My Christmas break was lovely, and I hope yours was, too. This year I had 4 days off in a row because we have Christmas Eve off as well as Christmas Day, and this year Christmas Eve was on a Monday!!!!
A few years ago, I received a lovely gift I received from a friend. I fell in love with it instantly, it wa so unique. Here are some not very good photos of it, showing the front, and the back:
Yes, a lighted wine bottle! As you can see, the bottle is "frosted" with a pattern of snow flakes (it is on the outside because when I run my fingers over it, I can feel the texture) and the lovely front "label" is similarly applied (I have no idea how), and above it, a texured "Warm Wishes."
When I plug the bottle in at night, it is very bright!
As you also can see from the second photo, the lights were funneled through a polished hole that was somehow drilled into the bottle a couple of inches above it's base. The cord, left free, is able to be plugged into a nearby outlet.
I was just awe struck by the ingeniuity of using a wine bottle to make such a light, and how it was done. And the decorations - wow! All together one of my favorite Christmas things here at Maison Newton.
I have from time to time wondered how it was made, but I don't have a bent toward craft making. I figured it was done with tools I don't and never will own and techniques I know nothing about and have have no interest in learning, LOL! That's what craft fairs are for, buying creations like this from people who are much cleverer and gifted in these ways than I could ever dream.
There are as many variations of this clever idea as there are creative and inventive people.
Here is a commercial site that sells many different kinds of liquor and wine bottles for $20 each: Lighted Bottles from M and M Designs.
Light Up Bottles features a clear bottle with hole pre-drilled and a 50-light strand of white lights for $9.99 plus shipping. There is also a dark green bottle available. What's cool about this is that you can decorate your bottle the way you want and you don't have to go shopping for the right kind of lights.
I fell in love with these apple cider bottles used by Design Mom in "Bottles Full of Light" in a 2010 blog post. She learned after the fact of successfully using her technique to drill holes, however, that what she did was potentially very dangerous! She worked without goggles, mask, and gloves, at what looks like her kitchen or dining room table! Eek!
Do-it-yourselfers always find a way to drill a hole in the bottle, some methods better than others. It is a messy and potentially dangerous business. Not for moi! I'm just not a goggles, gloves and breathing mask kind of gal. However, this method (below) seems fairly safe, as the glass you're chipping away at would fall INTO the bottle, not out toward you:
DIY Wine Bottle Christmas Lights from Blog Your Wine, December 10, 2010. He makes it sound easy :) I may try it one day when I'm feeling particularly fearless and brave...
I apologize in advance for not being able to come up with a link, but I swear to you yesterday during lunch hour when I was catching up on visting some of my favorite blog parties, I saw a lighted wine bottle where the creator had simply fed the lights into the bottle through the neck opening and left the cord dangling outside the neck of the bottle; it was then hid down the backside of the bottle (I didn't see any ties, so perhaps it was left loose or was glued to the back of the bottle? And then she decorated the top of the bottle. NO DRILLING! NO CHIPPING A HOLE IN THE BOTTOM OF THE BOTTLE! The cord plugged in and voila, beautiful Christmas wine bottle light! I looked and looked for that post at that party today and I cannot find it. I don't remember which party it was at, or what the date was. Damn my bad memory! I knew knew knew then I should have saved a link -- but I didn't. If I do find it again (I will continue to look for it, I'm obsessive that way...) I will be sure to add it in right here.
[ADDED 10:04 P.M. I found it! It's from Slowly Faded Treasures, and I did not see it while visiting a link/blog party, I visited her site separately. So sorry for the senior brain cramp. Here is the link: Wine Bottle Nightlights, December 22, 2012]
But that got me thinking last night. What if....
And so today, I used a few things I had on hand to create my own version of that clever hole-less lighted wine bottle, LOL!
- An empty, cleaned wine bottle that I happened to have (okay, I drank the last few ounces of rich, sweet red wine I usually keep on hand that I use to make a marinade for my once-a-week steak)
- Battery-operated LED mini light set (15 lights), on sale at Walgreens a few weeks ago 3 for $10. They come in clear and multi-colored
- Four decorative Christmas picks temporarily borrowed from my Christmas tree
- Assorted twist ties (I wasn't sure which ones or how many I might use)
I opted to leave the front and back labels on the wine bottle for this project. As I wasn't sure I could get the idea to work, my primary goal was to keep the muss, fuss and putzing to a minimum.
It was easy to feed the lights into the bottle through the neck opening. It wasn't difficult to use one of the LONG green twist ties (about 8" long) to secure the battery pack to the neck on the outside of the bottle, twisted extra tight so it wouldn't wiggle, and I slid it around to be centered over the back label. The most difficult part was inserting the floral picks around the battery pack to hide it as much as possible. Their stems are about 6 inches long which wouldn't do to have them dangling down around the bottle, so I bent them upwards to cut their length in half. I didn't want to cut the stems, as the length comes in handy when sticking them into the Christmas tree branches. But, the doubled stems made it difficult to insert them inside the tight twist tie. One pick wanted to keep flopping over, arrgggghhh. I probably should have used five or six floral picks instead of just four. Someone more talented and imaginative than me would come up with some fantastic ribbon bows and florals to cover the battery pack completely and beautifully!
Not shown in the "what I used" photo above is a long white ribbon that I pulled out of my magic cabinet (it has all sorts of junk in it) that I used at the end to wrap around the bottle neck to hide the twist tie and the double-bent stems of the floral picks and add a touch of frou-frou. I also plopped a foil-wrapped chocolate "ornament" into the mouth of the bottle as a final touch. Pretty and edible, too! Probably any smaller size round ornament would work, or even another floral pick, being careful when inserting it into the mouth of the bottle that you don't pierce the cord/wiring. So, without further ado, here is my "finished' product:
The lights were turned on, but it's a little hard to see in these photos. The bottom photo shows more of the side of the bottle and you can see the lights a little better.
So, using a battery-operated light set to make a lighted wine bottle works. My LED light set offers fast blinking, slow blinking, and steady glow options, so I can play around with it. I just made sure when I twist-tied the battery pack to the bottle's neck that I had the on-off switch at the top, easily reachable without dislodging any of the other decorating elements.
The entire creation disassembled much more quickly than it took me to put it together. So the lights and the same or a different bottle could be used again with seasonal decorations (spring, summer, autumn, winter) or for other things. Very thrifty, if I do say so myself :)