Intro: Beautiful Beer Bottle Christmas Lights
So, It sounds a little trashy, but it actually turns out quite beautiful. All in all, 2.50 for lights, 1.00 for the ornament hangers, and 1.00 for the nails, plus whatever for the beer (my boyfriend donated most of it!)
All you need is:
-Strand of outdoor Christmas lights (target has them for 2.50 for 100 lights). I chose white because I think they will look best!
-box of Christmas ornament hangers (the little wire things you put through the Christmas tree ornament and hand on the branches). The dollar store sells a pack of 300 for..well, a dollar. I'm sure you can use any wire you have, but I chose to dish out the extra $1.00 to have the wire match my strand of lights.
-beer bottles. I used 25 and hung them every fourth light. I also stuck with brown bottles too. Simply put, the more bottles you use, the heavier it gets and the more you have to drink (...negative??...) and the more beer you have to buy.
-Tip: wash and drain the bottles, before fixing them to the strand. I just laid them upside down outside over night and all was good!
-beer bottle caps (as many as you have bottles) and as unbent as possible, but not really necessary since you will be punching holes in them any way
-heavier duty nails to hang the strand up with when you're done. They are heavier then small nails can handle.
- you will also need something to punch a whole in the bottle caps. I used an old un-serrated knife and my hand, but a flat head screw driver also worked (not as well) and of course a hammer for the pounding part!
-pliers of some kind were very handy, though not really a MUST!
Step 1: Step One: Bottle Caps
Step One: Bottle tops (after you empty your beers of course)
This really is the longest step, but the easiest.
Take your knife or flathead screw driver and punch an X through the top of the bottle cap. Try making a few practice punches first, if you can, in spare tops. You will want the X to be most of the diameter of the cap, but not make it down its side.
Tip: I recommend punching from outside to inside. It makes the next step easier.
Do this to all you'r bottle caps.
Step 2: Step Two: Attaching Caps
Step Two: Attaching the bottle caps.
So now that you have your mutilated bottle caps, you're going to need your Christmas lights.
Simply push the light through the middle of your X (from the top) and then up about an inch. Then close the tabs inward onto the strand so it makes a tighter, stronger clamp.
Idea: I only pushed one light through for each bottle, but I think maybe 2 or 3 lights would have made a cool effect too. However, the down side is that it shortens your strand. Just a thought! I haven't tried it yet (and I don't know if my boyfriends liver and kidneys can take another strand of lights! :P)
Step 3: Step Three: Wire Harness for Beer Bottles
Step Three: Making the wire harness for the beer bottles.
Unfortunately I lost the pictures I too of this so I will have to try and explain it as best as I can.
You'll need to make a "harness" for your bottles. Try as I might, I just couldn't make the clamp from the bottle caps to be strong enough after I punched the X in, so I had to get creative.
If you are using the ornament hangers you are going to need 3 per bottle.
1) Connect 2 hangers at their pre-bent spots and secure them. I used pliers to twist it around at least one time. This makes one longer, stronger strand.
2) Now take your third hanger and connect it to the same spot you connected the first two and twist that one on securely. It will look like a Y when you're done.
Tip: I made an assembly line at this point. I made all my harnesses and then attached them to the bottles.
3) Wrap 2 of sides of the hangers around the bottle neck (the lower lip is best. about 1-2 centimeters from the opening of the bottle) and then twist them tightly together, BUT leave as much extra as possible! It will be one of the wires that attaches to the strand.
Now you've got your harness (kind of like on a campaign bottle).
In this picture you can kind of see what I was doing and where I was attaching everything in the bottle closest to the camera....
Step 4: Fourth Step: Attach Bottle to Cap and Lights! VIOLA!!
Fourth and final step: Attach the bottle to the cap and light strand.
1) Finally, you are going to press the bottle and bottle cap back together as best as possible. Some of them just wont have it and it's ok. It's simply an added step to make sure that most of the bottles are on there for good!
2) You will have one long, almost un-used ornament hanger and 2 partial hangers to wrap around the Christmas light wire. Do so! Twist them on there as best as possible. These are whats really holding the bottles on there!
3) Do the same for all your bottles.