Thursday, February 9, 2012

{DIY} Wine Bottle Lantern & Cork Base

A few days ago (on February 3rd, to be exact), I showed you an easier way to cut empty wine bottles with a tutorial, which, if you missed can be found here. Someone then asked me "what would one do with the glass once cut?" Great question. A wine bottle Lantern one of my answers! (because I will have more projects coming your way involving cut bottles, but let's take it one project at a time....).  You can make your lantern more interesting by choosing bottles that have an etched design, like the middle bottle you can see below, which shows an Occitan cross  from my home region of the Languedoc-Roussillon in southwestern France.

Wine bottle lantern centerpiece                               Cool idea for a unique gift! 

This idea isn't new, you have probably seen those in stores or for sale online, and most of the time, they aren't cheap. Why spend too much money when you don't have to (I already had all of the material required for this project and my only extra expense was for the stain, which cost less than $5)? This post will show the steps to making the cork base (onto which the candle can safely melt) and how to assemble the lantern, which can also make a great and unique gift!  The cork bases can be used as drink coasters.


You will need:

  • 19 corks: make sure they are of similar heights!
  • Hot glue gun
  • A saw (a coping saw is best but I didn't have one so I used a backsaw)
  • Wood stain (I chose a dark walnut color)
  • Sponge brush
  • Clear acrylic sealer
  • Rubber band
  • Candles

Step 1:

Arrange the corks the way you will want to glue them. The following pattern is easy and requires 19 corks:

Starting from the middle, as seen in the photo below, assemble the corks with a hot glue gun:

Continue assembling the corks row by row, going towards the outside:

Finished result will look like this:

Step 2:

Put a rubber band around the assembled corks for extra sturdiness, and with a saw, cut all the way through to create one base. Continue until you have 4 bases:

Step 3: 

This step is completely optional, and you could be done right here and choose to keep your corks a natural color. I chose to stain the bases with a dark walnut stain, bought at a hardware store. Apply the stain with a sponge brushes on all sides:

Let it dry thoroughly, before applying a clear acrylic sealer (bought at Michael's):


Take the wine bottles you have already cut (using a bottle cutter and the tips from my tutorial), place a candle on the base, then cover with the bottle, and you are done! How easy was that????

*Please note that the glass will get hot after the candle has burned for a while, be sure to protect your hands when lifting the bottle to blow out the candle*


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment, I always love getting positive feedback! (PS: just saw your blog, I especially love your shopping list! :)

  2. How do you keep the wax from spilling onto the table or oozing all over the corks?

    1. I let one of the candles burn for 2 hours and it didn't spill at all onto the cork. If one does use a candle that will spill, there is not enough space between the cork rounds to let any wax through. The cork bases are meant to protect the table, should there be any spillage. Thank you for your question! :)

  3. Clever idea! Love the Occitane cross bottle!