Blue Glass Mini Tiki Torches

kirkus(5a)September 4, 2011

Just had to share a quick and simple project I put together tonight. While waiting in the waiting room at my eye doctor, I saw this idea in the August issue of Reader's Digest.

Add a Tiki wick to a large washer and place the washer on top of a small bottle. Fill the bottle with Tiki oil, and you have a simple, outdoor, mini, Tiki torch! :o) I had stopped at a yard sale on the way to my eye appointment and picked up this cool, blue bottle...the project was MEANT TO BE! :o) I would like to find more, little, blue bottles with a wider base for stability. Looks great on the patio. Had to share. :o) Bear Hugs! Kirk

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Love the torch and the little blue bottle!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 1:14AM
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Is Tiki Oil like oil for kerosene lamps? This is really cool, Kirk...I've used kerosene in a wine bottle before w/special wick attachement. Am lovin' what you've done here w/your neat blue bottle find!

Something dangerous was on our local news last night...where a woman was badly burned using a Gel Alcohol there are refunds on many bottles from diff companies. She was adding more fuel to the burner as it had burned out & when she did it exploded! They are used in these gel alcohol burners like in this pic that I bought on vac in I will use it for decor only.

Just wanted to share that info...Jeanne S.

Here is a link that might be useful: Quad-City Times article

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 1:15AM
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Kirk, that is a neat shaped little bottle!
LOVE blue bottles....don't love fire.

Jeanne, that article was really scary to read. (I see some lawsuits coming for the manufactors of this stuff!)
I'm glad the lady will survive, but she sure had a close call. So did the other person if he was in hospital for a month.

hugs, Karen

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 1:35AM
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Jeanne, Just googled Tiki is kerosene. This project sounds like a mini-version of your wine bottle kerosene lantern. We have copper Tiki lamps all around our patio. Like any fire source, they need to be watched. Sat outside tonight with our Tiki torches and my new bottle lamp glowing...with quiet music playing. So relaxing... :o)

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 1:53AM
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That is lovely, Kirk. I love it. Thank you for sharing.


    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 8:00AM
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We used our Tiki torches last night. I did make a slight adjustment to the idea I read about. Since the bottle came with a cap, I drilled a hole in the cap just big enough for the wick to fit through. I like the look of the silver washer so I placed that on top of the cap. The wick runs through the washer and cap now. The cap adds to the look and would help prevent spillage of the oil. :o)

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 8:36AM
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Very cute and simple idea. Love the blue bottle. I have always been careful around fire. Knew too many people who spent time in burn units (my husband for one when he was a teenager) or who were killed. Gotta respect the fire! Good idea to use the cap.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 3:23PM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

I like the idea of putting the cap on, particlarly for safety reasons. It is a good idea and very pretty.
Those gel alcohol ones have always made me nervous. Is that similar to sterno?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 5:58PM
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beatrice_outdoors(6a MA)

I will never look at my screw-top wine bottles the same again!! The local thrift shop has a few perfume bottles for sale-I wonder how those would work??

I also love the idea of the glass vessel. My metal tikis have rotted out on more than one occasion.

Thank you for the information on the gel torches, Jeanne. I had seen bunch of them this past spring and almost bought some, but it looks like tight finances kept me safe!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 11:04AM
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Thanks for the neat idea Kirk.....Love the blue bottle. I think putting the cap on was relly a good idea. Have not and will not have any of those gel ones. Heard enough all weekend on the news with how many thousands of acres has been on fire throughout Texas. One community alone lost 500 homes and unbelievable thousands of acres.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 11:42AM
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Marlene Kindred

You're right...seems like this project was definitely meant to be! Love the blue bottle and what a great idea to use it as a tiki light!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 3:52PM
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Great idea. Love the bottle. I'm having trouble finding any colored glass these days except green.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 11:57PM
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Laurastheme...gotta come to some of our thrift stores in Eastern Washington. :o)

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 12:08AM
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Very clever idea & smart to put the lid on especially with kids around so easy to be horsing around & tip something over. Those Gel Pots sound awful, water won't put it out & powder works best, wonder if baking soda would work in a pinch. I wouldn't use them at all. If they look like they are out & aren't that is very bad news. I stopped reading this & emailed all my friends as would feel terrible if someone i knew got burned. I have a lot of friends & DD that love candles & all. I saw a little round metal tin that got low on wax candle & it suddenly shot up a flame about 14 in. high, very scarey. Be careful! Jan

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 1:19AM
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beatrice_outdoors(6a MA)

I was at the market last night and just bought a six pack of small Pelligrino water bottles with screw-on caps, just to make tikis out of. I'll probably spray paint the caps gold or something. I'm afraid of them being knocked over, so I'll use them in the original 5 foot tall supports, which I may now have to paint, too, just to update the entire look. I know it's not the beautiful blue, or a funky shape, but they will replace my rusting tiki torches this weekend.

The search for unique bottles continues, though!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 5:49AM
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Very clever! Definitely sounds easy enough! Spotted this on your way to an eye appt??? Just imagine what you'll be able to find now! :)

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 10:50PM
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Thank you for the nice comments! Made my day! Here's a similar idea posted on Flea Market Gardening on Facebook except with wine bottles...outdoor lanterns. :o)

Here is a link that might be useful: Outdoor Wine Bottle Lanterns

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 11:37PM
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beatrice_outdoors(6a MA)

I went to the thrift shop yesterday and bought 3 small cut glass flower vases, and one larger cut glass decanter with no cover. The first one I tried was one of the small vases. My washer was not quite wider than the top, and the glass got very hot after about 5 minutes. I tried adding an aluminum collar to raise the flame away from the washer, but the flame somehow still traveled down and spread across the top of the glass. In addition, the smoke somehow got INTO the bottle, which makes me think the flame could easily travel down the wick and be very dangerous. I'm afraid the heat of the washer is transferring to the glass.

I see that Kirk's washer is a little wider than his bottle, and that may be the thing to keep the flame away from the glass, and the smoke out of the container. Until I get this worked out I'm not going to assume they're safe to leave alone, or lit for any length of time more than my testing period of a few minutes.

I'm trying the wine bottle method next, using the screw cap on with a hole punched in it.

From the last link Kirk provided, they used teflon tape to make a tight seal. My washers are pretty snug, so I'm not entirely sure that is the problem. My original tiki torches do not have that tight a seal, but they are all metal. How hot does glass have to be to melt??? I'm sure it depends on the type of glass, too.

I'm looking forward to reading others' experience with this and how theirs turn out.

I*'ll post later on how the wine bottle does.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 11:46AM
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Beatrice, I'm so glad you're experimenting as safety comes first. I'm glad I added the cap to the Reader's Digest idea...without the cap, it was an accident waiting to happen. The bottle I used is pretty a wine bottle. I also had to twist my wick into the washer and cap so it's a pretty tight fit. So far, so good. I still never leave it lit unattended. Let me know how it goes...this may have been an idea that looks good in a magazine but doen't work in real life. We may all have pretty, blue, small vases. :o) Let us know, Beatrice. Bear Hugs! Kirk

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 12:32PM
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beatrice_outdoors(6a MA)

After about 30 minutes of burning in my blue wine bottle, I second the notion of using the cap. There is no spillage, and the fluid is not spreading to the glass. the fact that the cap comes down over the glass makes a big difference.

On a bad note, though, my blue wine bottles are too tall for the wicks. At first I had the bottle filled to above the bottom of the wick, but I realized that simply creates wasted space-once the oil burns to below the wick I'll have almost 3 inches of fluid that will not burn. I tried doubling up the wicks, overlapping about 3 inches and using a twist tie to hold them together, but the fluid does not travel up the wick as well, and the flame is now going out.

So in my personal evaluation...
Cap good, washer, bad.
Tall vessel, bad. Don't go any taller than your wick.

My washers were from my basement, and stored in a baby food jar. So I punched a hole in the baby food jar cover, and turned it into a tiki. :)

Kirk-I'm definitely making my holes smaller than the wick, and have had to use tape wrapped around the wick to be able to feed it though. Once through, I'm removing the tape. It's working well.

In the last 1/2 hour I was looking up glass tikis to see what is already out there beyond the DIY stuff for glass. I'm much more comfortable with glass as a vessel now. In my search I came up with this link-amazing stuff! When I was a kid my mom had a bottle cutter to make drinking glasses with. That fad lasted about a month, but darn I wish I still had that cutter now.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 2:19PM
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beatrice_outdoors(6a MA)

oops...I copied the wrong address for the bottle it is...

The one for the CD fish is something I made a number of years ago with my niece. Oddly enough, the hummingbirds keep flying up to it because it's red!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 3:07PM
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Beatrice, Thank you for your experimentation and great advice! You're a true crafter and garden junker! :o) LOVE YOUR LINK! We have a bottle cutter. Long ago, I posted on GJ this blue, wine bottle, windbell we made, then using the bottom, cut-off parts of the bottles for candle holders. (We use battery tea lights in the holders... they looks oh-so-nice on the patio.) Beatrice, thank you for your advice, creativity and love of garden junk! Bear Hugs! Kirk

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 4:35PM
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I love the tiki torch! I have a bunch of Jager bottles (none of which did I drink the alcohol! I hate Jager but love the bottles!) They would make great tiki torches too. Can you use the original cap rather than a washer? Seems like it would be safer with the cap screwed on if it were to tip.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 7:32PM
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Yes! :o) Use the cap. That's what I did. I then placed the washer on top for decoration. :o) (I did this after I posted the photos...I was concerned about spillage too.) :o)

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 8:05PM
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jeannespines - just read your post about your alcohol gel fuel burner. There's a really easy way to convert your firepot to a tiki torch or oil candle.

Here is a link that might be useful: Turn your gel fuel firepot into a tiki torch

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 11:41AM
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Thank you very much, willowtiki...I'm going to give that a try! Appreciated! Jeanne S.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 10:51PM
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Loved all the photos posted for this project. Looks like fun, and I will probably try it out in the Spring.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 11:12AM
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