Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Light Me Up

I've been a busy bee ever since the weather broke, moving outside with my projects after being cooped up all winter.  My ultimate plan for the back patio is still taking shape, but will be completed by the end of May for my sister's graduation party.  Until then, we've already touched on the bench I made for the patio over the weekend, but there are some other details I've been fiddling away with. 

The patio has always been lined with tiki torches (5 of them to be exact - nothing crazy, but it gives some ambiance).  They lasted 2 summers in the sun and rain, and by last fall they were ready to be pitched.  Purchased for $3 a piece, they had a good run.  But that left us with buying new ones for this upcoming summer.  That is until I came up with a different idea.  Of course, I can't take all the credit; some is due to Pinterest.  However, I did put my own spin on it.

With a trip to the plumbing department of Home Depot and a dip into my uber-huge stash of blue wine bottles, I had the makings for a brand new set of torches.

Let us begin with the basics:
I got 5 pine 2x2's from the lumber section for about $1.50 a piece.  I cut them to the height I wanted, making sure to make a steep angle on the end so it could be forced into the ground.  Then I stained them with some wood stain I had on hand.

Next, I attached a 3/8" copper base plate to the 2x2.

Then, we get to the bottles.  I attached a 1" copper pipe clamp to the neck of the bottle.  I used a 3/8" copper coupling wrapped in teflon tape (to create a water-tight seal) that was inserted into the mouth of the bottle.  This is what would hold the wick.

The whole contraption was attached to the post using a 2" piece of 3/8" threaded rod.  You can see the overall assembly in the above picture.

I drilled out a space in the top of each post for the copper pipe cap to rest.  When not in use, the cap covers the wick and keeps it dry.  I didn't want it to get lost when you take it off to light the torch, so the small impression works to hold it.

I searched high and low for replacement tiki torch wicks - not Home Depot, Lowe's, or Sears had any.  I finally found them at a local True Value hardware store.  They had a 2-pack for $4.29.  Kinda pricey, but I had given up hope of finding them anywhere else.

After all was said and done, each torch cost about $5.  Not bad, considering wimpy bamboo ones can run about that much.  These ones will last forever!

So, fill 'em up, insert wick, light, and enjoy!

More outdoor designs coming your way!!


  1. I LOVE these! seems like these components could be used indoors too--(not as torches) but cool wall mounted bud vases or something of the kind. Thank you for sharing your creativity!

    1. I'm glad you like them! Thanks for stopping by :)

  2. Awesome! I plan on doing this with some screen printed bombers from Stone Brewing Company. I'm hoping the image holds up to the elements!

  3. You may want to try using replacement gasket for woodstoves. They sell them in True Value as well. The gaskets are woven material, probably even better than replacement wicks, and cheaper. I know it comes in various sizes on a roll cut to order.

  4. This is awesome, I cant wait to show my hubby..... I see new torches in the near future!!!!!!!!!!!! I love your site... Thank you

    1. thanks! make sure to check out my new blog at http://www.jparisdesigns.com/category/blog/ !! Thanks for visiting :)


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