With the holidays upon us most folks are decorating the house and getting ready for Christmas. It’s definitely my favorite holiday, so I have saved this project to get a jump-start on all the homemade Christmas gifts I plan to make this year. These decorative vases are a spin-off of one of my previous DIY projects, but I love how they turned out so much that I just had to share! They are basically bottle lights fashioned to look like a flower vase and decorated to fit the holiday season. Holiday decorations are everywhere this time of year, so finding some silk flowers to put in your bottle shouldn’t be a problem. I found some poinsettias cheap at the thrift store. The bottles I use for this project are the frosted bottles like Ice 101 or the amber bottles like Seagram’s 7 or maybe a nice wine bottle. A 40 oz Budweiser may suffice with some creativity, but I personally like the frosted bottles the best because they tend to glow brighter and you can’t see the wires inside.
Supplies for decorative vases
- clean liquor bottle or wine bottle
- Christmas lights ($5 Walmart)
- decorations (silk flowers, stickers, paint ect.)
- power drill
- diamond coated tile and glass bit ($16 Home Depot)
- cord on/off switch ($3 Home Depot)
- safety equipment (eye protection, leather gloves)
The first step of the project is to strip any labels and wash the bottle in warm soapy water. Use a soft cloth to dry and make sure there’s no sticky residue left from the label. A hole will need to be cut into the bottle on the backside at the base. This will allow an exit for the cord and switch. Instructions on cutting a hole in the base of a bottle can be found on a previous post How To Make A Liquor Bottle Lamp.
Wiring Christmas Lights for Decorative Vases
The light kit I use for these are the mini Christmas light kits. They are short white strands of 20 lights or less and the bulbs are just clear. Locate a spot on the cord about 2-3 inches below the last bulb, with a sharpie mark the wire that has the lights connected to it. The mark will help in putting the wires back together correctly. Cut the cord in half at the mark, one of the wires should have black marker showing on both halves. The switch will be used to put everything back together all nice and neat like nothing ever happened!
The lights will need to be stuffed down the neck of the bottle one by one until the end can be reached and pulled through the hole at the base as shown above. The rest of the strand can be stuffed inside and arranged with a wooden dowel or a coat hanger.
I like to fit a rubber grommet into the hole to protect the cord and it also looks more finished. Opening up the switch reveals a compartment for the cord and the other side will have the switch. The side with the switch also has copper spikes that will pierce the part of the cord that is not connected. That will allow the switch to turn off the lamp while it’s still plugged in.
Now its time to assemble the cord we cut. Each end has two wires and one of the wires should have a black mark on it. The wires with the black mark will NOT be connected together. The wire with no marks should be spliced and re-connected with electrical tape. The part with the tape will fit in the housing like the picture above. The marked wires may need trimmed just a bit to fit inside. Put the switch back together slowly making sure the copper spikes pierce the wires that have no connection. DO NOT plug it in until the switch is in place and screwed together tightly.
Customizing your Decorative Vase
Since I’m getting ready for Christmas, I decorated my bottle with red letters that say “NOEL” on the front and filled it with silk poinsettias. I also added a shoestring bow and a small poinsettia sticker on the neck of the bottle.
Below are a couple different styles I made this year for gifts.