DIY: Wine Bottle Light

Wine light bottle

This past spring Daniel and I went on a road trip from San Francisco to the Grand Canyon. Along the way we stopped at Chateau Julien for a wine tasting. I wanted to do something with the empty bottle instead of throwing it in the recycling bin. So here it is!

You’ll need:

wine bottle light supplies

an empty wine bottle
a drill
safety glasses and gloves (just in case the bottle breaks)
1/2″ glass drill bit
masking tape
short strand of Christmas lights (with a plug only on one end)

How to:

1. Rinse out your wine bottle and remove the labels (if desired).

2. Place a piece of masking tape on the bottle where you want to drill the hole for the cord. The tape keeps the drill bit from slipping.

3. Put on your gloves and goggles and start drilling. Don’t apply too much pressure or you could break the glass. The drilling takes a long time. I spent about 30 minutes drilling the hole. Be patient!

wine bottle light hole

4. Once your hole is drilled rinse the glass shavings out of your bottle, and let the bottle dry.

5. Carefully feed the strand of Christmas lights into the hole you drilled.

6. TaaDaa!

wine bottle light


    1. carol rathburn

      I make some with flower vasus and i put in the lights then dried poporrie then then i pour on anykind if liquid sents then i put a lace doilie on top with a ribbon wraped around it then lightt it up smells great when needed just put in more oil u can change up the sents when this one runs out i have had them lit over night not a fire in my house even with dried poporrie i have never had a fire but just my luck, i say that n someone sues me for the fire, so do what u like ill do it my way,
      enjoy Carol

    2. Sarah

      Try using battery operated lights if you’re worried about them heating up. The battery uses less power than electricity (obviously lol) and therefore doesn’t supply enough power to cause the lights to heat up.
      I use battery operated Christmas lights to decorate my office, I had them on for 8 hours straight a day for a week and they were cool as a cucumber

    3. Angela

      Use led lights and not problem. plus the neck of the bottle does let heat; if any; out. I have had one of these for 5 years and never had a fire. Even traditional lights do not get hot enough to start a fire.

    4. Nicole

      If one were to use…say…LED lights (which is practically all you can buy anymore) it wouldn’t get hot enough to catch fire. Aside from that, even regular old Christmas lights won’t get hot enough to melt glass. *eyeroll*

    5. Janice Turner

      I’ve made these with jars of all different sizes and large vases and put potpourri in with the lights and a doily tied around the top and left it on all night and never had an issue with anything catching on fire.

    1. ann

      these lights don’t burn your Christmas tree down, they won’t be a fire hazard. common sense people and read the insert that comes with the lights regarding wattage, etc.

    2. Vicki Blanton

      Lights don’t generate enough heat to be a fire hazard but I would like to see some “Dip-it’ or electrical tape around the drilled hole so the edges can’t rub on the wire.

  1. Wit & Whistle Post author

    I’ve had the light on for about 4-5 hours at a time and the bottle only gets a little bit warm, so I don’t think it’s a fire hazard. But you’re right Josh, LED lights would probably be better!

  2. Chris

    Heat…. Really? Those things don’t generate enough heat to start a fire if you wrapped the bottle in a blanket of dried grass and drenched it in gasoline.

  3. marc

    I would suggest drilling the hole with the drill site just bellow the water line in something like the sink. The water will act as a lubricant and prevent the splitting and chipping you can see around the edges of the hole.

    Great idea though. Thank you!

    1. Wonka

      I’m not too keen on using an electric drill in a basin of water. Could be quite shocking if one were to let the drill slip.

    2. Jessica

      Donna… Ahh SAFETY TIP* you cannot put water in a glass bottle then freeze it!! It will explode! I hope to heck you haven’t done this yet, or if you have, it’s been a long painful learning experience…

  4. ClubFerndale

    Friend of mine gave me one of these 3 years ago. It had a strand of only 25 lights in it, not 50. I had it plugged in pretty much every single night for 4 or 5 hours and it only ever got slightly warm to the touch. I loved it. Unfortunately the light strand died this year and I haven’t found a replacement string with a plug at only one end. My friend made several of these, and they look best in amber or blue bottles. Same technique works with glass blocks you can get at Home Depot too.

  5. Michale

    If you have a few wine bottles, you could drill two holes in them. Then depending on the length of the light strand, you don’t have to fill one bottle with all the lights, but distribute them across the few bottles.

    1. Rebekah

      Now I have been searching high and low for genuine ways to cut holes into glass bottles to make these and to make whiskey bottle lamps. I have like 5 totes Of empty ready to use bottles. The idea of stringing the lights from one to another I absolutely adore. I have seen almost every post to see as far as decorating but this is the first time I have seen or heard anyone offer that idea and it’s awesome. You could even attach the bottles together either with a glue or epoxy type or using decorative tubing or pipe etc. and even run with it and connect them form a chosen shapes and then proceed with one bottle smaller widths in the same shape in either up or down direction until you reach a desired level or you are just content with it, doing all the above to make a chandelier or table top lamp or even take an old stand alone pole type lamp and use it as your base. Regardless. I love the idea of connecting the bottles! All I have read actually on this post have given me more inspiration and courage to cut my bottles. I have been putting it off out of fear of messimg up some great vintage bottles.

  6. klarck

    I’m remodeling my kitchen and was looking for alternatives to hiding lights under the wall cabinets. This may be just the thing!

  7. gulyas

    RE:ClubFerndale says:
    November 29, 2009 at 3:24 am
    Friend of mine gave me one of these 3 years ago. It had a strand of only 25 lights in it, not 50. I had it plugged in pretty much every single night for 4 or 5 hours and it only ever got slightly warm to the touch. I loved it. Unfortunately the light strand died this year and I haven’t found a replacement string with a plug at only one end. My friend made several of these, and they look best in amber or blue bottles. Same technique works with glass blocks you can get at Home Depot too.

    All you have to do is cut the plug off strip the wires about an inch down and twist them together make sure that you wrap them in electrical tape though

    1. carol rathburn

      you can go ton the dollar store n get a strand of lights 25 or 50 i make these all the time with flower vacess then put a lace toping with decorated string or ribbon

    1. ivana

      Hardware stores may have the lights. I got some at the dollar store. They even had some smaller sets that were battery operated! …craft stores probably have them year round .

    2. Melissa

      Dollar tree has the lights. You can order them off their Web site. I use rubber grommets for the hole. Put the lights through the hole then cut the grommet to fit.

  8. Rich Graham

    Sounds like a neat little project. My ony concern would be the sharp edge of the glass where youdrill the hole cutting into the cord of the lights.

    A few layers of electrical tape around the cord would work great.

    1. John

      Use a fine grit sandpaper (rolled up)or equivalent grinding stone (at slow speed) for a Dremel to smooth out the rough/sharp edges of the glass(hole). If still concerned, secure the cord in place (in “mid air”) within the hole using a hot glue gun to fill under and around the cord within the hole, then shave off excess glue with a razorknife of filet knife to smooth the glue down flush with the glass. Hope this helps!

    2. Linda Ware

      My neighbor does these, and she puts metal grommets in the holes. Just put a little epoxy on it before you put it in the hole, let it dry,and put the lights in.

  9. Craig

    I ended up making one of these last night using some old lights I had around, and unfortunately….it gets really, really hot. I’m gonna see if I can find some different lights and try again.

    1. Susan

      Led lights work well in bottles. They don’t get hot like the regular lights and last a lot longer.

  10. charlie

    Great project! However for drilling the glass I would suggest first using a pilot hole (drilling a hole with with a much smaller bit to “guide” larger bits) and then working your way up in size of bits till you reach your desired size.

    1. Gerry

      We bought a diamond drill bit, about $12, cuts the hole in a couple minutes. Use battery operated drill, spray with cool water while drilling. Works great. How do you keep your lights from sliding to the bottom of the bottle? Thanks for the ideas!

    2. Angela

      Gerry, use a fine wire connected to the end of the lights if it does not stay in the neck. Decorate the bottle with faux grapes etc to hide any wires you need and it makes the bottle much more decorative and festive.

    3. Jenny Pepper

      Gerry – You could feed the lights in through the neck of the bottle, instead of drilling a hole at the bottom.

  11. anon

    I used to do the same thing, only using a glass vase and without drilling any holes.

    It’s a bit of a firehazard though, especially if many lamps break. It gets quite hot.

  12. Olivia

    You might try in the future fulling the bottle also with broken glass or mirror bits and using fewer lights. The effect is really dramatic.

  13. yjc

    I found this through Stumble and that wine bottle is one of the prettiest things I’ve ever seen. Definitely checking out the rest of your blog!

  14. Meryl

    I’m going to try this fantastic idea with solar christmas lights (coming from Australia – this will work beautifully esp since our Christmas is in Summer) …. and possibly set them up through out the garden. No fire hazard then (something we really do have to worry about here). Love your site.

  15. r4t4t4t

    YOU MUST MAKE SURE YOU ARE CAREFUL WITH THE GLASS DRILL BIT AND DEBRIS. the small bits of glass can easily travel around your house and if ingested will cause serious serious damage. my advice is to put water in the wine bottle while you drill and drill with the bottle in a small pan or something like that with water in it.

  16. Parker

    Just tried this with a string of 100 lights. no hole drilled, just used my fingers and a chop stick to thread the lights in from the top. i got most of them in, and the bottle got really hot. i pulled a bunch more out. there’s maybe ~40 in there now and i’m still kind of worried. Definitely keep an eye on these guys, or, as others have suggested, get your hands on some LED lights.

    1. ann

      use only strings with 10 to 25 lights on them. It will look better too. !00 is to many for a wine-sized bottle.

  17. Jeremy

    ==========SAFETY TIP!==========

    Drilling glass can cause a lot of FINE GLASS DUST to be created. When drilling glass make sure that you wear a breathing mask and work in a well ventilated area. Glass dust can get into your lungs and cause severe respiratory problems.

  18. Ian Smith

    Not only is this gorgeous but its functional too! When you don’t need the lights anymore it transforms into a bong!

  19. Andreas

    Great idea, well executed!
    Gonna make it myself too, already got a 35 lamp string, now I need a glass drill (cannot buy it at the regular hardware store here) and e bottle of wine :D

  20. HankGee

    Ok, so stupid me got the hole drilled to what I thought was big enough, started to modify the lights I had with a female end on it – stupidly pigtied both ends together, blew the fuse in the other end, replaced the male part on the other end, got the pigtails separated on the other end. As I began to feed them through the hole, I realized the hole wasn’t big enough and began to drill again. Wine bottle broke.

    We go through some wine around here, and I’ll give it a try again tomorrow.

    I shan’t give up!

  21. Hilary

    I’m going to try and do this, but with a strand of 15 lights on brown wire that I purchased at a craft store. I think it will be beautiful. Thanks for the great idea!

  22. Susanna

    I have a friend who does this with architectural glass blocks. Her creations produced heat and smoke when the lights were crammed inside with no place for the heat to escape. She drilled two extremely large holes, and it is no longer a problem.

    So. these lights seemed to have bypassed that problem altogether with two holes: one for feeding the lights into, and the large one at the mouth of the bottle, for the heat to escape. Problem solved.

  23. Aleta

    I just made one tonight, it came out great! Drilling threw glass is not as hard as everyone says it is, i did it right on my first try.

  24. Jennifer

    How much does the glass drill bit run in price? Also, I have heard of using a class cutter that can be found at craft stores…what do you think would work best??

  25. Ray

    @jennifer I paid about $16 for my 1/2 inch glass drill bit. the hard part was finding a store that carries one. Most of the home centers like Lowes and Home Depot don’t carry the size.

  26. Wit & Whistle Post author

    Tiger—thanks for liking my photo enough to use it on your blog! Since you linked back to my site that’s perfectly fine. Thanks for checking! : )

  27. ProTip

    I used clear glass and had a bunch of the glass shaving paste stuff inside the bottle that I had hard time getting out. Dish soap, soaking, nothing seemed to work. Then I used about a tablespoon of kosher salt with a little water and swirled it around, problem solved. The salt acted like an abrasive to get the paste of the inside glass.

  28. Jesse

    Alright, I am so glad that I found this tutorial. I decided to make this gift for somebody I know that enjoys wine a great deal, and it was a great gift idea! I decided to try it on one wine bottle, but ended up making about 4 because they look so amazing. After some family saw what I did, they went out and bought wine bottles, 40 oz Budweiser and Coors bottles, ect and we now have about 7 of these things in the making. It looks great no matter what bottle you use, as long as its tinted. My favorite stumble of the season!

  29. Don

    made 1 and loved it. Showed it to a friend who requested another. Showed it to my sister, she requested 2. Showed it to another friend, and they wanted to make their own to sell. This was a big hit that everyone loved.

    I had difficulty finding a suitable string of 50 lights that did not have a plug at both ends (string to string). I ended up using 3 sets of battery operated LED lights in a string of 15. The battery cases act as a base. The lights were at Walgreens, came in white and three colors. The white look great in a blue bottle.


  30. Nick Hart

    I tried this myself and it worked pretty well. I took one suggestion from the comments and submerged the bottle under water in a sink. I think this helped. Although there were still a few chips around the edges, my holes look cleaner than the ones in the author’s photos. I also used a Dremel (with a narrow conical grinding bit) to grind down the edges–they’re safe to touch and won’t damage the wires. I bought a string of 30 LED lights from Amazon for about $8. The lights have a faint flicker to them, but it still looks pretty good.

    Unfortunately, one of my holes has some hairline fractures radiating out from it. I think this is because I was applying too much pressure with the drill–so be careful!

    FYI: I used some distinctive liquor bottles for my projects, and they look pretty cool.

  31. Scott B

    I didn’t have a set without a plug on the front end, so I just cut it off and sealed the separately sealed the wires with electrical tape.
    For my second bottle I am also going to use a screw cap wine bottle so that I can cap it and use it outside.
    Thanks for the great project!

  32. Pingback: Decoración Navideña (geek home made!) | Jessica Hemingway

  33. Mariano A.G.

    I used this idea for a 3-Dimensional studies class and came up with a great final project. really cool effect with the color too

  34. Tach

    I decided I would use this idea to celebrate my wife’s and my first Christmas married to one another. I found the bit without issue at Lowes. I jammed 150 lights into mine – major issue was that I bought web lighting which twists the lights in a thick strands at times – I had to unravel all of them – this wasn’t the end of the work though – because they had to inline fuses coated with plastic. I had to use my dremmel to shave off enough to get through the hole… being very careful not to hit any wires.

    I am created a label with one of our wedding pictures on it, commemorating our first married Christmas. I think she will love it.

  35. Bill Handers

    You must be careful to allow enough air/ventilation to travel through the bottle. Even the small amount of lights will overheat and break the bottle after a while. Ben there/done that with the same type project ayear or so ago.

  36. Rob L

    My concern would be heat build-up over time, potentially causing the bottle to crack, or worse yet a short. However I think if L.E.D. lighting was used (instead of the traditional string lights with removable bulbs) then the heat buildup would be minimal.

    Very cool idea!

  37. Nick Hart

    Definitely use LED’s–they’re cooler and much more energy efficient. They cost more, but it’s a worthwhile investment.

  38. Robert

    How difficult was it to fit the lights through the 1/2″ hole you made in the bottle? I ask because finding a glass/tile drill bit was very difficult from the hardware/tool shops around me and the biggest I could find was 3/8″. :(

  39. Bobbie

    I took some copper wire hooked my lights and pulled them to the neck of the bottle so that they would be spread out. I then wrapped the extra copper wire around the neck of the bottle several times and hung glass grapes from them along w/some grape leaves. I also purchased lights that run off batteries which allows you to put them anyhere. Mine are being used as center pieces for a wedding. You can hide the pack w/leaves etc.

  40. Bill in Detroit

    Use some silicon carbide (black) sanding paper to smooth out the hole. This will make it safer to handle, less likely to cut the insulation off your wires and less likely to develop additional fractures. You could also use a propane torch to heat the hole and fuse the cracks while they are still microscopic. Get the whole bottle evenly hot before focusing on the hole or it will explode / disintegrate. One commenter mentioned using the Dremel tool with a small grinding stone to smooth the outside of the hole. Use it to smooth the inside rim, too.

  41. Utkarsha

    Thats cool!!!!
    I remember doing something similar but a different concept and technique for my party room in my previous apartment 2 yrs back.
    One of my friends accidently broke the bottle of wine and funnily only the bottom cracked and came off!!!!! We noticed that on inverting it looked like wine glass
    so i got a frame maker to cut the base of five bottles of green tint….lit it up with 10Watt bulbs. That made for illumination over the bar!!!!!!!!
    Worked out pretty cool for me

  42. Kai

    I have a light like this that’s done with a whiskey bottle and multicolor lights. The light string died. My question is this: How to get the lights OUT now to replace them with new?

  43. Wit & Whistle Post author

    Kai – I would cut the plug off the dead light string (unplugged of course) and pull them through the top of the bottle. You could use a chopstick or a bent wire hanger to fish them out.

  44. Gilbert Wham

    With a little practice, it is possible to chip a hole as even as that in a glass bottle using the tip of an ordinary drill bit and a spoon as a ‘hammer’. Spoons are perfect, as the weight is perfect & the bowl shape means it’s easy to hit the drill-bit just right. Seriously, it’s less trouble than a glass bit and cheaper. I’ve made many a bong/hot-knife bottle like this in the past. Good to know it’s a transferable skill…

  45. Moa

    I did that as well, only I did not drill it, I spent an hour ticking and chipping away at a bottle of Château Neuf du Pape with ridiculously thick glass. I used a pointed chisel-like thingemebob. The end result is rather better than the wine was, I bought it in an Antiques shop but it had turned sour.

  46. Mark

    “Kai – I would cut the plug off the dead light string (unplugged of course) and pull them through the top of the bottle. You could use a chopstick or a bent wire hanger to fish them out.”

    Exactly — that way you could use a much smaller drill bit (1/4″ or even 3/16″ would probably work). Cut plug end off lights. Drill hole. Run a piece of wire through the hole and out the top of the bottle. Tape the wire to the cut off end of the light strings and pull through bottle and out the hole in the bottom. Push all lights into the top. Put a new cord end on the light string.

  47. hp

    pls add to this tutorial that it is important to leave the top open. Some christmasslights develop a lot of heat when put together in a small place.

  48. Rose M Fagan

    That’s a great idea and the bottle is beautiful, like a group of fireflies! A few years ago, I was in a bar, and they had a string of the tiny string of lights in green liquor bottles (the kind you get for a dollar), one bulb in the top of each bottle.

  49. christina

    Mmm…I don’t see how this would be such a great idea indoors. The lights being bunched up in such a confined space like this will definitely cause a lot of trapped heat, causing it to possibly melt the plastic! Great idea, but too dangerous — however, if they are used outside in cold weather, than it wouldn’t be such a bad idea

  50. jd

    good though about the overheating, however most christmas lights these days are LED, and therefore produce a negligible ammount of heat.

    protip. If you drill the bottle in a tub of water you can go a little faster and there is no chance of breathing glass dust. In case you were wondering, inhaling glass dust is BAD.

  51. Kelly

    Oh wow, I found this site from, but what a coincidence! I’m sure I didn’t find this due to a regional search, but I used to intern at Chateau Julien. I guess the internet is not as large as it seems… but anyway, nice DIY, I’ll definitely try it out sometime. :]

  52. Wit & Whistle Post author

    Kelly – Small world! That must have been a fun internship. Hopefully they let you sample the goods. ; )

  53. pammie

    I found glass drill bits at Lowes and it took about 10 minutes to drill the hole. Be sure to follow the drill bit instructions, i.e use water to keep the drill bit cool. Great idea!

    1. Jim

      I use olive oil when drilling my bottles on a small drill press. I use the diamond bit from Lowe’s. Have made these for years using the 20 count lights from Dollar Tree. The bottles don’t even get warm with only 20 lights.

    2. Sandy

      I use a flat cylindrical diamond coated drill bit, cordless drill, and tub of cool water. Fill & submerge bottle. Takes about 1-2 minutes to drill with these bits and the holes are smooth… no cracks, no broken bottles. Also, used a product called Instamorph … made an oval about 3″ x 5″, formed it over a bottle, let it cool, drilled guide hole in center, then use that to keep drill from slipping off bottle. Instamorph is plastic you can mold and shape into any shape… really awesome stuff and made the drilling easy. I drill with the guide just until it forms a groove in bottle, the remove it and finish drilling without. Bought a set of five bits on eBay for about $7…all the same size.

  54. D.

    I don’t think it’s necessary to use a drill to get the hole in the bottom of the bottle. You can put a small thick coin inside it and then thump the bottle against your hand a few times. The coin will knock out a small neat hole, albeit not perfectly round.

    1. KPizzle

      Don’t listen to this idiot. They obviously want the glass to break in your hand to cause injury.

      D, I hope you lose your arm.

    2. steev

      We used to use that technique for making disposable pipes to smoke weed back in the good old days.
      Kpizzle doesn’t know what your talking about obviously.It takes a bit of practice but I’ve never had one break badly enough to cut me and I’ve shown heaps of people the trick and never heard anyone complain of it happening to them.

    3. MJ

      What kind of coin is “thick” and small enough to go into a wine bottle? I am intrigued by this. And, Wit & Whistle, did you really stand there holding a running drill against a curved glass surface for 30 minuntes?? How is that even humanly possible?

  55. Kitty

    I’ve put a light string into the bottle with the plug hanging out the top, tied a wire ribbon bow around the bottle neck, and put a Christmas pick or two (like you use for wreaths, etc.) in the top. Then plug it in. Voila!

  56. Jen/Jules

    This is the most creative thing I’ve ever seen! I’m moving in two weeks and so excited for Christmas, I’ve been sitting here thinking about these empty window cupboards in my kitchen, I was so upset not sure what to put there and viola, you’ve answer my question! This is wonderful! Thank you for such a creative idea!

  57. Shailen

    I tried :(( broke two wine bottles!!! the glass bit works fine but as the hole starts growing the bit goes offcenter and starts cracking the bottle…

    I soooo want this! dang it! nice project btw… hopefully i dont get wasted trying to crack more wine bottles :P

    1. Amy

      Shailen… don’t give up. As the hole gets bigger, slow down the speed of the bit. And use lots and LOTS of water. Trust me. I make these for my store all the time. So I start off fast, dipping the drill bit in water about every 30 secs to a minute. And like I said, slow the bit down once the head can fit inside the hole….and by that point you’re almost done. Once you get good at it, it’ll only take about 5-10 mins to drill a bottle. Good luck! ~amy

    2. Sandy

      Flat cylindrical diamond coated drill bits… find them on eBay. Drill under water. Use Instamorph to make a guide… takes about two minutes to make a hole…

  58. Stacie

    Thanks for sharing. I have one w/cord out of the top, but was hoping to find a how-to like this. Getting the drill bit tonight!

  59. Wit & Whistle Post author

    Paul – I used a brown wine bottle, and it worked great. You could always poke a few lights into the top of your bottle to test the transparency, and to see if you like the amount of light shining through before you start drilling.

  60. Marek Jaworski

    I haven’t tried this myself, but i guess you could put some sellotape where the hole should be – the bottle won’t break (hopefully :D)

  61. ram

    well marek (and the others),
    you can aswell put sand in the bottle, and press it down,
    that the glass viber less ;)

  62. Carlos Martinez

    I broke my first wine bottle – patience is not my greatest virtue. Reading above I took Marek Jaworski’s (Feb 13) advice and used sellotape. Also bought a new bit and after about 20 very tedious minutes punched through successfully.

    Looks great! Thanks Marek for the tip!

  63. Mike Jones

    What a great idea! My wife loves doing stuff like this so I will send her the link. The only problem is that I will be the one drilling (and breaking) bottles.

    I like Ram’s idea of putting sand in the bottle to keep it more stable.

    I know what I will be doing this weekend…

  64. Robert Miras


    Yes I agree with you that, it’s very creative thing. There’s a lot things we are opt to throw directly to our garbage bins without thinking our ballooning problem of garbages. It’s a nice thing that there still people who uses there creativity to lessen the volume our garbage.

    I saw some sort of bottles being used to make a decorative thing but not using lights, but instead sand and colorful shells and marbles.

    What ever we would prefer, bottom line is, we are trying to make effort on segregating and recycling.

  65. lasergirl

    Be careful you don’t leave it on for too long, or if you start to smell melting plastic, UNPLUG IT so it doesn’t catch fire. I tried the “bowl of lights” once and nearly set fire to my bedroom.

  66. Miltos

    Guys, this is REALY DANGEROUS! You have to be carefull with this. The problem is that the small light can burn the plastic wire which could create a FIRE.

    And AGAIN BE carefull

  67. Kate

    You can also do this with mason jars and it looks really cool. My mom used to make these for us as kids, i had a multi-color one in a mason jar, lights up the room in an awesome way

  68. Dee Falkinburg

    It is very difficult to keep the drill bit centered if you try this with a handheld drill. I suggest if you do, make a wooden jig or something to hold the bottle firmly.
    The other option is how I do it, I have a bit for my stained glass grinder the makes it very simple to drill a hole almost anywhere in the bottle, it safer too

    1. Sarah

      I was wondering if multiple holes would be good through out the bottle for ventilation so that heat can escape better?

  69. Lea

    I have been collecting winebottles to make these as centerpeices for my wedding. I plan on frosting the bottles and decopaging our engagement photos on them and putting a single sunflower in the top. My mom has had one of these for years and it is usually always plugged in and has yet to catch fire.

  70. Alejandro

    Me gusto mucho, muy creativo y llama bastante la atencion. Estoy creando un blog donde publico ideas interesantes que encuentro por la internet e hice link a tu blog. espero que no te moleste :)
    Puedes hechar un vistaso si gustas

    1. Wit & Whistle Post author

      Gracias Alejandro. Por supuesto puedes hacer link a mi blog. ¡Tu blog se ve muy bien!

  71. gypsypunk

    I have been trying for months to figure out some cool center pieces for my wedding and when i found the link or on a wedding site for DIY projects i immediately showed my fiance and he thought it was so cool, we’ll probably need to recruit a few friends to help us get empty enough wine bottles for the tables ;p

  72. Leslie

    My dad has been doing this for years. He wraps the middle of the bottle in a kitchen towel and loosely clamps the wrapped bottle in a vice grip. This helps to keep the bottle stable while drilling the hole.

  73. Rose

    We saw these at a craft show a couple years ago. We started making them and selling them as well. Since we’re not big drinkers, our “stash” of bottle comes from our local recycle bins. (Yes, we asked the city for permission.) We get some really creative, unique bottles without the expense (or other effects!) of drinking all the wine (and whiskey, vodka, liqueurs, etc.). Excellent gifts!

  74. Designer Paint

    Wow. That is amazing. I’m gonna make two of these for our bedside tables. I’ll let you know how I get on. (It’s perfect as I get to drink two bottles of wine as well – may take this into mass production :))

  75. Myra

    I was so glad to find this post! I’ve seen lots of different kinds of bottles made into lights like this, but the cord always came out of the top and I didn’t want that. I knew someone out there knew how to do it the way you did ….. just took me a while to find you!! lol Thanks!!

  76. David McLeod

    You can use LED lights. They are cool and will not start a fire. Save yourself the effort of drilling a hole, just use a bent heavy gauge wire to make a support (or use a wire paper towel roll holder) and put the bottle upside down.

  77. Gavin

    A half-inch hole is quite large and time consuming. You could get away with a smaller hole, if you pass a piece of feeder wire through the hole and out the top of the bottle. Then, attach your string of lights to that and pull only the electrical wire part back through the hole. The rest of the lights can be fed through the far larger neck of the bottle.

  78. Lorena

    I’ve seen these bottles and am enamoured with the concept. I have a few bottles reserved from special occasions that I would love to try this on. I think I’ll try working with some samples though first. Thank you for posting the tutorial!

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      No, I don’t think it was a diamond drill bit. I just used a bit specifically labeled for for glass/ceramic.

    2. Julie

      I bought two of these at a craft show one for myself and one for my sister and her lights have burned out and we can’t figure out how we can get the old strand of lights out of the tiny hole at the back of the bottle. My sister just loves this lamp and would like to be able to replace the lights. What is the best way to get the lights out?

    3. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Maybe cut the end of the cord off (when it’s not plugged in of course) and pull the lights out of the top of the bottle?

  79. Rachel

    I am having a hard time finding strands of Christmas lights that are not end to end. Where did you find the lights you used?

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      My lights are end to end as well. I just let both plugs hang out the back side of the lamp.

    2. pam

      Walmart and Joanne’s Fabrics both carry the lights that you are looking for.
      Also there are many sites on the internet that carry these lights.

    3. Deb

      You can also cut off the plug on the one end and tape off the wires with electrical tape. If wire for the lights are green you can cover the black electrical tape with floral tape to make it green. If they’re white you can cover the electrical tape with first aid adhestive tape. The lights will work just fine this way.

  80. Cathi

    My husband and I make these as gifts. I leave the labels on- try to find wines that match the persons personality in some way. I also make bottle jewelry to go with them- beads on a wire or different things I wrap around the neck- along with a couple of strands of raffia. I found the 20 bulb and 35 bulb lights at hobby lobby. If you buy them in the Christmas section they have white, red and multi colored. And they are a $1 a box cheaper than in the craft department. I have been buying a few boxes each time I go in there.

    1. Patricia Kirchen

      We have done that for years, with any vase, any glass container, small dot holes around the label name or razor cut around what you want to highlight.

  81. Sage Baker

    Back in the 60’s (I’m old) Dad and I would convert these massive 48″ Chianti bottle into floor lamps. This required drilling a hole in the base and the stakes were high since these bottle were scarce. We learned that you can speed up the drilling and end up with a little cleaner hole it you use on trick: make a little “volcano crater” out of clay or putty and fill it with 3-in-1 oil to lubricate the process and transmit some of the heat of drilling. This always yielded the best results. The oil will get super hot so be careful and wear them goggles. Wipe the bit clean periodically – the oil keeps it sharp and easy to clean. BTW, I used this process recently on some vintage pottery I needed to drill a drain whole in and it worked just as well.

    1. Rebekah

      Sage – I love your comments but am confused. Can you explain the volcano crater? Do I submerse the drilling area of the glass or pottery so that it is under the oil while I drill?

  82. Johnny

    There could be a market for these??

    Reasonably priced they would fly off the shelf, using different color bottles in a set of 3..

    How long did it take you to make?

    Local bars would be more than happy to get rid of their bottles too..
    Nice post:)

    1. Sam

      Finding this post has saved me a ton of money this Christmas.

      I have cleared out a load of redundant Christmas light sets and sent these out as gifts before Christmas so that people could really benefit from them.

      The feedback I received was amazing, they all loved them.

      Saved me money and helped clear my loft, thanks very much..


  83. Lindsay

    I do not have the LED lights. Do you ever have an issue with them getting too hot or being a fire hazard? I filled two 1.5L bottles with approx 30-40 lights each and I just want to make sure they won’t overheat. Thanks!

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      I haven’t had an issue with the lights getting too hot. However, I don’t leave them on for more than an hour or so, and I don’t leave them unattended.

  84. Anthony

    Great project and thanks for posting instructions! I just put one together and would strongly advise spending the extra money and getting LED lights. I used the regular strands and the bottle gets very hot after just an hour or so. I feel if I left it on any longer, the wires would start to melt. Also, the strand I bought was end to end as well but I just cut off the female plug and wrapped it with electrical tape and they worked fine.

  85. Diane

    This is wonderful! I’m making these for my friends for the holidays this year–we’re college students so we’re all hitting the point where we’re starting to get our own apartments and therefore need things like lights. Thank you so much for this tutorial!

  86. Rena

    For my birthday last August I received a cobalt wine bottle filled with blue Mardi Gras beads and white LED lights. There’s a battery pack on the lights, so I can use the bottle in a window when there’s no outlet close by. My bottle also came with a gorgeous iridescent blue beaded tassle. I’ve been trying to find the right drill bit to make a similar lamp for my sister, so I appreciate the info.

  87. Michelle

    I line my drill hole w electrical tape so the glass doesn’t cut the my strand of lights as I feed them through plus it protects your fingers as well. :)

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      50 lights will probably be too many for a regular sized wine bottle.

  88. Kit

    What a great idea for patio, deck screen porch lighting this summer. I received several blue bottles over the holiday season and imagine that when combined with green and brown bottles they will look gorgeous!

  89. Monte

    I used a 1/2″ diamond core bit that I got at the local hardware store. Take modeling clay and make a well where you want to drill the hole and fill with some water. Plunge and drill with short strokes for a clean cut. It only takes about 5 minutes with the core bit. 50 – 75 LED lights work Awesome!! You can also frost the wine bottle or use glass bathroom blocks for some extra WOW!!

  90. Cindy

    I visited a home recently on a farm and the lady had taken a wine bottle with a cork and just put the lights in the bottle and secured the end of the lights through the top of the bottle and just plugged it in the electrical socket. This way you can change out the lights for different holidays. She had hers as a night light in her bathroom.

  91. Wendy

    Wanted to add.. I never use more then a 20 light strand. They can be purchased at AC Moore for $2.99
    They also sell 20 strand LED battery Op for $2.99

    1. Trisha

      I love the battery idea for camping, or on the patio when I don’t want to turn on the bright lights.

  92. Mimi DiFrancesca

    Wouldn’t it be a lot easier to just cut the bottom off the bottle and stuff the light strand up into it istead of drilling a hole for 30 minutes?

    1. Franky

      Cutting the bottoms off is hard..always get jagged bits, i dont even drill a hole,couldnt find the bit, but the lights i have,actually has its plug a loong wire and then the lights, so i stuff the bottle then the wire part comes out through the mouth of the bottle and no one notices once i tape it in place

  93. Samantha

    I think these would be cool for Halloween! I got some of the “spooky” lables that say poison and such off the halloween leftovers at walmart for maybe a buck…i just need to find different shaped bottles now and ill have cool bar lights for my halloween party next year :-)

    1. Linda

      They have paint for glass in michaels or you can just use regular craft paint applied with a spouncer and spray a sealer over it.

  94. Margie

    I just want to share the success I had with the wine bottle luminaries. I highly recommend this project.

    I was going to make these for my grown children and grandchildren for Christmas.

    Since I had so many bottles, I decided to buy decorations and have a Christmas party; let each one decorate their own bottle. They all turned out absolutely gorgeous.

    The best drill bit was a diamond core drill bit from Lowes about $20. It had the instructions for making the volcano with it. The cheaper bits we ordered didn’t do well and caused some of the bottles to break.

    Most of us are using them as night lights. The strand of 20 led lights came from Big Lots. They had white and colored lights available. They have larger strands of led lights, but have a plug on both ends. CVS and the Dollar stores have strands of 20 lights that are very inexpensive ($2)but they are not led, so they get too hot)

    We used the Epsom Salts on one of them. We used the frosted glass spray paint on most of them, but left some of them clear.

    We decorated them with Christmas ornaments,candle rings,jewelry, bells,tassels, flowers,colored cords, and even some of them added some rub on snowflake decals. We put iridescent garland or shreds inside. The best way we found to do that is to pull the lights out of the bottle neck as you feed it through the hole. Then wrap garland around the lights as you put them back in.

    I think that was our best gathering we have had of the ladies in my family. We had so much fun.

    One important hint: If you don’t wash the bottles out as soon as the hole is cut, it is almost impossible to get them clean. Putting them in the oven on warm is the best way I found to dry them completely.

    I made some for my friends, they absolutely loved them.

    1. Cathy

      If you use them as night-lights..does that mean you keep them plugged in all night? I have noticed some ppl say they only leave them on for a short time because they are afraid of them getting too hot.

    2. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      I would not leave these plugged in all night, just to be safe. Mine never got too hot, but I treat it like a candle and only have it lit when I’m in the room (and not sleeping).

  95. Fresh Trash

    Thanks for a great idea and even better tutorial! I linked it on my recycle-upcycle blog ( feel free to stop by and sniff around! :)


  96. Marsha

    I got this awesome bit from Truebite, Inc. Went through the bottle (and it was a thick one) in about 5 mins. Just kept using water, was really slick. I had trouble with the lights though falling down to the bottom, wanted some up in neck. I then painted wine glasses and a board to go over bottle to hold them.

  97. Marla

    My husband owns a bar & grill. He disposes & does not recycle his empty bottles. I have at least 40 empty liquor bottles in my garage and many more to come. I have the diamond drill bit & many decorative bottle toppers…..but am having a problem finding short strands of led lighting that will fit inside ~ what is the longest strand size I should go with? Where can I find them this time of year?Should I used green or white wire? Most of the bottles are clear (Grey Goose, Crown Royal, and some green or blue in color) ~ what would you suggest for lighting & wire color? If they are clear,should I frost them as well? Thanks for your suggestions :)

  98. Bonnie

    I love this idea because it’s so simple more people can make it. You can also drill the hole and get a router bit to make the hole bigger then you can put the plug in a little easier with the larger sized opening. This one does take more practice to get it right which is why your instructions are good for just about anyone to try and succeed. I love seeing what you guys are going to share each day.

  99. Barb

    My sister in law made us one of these for a Christmas present. She did not drill a hole in the bottle. She just fed the lights in from the top and then draped the plug out the back. She tied a ribbon around the neck of the bottle so that the cord of the plug would be tight against it. I was even thinking that you could hot glue it in place also if you wanted it more secure. I never thought twice about wishing there was a hole drilled into the bottom of the bottle. Just another helpful tip.

  100. Rita

    Have been having a ball making these bottles. Drilling the hole is the exciting part. I am 74 years old and my grandchildren think I shouldn’t be using power tools. LOL I am having problems keeping the lights in the top of the bottle too. Also, the green wiring doesn’t look nice in a clear bottle, but, the appearance of the lighting is great.

  101. Scottie

    You know, you can paint a thin piece of pvc pipe brown or glue cork to it and put it in the top of the bottle to look like a cork…but still allowing the hot air to move out of the bottle :) LOVE the wine bottle light idea!!! Going to make a couple for my mom. :)

  102. c

    i have made several of these, and buy a small diamand coated hole saw to drill through the glass and puild a little pool around the hole with modeling clay then fill it with water. this will help cool the bit and keep glass dust out of the air while drilling. the hole saw bit will create a smooth chip free hole. If you still are worried about the cord being damaged against the glass you can purchase rubber grommets at your local hardware store or automotive store.

  103. luvtworyde

    I will be making these as gits for my clients this Christmas. I do in home health care and I have several clients and not much money, all my ladies will love these for their kitchens. I am using Olive Oil, vinegar, wine and whiskey bottles. Thank you for the info on these lovely projects!

  104. Lynn

    I used a drill press,cloth tape, a diamond 1/2 inch bit, and a rubber gasket. The drill press gets the time down to 5 minutes and the cloth tape seemed to hold the water a bit better to keep it cool, lucubrated. Fantastic results.

  105. Manasa

    Hi ,

    I tried this . Instead of drilling hole i just let the wire go from the mouth of the bottle. Is there any chance of the bottle to burst bcz of the lights ?

  106. Sally

    I used a flower vase, put lights and popurie then the doily. It smelled good. I never thought I could use oils. I like the wine bottles. I always wanted to make one, so now I will Thanks

  107. ed

    My favorite steak restaurant has one of these at the end of the bar and I loved it when I saw it. Thanks for the precise tutorial – I can’t wait to try my hand at it! Have my drill bit in my Amazon shopping cart already!

  108. Mac

    I use LED lights and different colored bottles. Blue bottles with blue lights are very pretty. Also decorate the outside with some fake grapes.

  109. John

    Use outdoor/Exterior holiday lights, seal the drilled hole with hotglue gun or silicone (after running the lights through) fill with water or MUCH BETTER YET mineral spirits, and recork/cap and wallah.

    1. John

      Use outdoor/Exterior holiday lights, seal the drilled hole with hotglue gun or silicone (after running the lights through) fill with water or MUCH BETTER YET mineral spirits, and recork/cap and wallah, extra pretty and your heat issues/fears are “dissipated” (pun intended) :-P

  110. maryane

    I have done MANY of these. The best lights are the ones from the dollar tree. There aren’t as many lights on the string so they don’t get as hot. Plus, easy to replace….only a dollar!

  111. PJ

    I did the same thing without drilling a hole. I fed a string of solar lights into the top of a dark blue wine bottle. The sun feeds the batteries and the lights glow all night on my front porch. Maybe one day I’ll get brave and drill a hole so the string (at the end with no lights) doesn’t stick out the top.

  112. Ken

    For drilling the hole, don’t use a normal drill bit. Use a small grinder tip, like for a Dremel tool. It will work quick and easy, though you still don’t want to breathe in the dust. You can also smooth the edges that way and they won’t be sharp. Use LED lights to avoid the danger of heat.

  113. Tony

    1. Use LED lights. Less heat less fire.
    2. Very careful. Submerge bottle while drilling. Glass will likely shatter violently when gets too hot.

  114. Ray

    Your doing it all wrong…. take plumbers putty,make a doughnut about 1 inch in diameter,fill it with water then drill your hole,it twill take 1 minute …I did 20 bottles i 30 minutes

  115. Peabea

    Only thing I would add unless I missed it in your directions is to use water to keep the bit and glass cool while drilling. I just recently learned to do this and you can also use modeling clay to make a well around the space you’re going to drill and fill it with water and then keep applying. Only took a couple of minutes to drill that way.

  116. Keith

    When drilling into glass or pottery, start the drill in reverse to “set” a divit. Put in forward and keep the glass oiled. It keeps the bit from overheating.

  117. Dan Leeder

    To keep the glass from cutting into the power cord, get a small rubber grommet from the hardware store. They come in various sizes and I’m sure you can find one that fits.

  118. Lisa

    Wondering where I can find glass (or fake glass) grape clusters to hang around the neck? Anyone know where I can find them? In bulk? Thank you in advance.

  119. Cathy

    The only fire hazard is when the potpourri is added in with the lights, as potpourri is very dry and gets brittle over time. That’s when it’s a fire hazard!
    I never use the two together and I always use LED lights in mine like most are suggesting.

  120. pat conrad

    Hiya: it’s hard on the light string to push them through the half inch hole. I cut off both ends, including plus. I wrapped the extension ends individually with electrical tape (can use ‘shrink all’). I threaded the whole string through the top and pulled the wires from the plug in end through the drilled hole with tweezers and reattached a new plug. I taped the other end of the cord to the top inside of the bottle with overlap on the cap screws – then screwed on the cap. I used a gallon wine jug.

  121. Jill Conner

    Wow! So cool idea! I think that this is the best way to recycle bottles! I have a friend who has birthday soon and she is crazy about recycling. I think that one such lamp will be the best present for her. Regards!

  122. Kwol

    I make lights like these for gifts WITHOUT the hassle of drilling. I buy short strings of mini xmas lights at the dollar store and feed them into the bottle through the top. The cord hangs out the back, but to cover it I use a piece of ribbon or jute cord and wrap the neck of the bottle.I then wrap the entire sides of the bottle (including the cord hidden in the back) with a strip of burlap or wide lace. The front I decorate with scrapbook paper and cute sayings or cutouts. I have found the best way to secure all the material and decorations is to purchase the adhesive dots from the craft store, much easier than hot glue. I also add rhinestones or tie decorative feathers to the cords around the neck. The possibilities are endless. I then cut the cork from the wine bottle in half and trim down the edges on one end enough to fit it back into the bottle. Be sure to cut a tiny v shape in the cork to allow space for the cord. I then hot glue it into place. I also buy a short extension cord at the dollar store and give these with the bottles so that they can have a longer reach.
    These do not get hot at all and last a very long time. Everyone loves them. They look great on a kitchen counter or wine bar.

  123. Chrissie Dee

    I use the led waterproof outdoor solar lights, very effective, cost £4.00 ish and they don’t cost a bean to run, just change the re-chargeable battery every 6 mths. I put them on the front porch and it’s a nice welcome home even if it’s raining. Wine bottle lights are a Fabulous Idea, Thank-you X X C.

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      For the record, I didn’t use water so I didn’t get electrocuted. So I don’t condone water usage here on the blog. ;)

  124. Ashley

    This might be a stupid question but how did you drill the hole in the bottle? I’ve seen some pages that say build a jig to hold the bottle. Did you do anything special to hold your bottle? Did you just take an electric drill and try to push it through the bottle till you made a hole? It’s ok to laugh at me lol.

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      I just held it with my hand—aimed the drill in one spot until it started making a hole. Just like how you would drill wood. :)

  125. Ginny

    My son hung a bunch of Corona bottles filled with a string of Christmas dribble lights in the attic for both lighting and ambiance! We turn them on when entering the attic and off when we leave. Great idea for light and recycling of glass bottles too!

  126. Jack

    Ive just made something similar for my girlfriends birthday comping up in august with a bottle of her favourite drink.

    Recommend using a diamond hole saw as the drill bit to speed up drilling time, the bit pictured will take around 30 mins, with the diamond hole saw you will be through in under 3 mins! just keep the tip wet and cool and the drill on a low rpm!

    Will maybe post a photo once her birthday has been and gone haha.

I love your comments more than I love chocolate (almost).

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *