Monday, July 1, 2013

DIY: Wine Bottle Tiki Torches


Keep the bugs away in a classy fashion!
Reposted from: January 2012

Please Note: This has become our #1 popular post! To avoid copyright violation, a link back to this post and credit to WhenThePigsFly.com is required for use of our photos and content, in order to share it on your personal blog or website.

Directions:
1 empty and cleaned wine bottle
1 Tiki Torch wick refill (thick)
Tiki Torch citronella lamp oil
3/8" diameter metal washer (or adjust washer size if bottle opening is larger/smaller)
Decorative glass rocks or beads of your choice (optional) *small enough to fit in bottle opening

Place the decorative rocks/beads in the bottle. The more you have, the less oil you will need to use and the sturdy your bottle will be.

Feed the wick through the opening of the washer, leaving about a 1/4-inch of the wick sticking out of the top. You want this to be a snug fit! If you have gaps between the washer and the wick it could allow air in, which may cause the bottle to fill up with smoke. Also, make sure the washer is the same as the diameter of the bottle opening (it will just sit on top of the bottle opening).

Pour the oil into a bottle, using a funnel, enough to cover half of the wick. Feed the longer side of wick into the bottle. If your wick is thick enough, you don't have to secure the washer down. Light the top wick and enjoy your new torch outdoors! Remember to place the bottle in a safe, sturdy area to avoid it from tipping over. Burning citronella indoors is not recommend.

More Ideas from Our Readers:
Amy G. of Topeka, KS passed along the idea of using old whiskey bottles too! She filled them with aquarium gravel, as it was cheaper than the glass rocks. 
Whiskey Bottle Tiki Torches
Photo Credit: Amy G.
(Photo Rights Reserved)
Selena of Hudson, NH passed along the idea of mounting the Wine Bottle Tiki Torch, using a "stand-off strap" (typically used for plumbing), to avoid it from accidentally falling over. 
Wine Bottle Tiki Torch Mounting Bracket
Photo Credit: Selena
(Photo Rights Reserved)

All of our DIY projects are meant to give a general idea or concept. Participation is up to the sole discretion of the reader. Any risk associated with our content is the sole responsibility of the reader, not When The Pigs Fly.

75 comments:

Stacey Donaldson said...

This is such a great idea! My sisters and I are having a wine party this weekend, will certainly try and get some of these ready!

Thanks for sharing. I'm your newest follower!

Stacey
www.justsayitoldyouso.com

Anonymous said...

Love these! Def. making these for our 4th of July party!! :D Thanks for sharing!

Oompa Loompa said...

What do you think about using this inside for a wedding dance?

tru said...

How does this keep the bugs away?

tru said...

Thank you! That certainly clarifies it!

Halle said...

Such a great idea!!! Definitely trying this one.

Jennifer Fong said...

What a great idea! Question though...do the bottles get hot?

Amy said...

GREAT idea, thank you so much for sharing! Are these supplies generally available at a Lowe's or Home Depot? Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

what keeps the bottle from breaking from the heat?

Amy said...

This may sound silly, but how do you keep the washer in place?

Anonymous said...

I used a couple of old whiskey bottles, and aquarium gravel. The gravel was cheaper (plus multicolor combinations available) and fit in the neck of the bottles easily. The oil, wicks and gravel were all picked up at Wal-Mart. Washers at a local Ace Hardware for 23 cents. Easy and I can't wait use them tonight!

Anonymous said...

My only wish is I had bought the brass washers for 55 cents but they are still beautiful! Thank you for a great idea!

Kim said...

Just a thought for you.... don't use these in bad weather. If the air pressure changes suddenly, it can actually blow the wick out of the bottle and spread fire. A campsite I go to yearly had spectacular photos after such an event that happened very suddenly. Just be aware of your circumstances....

Anonymous said...

I have one of these and smoke fills inside the bottle. I'm afraid the wick is going to catch on fire below the washer and burst the glass. Have you ever had smoke filling the bottle?

Debbie Nelson said...

SO much more simpler than my version - LOVE the idea of putting rocks, marbles, whatever will fit, in the bottom of the bottles! Would solve a lot of problems I encountered with tipping bottles!

Anonymous said...

To solve the problem of the bottle accidentally getting knocked over or tipping try putting in old metal buckets. I have some leftover metal mosquito pots that I cleaned out. You can also do this with beer bottles. And there is another post on pinterest about hanging these to the side of a deck. This works great. I like the idea of putting the rocks or marbles in the bottle. I recently bought new wicks and they were the hardest thing to find by themselves.

Amanda Kiviniemi said...

Do you think using beer bottles would work for a smaller version of this project?!

Tammi Bailey said...

I've been collecting Bud Light Platinum bottles for this project. They are a beautiful blue color. I can't wait to do it. I was just gonna reuse the bottle caps to put the wick through. I put some holes in the top using a drill and pulled a wick through. Seems to work okay. Now I need to buy some aquarium rocks or something and some citronella oil. Can't wait to do this.

Christi Smith said...

I just made the same thing...(check out my pinterest) but On advice from another pinterester I filled the bottom of the bottle with water and then topped it with the oil (saves on your oil bill) You just have to make sure that the wick never comes into contact with the water. Looks really cool in a clear bottle!

Anonymous said...

I found mine at Lowes in packs of 2 next to the tiki torch oil

Anonymous said...

try using liquid paraffin....http://www.webstaurantstore.com/1-gallon-soft-light-l0001-bulk-lamp-fuel-smokeless-liquid-paraffin-wax/999221.html

Phoebe said...

I was looking for a hostess gift for a party tomorrow, and this is it. I found mini (about the size of an M&M) gems in several colors in the floral department at walmart. Also they were selling clear lamp oil so I bought that instead of the yellow citronella to go with my clear bottle and sea glass-colored gems. Thanks for the instructions!

Anonymous said...

Have you thought about maybe gluing the bottle to a heavy piece of tile to add weight so as to add a bit more security so it doesn't topple over in a gust of wind? Maybe even a large piece of marble tile with different heights of bottles for a spectacular center piece...just a thought :)

KimMack said...

Jennifer, we just made these today & it's genius!!! Thanks so much. We have a gazillion empty wine bottles (is that bad?) so all we had to purchase was a 1/2 gallon of the oil and tiki torch wicks.. We bought them at WalMart for a total of less than $10 for the bottle of oil & 2pk. wicks. (FYI..I added a bunch of leftover beach stones that we collect each summer to the bottom of the bottle- approx. 3" worth, and it was so rustic and pretty.)

Betriska said...

You probably know this ... but, the E6000 glue? Would secure it beautifully!

Betriska said...

And I'm thinking citronella is for outdoor use only. Not good for humans to be breathing. I love this idea and would use lamp oil inside.

Dawn Bein-Rivera said...

This is a really great idea!!! I will have to start drinking plenty of wine ;-) Thanks for sharing Jennifer!

Anonymous said...

I've made these years ago with my mother in law using colored lamp oil. (This was a cool craft back in the day, glad to see it still is. :) But I never thought about using citronella oil! We used white porcelain cabinet knobs to hold the wick in place. They're mushroom shape is perfect for this craft. The knobs have a hole in the middle for the wick. When you insert the stem of the knob into the bottle it sits on the top of the bottle just right. You can find the knobs in different sizes for the different sizes/types of bottles and they're pretty cheap. Well, now I'm gonna go buy me some wicks and citronella oil. Thank you for sharing!!!

Anonymous said...

I just came in from lighting my torches. I burned great, but one just would not stay lit. Thinking I may not have enough oil in the bottle. I put the glass stones in the bottle and they a beautiful. It is 90 degrees here at 930 pm, so I couldn't enjoy them long. I have several friends wanting me to make some for them, a little extra $$$ for me! Thanks for the idea!

Marisa said...

I came across this idea on Pinterest and knew I had to make these. The mosquitoes have been horrible where we live. Everytime I buy a citronella candle, I forget to bring it inside. The candle ends up melting and the wick disappears! Well, I made them for the July 4th holiday and they were a hit! Not only did the bugs stay away, but they looked beautiful on my patio. Now, everyone wants them! I have people saving unique bottles for me in different colors. I also etched some flowers on one bottle I made to give to a friend when we went to her house for a picnic. It was subtle, but turned out well.

JillE said...

So glad to find this. My daughter got married last weekend and we used blue wine bottles as vases on the tables for the center pieces. I now know what to do with those bottles ! What nice gifts for the new in-laws too! Thanks for the wonderful idea.

Anonymous said...

Just use regular lamp oil instead of tiki torch (citronella) oil. Keep the wick trimmed low for low smoke.

Muffi said...

Love the washers and knobs idea. I made mine with purchased wicks and holders...a small fortune!! But I solved the tipping bottle issue by spray painting an old wine rack and turning it on its side. No more worries of bottles tipping over. However the wicks burn down practically instantly so really cute but not yet functional. Any suggestions??

Anonymous said...

I love this, I was just talking to my sister in law aftering seeing pic's of their new home with in ground pool and I was saying she was so gonna need some awesome lighting and I said I would come up with something, I knew I could do this in my head but didnt know exactly what or how to use the bottles and here you had it already figured out for me, THANK YOU!!! I am gonna start working on this I have a zillion bottles ;) ummmm not ALL wine bottles hehe

Anonymous said...

OMG!! those are so great! can't wait to get started on my own! thanks for the tutorial... - Rebecca

imprint by eileen said...

These are such a wonderful idea! Much nicer than the citronella candles I currently have :)

Cathy said...

I made something like this, but I used pint size mason jars. We drilled a hole in the middle on the canning lid and put the wick through. I do get smoke in the jar so may have to look for a washer to use. Love the rocks in the bottom, it did take alot of oil.

pawdua said...

This would work great with those fancy flip top beer bottles. A good excuse to drink the really good stuff. Though I'll probably just use IBC root beer bottles cause I already have them.

Hooey said...

We're always surprised at just how many (and how quickly!) our empty wine bottles add up! = )

Jacquelyn Eskew said...

Do you continue to pull the wick out further as it burns down and add oil?

Anonymous said...

Does the washer fit inside the opening of the wine bottle or just sit on the top?

Rachel Fanning said...

this looks like a neat idea I am going to have to share with my mother and some of my friends who'd appreciate this. Thank you for the idea and how to

Elisha said...

I made these as a gift but for some reason the flame won't stay lit for very long. Did anyone else have that problem?

Emeraldmoon Creations said...

If your allergic to citronella like me, you can use lemongrass or eucalyptus essential oil with regular lamp oil.

april pederzani said...

What a great idea for next summer - can't wait for the warmer weather already!

Anonymous said...

Hi I found this on Pinterest and just had to try! I used a limited edition Jim Beam bottle to start with and it looks great but when the wick burns down it falls through the washer and into the oil and is not the easiest to get out again lol. Any thoughts on how I can get around this?
Thanks

Susan Tyson said...

I would suggest a NON-TOXIC, organic fuel... Firefly Safe & Green Fuel. It can be used indoors and outdoors.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone used beach sand instead of rocks? Wondering if that would work?

Anthony Petrillo said...

You can use a 3/8-1/2 inch copper coupling in place of the washer. Simply wrap the larger side with some teflon tape so it fits snugly into the bottle top. The Tiki wick will fit snugly in the fitting .This will eliminate any air getting under the washer causing smoke, it will prevent the wick from falling into the bottle and the fitting will act as a heat sink to keep the bottle from even getting warm.For larger bottles, simply use a larger coupling.You can even use brass fittings for aluminum water bottles if youd like.

Anonymous said...

These look great!! I'm making some for my dad for Christmas - I'm so excited! Thank you for the tutorial. Also, I was wondering if anyone ever got back to you about using sand in the bottle instead of rocks? I'm curious if it would mix with the oil and make it murky/affect the ability of the wick to burn??
-Amber

crystal said...

How about taking off the label and decorating the outside of bottle, with epson salt or something pretty?

Anonymous said...

If the lid is metal screw on, can't you poke a hole and put the wick in that and screw the lid back on? Obviously if the wine bottle had a cork you would have to use a washer. But if not you could try this. Small plastic bottles have thin metal screw -on lids and I make salt and pepper shakers out of them. I use a tiny screw driver (phillips head) and poke 5 holes in each one and fill them up with salt and pepper. They are great for outdoor use, they won't break if dropped. I use them all the time.

PaulaGem said...

OK - here's a different twist -

I need to add co2 to my greenhouse, can anyone estimate the amount of oil burned in an eight hour period?

Burning too much oil could damage the plants, need to make shure it's no more than 2 oz, so if the Tiki wicks burn more I will have to use a smaller wick.

Anonymous said...

You can also buy wicks to make these on-line at www.winebottlewicks.com or www.beerbottlewicks.com. I've been making these for years

Anonymous said...

Patron bottles also make beautiful oil lamps.
The square bottom makes for a stable container.
Fill with seashells, glass gems and silk flowers to dress up.
Clear parafin lamp oil can be used for inside the house lamps.
See image at www.seasidesouvenirs.com

Anonymous said...

Heat goes up. The flame is above the bottle so the heat goes into the air, not into the bottle. The very top of the bottle might get warmer than air temperature due to contact with the washer and wick, but not hot enough to break.

Anonymous said...

If you don't trust the washer to hold the wick and stay in place (it will, but if it weirds you out for some reason), look for something called a "bottle wick". It's a cork-shaped piece (usually ceramic or brass) that sits in the top of the bottle and the wick runs through it.

Anonymous said...

I'm so doing this thank you so much!! WE have a Christmas craft every year and I'm no Martha Stewart, lol. I love every idea that I've heard so far and I'm going to make these for Christmas and also for myself!! We had no power for 13 days last year I wish I knew about this then it sure would of helped because it was in the summer.

Anonymous said...

For some reason my wick won't stay lit... It looks like the oil isn't traveling up the wick very well... Any ideas or help???

Anonymous said...

It must be a coincidense. Our local barbecue house chain called ABRAMS has the exact same picture you use with the flying pig. They have just recently made it there own little funny addition. Their barbecue sucks however and they are way over priced so its just funny to see the flying pig!! lol

barbara Johnson said...

How do u snuff the flame

Anonymous said...

My wine bottle torches will not stay lit. I used the copper couplings with tape and the bottle are over half full of oil. The wick lights great and then goes out after about 20 seconds. Please help!!!

Kim Thompson said...

I sell Uppercase Living vinyl designs and plan to decorate the wine bottles with various designs ~ great for the patio!

REinZG said...

Hi there... Are there any screw-on tops for the wicks that in the event a knock-over to prevent a fire?

Bella's Caring Products said...

Hi, I have a quick question:
you wrote in your instructions that the washer size is 3/8" metal washers. When I was looking for them I keep seeing washers that are 3/4 with a 3/8th inch diameter. Are those the same washers you were using? Or could you clarify that for me?

teediddlydee said...

I also had this problem until I filled the bottle with tiki oil completely full, up through the neck of the bottle, just below the 'wick holder' at the top. This will keep the top of the wick wet with oil. I also put a different spin on mine and used a brass coupling for the wick holder. Simply place the coupling inside the top of the bottle and your done ;) http://www.teediddlydee.com/how-to-make-wikitiki-torch-out-of-recycled-glass-winebeersoda-bottles-with-clever-wick-holder/

HENRY LUNA said...

Yes, I have them in my patio and they are a hit with my guest. I poke a hole on the bottle cap with a Phillips screwdriver and squeeze the wick through the top into the bottle, fill the bottle with fuel and screw the cap to the bottle.

Brenda Turner said...

The clear bottles look great if you add little dried flowers, herbs, tiny pine cones, etc. to the inside of the bottle and use the clear oil. The oil doesn't damage the dried flowers & actually helps bring out the colors of the flowers, petals, etc. You can also experiment with placing little charms, etc. inside the bottle of oil.

Jenise said...

Brilliant! Thought I'd drop you a note to let you know that I've featured this project on my site www.DIYFunIdeas.com. It's a hub for all kinds of really cool DIY ideas. The direct URL is http://diyfunideas.com/diy-citronella-wine-bottle-tiki-torch/

Thanks so much for your wonderful creativity!

kristine iHs. said...

Fab article and comments, especially the SAFETY tips (Extinguish fire in Windy conditions). Sea glass and beach sand/stones and white porcelain cabinet knobs, OH my! Thanks all, so many excellent ideas!
Here’s a few things that work for me…
Put oil in a GLASS TUBE, slip washer/wick in tube, and slip tube into your bottle of choice. This uses less oil; burns for 24 hours with a low set the wick; and is easy to move the wick/oil to a different bottle, to switch d├ęcor. You may UPcycle a tube used by a florist, scientist, or sometimes from kitchen spices.
i use outdated olive OIL (edible for maximum 2 years) with a few drops TeaTree Essential oil. Many essential oils repel bugs, including Citronella, Clove, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Cedar, Catnip, Lavender and Mint. For outdoors ONLY, you may replace WICK with a pipe cleaner.

heyweswu said...

If I keep the cork of the bottle as the wick holder (ie. I drill a hole into the cork and bring the wick up through it), will that be ok to stick the cork back into the bottle opening? Will that create some sort of pressure in the bottle when the lamp is lit that would put us at risk of the bottle exploding?

Thanks.

Jennifer V. said...

Don't know, heyweswu.

Mrs. Jonathan said...

as mentioned use regular lamp oil and add essential oils in whatever scent you want (you don't have to be a health freak to use essential oils :) our local Wegmans sells teen and if this is all you use it for a bottle will last FOREVER) lavender also repels mosquitos... love the idea odd etching on the bottle

Eva Lin said...

What about the cap for the lamps?
I would like to leave my lamps outdoor at all times and I don't want rain to get inside the lamps. What's a cheap alternative for caps?

Jennifer V. said...

Eva,
We just used an old Tiki Torch metal cap to rest on top of the bottle, when not in use.