Like many of us, you may have recently gotten the urge to do more DIY projects around the home. It’s no surprise considering the abundance of information available from home network channels on TV to Pinterest and blogs all showcasing how to repurpose everyday objects. Although I have always been the creative type, it wasn’t until the past couple of years that I really took interest in creating things for around the home. I love to browse flea markets and craft fairs for unique finds, but sometimes it’s the objects in our everyday lives that can be reused in a whole new way.
Since we love to drink wine and often find ourselves with a selection of perfectly good glass bottles, we decided to put them to better use. In our house, we love the ambiance of a freshly lit candle. From the beautiful scents, flickering light and the mood it creates, a candle can quickly become an item worth stocking up on. Unfortunately, a candle habit is not a cheap habit. So we thought, why not make our own candles using the glass from our favorite bottles of Cambria wines!
With just a small selection of essential materials and the right tools, you can start creating your own handmade candles too.
DIY Wine Bottle Candles
- Empty Wine Bottles
- Bulk Wax Chips (we chose natural soy wax)
- 6” Candle Wicks
- Glass Bottle Cutter
- Tea Kettle
- Emery Filing Paper (these came with the purchase of the glass bottle cutter)
- Candlemaking Pitcher
- Scented Oils (not required)
- Hot Glue Gun
I’ll be honest, the first DIY glass bottle cutting method we tried simply did not work for me. The directions called for us to soak string in acetone, place it on the bottle where you’d like the glass to cut, light it on fire and upon keeping the flame lit as long as possible you’ll then quickly dunk the head of the bottle in a bucket of ice water where the glass will break on your designated spot. Unfortunately, I just encountered problem and after problem with this method and could never keep the string lit long enough or if the bottle would break, it’d leave me with a jagged edge that was unusable.
Upon doing further research and spending some time on YouTube, I ended up purchasing a glass bottle cutter in order to make this project happen. The process was much easier and the results were well worth it.
Directions for Cutting the Glass Wine Bottle:
- On the stove, heat a full pot of water in a tea kettle. Set aside.
- Using the directions provided with the glass bottle cutter, place the stopper in the top of the wine bottle and mark the location of your score (above the wine label).
- Holding the bottle tightly with one hand, move the scoring tool around the entire circumference of the bottle until you have a complete score.
- In a sink, run a small stream of cold water over the top of the wine bottle. With your other hand, slowly pour hot water from the tea kettle directly onto your score line.
- Once all the way around the bottle and your bottle has heated up, apply the small stream of cold water directly on to the score line.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 again until the top portion of the bottle falls off.
- Use the emery filing paper to smooth out the edges.
Directions for Making the Candle:
- Start by placing the candle wicks into the center of the glass jar and trim the wick slightly.
- Apply a small amount of hot glue to the bottom of the wick and place in the center of the jar at the bottom. Hold for 15 seconds.
- Due to soy wax being able to combust into flames if reached beyond a certain temperature, the safest way is to use a double boiler method to heat the wax. Fill a pot with a small amount of water and bring to a boil.
Using either a candlemaking pitcher (as seen here) or a glass bowl, fill it with the soy wax and place on top of the water. Reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Constantly stir the wax to prevent any burning. Once all melted, turn off the heat, and the temperature of the wax should not exceed 180°. (if using a vegetable dye block, insert here)
- Add fragrance (if desired) once the temperature is between 150° and 160°. This ensures that the fragrance will stick to the soy wax.
- Pour the wax into the glass jars with the wick, leaving a small amount at the very top.
- Use a wick holder to keep it centered in the jar while cooling (a centered wick is essential to having a candle that burns evenly). Note — a cost effective method is to use a pen to hold the wick in place.
- Once the candle wax is completely dry, remove holder and trim the wick to desired length.
Now each time you finish off your favorite Cambria Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, you can set aside the bottle to make your own candle that’ll burn for hours in the favorite room of your house. Another idea would be to host a candle making party where you supply all the pre-cut wine bottles and candle making supplies (you can purchase these in bulk to keep costs down) and your guests get to make their own handmade candles with the scent of their choosing! Better yet, make a bunch of them and gift them throughout the year for special occasions and holidays.
We’d love to know if you decide to make your own candles and any additional tips you can provide other readers with!
Written By: Kristin Mansky