DIY Tiki Torches

DIY Tiki Torches - upcycle bottles into portable mosquito repellents!Summer may not officially begin until late June, but we start our summer celebrations as soon school ends. So that means spending a LOT of time outdoors. But with the outdoors comes the bugs! Today’s project will not only dress up your outdoor space, but help keep those pesky bugs at bay.

Tiki torches are a great way to keep the bugs away while you enjoy the outdoors, but they can be pricey and often come as large stakes that go out in the yard. Keep your patio or deck bug free with these inexpensive DIY Tiki Torches that you can move around and place on any surface. And you can dress them up any way you like! I even made some fun patriotic tiki torches for the 4th of July!

DIY Tiki Torches - upcycle bottles into portable mosquito repellents!Supplies:
Glass bottles
Torch fuel
Copper couplings (reducing 1/2″x3/8″)

You can upcycle bottles from your kitchen or purchase them fairly inexpensively. You can find the couplings in the plumbing section of your local hardware store. They are ~$1.50 each.

DIY Tiki Torches - upcycle bottles into portable mosquito repellents!These glass bottles can be decorated or not. If you do choose to decorate them, dress them up to match your outdoor decor. I used DecoArt Glass Paint Markers to draw stems and leave on the bottles. The paint becomes permanent and won’t wash off if you follow the directions on the markers to heat them in the oven. Unfortunately, this also makes the bottles lose their color. If you plan to keep the tiki torches out of the weather and only bring them out when you are using them, you may prefer not to heat them.

Once the glass cooled, I used E6000 to glue flowers to the glass. This adhesive has a great hold and is also waterproof. To prevent the flowers from sliding on the glass while the adhesive dries you an wrap each flower with a piece of twine or ribbon. Distribute 1 bag of sand between 2 bottles then fill with torch oil.

DIY Tiki Torches - upcycle bottles into portable mosquito repellents!The wicks will be a little loose when slipped through the coupling. Use wire to help keep them in place.

Cut a piece of wire ~8″ long. Wrap half of the wire around a pen or pencil. Slip the wick through the new coils, being sure that the coils aren’t too snug – you want to be able to move the wick up as needed when it’s been burned away. Wrap remaining wire around the bottom, smaller end of the copper coupling then up and over the lip at the top of the coupling.

Then coupling will sit in the opening of the bottle.

DIY Tiki Torches - upcycle bottles into portable mosquito repellents!
To make the patriotic tiki torches, you will need a white DecoArt Glass Paint Marker and some patriotic ribbon. Draw stars on one bottle with the marker and stripes on the other. Bake (or not!) according to directions then tie bows on after bottle are cooled. Fill and create wicks following previous directions.

DIY Tiki Torches - upcycle bottles into portable mosquito repellents!Once the wicks have soaked up the oil you are ready to light them. Only light outdoors!

When you are ready to put the fire out, use an old glass vase or Mason jar turned upside down over the flame. Hold in place until the glass starts to fill with smoke.

DIY Tiki Torches - upcycle bottles into portable mosquito repellents!Patriotic DIY Tiki Torches - upcycle bottles into portable mosquito repellents!For just a few dollars you have created some fun new outdoor decor and a great way to keep the bugs away wherever you choose to sit in your outdoor space.

I can see making a LOT more of these this summer to place all around the patio!


Tatertots & Jello, Serenity Now, and other great parties found on my party page.


  1. says

    What a FUN idea! And you have decorated them up so cute. Love this for summer parties! Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty – we’re looking forward to what you have to share next week. 🙂

    Life With Lorelai

  2. says

    Hello beautiful! I’m stopping by to let you know that we will be featuring your tiki torches at our party tonight at 7 pm. Happy dance time! Thanks for sharing it with us! Lou Lou Girls

  3. says

    Wow! That looks incredible. I’m so impressed. Pinned and tweeted. We appreciate you stopping by to party with us. We hope to see you, tonight at 7 pm. Happy Monday! Lou Lou Girls

  4. says

    This is such a great use of all those bottles that accumulate. Love it. Thank you for sharing your great tutorial at Share It One More Time. Cathy

  5. says

    Wow!! I’m completely amazed at how cute and frugal this is!! We camp every weekend so this is a perfect activity for me and my little girl to do!! I can’t wait to try this!! Hope mine looks as cute as yours!

  6. says

    Visiting from WOW! This is such a cool idea and I will have lots of tiki torches on my deck. Now I know what to do with all my old bottles. Pinning!!

  7. says


    I love this idea! Super tutorial.
    Catching you, can’t wait to feature this project on the blog, fb and pin it!



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