Decorative Vases with Bottle Lights

decorative vases

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.

decorative vases

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! :-)


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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.
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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.
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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

Lets be honest, this is a just a bottle light until we decorate it and add pretty flowers? Then it can get away with being called a flower vase! Lighted vase? Who cares.. they just look cool lol.
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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. :-D

decorative vases

Below are a couple different styles I made this year for gifts.


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  1. Hi there!

    I just found your site and you have exactly what I am looking for!!!

    Bottle’s with lights in them!!

    I have a question. Can I use my Drill-Press to make the hole in the bottom of the bottle?

    I have to buy the Drill-Bits (diamond) to do this.

    This will be my first attempt at making Bottle Lamps.

    Any help you can give me will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks and talk to you soon!!!

    Linda (in calif)

  2. All the bottles I cut are done with just a regular hand drill (battery powered) because I run water over the bit while I am drilling. The water helps the bit cut a lot faster and also keeps any glass dust from flying. I think a drill press would work good but you would need to submerge the bottle in water and make sure you don’t put to much pressure on the glass. The bit should do all the work. I recently broke a crown bottle while drilling and it didn’t shatter like I thought it would, but cracked in half so gloves and eye goggles are a good idea for this project. :-D

  3. i like this project its really cool

  4. I love these and make them also, I use a drill press, I lay the bottles on a towel and use plumbers putty to make a well that holds the water while I drill. It works great.

  5. Roxane, thank you so much for sharing that idea. Ive been thinking about how I could use the drill press instead of a hand drill. Only thing holding me back was the water issue. I’m definitely going to try that!

  6. I really like the look of your lighted bottle vases. The flowers add a nice touch.

    My wife and I also make bottle lamps. Here is a link to the article I wrote regarding using a variation of fillers. I thought you and your readers might be interested:

  7. Thank you very much Nick! :-D

  8. Thanks for sharing

  9. I like this post really cool amazing

  10. I use a drill press to drill my holes. I put the bottle in a plastic container, two pieces of painters tape where the hole will be drilled. You then make a dam from window glazing and place where you will drill hole and fill with water. Make sure you rinse bottle well after drilling to get rid of all glass dust, turn upside down in dishwasher to dry.

  11. Suzanne,

    Where do you buy your grommets and what size bit do you drill with.
    Love the idea of having on and off switch for the bottle lights.


  12. I buy the grommets at a local store called Cal-Ranch, you should be able to get them at most hardware stores. I am also using the 1/2 inch drill bit.

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