How to create fairy lights for your garden

Updated: Mar 12, 2021

I love fairy lights! More importantly, my kids love fairy lights. They all like lights at night in their rooms. We also like to sit outside at night in the garden, but we're always struggling with the right amount of lighting. So, I thought it would be amazingly cool to create a real fairy light (or two) for our garden. Since I'm a big fan of upcycling, I opted for the low tech option of using an old rum bottle. Read on to discover how to create your own fairy lights quickly!

Materials needed:

Old glass bottle (wine, rum, or whatever your pleasure will do!)

Frosted glass spray paint (if using a clear bottle)

Gold spray paint (or choose another color that you prefer)



LED battery operated lights

Rotary tool

Diamond cutting bits


Water sprayer

I'm providing links to the items I used, but you can certainly substitute if you'd like, according to your own tastes.


1. Find an old glass bottle. My husband happens to be a fan of Captain Morgan's rum, so we have some extra empty bottles that I keep on hand for my crafts. Make sure you clean off any labels from the bottle. Soak it in warm water and dish soap for an easy peel.

2. Get ready to use your rotary tool. I use this tacklife model, which is a cheaper version of a Dremel and works quite well. You will also need some diamond bits to drill the glass.

3. Secure your bottle to the table with some clamps. Mark where you want the hole. This is where the battery pack of the fairy lights will be in the back of your fairy light bottle. Spray it frequently when you are drilling otherwise the bottle will get too hot and break. I drill at medium speed for about 30 seconds and then stop and spray again. Make sure to wear some safety goggles. Within a couple of minutes, you will break through the bottle and have a nice hole about the size of a pen.

4. Remove your bottle from the clamps and place in a well ventilated space where you can apply a coat of spray paint. This will be the layer that your lights will shine through. Since my bottle was clear, I applied a clear coat of frosted glass spray paint to my bottle. If you have a colored bottle, you may want to keep as is (but in my opinion, even colored bottles let the lights shine through very brightly, so you may still want to spray some frosted glass as a base layer.) Apply the coat to the entire bottle.

5. Decide how you want your fairy lights to shine. I decided I wanted fairy lights and so I wanted a fairy on the bottle. I went to my Cricut and cut out the outline of a fairy. It doesn't matter what color you choose, but you should make sure that you are using adhesive vinyl. You can also use another sticker if you don't have a cricut or even use a stencil if you have a steady hand. (If you don't have a Cricut though, I highly recommend the investment! It is so useful for so many things!)

6. Stick your vinyl sticker to the bottle where you want the light to shine through.

7. Go back to your well ventilated space and apply your top coat of paint. Apply to the entire bottle, completely covering your vinyl sticker.

8. Wait until the next day. Seriously. Don't go onto this step too soon. I have made that mistake several times!

9. On the next day, carefully peel off your vinyl sticker, which will leave just your outline of the design with the frosted glass under it. (If you try to peel too soon, you may peel off some of the top layer paint!)

10. Select one packet of fairy lights and thread into the bottle, pushing the lights up. The battery pack should be all that remains on the outside of the bottle when you are done.

Voila! All done! Sit back, relax, and grab a full bottle (you need more empty ones for more crafts!).

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