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.
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…
- 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.
- (NOTE: SEE UPDATE BELOW FOR AN EVEN EASIER WAY TO MAKE A WINE BOTTLE TIKI TORCH!)
Instructions 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 instructables.com.
- 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.
- 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.
So 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.
[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,