There must be a catchier name for these things, but I certainly can’t think of it. I stumbled upon this idea to repurpose bottles when brainstorming for a pirate party, and figured they’d double as a spooky Halloween decoration.
*** In this process, I have learned that no matter how clean the sink looks in person, the camera will see a dirty hot mess.
- Empty bottles – the more variation the better!
- Hot water
- Dish soap
- Taper candles (& a trimming tool if necessary)
The How To:
STEP 1: EMPTY THE BOTTLES
This is arguably the most fun step. It’s best to accumulate a few bottles before starting this process. It justifies filling up the sink for a large batch soak (step 3) which makes cleanup much easier.
STEP 2: RINSE THE BOTTLES
This seems like the obvious next step, but should still be explicitly stated. Run plenty of soapy warm water into the bottles, shake them up, and rinse until the water runs clear again.
alcohol residue + open flames = a bad idea
STEP 3: SOAK THE BOTTLES
*Soaking is very different than rinsing. Fill up a big bowl (or the sink) with hot water and a drizzle of dish soap to assist in the label-removal process. To help the bottles stay submerged below the surface, fill them halfway with water. Tuck them in for a little rest under the bubbles for 15-20 minutes.
STEP 4: REMOVE THE LABELS
Left: it can get a little messy and turn into a sloshy mess of paper, glue residue, and soap (a butter knife can be a very helpful scraping tool)
Right: sometimes the gods above smile on you and the labels peel off in entire sheets
STEP 5: MEASURE AND CUT CANDLES
Insert the taper wick side down into the bottle. Make a small mark about an inch above the rim of the bottle to indicate where the candle should be cut.
Slice the taper.
Twist, turn, jam, shove, etc. the taper into the bottle. Make sure the candle is secure and won’t wobble with the slightest breeze.
STEP 6: MAKE IT DRAMATIC
Burn tapers ahead of time so they are at various heights and don’t look like they were purchased moments before the party. It’s also a nice spooky touch to melt some wax down the sides and over the bottle.
& that’s it!
A cheap, eco-friendly, fun DIY decoration piece fit for a plethora of parties: pirate, spooky, vintage, glam, and more!