Wine Bottle Lights

Are you the type that likes to recycle? Do you save glass bottles?
Well I have got a tip for you that will bring new life to old Wine Bottles.

Lets make small lamps with them for indirect lighting! Great for ambient lighting, or even gifts.

NOTE: I did not originally come up with this idea. I wish I did, but in my keyword search on a title for this article I discovered there is nothing new under the sun.

Ok are you ready to make some awesome bottle lights? Well lets get started.

Things you will need:

Wine bottle
Safety Glasses
Drill or drill press with 1/2 inch carbide or glass cutting drill bit
Here is the drill bit I used the most.
Duct tape / electricians tape or a solid base to hold your bottle still
WD40 or water for lubricant
Miniature light string with 20 lights
Patience….lots of Patience!

In the pics you will see below, I first started out drilling the bottle in the sink with painters tape wrapped around the bottle to get the drill to not wobble around and start. I was also using a plain glass cutting carbide bit which I later changed over to a better drill bit.

When I got the better drill bit I borrowed a drill press which made it a lot easier to manage. I almost completely submerged the bottle in water to lubricate it. This bit was like a spade bit designed for cutting through glass.

With this drill bit you can usually complete 3 bottles. It really depends on the thickness of the glass and if lubricant is used.

Steady the glass bottle and drill a 1/2 inch hole in the bottle. Its that simple, but take your TIME doing so.
It takes anywhere from 40 minutes to well over 1.5 hrs depending on the glass the sharpness of the bit.

The bottles in these pics are a jagermeister bottle, a Kahlua bottle, and a blue wine bottle called once bitten. I have made several true wine bottle lights but at the time of this writing they are all wrapped up as gifts.

Do not force it and break the glass, take your time. This is not at all like drilling metal or wood.

You really need a variable speed drill or drill press and maintain a speed of 350-600 rpm.

Once you have honed out your hole, feed the lights through the hole and use a coat hanger to adjust to the lights to your liking inside the bottle. I used the 20 strand of lights found at Wal-Mart.

That’s basically it, now you have a really cool ambient light.


  1. Get yourself a nice wine bottle
  2. Secure it still with tape or whatever
  3. Drill a hole in it with the special bit
  4. Patience don’t rush it…this could take awhile (40mins to 1hr)
  5. Rinse it out really good
  6. Feed the lights through it
  7. Enjoy your craft

If you feel this is too much for you, you can order them online here

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#1 Justin on 12.26.09 at 2:51 am

I love the blue bottle, it looks great. Have you had any problems with the bottles getting too hot and what do you think about using LED lights? Do you think that a better drill bit would cut down on some time? Thanks for your input.

#2 seizethepage on 12.26.09 at 9:54 am

No I have not had any problems with the bottles getting too hot at all. The more lights you use the hotter it gets, that is why I suggest no more than 20.
No I have not experienced with the LED bulbs yet. I think it would be cool do use those and a battery pack of some sort.
As for the drill bills, I tried three kinds, the diamond tipped hole saw for glass, a standard carbide bit for glass and the spade type bit for glass. I honestly never thought the spade looking bit would work, but it works the best.
The hole saw bit I was sure would work and be fast but it was taking FOREVER! It just takes time to drill through glass without breaking so just be patient.

#3 seizethepage on 12.11.11 at 10:31 pm

UPDATE: I now use a diamond bit hole saw type drill bit and it takes about 10 minutes per bottle now. Much easier. Oh one more thing. I use some clay and build up a small dam around the hole are and fill it with WD-40 to keep the bit cool.

#4 Nick on 07.13.12 at 3:50 pm

The blue bottle adds a nice hue to your lights.

#5 katie on 10.04.13 at 5:53 pm

They sure do get hot!! My sister has one our nephew sent her. After 5 minutes, we couldn’t touch it. I wouldn’t want to put a cork or lid on one, it might explode. Must be a better way! They look pretty, but get pretty hot. What if any is the solution. We were seriously thinking of making these, but not if they get that hot!!!

#6 seizethepage on 10.05.13 at 11:22 am

Yes I woudlnt cork one, and they get warm, but not HOT, you must be using to high a wattage string of lights. You could even use LED lighting to make it much cooler if you wanted too.

#7 summer on 10.20.14 at 11:14 am

Which brand of hole saw drill bit do you use and how many holes have you been able to drill with it?

#8 seizethepage on 10.21.14 at 12:22 pm

Thank you for visiting the site and commenting! I stopped using the spade looking bit and went to using a hole saw diamond tipped bit. Here is a link
I will edit my post and update it. I can usually get 20 bottles or so with this, just keep it lubricated with WD-40 or submerge the bottle in water with say maybe a 1/2 inch of water over the hole to be cut, while drilling it will keep the bit cool, the cooler it is, the longer it will last.

#9 seizethepage on 10.21.14 at 12:24 pm

Link didnt show up in comments, please see link in post above. I fixed the link

#10 Deborah Castleman on 11.15.15 at 2:59 am

My sister and I, bought the 50 light box. There the led lights. We have wine bottles and larger bottles. We have been looking for the drill bit. We thought we needed 3/4 seized bit. We don’t know what we’re doing.

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