DIYdiy projects

diy project: erik’s outdoor recycled wine bottle lights

by Grace Bonney

this clever outdoor diy idea comes from erik anderson of gerardot & co.- a creative branding and design agency in indianapolis. erik was kind enough to share a fantastic project that turns an everyday bottle into a modern backyard tiki light. i love the way these lights look and am dying to find a backyard to use these in- too bad the closest thing we have is a 2×2 foot fire escape. but for those of you with yards, i hope you’ll enjoy this project from erik. click here for more info on the project and click here to check out erik’s work at gerardot & co. thanks, erik!

CLICK HERE for the full project instructions after the jump!


[****Safety Note: This is for outdoor use only. Tiki brand recommends that the wick never be set higher than 1-inch, and I recommend that you exercise the same discretion and common sense that you would with any small open flame.*****]

Recycled Wind Bottle Light

In any of my design work, whether for clients or for myself, I’m most proud when I can find a solution that’s highly creative and effective while keeping resources to a minimum. This is totally inexpensive (around $5-bucks). Plus it’s a great way to recycle a wine bottle.

It’s been a record year for mosquitoes here in Indianapolis, Indiana and I’d been wanting to add some lights to the patio to combat the little buggers, as well as provide some ambiance in the evenings. After searching the world over to find a light that was affordable and atypical, I came to the conclusion that unless I wanted wicker or bamboo, I would need to become a bit more resourceful. A glance into my recycling bin and an aimless stroll through the local hardware store provided me with this clear solution.


1. Empty Wine Bottle (You can use any bottle you like as long as it’s glass and the neck is 1” in diameter. Be clever!)
2. Teflon Tape 1/2”
3. Copper Top Plate Connector (threaded for 3/8”-16 thread rod)
4. 1” Split Ring Hanger (threaded for 3/8”-16 thread rod)
5. 1/2” x 3/8” Copper Coupling
6. 1/2” Copper Cap
7. Two Hex Nuts (threaded for 3/8”-16 thread rod)
8. Two #10 x 1” Zinc Plated Wood Screws (if your mounting it to wood)
9. 3/8”-16 Zinc Plated Threaded Rod (I bought a 3’ rod and cut it down to 8, 4-1/2” rods with a hacksaw.)
10. Replacement Wick
11. Fuel (For safety reasons, only use fuel made specifically for outdoor torches)

Helpful Tools: Channellocks, adjustable wrench, hacksaw, power screwdriver, and a funnel

****Safety Note: This is for outdoor use only. Tiki brand recommends that the wick never be set higher than 1-inch, and I recommend that you exercise the same discretion and common sense that you would with any small open flame.*****

Building Instructions


The Hanger

1. Decide where you want to mount your Recycled Bottle light. Position the Top Plate Connector on your mounting surface and mark the holes for where the screws will go. It’s easier to keep it level if you pre-drill your screws first.
2. Once you have your Top Plate Connector mounted you can screw in the 3/8”-16 Rod until it stops. Channellocks are helpful for this part.
3. Thread the two Hex Nuts on to the Rod and tighten one all the way down at the point where the Rod meets the Top Connector Plate. Leave the other Hex Nut at the front end so it can be used to secure the Split Ring Hanger.
4. Thread on the Split Ring Hanger just enough so that the Rod is flush with the inside of the ring. Turn the 2nd Hex Nut counter-clockwise to snug it up against the Split Ring Hanger.

If you’d prefer your hardware to keep its shiny, unweathered look you can always give it several coats of clear polyurethane before you mount it. Personally, I think a weathered patina will add a nice element of character.


The Bottle

1. Carefully and tightly wrap the 1/2” end of the Coupling with your Teflon Tape. You’ll want to keep each wrap nice and clean so that it creates a smooth, even surface. Continue building up the tape until it fits very snugly into the opening of your bottle. You obviously don’t want it to fall in.
2. Insert the Wick into the Coupling until it sticks out about 1/4”. The Tiki brand replacement wicks are about 3/8” in diameter so they fit really well. Once they absorb the oil they’re even tighter.
3. Unscrew the Split Ring Hanger on one side and position the bottle neck into the ring.
4. Flip the front half of the ring back into place and tighten down the Hanger evenly on both sides. You may need to loosen the other side to make sure both sides are an even tightness. (Don’t over tighten the Hanger. You don’t want to break the glass.)
5. Use a funnel to fill the bottle with your favorite oil. (I use Tiki’s BiteFighter because it’s clear and seems to do a good job of keeping the mosquitoes away.)
6. Insert the Coupling & Wick into the top of the bottle and twist it snugly into place. Give the Wick a few minutes to absorb the oil before you try to light it.
7. I typically just blow my lights out. Use the Copper Cap to keep the Wick dry when you’re not using your light.


Good Luck!


Suggested For You


  • OK, awesome. Tiki torches are practically mandatory in Texas because of the mosquitoes. Love the idea of recycling AND getting away from the luau look in my backyard.

  • Wonderful idea! I have had some wine bottles saved that I couldn’t part with, but didn’t know quite what to do with them…now I know! Thanks to Erik and d*s, I can get my husband off my back (WHY are you saving these?) and give him a creative project to do all in one shot!

  • We don’t have much of a deck, but I think I’m going to use this idea for flowers indoors.

  • I love this idea! Had my sweetie take a look too so we can work on this project together over the weekend. I love to recycle so I will put my wine tasting bottles to good use. Thanks for the great idea and materials list. CHEERS!

  • this is effing genius. two of our tiki tourches from last year (metal) cracked, so we were looking for new ones. but this is even better, we’ve got lots of empties!

  • This is so weird…I was looking for a DIY like this on Monday after seeing something similar on a TV show. YAY! I’m using citronella tiki oil…darn mosquitos…

  • PS- If I don’t have a place to put these can’t I just put the bottle on a table? Kind of like a fire centerpiece? :)

  • What a great idea! I don’t have the luxury of a back yard, but my parents would love these. They may just be getting a set soon!

  • I forgot to mention: For the folks that don’t have wooden fences to mount to, you can always just use two of the Split Ring Hangers (one on each end) and attach it to a 1″ pole, umbrella, fire escape, etc.

  • This is got to be one of the best ideas DIY ideas I have seen in a long time.
    The more unique the bottle to more impressive of a display.

  • Love it! I’m curious – assuming one already has an empty wine bottle on hand, how much would the materials cost, roughly?

  • Gorgeous! And I just bought a case of Badger Mountain-I’m rolling in the pretty blue bottles! Thanks so much, I’ll be linking to this.

  • These are very cool looking, but look pretty dangerous. Open flame – keep your hair out of the way! And glass bottles filled with fuel – don’t whack the bottle by accident – liquid fuel, possibly on fire, all over, maybe on someone. Sorry to rain on the enthusiasm parade . . .

    • green key

      yes, you definitely need to be careful with anything torch-related, but the point of this project is to have these on walls, away from guests and anyone who would knock them over ;)


  • i cannot wait to try this! looks like my boyfriend will be getting some great torches in his backyard since i don’t have a fence. lucky guy!

  • Oooo. very nice idea. Not only do I love idea, but also had a quick nosey at their website. I love their style!

  • This is so fantastic! My boyfriend and I are totally going to do this after seeing your tutorial…thanks so much for sharing!

  • I’ve found the materials at all the big guys: Lowes, Home Depot, Mennards. Just head over to the plumbing section. Wicks were the hardest to find. Only Lowes had them when I was looking.

  • Fantastic idea, excellent instructions make attempting very tempting. How about a small aluminum pie plate as a heat/light reflector? A couple nuts on the threaded rod could grab the edge.

  • True, this is a cool idea, but you could do a lot better than the “hardware store chic”. Exposed threads look unfinished…

    • designy-

      i don’t think they could do better. it’s a torch made from found materials- you either embrace the idea or bought something fancier and store bought. the hardware store look is part of the charm i think…


  • My boyfriend is a wine rep so we are always dealing with lots of empty wine bottles. Now we have something to do with all of them AND provides an industrial design flare for the yard! Love the idea. Thanks for sharing.

  • On top of this being a nice project I think the project photos are really excellent – clear, well-lighted, pretty colors – well done :).

  • Alright. We bought all the stuff at Lowes. Drilled into the backyard post. Drank the wine. Filled the bottle with genuine Tiki Torch Fuel. Lit the exposed quarter inch of Tiki Brand wick. Not exactly a clean flame. Result: Big Black Smokey Mess.

  • I thought these looked cute. Showed them to my guy friends to see if we could make them, and they laughed and said they look like Molotov cocktails. *Sigh* no creative lighting for me….and the closet is still full of wine bottles.

  • Do you need to cut threads in the 3/8″-4.5 in rod pieces? They do screw into the hanger and the top plate connector correct?

  • I guess I should read the directions and materials list 1st! (Threaded Rod) It’s pretty clear how to do this. Thanks!

  • this is an awesome idea! :)… found all the parts except the copper top plate connector…. apparently nobody in the lowes or home depot here know what that is and i cant seem to find it…. any suggestions??

  • Beautiful! I don’t drink wine so I’ll have to find some way of salvaging some bottles. I love the blue!

    Can you get the hardware at Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ace, etc.?

  • Oops, sorry. Didn’t see Erik’s reply about all the hardware!

    Just curious-what kind of wine was once in that blue bottle?

  • We made these this weekend (without the hangers) and used the Tiki Bite Fighter fuel. They turned out **beautifully!** – clean flame, as well. However, we haven’t been able to find the top plate connector & hanger anywhere so far – not Lowe’s, Home Depot, or Ace. Will check at a local electrical supply store today as well.

  • We made these this weekend too and Lowes had the top plate connector in glavanized steel. Love them! We will be making more to go around the yard. Also liked the idea to use them as vases

  • So, for those of us that couldn’t find Tiki brand wicks- can I safely wrap the teflon tape around the wick to keep it snug??

  • FANTASTIC! I just put a deck on the back of the house and these are going to be the perfect finishing touch. THANKS! I was just now putting the bottles together and I had a bit of a brainwave that I thought I’d share – I was a bit frustrated that the wicks don’t reach very far down … SO TO MAKE BETTER USE OF THE OIL, I ADDED WATER UP TO AN INCH BELOW THE WICK AND THEN ADDED MY OIL AND OF COURSE THE OIL FLOATS … and it looks cool in a clear bottle.

  • Have been saving wine bottles all summer in order to make a border for a short section of flower bed. Now I have a cool way to light up the deck as well. Thanks!

  • I made this today and love it!
    I had some trouble though finding the 1” Split Ring Hanger. Where did you buy this at? I used something else that worked well but cost me a bit more than I should have paid…

  • WOW!!! That’s a brilliant IDEA!!..Wz lookin for some themes for the upcomming wedding of my Sister…This made my day!!!! AWESOME IDEA!!!

  • These look utterly amazing but I, too, cannot help but wonder about the safety issue. Anyone use these for a while and what was your experience?

  • Love the Recycled Wine Torch!!! Doing this as Christmas gifts. I just need help finding the cotton wicks? and the size?

  • Awesome idea. I went out to Lowe’s immediately after seeing this and made one for myself. It works very well and looks great, too. However I ran into one problem… I noticed a large quantity of the oil going un-used at the bottom due to the replacement wicks I bought only being about six inches long. I put about three inches of coarse sand in the bottom of the bottle and voila!

  • Got steel fittings but no copper at Lowe’s and they look great. Thanks for the idea!!!

  • Thanks so much for this great project! I’ve got lots of trees that will be perfect for these torches this summer.

  • That looks beautiful.

    Unfortunately, galvanic corrosion will probably eat through any zinc plating and start attacking the steel before too long. That would both inhibit the formation of patina, and produce rust, perhaps enough to be a structural concern.

    I think it’s worth the effort to find all galvanized hardware (like Trev did), or all copper.

  • I love these! My husband and I made a few this weekend, but we’re having problems with the wick falling into the bottle unless you leave a good half inch sticking out. Anyone else have this problem and how did you solve it?

  • Having same problem as Alice stated on 6/8. How should this be resolved? Also, we find the Tiki bugbite fuel is not burning cleanly. What can we do to fix this?

  • I am having the same problem with tabletop tikis for my wedding. I heard from other online sources that it must be a fiberglass wick (not cotton) and use smokeless oil with a very short wick. I am looking into getting glass insert wicks so that the wick will be smaller and more snug. Not sure it will work for my project or this one but here’s hoping………….

  • HELP? Built these using brown root beer bottle so they fit in our existing tiki poles. For some reason, the flames are tiny. Using Tiki brand torch wicks and bugfighter oil. Tried wicks length from 1/8 up to 1″. About same light output as a normal candle. Only diff is our wick coupling is 1/2″ smooth inside bottle, and has threading inside top end. Wick fits just right without falling in. Any idea why the flames are so tiny?

  • How about the new aluminium beer bottles. I love the wine bottle idea, but for those worried about the glass breaking. Also I believe you can remove the labels, so you have aluminium “bottles” that cant be broken. Thoughts anyone?

  • Figured out the small flame problem. For some reason the wicks have to be at least 75% submerged in oil to provide enough fuel. My other torches burn fine all the way down to about 20% oil, but for some reason these bottles need a lot deeper oil.

  • Does anyone know what kind of nails/screws to use if I wanted to put some up on my back yard wall? The wall is a concrete brick/cinder block so I’m not sure if I can hang the wine torches from it. Thanks!

  • Few Creative Options: great idea Eric! U could also use decorative bottles from a craft store or kitchen store as long as it has the right size opening. Try decorating the bottle with copper or silver wire & beads–can be as girly or simple as u like as long as its fireproof. I plan to use clear decorative bottles I have already with clear glass floral beads in the bottom to add visual interest & raise the oil level plus adds weight for sturdiness if using on a tabletop–should look elegant when lit. Bottles & floral glass beads come in all colors. I’d think you could use natural decorative pebbles as well on the bottom.

  • I took Eriks idea & ran with it :). I used “Barefoot” wine bottles (they’re clear & cheap) for TABLETOP torches with clear torch oil + clear floral glass balls (adds weight, requires less oil & keeps wicks high) + beads & aluminum wire (Michaels) for decoration. I used the 1/2 to 3/8 reducing brass coupler with teflon tape for the wick but found it too loose even w/ lots of tape- tried wrapping a single loop of 18gague aluminum wire vertically on the brass coupler (same wire as used as decoration) before wrapping w/ tape-then it felt snug. Maybe I need a bigger coupling?
    For a STAKED & MOUNTED Torch (all galvanized parts @ Lowes): Same decorated & filled torch idea.
    For Stake: used a 10′ length of 3/4″ galvanized electrical conduit as stake cut in half (cut by lowes/under $4 total for two). A 1/2″ split ring hanger + nuts to fit tight around the stake. Use 3/4″ split ring hanger (I found the 1″ didn’t fit any bottle I had) around the wine bottle + nuts for stability. Connect the two hangers with a 3/8″ threaded as erick suggests or I used a 3/8-16 x 5/8 set screw + a Washer (for a snug fit either cut your own threaded or I just put a small piece of looped aluminum wire-same as used for decor-into one side to ensure a snug & level fit between hangers. Make sure its Very snug & screw is @ least halfway in each hanger .
    Drive conduit into ground same as any tiki stake. Use a tiki in-ground stake screw support for added support if desired. Add a 3/4 Metal Hole Plug (lowes hardware furniture parts -next to screws) to top of conduit to finish. Screw on prepared torch with hangers. I’ll be happy to post picts once I figure out how! Lol. Thx for my inspiration Erik!! :o). These look great & cost me almost nothing using stuff I already had. Should last much longer than my usual purchased tiki torches & definitely more fun!

    • felicia

      i wouldn’t coat anything on the bottle with a liquid that might be flammable. i’d leave them clean just to be safe ;)


    • OO

      yes, if you knock this over and break it, it will catch on fire (bumping it won’t make it explode). but we’re assuming that most responsible adults will be able to build and use these without running into them and breaking them. i have faith that most of our readers will use common sense here.


  • I made about 4 of these for my yard and as much as they look great Im having a problem with a very small flame and eventually the flame blows out. I used fiberglass wick and its cut to just about the full length of the bottle. Any ideas on how to keep these things lit?

    • I am having the same problem, torches look great but will not stay lit. Any ideas?? I saw something about the wick can only draw liquid up about 6″ and that some gravel in the bottom might make the wick stay wet, have you hear this?

  • I am in the process of putting these up in my back yard and I think it will really add some classiness(sp) to the place!


  • What a neat idea!! I can’t wait to try this out!
    For those who are interested in learning more about how to safely use a garden torch, I would recommend reading this article about different fuels and their flash points.


    For example, molotov cocktails use fuel sources that have a low flash point (like gasoline) thus make them very explosive and dangerous. Olive oil for instance has a very high flash point thus making it much safer for use in this type of setting. As always, use of any fuel for burning carries some risk and appropriate measures should be taken.

  • I plan on making these over the next week but I was trying to figure out a way to raise the oil level but can’t come up with anything that won’t add a lot weight to the hanging bottle. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

  • Jus made these and am also having a problem keeping them lit. Extended the wick by braiding/sewing two together…still no luck. They usually burn out in 5 min or so. Suggestions?

  • Wonderful idea. I’m going to try it, but i’m going to have to drink at least 6 bottles of wine though!! I’ll just have to make the sacrafice.

  • These are fantastic!!

    Can’t wait to get to get started on that wine, I mean, uh, project!

  • Eric, I used the Tiki replacement wicks (I think they’re fiberglass) and they seem to work great! I saturated both ends with the citronella oil, then just stuck it in the wine bottle and it seems to draw the oil readily. We’ve refilled the bottles a couple times when the oil level got to about an inch above the bottom of the wick. I hope this helps.

  • Hi! I made this yesterday and it seemed to do fine and worked beautifully on the first burn. However, on the second burn later last evening, the rim of the bottle started burning, but I think that may be it had some oil on it or the tape caught fire. Any suggestions? Also, I was wondering if this design is copywrited/trademarked/patented/registered?

  • Hi Eric, I also saw that someone used a Blue Bombay Gin bottle but it would have looked better had he used clear tiki torch fuel instead of yellow. Firefly Fuel has clear tiki torch fuel, an orange-colored citronella and a brilliant green eucalyptus. Rock on!

  • I want to fill the bottle with half water to save on oil. My wife is afraid it will explode. Has anyone tried this?

    • pete

      i would follow the instructions exactly. the lighting instructions are based on what’s described here so i can’t guarantee anything will work as described if you alter the directions.


  • Hi Pete,

    Oil and water do not mix (old saying). The tiki torch will not explode because it will not light! You will end up contaminating your fuel and you will ruin your wick. So, in the end, you will end up spending more money. Sorry.

  • I’m actually using the combo of oil & water in mine. As Pete mentions, the oil & water won’t mix and the oil will actually sit on top of the water. Hooray for physics! So, as long as your wick doesn’t extend below the layer of oil into the water, you should be good to go. You will see a visual line where the two liquids meet inside the bottle. If that’s bothersome to you I’ve seen folks use glass beads to offset the quantity of fuel needed to fill up the bottle. Good Luck!

  • Pour some colored gravel that they use in fish tanks up to the bottom of the wick so you dont have to use as much oil..

  • I can’t seem to find #3 and #4 supplies ANYWHERE. does anyone have any suggestions? I’ve already purchased everything else listed…

  • you can put water in them to raise the oil level, just don’t put the wick in the oil, or use fish tank gravel or beads so that you don’t have to use much oil. I have seen these where they pinch the top copper tubing, much like an oil lamp would be. should keep the wick from falling, but also will make it more difficult to raise the wick when needed. pair of needle nose pliers should work, can’t wait to make them and put them on my fence!

  • Hobby Lobby has beautiful glass bottles in lots of shades, and every couple of weeks they are half price. I don’t drink mush wine, but plan on the HB option to get som really beautiful bottles, in both shape and color.
    I personally use all thread for lots of other things, including a jewlery display in my showroom. It does not look hardware chic- it look AMAZING!

    I AM NOT ABLE TO FIND PART # 4 split ring hanger.I have gone to Home depot, Lowes, ACE Hardware And Grangers, None have it. could we be looking in the wrong department.
    I have looked in the Electric, Plumbing and Hardware ,
    CAN ANYONE HELP ME WITH THIS? I will appreciate your help.

  • Have some of these. Have to make sure that the oil stays topped off. Gets to far down and starts burning wick instead of the oil.

  • Hey Eric,
    Just wanted to tell you we made 21 for Christmas gifts. All of our friends and family are big wine drinkers, they are going to love them. For the people that are having trouble finding the parts, we found all the parts a Lowes, but had to ask for the pipe hangers, but they did have everything. Also we added one thing, we drilled a small hole in the top of each cap and screwed a small chain to the caps and other end to the screw in the pipe hangers. We did this so you would not loose the cap.

  • Where do u buy all these home depot does not have the plate or the bottle holder. Also the coupling I only saw 1/2,

  • I live in Santa Monica and i searched and searched for the materials required and I couldn’t find the split ring hanger. I am looking for an alternative. any ideas?

  • Nice idea….and when your neighbors start attacking you, you are all ready to defend yourself with homemade Molotov Cocktails!

  • I’m having trouble finding the 1/2″X3/8″ coupling & the copper top plate connector…. Help?

  • Lowes has everything that was listed here, but the top plate is called a ceiling flange at Lowes…hope this helps!

  • just found this. QUITE concerned about the teflon tape melting and the copper coupling falling through/into the bottle causing an extreme fire hazard. could you address that, please?

    • cw

      there’s not much to address- this has been tested and used by many, many people at this point and no one has had that problem. erik thoroughly tested this before we ran it and did not have any of these problems after months of use. it’s been a few years now and still, no problems like the one you mentioned at all.


  • LEANNA(dec 15 2011): you have both LOWES and HOME DEPOT and other local hardwares. bring a printed picture of what you need and show them. they’ll be able to help you. lingo from state to state/store to store differs greatly as to parts.

  • Made one but the wick is not long enough when the oil is half gone I had to refill any suggestions on a different kind of wick found cotton rope in fabric section of hobby lobby not sure if that’s okay

  • I bet you could fill it up with a fragrance too and make everything smell better. Am going to look into making such oils, after I learn to make the bottles. Would work on smaller bottles too? I hope so. Ah such fun to make your own and so much prettier.

  • i had the hardest time finding the copper components at my big box stores, but i found them for AMAZING prices at http://www.pexsupply.com/. even with $13 shipping factored in, it was about 50% cheaper than i could ever find at lowes (and pex had the quantity i needed no problems). i got my bottles from shorecontainer.com since i love the blue but couldnt find any cheap wine in that shade. we are building a pergola this weekend and i cant wait to attached these to the posts and around our back fencing!! thank you so much

  • Love this idea…I love to recycle from the bin as well as from the side of the road finds…..wicker chairs are my favs. for spring summer decor w/plants and flowers in them….especially if they are 100 years old…found a few this past fall and cant wait to decorate in a few days….snow tonight :((( BUT SPRING is in the air and i love ur’ idea….. hope to go buy the items i need this weekend and i may be using tequeilla bottles that we had to finish off at the tavern to get a hold of so we bought a round for the room…LOL just to get the bottle>>>can’t wait til it is lit up in the backyard this summer>>>> Party Hearty People <3

  • I have all the supplies for this except the split ring hanger. Where did you all purchase that piece? I got a piece from amazon but it’s way too small.
    Any suggestions

  • A small hole in the cap and a bit of wire or chain will keep the cap close to the bottle :-)

    I have been making tiki “beer” torches for years. Everytime my pop & I go camping. We kill off a 6 pack, and the bottles get recycled into torches for around the camp site. I use Citronella oil, and it keeps all the bugs away. Although I dont use the “copper”, I have some steel washers that prevent the flame from climbing down the wick, and I use either Cork or rubber stoppers. The lamp oil will get poured back into the jug after camping, and a new round of beer bottles will be re-used at the next camp site.

  • I made these for my mom for mothers day, only instead of mounting them to a post or the fence, I was going to place them on our patio table. The table is glass, do you think the torch will be too hot to safely put on the table? I have to say- these are the coolest things ever and I’m glad it was this simple and it looks great.


  • I used to make torches out of copper pipe. The low flame some are experiencing, and the eventual extinguishment of your torch is likely caused by a vacuum developing in the bottle as the oil is used up. This is easily solved by drilling a tiny 1/16″ hole in your copper reducer fitting (wick holder) right at the junction where it necks down.
    I guarantee this will solve your flame problems.
    I am building some of these this weekend. Awesome low-cost project that will go great with our copper bottle tree (21 blue bottles) that is already mounted on our deck.

  • One more comment: You can buy fiberglass wick in bulk and cut to length. Then you don’t have to worry about the pre-fab wick being too short and you’ll have miles of replacement wick for the rest of your life. (Yes, regardless of what is stated by marketers, fiberglass wick does melt away bit by bit and eventually needs replacement)
    For example, 50 yards (150 feet) of 3/8″ fiberglass wick is about $30.00 vs paying $3 and up for a 6 inch replacement tiki-style wick.
    I bought mine from the wick store (Pepperell Braiding Co.) years ago in several sizes and have enough wick to last the rest of my life.

  • Does anyone have any DIY ideas about how to make a post for using these to stand alone in the yard? I have them mounted on the fence and porch but would like a couple to spread around in the yard for better anti-mosquito coverage.

  • Have been all over town and no one seems to sell the split-ring hanger!!! Ugh! Where can I get that?

  • We’re trying these for my daughter’s backyard wedding and are attaching them to Bamboo poles staked into the ground. Using one split-ring around the pole, threading it with a small rod to the split ring around the wine bottle neck. I’m just concerned about keeping the flame going. Seems like people are having this problem.

  • I’m having a hard time keeping the wick up. I did it the way the instructions say but wick keeps falling in. Any suggestions?

  • I found everything at Lowes just for your information:

    Plumbing Dept :
    3. Copper Top Plate Connector (threaded for 3/8”-16 thread rod) ( Glavenized only)
    4. 1” Split Ring Hanger (threaded for 3/8”-16 thread rod)
    5. 1/2” x 3/8” Copper Coupling
    6. 1/2” Copper Cap

    Hardware Dept
    7. Two Hex Nuts (threaded for 3/8”-16 thread rod)
    8. Two #10 x 1” Zinc Plated Wood Screws (if your mounting it to wood)
    9. 3/8”-16 Zinc Plated Threaded Rod (I bought a 3’ rod and cut it down to 8, 4-1/2” rods with a hacksaw.)

    Also you can Add Food coloring to your oil if you are using clear bottles

  • Wicked disappointed in these, did everything by the book and they only stay lit for like 5 minutes!

  • For those who have trouble with a Tiki 6 inch wicks not going to the bottom of the bottle. There are wine bottles that are short in height and wide at the bottom. Mateus Rose (Portugal) comes in such a bottle (green). It is a nice shape and reminiscent of an antique hand blown bottle. Do an internet search to see the bottle style.

  • Made some on Memorial Day afternoon…but the storm hit before we could light ’em up. Will try again tonight. What a great project! Thanks.

  • LOVE THESE!!!! In place of wine bottles we used half gallon Jack Daniels bottles and sprayed clear spray paint over the labels so they wouldn’t get ruined by rain. Just filled the bottles half way with aquarium rock to prevent the wicks from falling. Also upped to a 1 1/2″ ring to fit the larger bottles. Everything else was done per the directions. As far as the teflon tape being a hazard…..NOT a problem at all. The teflon tape actually hardens and shapes to the bottle necks creating a seal. We have used these every night for close to a month now and have no issues with lighting or shattering. I did let the wicks soak up the oil for a full 24 hours before first use hoping to prevent issues other commenters made. All in all….I couldn’t be happier. So glad I stumbled across these.

  • Our wine torches turned out GREAT thanks to all the comments and helpful hints above. Ours didn’t stay lit until we drilled a 1/16″ hole in the copper and the wick fell to the bottom until we added glass stones. Thanks everyone for your experience and input on here! We love our wine bottle torches!

  • Love love love this. My husband and I made these for our son and his wife for a big pool party they were having. They said the wine bottle torches were the topic of the evening and ALL their guests loved them!! Thanks Eric!!

  • I can’t find the copper top plate connectors, any help? I’m located in Louisiana.

  • No one seems to have had a bottle crack from the heat, so that is good. With a short wick the copper gets very hot. I inserted 4 inches of 1/2 copper pipe into the reducer (so that it sheathes the top of the wick. That should dissipate the heat a bit.
    I found that an ABS 3″ toilet flange (don’t tell anyone what it is!) works as a cheap but stable base so that you can use these on a table without fear it will get knocked over: http://www.lowes.com/Search=abs+toilet+flange?storeId=10151&N=0&langId=-1&catalogId=10051&rpp=16

  • I had trouble finding the copper top plate connector but a lowes I accidentally found a 3/8 in. Ceiling flange galvanized steel that worked perfectly. I also used a Courvoisier cognac bottle that worked great and the wick fits better because the bottle is not as long. Love it and thanks for the DIY.

  • I have done these and it couldn’t be more simple. Thank you so much for the directions. I would love to see more of your work. I want to say I’m not really crafty, but your lists and directions made it very easy. I went to the store with your list and came home and got started. It took about 20 minutes to do. Now people think I can create cool stuff. Thanx again, Dawn

  • Just have to figure out a way to attach the cap to the assembly by some sort of lanyard, otherwise I’ll wind up losing it.

  • If my bottles are longer could i put some glass marbles in them to tak up space at the bottom so the wick can reach without wasting oil?

  • @ALEXMAC- I was scrolling to the bottom to advise everyone that if they wanted to save money on oil or torch fluid that they could fill the bottle up to the bottom of the wick with the decorative glass beads, or marbles or even the smooth small river rocks. you could probably even get them higher than the bottom of the wick and then work the wick down into the beads. This would also prevent the wick from falling out of the holder and down into the bottle which is always annoying.

  • @GARY- get a10″ to 12″ length of small “S” chain available at Lowes and elsewhere. Drill a small hole near the lip of the snuffer. Then use two small copper brads about 1″ to 1.5″ long and nip the head and the point off using some needle nose pliers. Then use the pliers to bend the nails into rings. Before closing the circle together hook one through the hole you drilled and one end of the chain then squeeze link closed. Then take the other nail and put it through the other end of the chain and metal bar supporting the bottle. Then close that link. Now the snuffer will hang from the bar which you can slide back against the wall when in use. Then just slide it forward and drop it on the wick when the party is over.

  • It was quite a process of going to every hardware place in town. Lowe’s & Home Depot were complete strike outs. I explained to the mystified old men that this was on Pinterest and other people will be looking for this hardware! I had to use a substitute for the connector plate and had to special order the split rings. I’m not sure of my total cost but certainly not as inexpensive as I expected. About to mount but I gotta finish some wine first.

  • I love this idea!! I have been collecting wine bottles for a month now and have made 8 torches so far. Rather than mount them onto the fence, or set them on a table, I want to hang them….does anyone have some ideas on how I could do this?? :)

  • Anyone know if you can modify this to fit a bottle with a larger neck (i.e. Patron bottle)?

  • SMCDONALD – I don’t think you could hang them singly, your flame would interfere with whatever you used to hang them. However, I think you could use a similar bracket to connect two or more, and then hang from the midpoint.

    I think this would look nicer with the classic “melted candle bottle”, the bottles of cheap red wine with a wicker base. This would also give you the advantage, if you use the 6″ wicks, of being able to just about reach the bottom as those bottles tend to be shorter. Not 6″ short, but not as much wasted space as with a normal bottle.

  • I made these and they are on my garden, all the way around the exterior perimeter and we had a beautiful garden party on a Labor Day Weekend. Thanks so much for the great idea. The only thing I did differently was to add a piece of copper tubing over the bolt.

  • What a cool fun idea. Wish I could share it on Google + So i can find it again when I have the time and cool bottles to use.

  • we are installing these today in our front yard seating area….just finished the privacy fence and these are going to be perfect…thank you so much for sharing your great idea!!!!!

  • I borrowed your idea and added to it. I uses a recycled guitar (G) string to make a keeper for the snuffer cap. I was afraid a child or a plumber (or a plumber behaving like a child) might make off with the cap. I’d upload a photo of the finished product but I don’t know how to upload here.

  • Brilliant idea… simple, graphic, unexpected and FUN. LOVE LOVE LOVE to see you do one of those hanging wine bottle chandeliers next (the cords with 15 to 23 bottle chandeliers)… mainly because I want to make one myself. LOL
    Otherwise, great article and wonderful concept.

  • When I was a kid, my dad made these, called a flambeau, by filling a bottle with kerosene, and using a rag for a wick. I’m 85 now, and plan to show grandkids what we used for outside lighting.

  • I like the idea of a piece of copper pipe over the bolt.

    But, couldn’t you just buy all galvanized components and spray paint them with the Krylon Hammered Copper Spray paint? $5 for a can that would spray enough components for at least 25 torches!


  • Here is an another idea to enhance the light coming from the flame. Glue a small square mirror to the fence. It should also serve as a shield to the wooden fence in case the flame blows toward the fence.

  • Love the idea… But… I would love to burn it indoors… Could I swap out TIKI OIL for Hurricane Lamp Oil??? Would it work the same??? Would I need to make any adjustments to the wick??? Please let me know

  • Love the idea! But hey I have a suggestion, how about a link to pinterest so we can “pin it”….Thanks!

    • Jen

      If you have the Pinterest dashboard you can easily pin things, but we’ve had a major issue with our images being on Pinterest with no credit or link back, so I’m still wary of encouraging Pinning all the time.


  • I love this idea–I couldn’t find the copper plate either at Home Depot or at a local independent tool store but they told me to use threaded inserts like these: http://www.amazon.com/Threaded-Threads-Hardness-Tensile-Strength/dp/B002WC8TVG/ref=pd_sbs_indust_6 and just screw in the rod to that. I will try it and will see if this works. Thanks for the detailed instructions! Some of the folks at the hardware stores also want to try this after I showed them the details on my iphone.

  • You just have to love the INTERNET, my wife brought this to my attention and I am in love with it and I am going to Home Depot to pick up the materials and put these in the yard. Thank you, Erik

  • Wife loved the idea! Everything was easy to find except the split ring hangers. The 1″ at HD was too big but the 3/4 inch actually measured 1″ and worked. However, I can’t get them to stay lit. I bought replacement tiki wicks and tiki torch fuel. I have them about half full with about half the wick in the oil and let them sit for almost 24 hours before lighting. However, they only stay lit for a few minutes like it’s only burning the wick and not the oil. Any advice? Thanks.

  • Help! I’ve been working hard to make 3 of these … I’ve tried 3 different wine bottles … the necks of all 3 slip right through the 1 inch split ring hanger. The next size smaller (3/4 inch) is too small ….. Unless the answer is that the threaded rod is supposed to go further through the ring and press against the bottle, holding it in place in the too- big ring — but that doesn’t seem safe. Can anyone help …. Do I just need to search harder for a bottle of wine with a wider neck. I was so excited, now I’m frustrated. I will appreciate any suggestions!

  • I am making these to replace my rusted out tiki oil containers. The wine bottles fit perfectly in the torch holder, or stake. Thanks!

  • I tried this but the wick burns really quickly, like 10 mins. Will be trying a different type of wick

  • I love this idea. They are so modern, and certainly serve a purpose. I love to recycle!

  • Love this! I’m making it for my mom for Mother’s Day but I cannot find copper top plate connectors anywhere. Do you know where I could find some?

  • LOVE the idea and we have lots of wine bottles around the house, but the openings seem to be too small. We thought a champagne bottle might be bigger so we busted out the bubbly, still doesn’t fit. Any suggestions???

  • I bought the Tiki brand wicks but I’m having trouble with them slipping back down into the bottle. Any suggestions?

  • I just made three of these yesterday for the little deck on my apartment. They turned out so cool, and they give a lot of character to my tiny outdoor space. Thanks for posting this! PS. I found all the required hardware at Home Depot in the plumbing aisle. I asked an associate to help me and together we tracked down all the little pieces.

  • I’ve read all of the comments and no one mentions the best method for refueling once the oil burns down. Any suggestions?

  • I have made these and am having a hard time keeping them burning brightly for more than 15 min. Any suggestions?

  • Help!!!i’m having trouble keeping these burning for more than 15min. The flame then gets very dim. Suggestions please.

  • Great project. However, my local Home Depot and Lowe’s fell short of having what I needed. Thanks to Keight I looked up Pexsupply.com. Look no further, they have everything, and cheap. Just waiting for my goods to arrive. Thanks Erik for a great project and Keight for the great find.

  • I love these things, theo only thing I changed was by putting 1/2″ copper pipe cut to length covering the threaded rod

  • I made these today. The harder part is finding the items at stores to make them. The easy part is putting them together. I did 5 in 35 minutes complete! Great idea and pretty even unlit!

        • I tried my local Lowes since others had reported success there, but was unable to get half of the mounting hardware. Many pieces were not available in 3/8″ size. I opted just to get the wicks, oil, couplings, and caps to make a pair of unmounted lamps, but haven’t bothered to use them (because cats, dogs, and small children .) Hoping to get the rest of the parts and put these things up to be used and enjoyed soon!

  • Love the idea! Made some as a gift and added “jewelry” around the neck of bottle by using copper colored trinkets and chain purchased at Michael’s. This gave it nice bling. Also spray painted rod and nuts with hammered copper outdoor spray paint to look more uniform. Added the same chain to the cap by drilling a 1/16 hole and securing with copper jump ring. Added jump ring to other end and placed on screw prior to tightening split ring hangar. Thanks for sharing this great idea!

  • Shattered bottle….. Not sure what happened. Made four of these tonight and after being lit for about 20 minutes, the bottle shattered on one. Wick was about 1/2 inch. Will be highly disappointed if it happens to the others ones. Any suggestions one why that might have happened?

  • Nancy
    My wine bottle necks were too small as well. I took some copper wire and wrapped it below the lip of the bottle. I then tightened the clamp. You don’t even want to know what I tried the first time. I actually caught one of the bottles as it was falling to the concrete to save it. I’m just glad it was not lit. The copper wire has worked so far.

  • Please be careful…DO NOT blow them out…use a snufter…I had a tiki explode and I received 2nd and 3rd degree burns on my neck, ear and cheek….All I did was blow it out and it exploded. Personally I will never use tiki fluid again.


  • Looks like a molotov cocktail variant. Wouldn’t consider doing this around anything I didn’t want to bet set on fire, in any household with children of any age or around people who imbibed a bit too much of the liquid the bottles initially came with. Just saying.

  • I made six of these! They looked AMAZING, sadly the wicks won’t burn. We let them soak for over a week…and even turned them around…but they burn about ten mins and then slowly go out…I was thinking of buying the oil burning wine wicks…thoughts?

    • I’m having the exact same problem. I am at my wits end on this. I even drilled a hole into the bottle, I thought it needed some air flow. Still no luck. Out in less than 2 min’s.

      • I had a similar issue. What I had noticed was that the fuel level did not substantially cover the submerged wick. I topprd off about 2″ below the mouth of the bottle and got a safe burning, consistant flame.

  • The key to getting the wick to burn is to only expose about 1/4″ of it. If your wick is too long it won’t burn. Pull a very small amount of wick above the coupling and light. It will burn for hours.

  • so my son and I did these, more my son, but the cord fell inside the bottle and the wick did not burn very well on most of them
    that am i doing wrong

  • I just made these and here are the parts with applicable item number/parts number
    at Lowes:
    *3/8″-16 threaded rod
    *3/8″-16 hex nuts
    #10x1in wood screws
    *3/8″ galvanized steel ceiling flange item#301689
    *1/2″x3/8″ reducer coupling
    *1/2″ copper cap item#186096
    *1″ copper plated split ring hanger item#301353
    *replacement tiki torch wick
    I simply spray painted the galvanized parts with hammered copper spray paint and the looked AWESOME! Total cost was about $8 each

    ….and ladies, if you’re wearing lots of hairspray or other flammable hair products DO NOT put you face up to the flame to blow it out!!!
    Geez people use common sense!!!

    • Thank you for the item numbers. No on had a clue what I was asking for until I gave them the numbers

  • Hey, need a little advice. I made this tiki torch today it worked great. Used an old patron bottle so no left over alcohol residue. I lit it for a brief moment then put it out and about an hour later it exploded. It was it due to pressure build up because it had some space to breathe and not have buildup. Any idea why it exploded?

    • How tight was the seal? I used old metal bottle caps, loosely crimped. Some booze bottles have tight tolerances when capped. You may need to let it breath a bit. Also, keep a low flame(short wick) to start off. Low heat will help temper the glass and keep it from shattering.

  • I finally have a use for my alcoholism… lol

    Great ideas this is just what I wanted for my garden!! Thanks! Keep the ideas coming lol

  • The fence we want to mount these to gets a lot of sun – is there a risk of darker colored bottles heating the oil too much during the day? The empty darkroom green bottles were pretty hot to the touch today, so I haven’t bee brave enough to fill them yet.

  • Can I use solder on the copper coupler instead of plumbers tape or will the heat from the flame of the torch melt the solder?

  • Awesome idea! My wife and I recently had our wedding reception in our backyard and lined our fence with these. The lighting and complements we’re were endless.

  • Awesome Idea. Just cant wait to try to make these. One question though how do you pull more of the wick out when it has burned to the end? Thanks :)

  • I made two of these tonight for my mom to place on her patio table. She loves to sit outside under the carport but the mosquitoes chase her in way before she is ready. I used a couple of beer bottles instead and then glued them to a painted clay saucer for added stability. I was worried about the small nieces and nephews bumping the table and knocking over a flaming bottle…. just lit them up for a test run and they are fabulous!!! Going to make one more :)

  • To solve the problem with the wick falling into the bottle, I drilled a 1/16″ hole through the Copper Coupling (#5) and put a cotter pin through it and the wick. It seems to hold it up just fine.

  • Excellent!!!! Took me a trip to Lowes, got exactly the hardware as listed, an hour to put together four of them and show it off to wifey….Too good. Made one with a fancy indian rum bottle, to make it a conversation piece. Am going to start giving these as gifts when we go to friend’s homes.

  • A couple of comments I learned along the way with the bottles I have done. To help prevent the wick from falling through I put round glass marbles in the bottom. This also helped to use less fluid. I also had an issue with the flame not staying lit so I pierced a hole in copper just above the plumber’s tape. This allowed for air to circulate and keep the flame going.

  • Awesome Idea. Just cant wait to try to make these. One question though how do you pull more of the wick out when it has burned to the end? Thanks too

  • I found all the parts at Lowes!!

    The big issue here is that the wick only goes 1/2 down the bottle. I’m thinking about filling the bottom 1/2 of the bottle with sand so I don’t waste tiki fuel. Anyone else??

          • I used pea gravel, just rinsed them first to get all the gunk off them. My problem now is the bottle getting hot so put them out for now. Thinking about getting a longer piece to put the wick in.

  • Awesome Idea too. Just cant wait to try to make these. One question though how do you pull more of the wick out when it has burned to the end? Thanks too

  • Some updates on finding parts for this project:

    Home Depot and Lowes don’t seem to carry items 3 & 4 anymore (at least, not here in Tucson, AZ). Nor was I able to find them at any plumbing/gas hardware shop, or the ACE store with the largest selection of hardware I’ve seen. I did find them on-line here:
    3. https://secure.lifeandhome.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=+42917575+&x=0&y=0
    4. https://secure.lifeandhome.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=%3A+42917568+&x=0&y=0

    Wicking can be obtained in on-demand lengths here:

    I just ordered the above items. While I’m waiting, I’ll be drilling the vent holes in the couplings (item 5) and sourcing some washers to use under them instead of the Teflon tape.

  • My wife found this post this morning. I finished hanging 12 of these in my backyard. What a great idea. Found all of the parts at lowe’s.

  • Really liked the idea, bought enough for 8 so far. I also purchased everything from Lowe’s. The only thing I changed was I went with a 3/4″ split ring since my bottle necks were much too small for a 1″.

  • I’ve made these and they look beautiful however I haven’t lit them yet because I’m worried about the comments I’ve read about the bottles exploding. Any prevention tips so mine don’t explode? Should I use an equal ratio of water and fuil to fill the bottles or just the tiki fuil?

    • Don’t mix water and fuel. You’ll get slightly flammable salad dressing. Remember, water and oil (or Tiki fuel) don’t mix!

  • Bought all the hardware to make these this weekend. I’m using Alhambra Reserva 1925 bottles for it – smaller than wine bottles and really cool looking. These will be mounted to my deck railing along with bottle openers and mason jars as cap catchers.

    • Use a split clamp on both ends. put thin layer of rubber sheeting inside of clamp to hold bottle, and onto fence post.

  • i am using a tequila bottle that is long, replacement wick is less than half the bottle. has anyone tried 100% cotton piping material that can be purchased at Joanne fabrics (The stuff used to make cording around a pillow or cushion)

  • This is a good-looking and achievable project that is very different form something you’d see at Home Depot…its glass, filled with flammable fluid, and hangs from a wall with DIY hardware. Now the alcohol impaired guests at my next bar-b-que can now be surrounded by homemade hanging Molotov cocktails. From someone who has undergone reconstructive surgery from burns, I recommend against this project.

  • I want to put these on a stand that goes into the ground so I could put them in my garden. Has anyone experimented with that? Or has any suggestions on how or what materials would be best to do this?

    Thanks in advance!

  • The use of dissimilar metals (zinc/copper) will cause galvanic corrosion eventually. The support rod will break will potentially catastrophic results. Use of all copper rod and mounting screws will eliminate this eventuality.

  • Really easy fix for the wick not reaching the bottom of the bottles, add water first. Will the bottle with water to just below where the wick ends. Then add oil. The oil will rest right on top of the water. SCIENCE!

  • I purchased my supplies @ Lowes. I will supply the items numbers for easier reference. Just ask an employee to put in item number on the computer and they will tell you what isle and location it is at. For the most part, all supplies are located in the “plumbing” section.
    Just a couple of personal ideas that I did:
    Wick is to be set at no more than the recommended 1/4″.
    I did drill (2) small holes into the copper fitting to allow for somewhat of air to flow. Drill bit 1/16″.
    I also did buy some small marbles from BB&B to take up some of the room and to allow stoppage of the wick from coming down.
    No problems at all….burns till you put it out !!

    Item Numbers:
    22623 – 1/2″ x 3/8″ reducer coupler
    21664 – 3/4″ copper cap
    301353 – 1″ Hangar
    301689 – Flange
    69888 – 3/8″ x 3′ threaded rod
    63303 – 3/8″ hex nut

    • I want you to know that this helped me a lot. Thank you for taking the time and putting down Lowe’s skew numbers.
      It helped me not waste my time and not have a inpatient husband.

  • PLEASE HELP, we made 12 of these and put them along the fence in the backyard. Used all the correct parts, followed instructions and now the wicks will not stay lit. We even read through the comments did everything other people have suggested and STILL NO FAME!!!! We spent way too much money on these for them not to work. Maybe next time we will try the first one out to see if it works before we make them all. I really do not want this to be a failed pinterest project. PLEASE PLEASE lent some advise.


  • I saved a wine bottle that is “sleeved”…. The bottle is not clear….it has a solid coating on it all around it, top to bottom… No clear glass area anywhere on it…..you may have seen the brand, Relax….do you think that may be a problem? Should the bottle be clearer?

  • Two issues I’d like to address:
    1 – The exploding lamps. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN the screws on the clamp. Any pressure on the glass combined with heat may make them explode.
    2 – The wick going out – The wick can only suck the oil up the wick so far. If you don’t fill it most of the way full, the wick will only burn that is in it when lit, but can not draw the oil up to the fire, so it gradually will burn out.

    I hope this solves a few of the issues with this project.

  • Trying this with a patron bottle with bigger opening, is it okay if there is air space around the wick ? I have the copper snug with tape but the copper is larger than the wick

  • to help wick from falling in bottle, I used the 1/2″ x 1/4″. I found that the wick is to loose on the 3/8″.

  • I made 12 of these. I did not like the short wicks from Lowe’s so I found some bulk wick on eBay, got it on the way and will replace the short ones before I fire them up. Some great ideas int he comments, thanks to all that have made other suggestions!

  • I looked through all the comments to see if this was a successful project, but nobody ever said anything about the bottle (especially when filled with marbles) being too heavy. Did this ever happen to anyone?

  • I made a few but the fiberglass wick I bought is half and inch and it won’t absorb the oil all the way to the top of the wick. I let them sit out for days and nothing. My bottles are tall ones and need over 12 inches of wick.

  • I made a few but the fiberglass wick I bought is an inch thick and it won’t absorb the oil all the way to the top of the wick. I let them sit out for days and nothing. My bottles are tall ones and need over 12 inches of wick.

  • The maximum draw a wick will pull fuel from is about 8″. It will burn for hours. Shorten your length and try it.

  • I made a few changes, used bear bottles so they are not so big and used electrical tape instead of the Teflon tape. Love the but I have problems with the wick sliding down into the bottle. I managed to get it out and frayed the ends a bit which helped but once I put the cap on it pushed it back in. Gonna try and put some marbles/stones on the bottle to keep the wick up. Any other suggestions are appreciated.

    • Try taking a nail and put dents in the side of the wick tube. You may want to take a wooden dowel rod small enough in diameter to fit inside the tube as a backing to keep the tube from bending.

  • I used a 1/2″ x 1/4″ copper coupling, 3/8″ cap, and electrical tape. The tape allowed the coupling to fit snugly in the bottle and the 1/4” held the wick in place. I also filled the bottle a little less than half full with pea gravel because the wick only goes about half way down in the bottle – would have been a waste of fuel otherwise. The copper top plates were the most difficult items to find, but I found some galvanized ones at Lowes that work great.

  • They are pipe clamps and threaded rod …for me this is a waste of time and wouldnt bother ….

  • Hey there! I see plenty of tips and tutorials on how to make a single wick torch, but I want one of those gladiator-style Fire BOWLS. has anyone found a way to make one of those?

  • Can you add water prior to adding the tiki fuel? The fuel and water separate, making the fuel rise and thus allowing for the use with shorter wicks.

    • HI
      Did you try to add the water 1st and then the fuel.
      I am in same boat and been trying to find if anyone has done that.


      • I used wine bottle torches just like these for my sons outside wedding and I used half water and fuel, it kept the cost down in fuel and it worked as long as the wick is in the fuel NOT the water so make sure u check the length of the wick before u stick in the bottle. they worked great I also used porcelain stoppers with wicks.

  • I’m having an issue with a very low flame. They burn great for the first minute then the flame becomes so low most of them just go out. Any suggestions?

    • Try pulling the wick out a bit more so you have more exposed wick/larger flame. If the wick is too short, it can’t pull the fuel up the wick as fast as the flame consumes it.

    • Jennifer, I am having the same problem and pulling the wick out further only helped a bit. I may try the water at the bottom of the bottle and use a shorter wick. I made a torch from a small Patron bottle and it works great. I think the wick length is the key.

  • Love it! Hardest part of the project was cutting the threaded bar and cleaning the labels off wine bottles. Also the wicks keep falling through the top, but rocks in bottle helped and frYing wick. Don’t know how to submit a photo of mine here but they look great!

    • Fill your sink with hot water and a little blue dawn, dump bottles in and add in baking soda and then a tiny bit of vinegar. Labels peels right off and any remaining residue can be sponged off quickly!

  • Made these with a couple of modifications.

    Used a 3/8 male adapter (one end threaded one end smooth, with a hex section inbetween which keeps it from slipping into the bottle).

    Instead of the ceiling flange (unable to find) I just bought 1/2″ split hangers and used the threaded part and drilled out the holes with drill in reverse)

    And used a little brass chain to keep the cap from getting lost. Gravel in the bottle also keeps the wick where it should be.

    Runs a little over $10/lamp sourcing stuff from Lowes or Home Depot.

    • You can find the brass chain at any home hardware store or a local one- like a mom and pop shop.

        • Try a hobby store, not sure what store chains you have in your area, we have Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. Look in the area where the beads are for jewelry projects. It may not be copper but you can find cheap chain in various sizes and even the split rings to use to attach it.

  • I found much longer wicks online that solved the depth issue. My first fix was clear marbles. For the wick sliding down, I used a metal caster wheel insert and it works fine. The insert is the part that goes into the wood to insert the wheel. They have a lip that fits over the cooper tube and does not slide down.

  • I used a clear bottle and noticed that the wick looks burned below the Copper Coupling after I’ve burned it a couple of times. Is this normal or extremely dangerous? Not looking to burn the place down

  • Instead of filling the bottle completely full of fuel, fill the bottle about 1/2 half full of decorative rocks or gravel from a craft store. It looks nice and you only need about half the amount of fuel. You will need to top off the fuel after an afternoon of burning, but the rocks will allow you to fill up many bottles with little fuel.

  • My wick burns out after a few minutes. It seems that everyone else’s lasts for hrs. Any ideas please?

  • Just assembled 4 today. Everything was perfect.

    Definitely filled the bottles halfway with pebbles to minimize fuel waste that the wick wouldn’t otherwise get.

    My Home Depot didn’t carrya zinc plated rod, so I will have to paint mine to prevent rust.

    My Charm City backyard just got more charming. Thank You!

  • To keep wick from sliding down in the bottle, cut a small piece of about 1/2 inch of 3/8 inch diameter copper pipe and insert this piece into the 3/8 reducer. Then insert the wick inside this pipe, wick is held steady in place.
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    • Easier answer. After you thread the wick through the copper fitting, insert a couple of straight-pins through the wick criss-cross (most women I know have a whole box of ’em in a drawer somewhere). As you use up the wick, just pull the pins, pull a bit more wick out, and reinsert the pins. Bingo, don’t have to worry about the wick droppin’ thru & into the bottle.

  • I created this project and can’t seem to get a good flame going. Could it be the quality of the fuel? It was purchased last summer – could it be old?

  • Put fish gravel in the bottle until the wick touches the gravel. Only leave the wick a 1/4 inch from the coupling and don’t burn the bottle dry and you will never need to raise the wick.

  • For those that it wont burn you need more wick. You can always paint galvanized or steel copper or any color you wish. Steel wicks, regular wicks and real wick holders for bottles off Ebay. You can use kerosene lamp fuel as well, which comes in large jugs and many colors. Hope that helps. Jp

  • Main problem for me is that the 1/2″-3/8 copper reducer is too large to fit into the neck of a bottle. I’ve tried it on beer bottles, Coke bottles, and even a small champagne bottle. 1/2″ is too wide, and 3/8″ will require a LOT of teflon tape to make it stick. (Wine bottles may be too tall to use.)

    I will look for some kind of cylindrical sanding attachment that I can use to rout out the inside of the bottle necks to slightly more than 1/2″.

  • Just a note of interest: if you have black smoke coming from the top of the flame, you probably have too much wick exposed at the top of the bottle. I also wouldn’t use kerosene because it stinks!

  • This is an amazing outdoor idea! Once you are done with the torches, you can simply remove and replace with a planter box or anything at all! Brilliant! Thank you for this!

  • I made 8 of them today for around my deck. Installed and tried them. Awesome look. My wife loves it.

  • Just found this and plan to make a couple. I wanted to share the fact that WD40 sprayed on the label will take that miserable thing off quickly. Just let it set a few minutes and rub it all off. Needless to say, you will then have to wash it with soap or detergent.

  • If you use channel locks to tighten the allthread put the nuts on first or the threads will get damaged and won’t let the nut ruin all the way down. Or you can put two nuts at the end, snug them to each other and turn the top nut; it will turn the all thread without damaging it

  • Hi, thank you for all the great hints and tips, I have made my first torch but before I light it I am wondering how I can extinguish the burning wick or do I need to wait until it burns itself out?

  • My torches will not stay lit… I have two different kinds of wicks (ordered off eBay), they’ve been soaking tiki oil for a week, the wicks are dry. I’ve tried keeping them short and pulling a little more out of the bottle. So disappointed. I’m having a holiday party next weekend and I have created six of these that won’t stay lit.

  • Try ed all the local hardware stores to find the plate and bottle clamp no one has them. Any ideas where else to look. Tryed Home Depot , lowes, Orchards.

    • A Plumbing Supply store will have plates and rod etc. Plumbers use to hang pipe from ceilings and off walls .

  • For those having trouble keeping the wicks lit you probably have a vacuum issue. As the torch burns, it’s drawing fuel up from the wick. In doing so it can sometimes cause a vacuum to develop which causes the flow of oil to stop. Make sure you have a small air hole or some way that air can get into the bottle. This will break the vacuum and allow the oil to be freely drawn up the wick. Also, if the wick is braided too tight, it can restrict the flow/draw of oil up the wick.

  • Can you add water prior to adding the tiki fuel? The fuel and water separate, making the fuel rise and thus allowing for the use with shorter wicks.


  • What wine bottle is everyone using? Because a 1 inch split ring hanger is too big and 3/4 inch is too small!!! Getting frustrated and need help!!!

  • I was wondering if it was possible to use oil for an oil lamp instead of the citronella and use them indoors. Can I use the same wick or would I need to use the ones that are used for indoor oil lamps and if so how …does anyone happen to know?

  • Anybody looking for bottles, try asking any restaurant that serves wine. I asked a chain restaurant and they didn’t oblige but called a locally owned restaurant and now I have plenty… for free. I also have found that the 3/4″ split ring hanger works on most bottles but not all. It’s time consuming finding ones that fit but you just have to keep asking for bottles till you get what you need. I have found that so far the cost (without bottles) averages between 8 -10 bucks a bottle. That’s including parts and fuel. If you think about it, it’s a few bucks more than a premium torch but this is massively reusable and I would say classier. than a bamboo torch. I haven’t assembled mine but have fitted the split ring and coupling to make sure they fit. I am still torn between water and rocks to minimize fuel cost.

  • I used a clear bottle and noticed that the wick looks burned below the Copper Coupling after I’ve burned it a couple of times. Is this normal or extremely dangerous? Not looking to burn the place down

  • This DIY is really lovely, but which brand of wine come in blue bottle and where can you buy those copper accessories?

  • Quick note: the longest 1/2″ wicks you can reasonably get (cheaply) tend to be 9.85″ long…which is about 3″ or so too short to reach the bottom of your average wine-bottle. Consider using “Tall boy” or 40oz beer/cooler bottles instead? They’re short enough to make this work.

  • Such a great idea. I can imagine these dotted around our garden in the summer would look amazing! I would need to source the wicks as we have pretty much everything else in the tool store..