Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A "Pinteresting" Life: Wine Bottle Night Light

I saw this amazing idea on Pinterest a while ago and immediately pinned it to my board. I have kept it in the back of my mind because I hadn't found a bottle that I thought was "interesting" enough to use until recently. Backstory: I was wandering the wine section at Sam's and found this incredibly different, HUGE, blue wine bottle. Now, they had a smaller option, yes. BUT we were having company for dinner (and we know about their love of wine), so we thought we could stock up by purchasing just this one bottle (and I could totally use it for a craft later).  Once it had been annihilated... ahem, I mean, emptied...I had a "lightbulb" moment. Why not use this incredibly different, fairly unique, wine bottle as my "night light" for the downstairs in the hallway between the living room and the kitchen (And next to my liquor cabinet!)?!

What You Will Need (And Where to Find It):
1. A fun, interesting bottle! I recommend either some Kraken Rum or Falkenburg Wine if you want something fun or funky. Kraken Rum can be found at most local package/liquor stores. We actually have one as decoration on a set of shelves in the living room. It has such a cool look to it. Falkenburg wine (the big bottle) can be found at Sam's. I love how tall the bottle is (so unusual!) and the blue color.  You see lots of green/brown/black/yellow bottles, but I've never seen blue! We haven't found it anywhere else other than Sam's Club.

2. A Glass/Tile Drill Bit: I found one at Home Depot. This was the only brand that we found that had glass/tile drill bits in the store. I picked a fairly large drill bit (1/2 Inch) so that I would have room to push the lights/light strand through the hole into the bottle. We purchased a Bosch 1/2" Glass/Tile drill bit from Home Depot. The reviews on it online aren't great, but for craft purposes it's awesome.

3. A Strand of Lights With Only ONE Plug: I finally found a strand of lights here. The strand of lights I bought was called "Craft Lights."  It's only 35 lights, BUT there's only one plug (rather than one on each end). That way, I can stuff the lights into the wine bottle without trying to figure out a way to get a plug inside the bottle.

4. A Drill: I would recommend if yours is battery operated that you charge it first. That way you won't have an "Uh-Oh" moment in the middle as your drill dies. Speaking from experience, yes....
Here is ours. Charging - after 30 minutes of drilling.
5. Safety Supplies: This means goggles, gloves, and a safe drilling space/area! You can use construction goggles, found at your local hardware store, lab goggles found at a local community college...I don't really care. I just want you to protect your eyes! Gloves (J refused to wear these. He stablized the bottle with his feet - no joke). We laid down a moving blanket from our "recent" move (5 months ago) on our hardwood floor. We spread it out so that it covered about a 3 foot x 3 foot space. When you drill, it starts to look like a fine sand or dust accumulating on the bottle and ground around it - that's fine shards of glass, so please take these precautions when you start to drill!
Those white splotches you see?! That is the glass shard dust
that you will produce! Impressive, huh?!
Proof that J doesn't follow directions ;)
6. A Handy Man (Optional): I had J help me. I am totally fine using tools for a less fine-motor-skill activity, but drilling through glass requires more fine motor activities. However, I am fairly clumsy and I would like to keep my fingers intact! J was sweet enough to  agree to help me. But if you are comfortable with your drill-wielding skills, I bow to you girl! Go get 'em!
J - not following any of my least
he's using his hand to stabilize in this picture!
How to Make It:
1. Set Up: Once you have all of your supplies (it took me several days to accumulate mine!), and some muscle, set up your "construction zone." I would recommend that you do this away from kids and pets. One blog I read recommended duct tape in the area you are going to drill. This will provide traction for the drill bit so it doesn't walk all over the glass and it will help reinforce the glass. We decided to leave the labels on (as we felt it was part of the bottle's charm), so we did not to place duct tape where we were going to drill. Don your gloves and safety goggles!

2. Go To Work: Set your drill bit in your *CHARGED* drill. Now, here's the tricky part: start drilling. I read on another blog while researching the best way to do this that you need to have the mindset that you are etching a hole into the bottle, rather than drilling a hole. You need to have a firm grip on the bottle and the drill, but DO NOT bear down hard with the drill. It took us a total drill time of one hour to have a complete 1/2" hole through the entire thickness of the bottle. If your press down with the drill bit too hard, the bottle will shatter. Take your time, and take breaks if you need to! Slow and steady makes the most perfect bottle night light ever! This is where patience truly is a virtue!
After 15 minutes of drilling.
After a half-hour of drilling...Just after J's drill died.
3. Clean Up: The bottle will need to be dusted off (hopefully, into a trash can!). We dusted the bottle off onto the blanket we drilled on, and then threw the blanket away. No need to re-use a glass-shard infested blanket for anything else. I would highly recommend that you leave your gloves ON for this (as well as your eye-protection gear). Rinse the inside of the bottle as well. Point that little hole you drilled away from you. Yes, again...speaking from experience.

4. Test It Out: Plug those lights in and make sure you didn't get a faulty strand or a burned out light. I know that I personally would hate to find out the lights didn't work after I had stuffed them into the bottle!! Better to find out sooner rather than later if they don't work.

5. Stuff It: No, really. Stuff those lights in, sister! This is a fairly slow, tedious process as I am OCD and a perfectionist. However, it's nevertheless worth wriggling the lights around to make such a beautiful final product! I would recommend leaving the lights plugged in as you stuff to make sure that you are spreading the lights around the bottle adequately!

6. Enjoy It: It's that simple! You've worked hard to make such a beautiful product! Put it in a highly visible spot and enjoy! :)

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