DIY Tiki Torch: 5 Easy Upcycling Ideas

diy tiki torch
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / juancmtz_

Do you want to make your own tiki torch? There are plenty of ways to make one using materials you already have at home. Here are some clever ideas to DIY a tiki torch.

Tiki torches are a popular garden decoration and are great for illuminating outdoor spaces. They are also helpful for keeping biting insects at bay.

This type of light originates from tiki culture in the mid-20th century. It is traditionally made from bamboo or aluminum. A small container of flammable fluid keeps it alight. However, you can make a DIY tiki torch using upcycled materials rather than purchasing a brand-new one. Here’s how.

1. DIY Tiki Torch: Glass Bottles

You can create your own DIY tiki torch using upcycled glass bottles at home. This is perfect if you have old bottles you haven’t gotten around to recycling.

Materials:

  • Old glass bottles
  • Firefly Kosher, Eco-Friendly, Safe and Green Lamp Oil
  • Tiki refill wicks (you can use twine or 100% cotton string)
  • Metal sprouts for a wick holder

Ideally, your wick will be long enough to reach the bottom of the bottle. The top end should be soaked with fuel to ensure it lights.

2. Mason Jars

DIY tiki torches can be made using bottles and mason jars from around the house
DIY tiki torches can be made using bottles and mason jars from around the house (Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Denny Müller)

You can also create a unique tiki torch using mason jars. Again, this is a great way to upcycle any leftover jars you have lying around the house.

Materials:

  • Old mason jars
  • Firefly Kosher, Eco-Friendly, Safe and Green Lamp Oil
  • Tiki refill wicks (you can use twine or 100% cotton string)
  • Drill

Drill a hole in the top of your mason jar. Make sure the hole is small enough that the wick doesn’t slip through. Complete this step by removing the lid once the hole has been drilled, and threading the wick through. Then, pull it through to the other side.

3. Lightbulb Torch

You can use an old light bulb to make a tiki torch.
You can use an old light bulb to make a tiki torch. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / jplenio)

If you have any old light bulbs hanging around the house, now you can put them to good use. They also look cool, making a great addition to an outdoor space.

Materials for a DIY Tiki Torch:  

  • Old light bulb
  • Firefly Kosher, Eco-Friendly, Safe and Green Lamp Oil
  • Tiki refill wicks (you can use twine or 100% cotton string)
  • Drill
  • A metal bottle cap
  • Two magnets (make sure they fit inside the bulb)
  • Large spacer or washer for the base
  • Sand
  • Tape

Before proceeding, disassemble and clean the light bulb. To do so, take your drill and tap at the bottom of the lightbulb. When the black glass breaks, tap the inner tube with the wire in it. Then, remove the insides of the bulb.

To clean the bulb, add some sand and water. Swirl it around until the bulb’s white inner coating flakes off completely. Rinse the bulb thoroughly and drill a hole in the metal bottle cap. Again, ensure that it is tight enough for your wick. Now, onto the base.

For the base, grab the washer or spacer and some tape. Stick a small length of tape and place your magnet on the sticky side. Cover the other side with tape to hold the magnet in place.

Drop the other small magnet into the bulb and place it on top of the other magnet. Now, you have a base to hold your DIY tiki torch!

4. Alcohol Bottles

You can use bottles of different colors to create different ambiances. It is also a good use of any leftover alcohol bottles after a special event. Simply give them a rinse, and you’re ready to start assembling them.

Materials: 

  • Old bottles
  • Firefly Kosher, Eco-Friendly, Safe and Green Lamp Oil
  • Tiki refill wicks (you can use twine or 100% cotton string)
  • Knife

To create your wick holder, take the cap off the bottle and cut a cross into it. From the inside, push up to make four barbs that face slightly inwards. This will prevent the wick from falling. The wick should just reach the bottom of the bottle.

5. Wire Cage Tiki Torch

Wire cage tiki torches are held in place with a copper pipe.
Wire cage tiki torches are held in place with a copper pipe. (Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Oleg Illarionov)

To create a DIY tiki torch with a tropical feel, use poles and old baskets. This torch uses a copper pipe and a wire cage to hold it in place.

Materials: 

  • Old copper pipe
  • Fruit picker basket
  • Cutting pliers
  • Mason jar tiki torch
  • Copper pipe
  • Copper pressure slip coupling
  • Hose clamp

Use pliers to cut the ends of the basket, snipping the metal ends that look like rake tines, if necessary. Add the pressure coupling over the top end of the copper pipe and securely attach it with the clamp.

Add the mason jar and stick the torches firmly in the ground where you want it. You can do this in a flower pot, grass or gravel. However, make sure that the area is 100% secure.

Using upcycled materials to make your DIY tiki torches is kind to the planet, saves money and prevents excess waste from going to landfills.

You can also make DIY candles at home using leftovers, either as a gift or to add some ambient decor to your home.

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