Declaring War on Mosquitoes:  No. 1 | DIY Wine Bottle Tiki Torch

How to make a Wine Bottle Tiki Torch - Redeem Your Ground |

I can’t stand mosquitoes. Sure…I get that they serve some purpose in the greater ecosystem, but as Brownie often asks me, I’m sometimes left wondering too – “Why did God ever create mosquitoes?!”

And I know that I’m not alone. So today’s post is on how-to-make a DIY wine bottle tiki torch – one way to combat mosquitoes, in a pretty stylish way.How to make a Wine Bottle Tiki Torch - Redeem Your Ground | RYGblog.comsidebar-vine

Materials Needed to Make a Wine Bottle Tiki Torch

This project couldn’t be easier and when you do the math, it’s pretty cheap too. Regardless, from a design perspective I find wine bottle tiki torches a lot more attractive and interesting to look at than the store-bought versions. And nothing against Hawaii…I’d love to visit there someday, but I’m not always in the mood to go to a luau. I’m just sayin’.

So here’s what you’ll need…How to Make a Wine Bottle Tiki Torch - Redeem Your Ground |

    • Repurposed Wine Bottle: Not only is it free, having a glass of your favorite vino while making your tiki torches may make it more fun. Just don’t drink too much…you are playing with fire for cryin’ out loud!
    • Wick: You can buy a set of 2 replacement wicks for about $5 or an 8’ “rope” of replacement wick  for about $12. Your call. It just depends on how many Tiki torches you want to make and how often you’ll be outside warding off mosquitos. Note…when you buy either, make sure you chose a wick that is ½” in diameter…otherwise it will be too thin and will slip right through the coupling.
    • Coupling or Connector: I used a ½” x ¾” reducing connector. However, folks from other posts I saw claimed to use a ½” x ⅜” copper coupling…but they didn’t fit most of my bottles. I guess which is best for you depends on the size of the mouth of your wine bottle.
    • Thread Sealant Tape: While you’re in the plumbing aisle grab some thread sealant tape. This is what you’ll wrap around the end of the coupling that goes into the mouth of the wine bottle…making sure that you get a good seal.
    • Pea Gravel: So that you don’t have to fill your tiki torch entirely with fuel, I’d recommend that you put pea gravel at the bottom…or some other similar material.
    • Citronella Torch Fuel: Finally, you’ll need some fuel. I couldn’t find it in time to do this post, but next time I’ll use Firefly’s Safe & Green Fuel. It’s eco-friendly and from what I understand it’s odorless and doesn’t give off the typical black smoke that other tiki torch fuels do.

How to Make a Wine Bottle Tiki Torch - Redeem Your Ground | RYGblog.comInstructions on How to Make a Wine Bottle Tiki Torch

This is one of those DIY projects that takes more time to gather all your materials than it does to do the project itself. Here’s all you’ll do…

    • Prep Your Wine Bottle: At the very least you should wash out your wine bottle….and if you want a cleaner look, remove the label too. I’ve used Goo Gone followed by some sort of scraper, but that was still really messy and a pain to do. So I found this incredibly easy way to pull off labels by simply soaking the bottle in water and dish soap. Although the labels of some of my wine bottles still required a little bit of elbow grease, I’ll never do it any other way. Check it out on
    • Add the Pea Gravel: Again, if you want to minimize the amount of fuel you’ll use, fill the wine bottle about ⅓ of the way up with pea gravel. Or if you want to be fancy, you could use marbles or crafting pebbles. I didn’t…I used white pea gravel. But fancy or not, it was definitely more convenient since I could just scoop some off the ground near our chicken coop.
    • Wrap the Coupling: Insert the connector (or coupling) into the mouth of your wine bottle to see which end has the snuggest fit. Wrap that end with the thread sealant tape. Keep wrapping until the coupling is really snug when you stick it into the wine bottle. If you don’t…smoke could be drawn into your bottle…and you don’t want that.

How to Make a Wine Bottle Tiki Torch - Redeem Your Ground |

    • Fill the Wine Bottle with Fuel: Remove the wrapped coupling from the wine bottle and fill the bottle with fuel… just up to about where it narrows.
    • Insert the Wick: Insert the wick into the wide end of the wrapped coupling. You may have to squeeze the end of the wick together and twist it a bit to get it through the narrow end. Pull about ¼” of the wick out of the coupling. Then simply insert the wick and coupling into your wine bottle….and let the wick soak up the fuel before lighting.
    • Light ‘Er Up: Now all that’s left is to light your wine bottle tiki torch and watch those skeeters run for the hills…or at least away from where you’ll be hanging out.

How to Make a Wine Bottle Tiki Torch - Redeem Your Ground |

sidebar-vineSo there you have it…how to make a wine bottle tiki torch. Hopefully yours will help you combat mosquitoes. After all, you can’t redeem very much ground if you’re sitting inside licking your wounds…err, mosquito bites.

Wine Bottle Tiki Torch Top - Redeem Your Ground |[UPDATE: So after all of that, I’ve found this handy dandy set of 6 ceramic wine bottle cork deals…each with a 10″ wick. Man, do I wish I had thought of this first and invented them myself. Anyway, I’ve not used them myself, so I can’t vouch for them. But the next time I make wine bottle tiki torches I’m certainly going to try them out!]

Take care friends,
Doug initial


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44 thoughts on “Declaring War on Mosquitoes:  No. 1 | DIY Wine Bottle Tiki Torch

  1. What a great use for old wine bottles, Doug. I will be looking forward to see what else you come up with in your war against mosquitoes (says the person with about 100 mosquito bites all over her body after a Fourth of July camp out).

    • Thanks Deb…you and me both!!!! And try some witch hazel on those skeeter bites. My wife puts it on almost anything skin related…from bites to scratches…and from bumps to bruises – it seems to help them all. May be psychosomatic, but whatevs! Have a great rest of your week my friend, D.

    • Agreed! We stopped “collecting” our wine bottles (which doesn’t mean stopping the drinking of wine) after we had about 40 taking up a ton of shelf space. Glad I found a purpose for 6 of them! Take care my friend, D.

  2. Thanks for this, Doug! We’ve been in our new house in the woods for two weeks. Everything has gone better than expected…except the mosquitoes! Brutal. My wife has been saving wine bottles for other purposes, but I’ll forward this on to her, too. Almost dug out of the backlog created by the last six months. Look forward to talking to you soon!

    • Hey buddy…great to hear from you…but sorry to hear about your battle with the dreaded mo’skeeter! But…glad to hear you have what seems to be an ample supply of empty wine bottles to ward them off! I’ll toast you and your move tonight with a glass (or 2) of wine…only to re-fill my empty wine bottle inventory of course! Take care my friend and I look forward to talking to you soon too! Cheers, D.

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  5. Hi Doug!

    I want to try my hand at this DIY wine bottle torches project and was wondering if you can replace the wick in the set of 6 ceramic wine bottle cork after the first one’s used?

    Thank you!


    • Lili…thanks so much for reaching out and sorry to just be getting back to you. Since I haven’t used the ceramic wine bottle corks on tiki torches yet, I can only guess if they’d allow for replacement wicks. But given their apparent simple purpose and construction, I think it’s a safe bet that they would. Once I try it out myself, I’ll certainly reach back out to you to let you know for sure. And if you do before I get back to you, please let me know! Thanks again and take care, D.

  6. Hey I see in your image of supplies you have a copper coupling shown but then I can’t see or read how you end up using it in the final product… I just bought a 3/4 X 1/2 copper coupling but it doesn’t fit on or in either wine bottle I have. What is the silver metal object that you actually used? Do you remember where you got it? Thank you!

    • Katherine…thanks so much for reaching out…and I’m so sorry that you’ve had trouble with your tikki torches. I’m also sorry that my post was confusing. I’ve gone back and clarified things just a bit in hopes of not confusing anyone else.

      I ended up using a brass 1/2″ x 3/4″ connector (vs. copper coupling)…which are the silver do-hikkies you also see in the deconstructed pic. Although other blog posts I read claimed to use the coupling, I found that it only fit in 1 of my wine bottles (not pictured). I got everything from Home Depot.

      Again, sorry for the confusion…and thanks for letting me know so that I can make it clearer for others.

      Take care,

  7. I loved making these. Adapted it a bit for small mason jars as well. Had a bitch of a time getting those wicks into the coupling. Just made them, so I need to test them out still. Just wanted to say thanks. Also, I found couplings at home depot for under $2.

  8. I have used the ceramic Cork’s and love love love them. I found them in a high end kitchen retailer. They were very cheap, I think I only paid about 3 or 4.00 for them and that was 5 yrs or so ago. I have dropped the ceramic part and it was just fine. The are very hardy.

    • Thanks Colleen for letting us know your experience w the ceramic corks. I still haven’t bought any…haven’t had a need, the others I made are still working just fine. But I’m glad to know when I do that this easier option is a good one! Thanks again Colleen and I hope you have a great rest of our week. Take care, D.

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  12. Been trying for quite a while now and it’s nearly impossible if not impossible to get a 1/2 inch wick through that coupling! If anyone sees this and had success with some trick I hadn’t thought of please let me know! Thanks

    • Angela, so sorry you’re having trouble w the wicks fitting the coupling…a lot of trouble. I remember them being snug, but was finally able to get them through. Have you tried twisting the wick as you push it through…or grabbing it with needle-nosed pliers? Maybe that would work. Let me know…and again, sorry you’re having a tough time with these. Take care, D.

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    • Hey Robin, I’ve never done it myself, but don’t see why you couldn’t. You’d just have to find an oil-based dye (vs. water-based, like most food coloring). Another option would be to use colored glass marbles to anchor and partially fill the bottle. Thx for chiming in and I hope this helps. Take care, D.

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  16. Thanks. I was thinking I could use the dye they have for candle making. I’ll let you know how it works. 😊

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  19. I think this is an awesome idea and I am definitely looking forward to trying. I’m just curious about the wick, once it’s burned on the end, can you pull it up and continue to burn until it’s almost gone or do you have to only burn a short time and end up replacing the wick with a lot of it left? I like the idea of the mason jar as well and have lots of them from canning this summer and it also seems like an easier way to use up the wick left over from the wine bottle if that’s the case. I look forward to hearing back and would still love to see the end result of the mason jar idea that Kim posted.

    • Hey Bonnie…thanks for reaching out with your question. I too would love to see your or Kim’s mason jar tiki torches! So please do share! As for the wick, as long as it’s touching the fuel you should be good. At some point you’d probably wouldn’t want the flame to be so close to the fuel…so you’d need to get a new wick then. Let me know if this makes sense or not…and thanks! Take care, D.

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