What You’ll Need
1. teacup (saucer optional) – i found most of these at a thrift store
2. wax (i used microwaveable soy wax from a craft store, but they sell all kinds)
3. candle wicks (at least 1″ taller than your cup)
4. candle scent or dye (optional)
5. microwaveable container
6. hot glue gun
7. thermometer

1. Clean your cup and saucer thoroughly and dry completely
2. Place your wick in the center of your cup and glue the base down with a dab of hot glue. You can also purchase sticky wax for this step, but glue works fine.
3. Heat wax and add in dye or scent according to package directions. Pour into container. You can gently adjust the wick to make sure it is straight after you poor the wax in.

4. Let sit until the wax is cool and solid
5. Trim wick down to 1/4″.


light bulb vases To help preserve the environment, we can equip our homes with energy-saving light bulbs. Here is an opportunity to recycle old light bulbs into trendy hanging vases or salt and pepper shakers. These airy glass spheres can be poetically transformed in a thousand and one ways...

saw light bulb cut light bulb file light bulb Here's how: Saw off the bottom of the light bulb screw base using a hacksaw, turning the light bulb evenly. Bulbs with a bayonet base can also be used - in this case, saw off the bottom of the base along the apparent line. Once the base has been cut, insert a thin screwdriver and break the protruding tip of the glass mount, or stem, that holds the filament (be sure to protect your eyes). Then, using a bigger screwdriver, insert it into the glass socket, and give a quick, hard tap to break off the remainder of the mount. Using a rounded file, enlarge the hole and remove the filament. Your light bulb is now empty.

To make a hanging vase, use a gimlet or hole punch to pierce a hole on either side of the light bulb base. Aluminum is very easy to pierce. With a thin piece of wire, create a hanger. Pour in a little water and place a flower in its new home.

lightbulb salt shakerTo make a pair of salt and pepper shakers, hollow out two light bulbs. Protect the light bulb with a piece of cloth and, using a small hammer, lightly flatten the top of the screw base. This will ensure that the caps fit securely. Find two old plastic soda bottle caps and use a knife to remove the plastic disc lining the cap. Then, pierce several holes into the cap using a large nail. A circle of thick felt or wooden rings glued to the bottom of the shakers will stabilize them. Fill with salt and pepper, and then screw the caps on.

light bulb soliflore vase detail Here are some links to official websites of Canadian and US Departments of Energy who explain how to save energy at home. Visit this website where you will find a technical subject about various kinds of light bulbs, including assembly method and history: wikipedia.

Tips on living green: eco-tips.


The idea is really simple: just drill a hole in a glass bottle and push the lights in. Guests ask me all the time, "How do you do it?" Now is the perfect time to learn and these glowing wine bottles make great gifts.

First you need an empty bottle; wine bottles are good because they are free. The best ones are light green, usually Chardonnay, or blue, usually Riesling, but not always. The dark green bottles used for red wines like Merlot just don’t illuminate well.

Eastern North Carolina B&B recycles wine bottles

You can either drink the wine or beg your friends to give you their empties. I have been saving wine bottles for years and now I have quite a stash.

Supplies and Equipment you will need:

  • Light green or blue wine bottle
  • 1/2-inch ceramic tile drill bit (each bit will drill 6-8 bottles)
  • Small piece of masking tape
  • Electric drill (battery ones just can’t cut it)
  • 20-count tiny Christmas light set. You need the kind that has a plug on one end only, not the end-to-end kind. The best time to buy these is at Christmas, they are difficult to find otherwise. It is a good idea to wear glasses or protective goggles. Gloves are also a good idea. Some of the bottles will break.

    Bed and Breakfast near Greenville NC uses ceramic bit to create romantic lighting

    Place a small piece of masking tape on the back of the bottle about 3 inches up from the bottom. Start drilling; don’t use too much pressure, the bottle might break. The tape is to keep the drill bit from jumping around when you first get started.

    Be VERY careful; this is a slow process and is not to be attempted by impatient folks.

    Drill until the bit goes all the way through the glass. There will be glass dust in the bottle so you will have to rinse this out. Allow bottle to dry.

    Romantic B&B getaway at Big Mill Inn in Eastern North Carolina

    Push each light into the hole that you have just drilled. This can be tedious and is not for the fainthearted. After all 20 are inside you are finished. Voila, it is gorgeous and magic!

    Some folks decorate the bottles with all kinds of sequins, glitter and bottle covers. I don’t add anything because I like to see the wine labels.

    We have these pretty wine bottles everywhere here at Big Mill B&B. Everyone loves them and the price is certainly right. Oops, forgot to tell you that the ceramic drill bits cost about $16 each.


    Recycled Night Light craft Materials

    Recycled Night Light craft Materials

    • An empty Crystal Light container
    • A night light from your local Dollar Store (the real cheap kind shown below)
    • A plastic covered large paper clip
    • Mod Podge or other glue for decoupage
    • Paper or fabric to decoupage the plastic Crystal Light container
    • A paint brush for the glue
    • Ribbon trim (about 30″ inches)
    • Wire cutters
    • Razor blade to cut the container
    • A small ruler or other straight edge
    • A medium sized nail and a hammer to poke two holes in the plastic
    • Glue gun

    How to Make This Night Light Recycled Craft

    Cut the Crystal Light Container with a Razor Blade

    Cut the Crystal Light Container with a Razor Blade

    First you need to cut up your Crystal Light (or Wyler’s Light, to be PC about it all) container. In this photo, I was using the tall Wyler’s Light container, or this would also be the same size as the extra large Crystal Light packages (with 6 tubs, not 4).

    First I held the ruler straight edge to the side of the container and carefully scored the plastic to slice the container open from top to bottom. I then was able to cut through the container easily (but carefully, because it’s easy to slip on a curved surface). I repeated this step so that I cut out about a one-inch piece from the side of the container. Then I was able to lay the plastic flat on a carboard surface and cut the container into two even pieces, as shown above. If I messed up at all, it was easy to clean up my edges with sturdy kitchen scissors.

    Poke Holes in the Plastic with a Nail

    Poke Holes in the Plastic with a Nail

    Next I poked two small holes into the bottom corners of the plastic with a hammer and nail. I recommend using a larger nail than the one shown above, because I ended up needing to find a screw to twist into the holes to make them a little larger. You need them to be large enough to stick the end of the paper clip through them.

    Decoupage with Recycled Tissue Paper

    Decoupage with Recycled Tissue Paper

    After you have poked the holes into the corners, now is the time to decoupage the plastic however you like. I used tissue paper circles to coordinate with the ribbon in my example at the top. My daughter took the leftover tissue packing paper we get at the dollar store when we buy fragile items, and we used a circle hole puncher to cut out and decoupage her night light.

    You probably don’t want to use paper from a book or magazine, unless you are happy with the reverse side showing through. Because when the night light is turned on, it really glows through the paper.

    Quick decorating tip - you can also use fabric that coordinates with your child’s room decor!

    Attaching the Paper Clip
    Attach the paper clip around the night light
    Glue the paper clip ends with a glue gun to secure it in place

    Now you want to unbend a paperclip and wrap it around the base of the night light. Be sure you’re doing this with plastic wrapped wire and around the groove of the night light at the base (made for sliding the plastic cover onto the light). Higher end night lights aren’t nearly as easy to use, as they don’t have this handy groove to hold your wire.

    Twist the paper clip around the base with your fingers or with the wire cutters, and then use the wire cutters to make two “L” shaped bends in the paper clip as shown in the second photo. Slip the ends of the paper clip through your holes.

    Lastly, you will need to lay a line of glue from your hot glue gun underneath the wires and glue the ends of the paper clip to the back side of the decoupaged container. If you don’t do this, the cover will flop all over the place.

    Cover the back edges of the plastic container first
    If you need to have a raw edge of ribbon, dab some glue and fold it over to give a clean edge
    Glue the ribbon around the top and bottom edges

    Now you want to cover the edges of your plastic cover with ribbon to hide the wire and make the edges look polished. Start at the back and cover the back two ends with ribbon first, and add enough glue from the hot glue gun around the paper clip to cover it up too.

    To put ribbon across the top and bottom, fold over the edge just a bit and glue it in place to give the corners a clean look (like in the inset in the second image above). Then simply glue the ribbon onto the top and bottom edges with the glue gun.

    And viola! You are done! Start to finish the craft takes about 30-45 minutes, not including drying time for the decoupage.

    Be sure to check out the rest of our recycled crafts and all of our Earth Day activities and printables!