Hi everyone and thanks for stopping by! Some of you might have used recycled glass bottles in the past for craft projects. For those of you who have not, you should try it! There are lots of chances for used glass bottles to make interesting and useful items for around the home. I got the suggestion from my girlfriend that it might be neat to make a tea light in the bottom of an old wine bottle base. This is a pretty quick project that creates a unique candle.
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Step 1: Supplies
For this project you will need a few supplies. No real tools are required other than a stove, some sandpaper, tea kettle and a bottle cutter. I used my dremel tool in place of the sandpaper for speeds sake.
- Empty bottle
- String (must be flammable, not just melting)
- 2 Pots (one must be able to fit in the other)
- Aluminum foil (optional)
- Essential oil (optional)
Step 2: Set Up the Double Boiler
In this step, we will use a double boiler to melt the wax. Using a double boiler is great when you want a very even heat distribution along with not burning whatever it is you are trying to melt such as wax or chocolate. I got the larger pot filled with water and began boiling while I prepared the smaller pot with tinfoil to speed up cleanup later. Once that was done I put the smaller pot in the boiling pot and put the wax in to begin melting.
Step 3: Cut Your Bottle
This step is the most difficult in this project. Luckily for me, I cut the bottom of the bottle off for another project. Use the bottle cutter to etch a line in the bottle. Continue to etch the bottle until you have a nice deep groove. This will create a stress point for the glass to fracture. Use boiling hot and cold water to repeatedly heat and cool the glass. Each time, you will be stressing the glass until it breaks along the etched line. Once it breaks, watch out since the edge will be sharp and can cut you. Use some sandpaper (or a dremel if you are lazy like me) to remove the sharp edge of the glass to eliminate any cutting hazard. I rinsed off the sanding dust just to clean up the glass. If you don't have a bottle cutter, there are many different methods to cut bottles online that will work with varying degrees of success.
Step 4: Make Your Wick
To make a wick, you just need a piece of string that you know to be flammable. I used a piece of thin black string that you can use for knitting/ crocheting. Cut a piece off string that is about an inch and a half. Cutting the string a bit longer is better rather than shorter. Dip the string into the wax and allow the wax to coat the string. Remove and allow to cool. I wanted to see if my string was long enough so I bent it and placed it in the bottom. Sadly it wont stay in that exact position once the wax is poured.
Step 5: Pour the Wax
Once a sufficient amount of was has melted, you can remove the excess wax from the double boiler and pour the wax into your bottle. Be careful not to spill as it can be a pain to clean up once it sticks to something and cools.
Step 6: Add a Fragrance (Optional)
Like the title says, this step is not required and not recommended if you have wax that is already scented as you could be mixing smells and create one that is overpowering or unpleasant. I decided to use some essential oil to add a nice lavender smell since the wax was unscented and I thought it would add a nice touch. Only use a few drops due to the high concentration!
Step 7: Let Candle Cool
For this step, you can let the candle cool slowly by leaving it out or you can cool it quicker by putting it in the fridge/ freezer. A word of warning though, doing so creates a risk of the glass breaking due to rapid temperature changes. Its not very likely as the glass shouldn't be terribly hot but it could happen. If you do use the fridge to cool the light, let it return to room temperature before you light it.
Step 8: Finished!
Enjoy your unique tea light and thanks for reading!