How to Make Seasonal Patio Lights from Plastic Bottles

Plastic bottles can take anywhere from 400 to 1,000 years to break down in a landfill. This is a very disturbing fact when you consider that only about seven percent of all the plastic consumed in the United States gets recycled. The best way to stop the cycle of waste is to reuse and recycle any plastic bottles that you use. Luckily, there are many fun, creative ways to make your bottles into usable art. The holiday season is the perfect time to start experimenting with making lights out of used plastic bottles. You can avoid the high cost of pretty seasonal lights for your patio and have the satisfaction of knowing you created something that is good for the environment. Use your spare bottles to try these holiday projects that make your patio shine with the warmth of the season.

Globe Light

Simply blow up a balloon to the size you want your light. Cut your bottle into strips and glue them to each other around the balloon. Be sure to use heat resistant glue for this step so that your light source does not melt the adhesive. Get as creative as you wish with strip size, color and placement, but make sure to leave a hole at the top for the light. When you achieve the desired look, pop the balloon and put a pendant light into the hole in the top. You can also make several small globes, and put them on string lights to give your patio a magical outdoor glow.

Cage Lights

These make a wonderful modern addition to your outdoor festivities. Simply pour a little paint of the desired color into a plastic bottle, and agitate it until there is a thin layer on the inside of the bottle. Remove the excess paint, and wait for the bottle to dry. Remove the top portion of the bottle with a knife or a pair of scissors, and put a small hole in the bottom. Use a craft knife to cut equally sized, evenly spaced rectangles in the body of the bottle until you achieve the cage effect. Turn the bottle upside down and put a pendant light through the hole you made. The squares of light shining through the bottle add a wonderful atmosphere to your patio.

Projector Lights

This is a really fun and simple way to turn your house into a festive projector. Cut the top off of your plastic bottle, and coat the inside with opaque paint. When the paint has dried, use an awl, nail or other sharp tool to punch holes in the side of the bottle. Form your holes into the shape of a star, snowflake or any other design that you like. Do this to several bottles. Place a tea light candle in each bottle and space them at even intervals along the edge of your patio. The outside wall of your house will show an enlarged, candlelight version of the shape you chose. This is a great holiday project to do with your children.

About the author
Mrs. Hatland is a 30-something married, mom of 7 and the face behind the popular online publication, Motherhood Defined. Known as the Iowa Mom blogger by her local peers and “The Fairy Blogmother” worldwide. She has professional experience in working closely with clients on brand ambassadorships, client outreach services, content creation and creative social media advertising exposure.

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