where to get LED's around 6 feet in length that are not battery operated? IM DESPERATE! I've looked every where! Thanks!
lizod leannehr2 months ago

KEUrban (author)  leannehr3 years ago
I'm glad you like this project.

I've looked for short LED strands but all I can find are battery powered strings. Even with stoppers, none of mine get very hot. Please post if you find a source, though.

I saw these at a craft show & my mom & I figured we could do our own. My husband & I did them & were going to give as Christmas gifts. However, our bottles are way too hot!! Is is because we are using lights that are too long? I saw you used 20, we were using 50 & 100 cause our bottles are larger than the regular size plus we used whiskey ones also. Any suggestions?

Thanks, Angela

KEUrban (author)  angela.m.collier.73 months ago
Hi Angela,

I think that's way too many lights, even for a liquor bottle. If you can't find 20-light strings (mine came from Wally World), then you might try with LEDs... those don't get as warm, but they may take a larger hole to insert them into a bottle.

Good luck.

RobB24 months ago

Just to add, if you fill the bottle with sand before you drill, it works quite well with absorbing the vibrations when drilling. Use a glass drill bit. Quick and easy and cheap.

vanityall1 year ago

does water hurt the lable on the bottle

KEUrban (author)  vanityall1 year ago
Not at all. Most labels will stand up to gentle washing and the amount of water necessary to rinse out the bottle is minimal. Thanks for your question.
Benjiak made it!1 year ago

Thanks for the great idea.

scb6231 year ago
bottle lights i make i use 35 string incandescent warm not hot
light supplier
i use a bottle light kit with an upgraded socket its a 2 circuit 3 wire turn knob once inside light om turn again top light on inside out turn again both on
0jameson lamp.jpg0jack lamp.jpg
scb6231 year ago
here are xmas light strings in mini incandesent and led i use 35 string incandesent have for a year and no prob not to warm the ones im making now use a bottle light kit i replace the single throw socket with a 2 circuit 3 wire switch you turn switch once bottom light turns on turn it again top light on bottom off turn again both on
anasdad1 year ago
Great Insructable? I wonder how it would turn out being battery operated with a magnetic reed switch to turn it on and off...
KEUrban (author)  anasdad1 year ago
I'd love to see that. Where would you stash the batteries?

With LED light strings, you could use a 1-inch diamond hole saw for the larger bulbs, and I'd expect that you could power those off of a battery box.
sunshiine2 years ago
I love this! Faved! Thanks for sharing and do have a splendorous day!
i found christmas lights to be much too hot, the glass bottle becomes too hot to handle. LED is a better solution. ikea used to sell a great string of lights, they didn't market them as christmas lights, but that's what they look like.
hock3ydud33 years ago
If it is throwing off glass dust at all, you need to wear a respirator rated appropriately. It is horrible for your lungs. Good instructable, I'm going to attempt to make a few of these as christmas presents!
KEUrban (author)  hock3ydud33 years ago
Very good point. Inhaling glass dust can lead to silicosis, which is very bad as you say.

If you ensure that the clay reservoir is filled with water, glass dust is captured in the liquid. If you were doing dozens and dozens of these, I'd wear a respirator for sure.
desnotes5 years ago
Great instructable...I have always wanted to drill holes in glass for different projects. From reading your instructable I know that getting the proper drill bit is important. What about drill speed? I have a drill press for my dremel and would build a jig but what speed did you use to drill through the bottle?

KEUrban (author)  desnotes5 years ago
I set my drill press at 1,100 RPM when drilling bottles. I put scant pressure on the bit, allowing it to cut at its own pace. Keep the bit lubricated with water.

In my experience (and contrary to some other 'ibles that say it takes minutes or hours to drill through glass) it takes about 30 seconds to drill through a wine bottle, and a bit longer to go through thicker-walled bottles like liquor bottles.

Good luck!

The drill press does work wonders and fast; however, if you do put pressure on it, the glass where you're drilling will break. Also, odd shaped bottles (pear shaped) are difficult to work with but they can be done with the drill press too.
KEUrban (author)  seekertat3 years ago
For odd-shaped bottles I fill a plastic bag with sand and put the bag in a small box. Then, nestle the bottle in until it's in the proper orientation for drilling.
 Thank you for the response. Drilling glass has been something I've always wanted to do and now I have all the instructions. Thanks again.

cattco3 years ago
hi, can the labels be left on the bottle then the bottle lamp sold for profit? just wondering if this is legal because i also make these for family but a friend wants to put them in her shop. thanku :)
KEUrban (author)  cattco3 years ago
That's a good question. Since I'm not a lawyer and I don't play one on TV, I'm not sure I'm qualified to answer. Fellow instructabrarians? Any direction for Cattco?
ncohen20044 years ago
I just love these bottles....i bought one and love it but am a little fearful of the heat....i'm afraid the heat will shatter the i being over cautious? The craftman used christmas lights.....
KEUrban (author)  ncohen20044 years ago
The light strings I use have just 20 bulbs, so the ones I've built never get hot, just warm. If someone crammed a 50- or 100-light string in I imagine it would get much warmer. Hot enough to shatter the glass? Most likely, not (in fact, I can't imagine that). But hot enough to melt the insulation? With 100 lights it might.

I'm glad you like them... They are pretty cool.

thanks for your response....i do believe there are only 20ish gets warm...not hot...and so now i feel much better using it...thanks again and happy holidays!
Sowee4 years ago
I did this, but without drilling a hole. Its amazing, but gets VERY hot.
KEUrban (author)  Sowee4 years ago
That's interesting; the ones I've made get warm but never hot. What type of lights did you use? Is it possible you nicked the cord?
Holcan4 years ago
What does accent mean? Sorry for the ignorance D:
KEUrban (author)  Holcan4 years ago
No such thing as an ignorant question! An accent lamp or light is a lamp that is used to make a design statement in a room. It is used in addition to the primary light (like a ceiling light) in a room. See:
Holcan KEUrban4 years ago
O I get it Thank you very much man
spa31rky4 years ago
Great work! I seen this at a local flee market......the people were selling them for $35 dollars and up.......and they sold too!
TabbyDeAnne4 years ago
This is fantastic! I also have wondered how to drill through glass and have lots of unused wine bottles so this is high on my list of "to do's"! Thank you so much for taking the time to teach us how!
KEUrban (author)  TabbyDeAnne4 years ago
You're very welcome. I'm glad you found it useful. I'd love to see you post your finished bottles!
ragdolldude4 years ago
I've made several of these bottle lights, using the led's. I"ve put up to 60 led bulbs in bottles. I cut off the plug and feed the cut wires first into the bottle. I solder a lamp cord/switch to wire ends that are pulled through thedrilled bottle . Glass bits can be found on Ebay easily. I then feed the bulbs in through the neck of the bottle. I use a mechanics claw tool to grab the bulbs and wires to help spread them around the bottle for a more even look. I've also used an etching compound to "frost" the bottles exterior. I've left some of the led bottles lit for several days, with no noticeable heat.
KEUrban (author)  ragdolldude4 years ago
That sounds very nice. I'd like to see a picture!
I can't seem to upload photos. All photos are jpeg format, but can't seem to get them into the reply box. Suggestions?
KEUrban (author)  ragdolldude4 years ago
Down below the reply box, lower-left, is an "add images" button. Once you browse to the file and add it, click the "Upload" button.
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