Declaring War on Mosquitoes | DIY Wine Bottle Tiki Torch


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 |

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’. (NOTE: SINCE I ORIGINALLY DID THIS POST I FOUND AN EVEN EASIER WAY TO MAKE A WINE BOTTLE TIKI TORCH! LOOK FOR THAT UPDATE JUST ABOVE MY SIGNATURE LINE BELOW.)

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 $3 bucks. Note, make sure to buy wicks that are ½” in diameter … otherwise they 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 wine bottle entirely with fuel, I’d recommend that you put pea gravel at the bottom … or some other similar material, It will displace some of the fuel, while also raising it up to reach the wick. Besides it’s functional value, the pea gravel is also cool to look at through the wine bottle.
    • 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 Non-Toxic, Citronella Tiki Torch 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 |

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 have to 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 initially used Goo Gone (Britt would suggest a drop or two of lemon essential oils) 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 the bottle 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 skadattle … or at least away from where you’ll be hanging out.

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


So there you have it … how to make a wine bottle tiki torch. Hopefully yours will help you combat those nasty 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 dealios … 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 yet, 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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  1. Deb on July 6, 2015 at 11:51 am

    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).

    • Doug Scott on July 6, 2015 at 1:36 pm

      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.

  2. Joe Lamp'l on July 6, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Great post and idea! Too bad all the other parts to make it aren’t as abundant around here as the leftover wine bottles. Doogh!

    • Doug Scott on July 6, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      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.

  3. Kelly Flanagan on July 15, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    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!

    • Doug Scott on July 15, 2015 at 5:01 pm

      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.

    • Sonya Newquist on July 20, 2020 at 11:05 am

      I used your method using Patron bottles and drilling through the cork, then inserted the fittings into that opening. Had to put painter’s tape on the corks to keep them intact.

      Posting pictures on Pinterest.

  4. DB on September 3, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    $14.41 per coupler? I’ll buy 4 Tiki Torches on sale first. DB

    • Doug Scott on September 4, 2015 at 10:40 am

      Thanks DB…no doubt! The challenge w active links, you can’t control for inflation. I just updated the links to couplers that are 10-20% of the original ones. Thanks again, D.

    • Al on August 24, 2017 at 4:11 pm

      $14/per, no way. They are maybe $4 tops…

  5. […] Image source: Redeem Your Ground […]

  6. How to Make Wine Bottle Tiki Torches » DIY Fix on April 13, 2016 at 10:02 am

    […] How to Make Wine Bottle Tiki Torches […]

  7. Lili on April 21, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    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!


    • Doug Scott on April 28, 2016 at 10:22 am

      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.

      • Kim on May 23, 2017 at 10:42 pm

        Can you tell me where you ca purchase the ceramic ones?

        • Doug Scott on May 27, 2017 at 10:10 pm

          Hey Kim, I hope you’re well…and thanks for reaching out. I don’t know where you can purchase them locally, but you can get them online here: Let me know if you have any trouble finding them. Take care, D.

  8. Mary Ellen Layden on April 28, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Where oh where did you get those ceramic corks????

    • Doug Scott on May 2, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      Hey Mary Ellen…thanks for reaching out. You can get a set of 6 ceramic wine bottle cork deals that convert your wine bottles to tiki torches by clicking on the links above or on this link: I hope this helps…and thanks! D.

  9. Katherine on May 15, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    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!

    • Doug Scott on May 16, 2016 at 2:28 pm

      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,

  10. Kim Myall on December 27, 2016 at 3:23 am

    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.

    • Doug Scott on January 2, 2017 at 3:12 pm

      Very cool Kim! I’d love to see how your mason jar version turns out…please share pics!!! Cheers and Happy New Year! – D.

  11. Kim Myall on December 27, 2016 at 3:27 am

    Also, found these.

    • Doug Scott on January 2, 2017 at 3:16 pm

      Thanks for the link Kim! These look great. – D.

  12. Colleen on March 14, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    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.

    • Doug Scott on March 14, 2017 at 9:44 pm

      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.

  13. Natasha on April 2, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    Have you seen this?

    • Doug Scott on April 3, 2017 at 5:17 pm

      I had not…thanks for sharing Natasha! – D.

    • PK on June 8, 2017 at 5:41 pm

      It says those aluminum wick holders are not for wine bottles…bummer

      • Doug Scott on June 27, 2017 at 3:04 pm

        Doh!!! Thanks for letting us know…bummer is right! – D.

  14. 20 Awesome DIY Backyard Projects - Hative on May 28, 2017 at 10:25 am

    […] One of the things we need to create that summer feeling is a tiki torch. Instead of purchasing expensive pre-made tiki torches, you can make your own with simple materials such as wine bottles. via redeemyourground […]

  15. […] Wine Bottle Tiki Torch wine bottle + wick + reducing connector +  thread sealant tape + pea gravel + Citronella Torch Fuel […]

  16. […] How to make Doug and Brittany’s DIY wine bottle tiki torch post […]

  17. angela on June 24, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    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

    • Doug Scott on June 27, 2017 at 2:45 pm

      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.

  18. […] Redeem Your Ground […]

  19. Robin on July 19, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Can you color the tiki oil if you have a clear wine bottle?

    • Doug Scott on July 19, 2017 at 8:20 pm

      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.

  20. […] Source: Redeem Your Ground […]

  21. […] Source: Redeem Your Ground […]

  22. Robin on July 21, 2017 at 4:26 pm

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

  23. […] Tiki Torches © Redeem Your Ground […]

  24. […] Redeem Your Ground […]

  25. Bonnie on September 28, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    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.

    • Doug Scott on October 4, 2017 at 2:49 pm

      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.

  26. Mari on May 28, 2018 at 11:50 am

    I’m trying them for the first time this summer, but the flame keeps on going out! Any suggestions of what I need to do?

    • Doug Scott on May 30, 2018 at 3:31 pm

      Mari, thanks so much for reaching out…and I’m sorry you’re having trouble keeping the flames on your tiki torches lit! That’s no fun.

      This hasn’t happened to me, but that’s not to say it hasn’t to others. My guess is that it has something to do with either the wick and/or the oil you’re using. If the oil is too thick…or the wick too dense, then the wick will have a tough time drawing the oil up out of the wine bottle. So to remedy your problem I’d suggest that you: a. make sure the wick reaches the oil; b. top off/replace the oil; and/or c. manipulate (i.e., open up) your existing wick or replace it. The only other thing I would think might snuff out your flame a bit is if your wick has gotten wet and/or water has gotten inside the wine bottle. If so, the remedies would be the same as above. See if any of these things improve the situation…and please let me know so that your insight can be shared.

      I hope this helps and thanks again Mari! Take care, D.

  27. Denise on September 14, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    Hi Doug,
    Can I use the screw off cap type wine bottles?

    • Doug Scott on September 9, 2018 at 1:20 pm

      Hey Denise, I’ve not used bottles w screw-caps, but don’t see why it wouldn’t work…as long as the fittings fit the opening. That said, when we drink wine from a screw-cap bottle, we don’t have to use some sort of special cork to cap it off…so I’m almost certain it would work. Hope you’re well and thanks for reaching out. Take care, D.

  28. Vicki on October 22, 2018 at 11:05 am

    This has nothing to do with mosquitoes, but everything to do with empty wine bottles! They make an interesting, decorative edging. Simply dig a trench and “plant” the bottles upside down, and then back fill. You can vary the height and color to add interest.
    P.S. Love your show and blog.

    • Doug Scott on October 26, 2018 at 8:12 am

      Vicki, thanks for chiming in with your empty wine bottle idea. Not that we’re drunkards, but we have collected a number of wine bottles and this has gotten my creative juices flowing. I’ve also thought about building a wine-bottle tree in our “Scott Family Farm” (err…near our chicken coop). Thanks again for your comment…oh, and your kind words about our blog and the episode of Growing a Greener World where we were featured! Take care my friend, D.

  29. […] Image by: Redeemyourground […]

  30. Mehmet Uzuner on August 23, 2020 at 6:48 am

    What is the size of wick and the type?

    • Doug Scott on August 24, 2020 at 4:41 pm

      Hey there Mehmet, I used the TIKI Brand replacement wicks that I referenced/provided a link to above. I think they are about 12-13″ long. I hope this helps. Thanks and take care, D.

  31. […] How to make Doug and Brittany’s DIY wine bottle tiki torch post […]

  32. 150 Repurposed DIY Room Decor Ideas – MykList on February 27, 2022 at 3:11 am

    […] Wine Bottle Tiki Torch wine bottle + wick + reducing connector +  thread sealant tape + pea gravel + Citronella Torch Fuel […]

  33. […] Make tiki torch out of recycling wine bottles using tiki wick, fuel, gravel and washer by redeem your ground. […]

  34. […] Image from: Redeem your Ground […]

  35. Valerie on June 28, 2023 at 9:19 am

    Do the linked couplers really fit inside of wine bottles? We’re trying to use olive oil bottles, and the linked couplers are just slightly too big. And, I can’t imagine the the opening of a wine bottle is bigger than the opening of our oilve oil bottles. Can you provide the link to the orginial couplers that you suggested? Thanks!

    • Doug Scott on June 28, 2023 at 6:07 pm

      Hey Valerie, thanks for reaching out. Yes, the couplers do fit most of the wine bottles I used. Oddly, we have had some wine bottles that had a wider opening that the coupler did not fit. I would have thought that there was standard size…but I guess not. You could the ceramic “plug-like” deals I added a link to at the bottom of the post … they may work for slightly smaller openings. Is this the link you’re asking me to re-send? t’s to the one I used. Hope this helps. Reach back out if not. Cheers, D.

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