I have been meaning to make these lanterns for a long time and I finally found the time. One of the best aspects of this project is that is requires empty bottles. So get your girlfriends together and polish off a few bottles of your favorite wine.
The next step is to remove the labels from the bottles. There seems to be a number of ways to do this. I decided to try the oven method. I preheated my oven to 350 degrees and placed the bottles in for about 10-15 minutes.
I was skeptical of this method but the labels peeled right off once I removed the bottles from the oven.
I had a little trouble with the labels on the back of the bottle, so I soaked those in hot water and scratched the remaining pieces off. I had a bit of glue residue on my bottles so I took a bit of vegetable oil and rubbed it on the bottles using a paper towel. Somehow, it seemed to remove any remaining residue.
Once you have the bottle or bottles you want to use, you’ll need the following items.
I am a big fan of Hobby Lobby and there just happens to be one around the corner from my apartment. I’m sure these items are also available at your typical craft store. You can choose the type of chain you want to use, but it is important to get a big enough key ring so that it will not pass through the neck of the bottle you have chosen. I used my pliers to separate the chain to the lengths that I wanted to use. This is basically guess-work depending on the bottle you have chosen.
After a few failed attempts at using string, acetone, and a flame to cut the bottle, I decided to give the tool pictured below a try. It is the best way I have found to make a clean-cut in the bottle with minimal sanding necessary. Hobby Lobby sells this item for about $25. I was able to find a 40% coupon on the Hobby Lobby website to get it for a cheaper price. The instructions enclosed are very detailed. The tool makes a thin score on the bottle where you’d like it to separate.
Once I scored the bottle using the tool, I then placed the bottle into a pot of boiling water for about 5 seconds swirling it in a circle motion. Next, immediately place the bottle into the ice water and repeat the motion. Repeat this process until the bottom of the bottle falls off. It sounds strange but that’s exactly what happens. You can sand the edge of the bottle if necessary, but I didn’t find that I needed to.
The next step is to make the spiral candle holder to hang within the bottle. I wanted to wrap my wire around a tapered object in order to create a basic shape. I actually used a bottle of nail polish because that’s what i had on hand and it worked pretty well.
I then made a small handle on the spiral by wrapping the wire around tightly.
I then placed the tea light in the spiral and hung it from the chains I assembled previously.
Lastly, I inserted the chain into the bottle and through the neck so that I could grasp the chain from the top and let the bottle hang below. There you have it, your very own wine lantern! My mom plans to hang them around the edge of her deck and I will try to upload a picture once they are in place!