Lights in a Bottle
This is a simple and creative holiday project.
Rated -- Easy for beginners.Materials List
- 1 glass jar (preferably with a glass lid), cookie jar or glass fish bowl
- 1 green enamel paint for glass
- 1 orange enamel paint for glass
- 1 strand of orange colored holiday lights
- 1 florist’s greenery
- 1 5/8” diamond drill bit
- 1 drill or drill press
- 1 paint brush
We were lucky enough to find a cookie jar that was “pumpkin” shaped. You could use any sort of a large glass jar. You could even use a glass fish bowl. The only issue with using a fish bowl is that they don’t have a lid. Another option would be to use glass kitchen canister. It will have a glass or wooden lid that can be painted green to be the stem of your pumpkin.
You can find a large assortment of glass jars, canisters, cookie jars etc, at garage sales, flea markets and local thrift shops. We found ours at a local thrift store.
Inspect your “pumpkin” for any chips or scratches. If there is a bad side, put it to the back. Using a drill or drill press, drill a ½” or 5/8” hole through the glass. The hole should be on the back side of your jack-o-lantern near the bottom. A diamond core bit works best. You’ll need a hole large enough for the string of holiday lights.
When drilling with small diamond core bits remember to:
- Use a slow drill speed of 1500-2500 RPM
- Use light drill pressure
- Keep the drill bit and the glass wet
For more drilling tips, visit the “How to Drill Glass” page on our website and download your free copy of the Glass Drilling Guide.
We highlighted the outside of the pumpkin with orange paint. Remember you’re not trying to paint the pumpkin to be opaque. We want to be able to see the light through the glass. Either leave sections of the glass unpainted or apply such a light coat that the light can be seen through the paint. Paint the lid of the jar, green to be the stem of your pumpkin.
To keep the paint from flaking or peeling you’ll want to bake it onto the glass. After the paint has dried you’re going to bake your pumpkin in the oven. Place the pumpkin and lid on a baking rack and bake at 350 degrees. After 30 minutes turn off the oven and allow the glassware to cool in the oven. An easy way to do this is to bake it in the evening. By morning the oven and glassware have cooled. You can safely remove the glassware from the oven. The paint is now baked onto the glass and will be much more resistant to scratching and peeling when you handle it.
Apply whatever greenery, decals etc that you like. This is your creation. Add eyes, nose and mouth to turn your pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern. Make it yours!A word of caution.
We recommend using LED lights. Regular incandescent lights will generate a tremendous amount of heat in a short time, especially if they’re enclosed in a jar with a lid. If you do use non-LED lights, consider drilling a vent hole in the back near the top of your pumpkin and check it often for heat buildup.
If you have a drilled glass or tile project, we’d love to feature it (and you) on our website and blog. Please email a short description of what you do, how you do it and a few pictures or a short video. We can only publish pictures and descriptions of original work.