I had wanted to get this project out to you as an apropos New Year’s Eve themed project but the holidays were just so filled that miniatures had to take a back seat. So rather than waiting yet another year to show you these darling bottles, here they are
The only difficult part of this project for you will probably be locating the exact lights but some stores still offer after holiday sales (at better prices) and there are also stores, especially online, that sell Christmas items all year long. I bought both plain white and multi-colored (green, yellow, red, blue) strings. Have to confess here, after seeing how well the finished items looked, I bought several of each. I know I will be using the pieces I make from them for many projects
So, good luck hunting down the lights, your search will be worth the time involved. And if you can not find these bottle lights now, there is always next Christmas season…and the way retailers seem to work, that is probably not that far off.
Many of you have seen and tried my many projects that involve turning Lite-Brite pegs and acrylic rods into bottles and glassware but for those that have not, and just in case you are unable to find the bottle lights used here until the next holiday season, I will be including the bottle DIY for both Lite Brite Pegs and acrylic rods.
+++ The Lite Brite Peg/acrylic rod instructions are now included at the end of this post ++++
The first thing to do is remove the bottles from the lights….a quick tug should work.
A fine-tooth razor saw and a matching miter box are used to cut the bottles to size.
The bottles have a textured surface, which is an interesting look, but for some pieces you may want a smoother surface. To obtain this, simply file/sand the bottle’s sides (emery boards work well here) until the desired finish is accomplished. Don’t worry about clouding up the finish as a coat of clear nail polish will fix this. (If you have a Dremel tool and buffing attachments they will also return the finish to a gloss). Leaving the sanded sides as is will give your bottles a frosted-glass look.
A sharp, pointed blade X-acto knife is used to ream out the insides of the pieces as needed.
Assorted sizes of round paper punches are used to punch rounds from sheet acrylic (look to scraps of blister pack or other heavy plastic packaging ) to create bottoms for glasses.
E-600 glue is used to adhere parts together.
Sharpie Permanent Marker Pens and/or nail polish (white, black and metallic’s) were used to color tops of bottles and to tint acrylic sheeting for glass bottoms as needed.
The actual label is smaller than this image.
Carefully cut out a label printie and adhere to bottle, placed as desired, with a light coating of a tacky-type glue that is compatible with plastic. You may want to get creative and design your own personalized labels…these make fun gifts for friends in miniature. Note: For a Christmas gift I designed a personalized label for a non-miniature friend and glued them to two bottles. I drilled holes in the tops of the two bottles, inserted pronged jump rings into the holes with E-600 and then attached hook earwires. She loved her “designer” earrings! When time allows I am going to create a charm bracelet.
SMALL TUMBLERS: These are made from the bottom sections of the bottles that were removed. Use an X-acto knife edge to ream out the inside of the glass-to be until desired thickness is achieved….the thinner the walls the better. Note: You will find it much easier to prepare them before they are removed from the bottles because you will have more to hold on to and not have to worry about the blade extending out the bottom of the piece. Sand or scrap the cut edges smooth.
MEDIUM-SIZE GLASSES: As seen, these are cut to include the smooth bottom section of the bottles and approx. 1/8” of the decorative section. The inside walls are reamed out as, the tops and bottom prepared as described above, for the small tumblers.
TALL GLASSES: Cut the bottom section of the bottle off just at the seam between the two sections…this will leave you with a slightly rounded and closed bottom. Cut it from the bottle at a 3/8” height. Sand the bottom smooth and check to see if the glass sits straight, making any adjustments needed by filing. Ream out the inside walls as described for tumblers. Use clear nail enamel to gloss the insides.
STEMMED GLASSES: Cut a ½” long section of the bottles, measuring down from the top of the tip. Ream out insides as described above. Sand the top edges smooth and the rounded tip flat. For bottom of stems, punch out a 3/16” round from clear or colored to match, sheet acrylic. Using E-600, glue the bottoms centered, evenly to the tips, making sure the glasses are sitting straight. You may find it easier to center the bottoms if you mark the center with a tiny dot. Treat with clear acrylic as desired or leave as is for a frosted-glass look.
.Shortly, hereafter, I will be adding the instructions, etc. for using Lite Brite Pegs and acrylic rods to create bottles….stay tuned.
+++ As Promised +++
THE FOLLOWING ARE SLIGHTLY EDITED EXCERPTS FROM SOME OF MY DIY ARTICLES FROM OVER THE YEARS THAT INCLUDE CREATING BOTTLE, JARS, GLASSES, ETC.