Glass bottle Decor Workshop Feb 2018

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  • Consumables
    • Glass container(s)
    • Novelty light string (Christmas lights)
    • clear rubber grommet(s)
    • Electrical Cord (2 conductor)
    • Splices
    • Plug(s)
  • Tools/Equipment
    • Power drill
    • Glass drilling bit
    • Tupperware
    • Water
    • Wire cutter
    • Splice crimper (Pliers)
    • Fish tape (wire coat hanger)


This workshop includes some activities that do not have to be done in a particular order:

  • Drill hole(s) in glass container(s)
  • Prep novelty lights

We'll aim to stagger when different groups do these items to not bottle-neck (pun intended) at the glass cutting.

  • First - Plan your design.
    • Plug in the novelty lights
    • unplug one bulb from the novelty lights
    • identify the length of wire in between the two halves of the string.
    • Cut novelty lights in exactly half. (at the identified point)
Each attendee must use this entire half-string of lamps in their collection of glass decor. (sorry! We can talk about why, just ask!)
    • Use the cut-to-length string to decide which, and how many, glass containers you will be incorporating into your design.
    • Select the glass that is for you!
  • Second, and Third - Engage in the two activities that do not have to be done in any particular order:
  • Drill holes in glass container.
    • Fill a Tupperware with some water.
    • Put some water in the bottom of your glass container
    • Begin running the diamond glass-cutting bit against the bottle, at a 45° angle from straight in, ensuring the place where the bit meets the glass is either under water inside the Tupperware, or the surfaces of both the bit and the glass are dunked into that water frequently. Run the drill at a medium speed.
      • The bit will abraid away at the glass by using the weight of the drill alone. do not press the bit against the glass with any more pressure than you need to keep the bit in the right place.
    • As you begin the abrasion of the glass, slowly transition from the initial 45° angle to a 90° angle, straight into the glass, maneuvering the bit to a slight angle away from 90° in all directions (like in a circle) as you finish cutting the hole.
    • The water that is inside the bottle will begin to flow out of the bottle to continue to lubricate and cool your hole when it is almost complete.
    • Repeat this process for every hole you need to drill.
  • Prep novelty lights.
    • Identify the cable in your run of lighted cable that was for lighting the lamps on the other half. (this process can be a bit difficult, consult the diagram on the board, and/or ask me for help!)
    • Snip out this unnecessary cable, and un-twist it from the rest of your string.
    • Install a splice on the cut end of your string, connecting the two sides together.
NB: Splices can be finicky. Practice how to crimp them onto the wires.
I can help you, with a multimeter, check if you have made a successful splice.
If you do not crimp every splice successfully, your lamps will not light up at the end of construction.
    • Cut yourself a cord that you will use to run from the plug to the decor. You will know how long to make your cord.
    • Install a plug on one end of the cord.
    • Splice the other end of the cord to your string, to test that it will illuminate.
    • Test it!
    • Cut your string into as many pieces as you will need.
    • Cut as many pieces of cord as you have glass containers, minus 1, that are at least as long as 2 times the height of your selected glass containers. (What?) Basically cut yourself as many jumpers as you need. Ask me for clarification
  • Fourth - Put it all together:
    • Install rubber grommets on every hole you drilled.
    • Use the Fish to string the jumpers through all of your containers in the order you will run them in.
    • take apart your splice on from the cord to the string and fish the cord through your container.
    • If you do the previous two items successfully, you ought to have a chain of cord and jumpers coming out of the mouth of all of your containers. Refer to the board for a drawing of how this will look.
    • Splice the light sections to each jumper and cord.
NB: Do not stuff the lights and jumpers back down into your bottles yet.
If they do not light right away, it'll be a big pain to get them back out. 
    • Test the unit electrically to see that your lamps light.
    • stuff the lamps into the containers while it is illuminated, so you can see if you accidentally short or disconnect the circuit.