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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Blue Bottle Torches You’ve Seen on Pinterest

Are you on Pinterest like I am???  If you are, I’m sure you’ve seen the wonderful blue bottle torches that people are making.  Think Tiki Torches for your garden.  They are easy and fun to make.  SO!  I have tons of blue bottles lying around here waiting for me to use them.  I thought I’d give this a try earlier this spring.  Let me show you what I made and then what happened.

Here’s a picture of the bottle torch.  It is ¾ full of fluid.  It’s lit and chasing the bugs away!!!  Wonderful!

Here’s a bottle that’s very full!

This is what the top looks like while it is on fire.

My sweet little angel is all it took to put out the fire.

This is what the wick looks like after a couple fires.

This is what happens when the bottle breaks.

This is the mess left on the ground.  This can be very dangerous when it gets on the bottoms of dog and kitty feet!

Let me tell you.  I love this idea!  I think it’s wonderful.  It looks good and it works well!   Blue in the garden.  A nice, soft fire at night that will chase away the bugs.  Perfect!



I believe one of two things happened here.  EITHER – Knowing me, I tightened the metal piece around the neck of the bottle a little too snug.  OR – The bottle had a weak spot in it.  This happens to glass.  Any brand, any type, any where.  It just does.

I believe that in my case the weather was changing drastically from morning to noon to night.  From very cold at night and early morning, to very hot in the late afternoon.  On a few occasions I tried lighting these during the day and a few times at night.  I wanted to see what they would look like and how they would work.

Notice the gravel where the bottle fell?  I made my 2 test torches above the gravel in case I did some thing like drop the bottle.  I was lucky the gravel was there and that the fire was out when this happened!  Because this happened during the night some time.

I really wanted to make these for a garden show last June called Sorticulture.  I just knew these would be a hit.  They are good looking in a garden and the way they work is great!

Then one morning (2 days after I made them and lit them for the first time) I came out and noticed some thing wet on the ground.  It took me a few seconds to realize there was also glass, blue glass, a few feet away.  I was very surprised to see what had happened.

Now, I am not an expert on glass.  BUT!  I have been making glass beads and fusing glass for over 10 years.  I truly believe that in this case the metal around the neck of the bottle was very hot causing the metal to expand.  I believe the weather was getting very cold.  The bottle is from a recycle bin where I have no idea how the bottle was handled.  SO!  If you put all 3 of those together – you get the CHANCE of some thing like this happening to the torch you just made.

If you try making these … make sure of the following:

Make sure you know exactly how that bottle was handled.  Either use a bottle you drank from or get a bottle from a friend who knows what you are going to use it for.

Make sure the metal around the neck of the bottle is NOT too tight.  Make sure it has just enough room so the bottle can turn inside that holder just a little bit.  It should not be lose at all.

Make sure there is nothing flammable underneath it should it fall like mine did.  That bottle had at least 10 ounces of oil in it.  This could have been extremely dangerous.  If a fire of any type had been where this bottle fell ,,,, it could have been a major fire in a matter of minutes!

I do believe you can make these safely for your garden.  I just want you to know that things can happen and some times they can be dangerous.  So, if you make them.  Pay attention to their surroundings.  Then, enjoy them!  They did keep the bugs away!!!

Have a good one and thanks for stopping by!  Shelley


  1. Thanks for posting this cautionary tale. I have that Pin on my Pinterest board too, but don't really have the wherewithal to make it. But it's good to know what can go wrong. I'm following many of your boards now on Pinterest, too.

    1. Hi Allison! Thanks! I love making stuff from junk. Some times I forget that the parts are far from new. In a case like this,,, I could have burnt down my house. If you use new bottles or bottles you know where they have been, then I believe this is a safe product to make. They are gorgeous in my yard. If you took the list of supplies you need to your local hardware store, I'm sure they could help you do this. Give them as many pictures as you can and bring a bottle and MAYBE you could go home with one of these! Don't you just love Pinterest. EEK! My mind goes crazy looking at all those things!!! Have a great weekend and thanks again! Shelley