I hate bugs: Build a custom tiki torch!

Moving from Minnesota to Hawaii, I thought that we would have left the mosquitos behind.  Not the case.  I suppose, I should have realized that we would be in a new haven for bugs, living in a rainforest and all! So, we had to make our new “tiki style” outdoor living area bug free some how.  In comes the tiki torch..with a twist!

I know you can buy the traditional reed style tiki torches anywhere, but where’s the uniqueness in that?! I saw a post on pinterest once for using wine bottles as lanterns and I thought the site was going to give me a tutorial on how to make them, but unfortunately, all it showed me was a site where I could buy them.  I figured you could make them and so I decided to take a stab at it with a Kona Beer bottle.

I bought a few supplies (that were even on clearance!) and had a go.  With in 10 min, I had successfully  made my own custom tiki lantern! I was able to upcycle and create a custom look for very little cost.  You can too, if you wish! Here’s how:

You will need:

  • 1 glass bottle AND the cap,  emptied of its liquid
  • A sharp knife or anything that will puncture through the cap and needle nose pliers if you want to make things easier on yourself!
  • Tiki torch wicks and fluid (typically found in the lawn and garden section of your local store)


  1.  Take your bottle cap and place it on a surface that your can stab (a cutting board worked for me) and create a hole in the cap.  I simply used a knife because this was all I had on hand, but there are many safer ways of doing this part, I’m sure.  This is where the wick is going to thread through, and you want it to be tight around the wick.

2. Thread your wick through the cap so that only 1/4-1/2 inch is sticking up on top.

3. Fill your bottle with your tiki fluid.

4. Place cap with wick into/onto the bottle.

5. Use your pliers to secure the cap on the bottle.  You should only have to squeeze in a few spots.

6. Let the wick become saturated in the fluid for at least an hour before lighting.  

You can easily refill the bottles when need be and keep the bugs away!

You could use any type of glass bottle for this, you just need to make sure that the cap it metal, so that you have a barrier between the flame and the liquid. Also, remember to keep you wick out the the rain or from getting wet.  We keep an empty soup can over ours when not in use.




I hate bugs: Build a custom tiki torch! — 2 Comments

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