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An excuse for hoarding: Whiskey Party Lights

Posted on by Eric Burke

I like camping. If you do it right, it’s a nice way to have a glass of bourbon around a campfire. If you do it wrong, it’s a nice way to have a sore back every morning. I used to prefer camping the wrong way. I slept in tents for years. Then I realized that I could still have the campfire, but sleep in a bed.

I recently bought a camper. Now I camp the right way. All the bourbon, none of the sore back.

When you buy a camper, strange things go though your mind. Things like: “I need all new utensils to eat with. The ones in my house aren’t nearly good enough to take outside.” And: “I think I should buy a truck.” And: “Boy, wouldn’t it be nice to hang lights from an awning.”

I had all of these thoughts at one point or another. Some I acted on, others I didn’t. One I acted on was the awning lights. I looked at a bunch of places to see if there was anything fun to be found. Guess what? There wasn’t. I mean some people like flamingos enough to hang them from an awning. Others like toy cars. But I’m a bit judgemental. And I assume others are too. If I was going to be judged for something, it should at least be something I liked. And so Whiskey Party Lights were born.

Here’s how I did it:

Step One: Gather all the minis you’ve been hoarding. I needed 50. (If you are a collector, turn back now. You might find this disturbing.)

Step Two: Drill holes in the caps. I found the easist way to drill some test holes in some test caps and find the one that fits best. You’ll want the fit to be snug so the bottle doesn’t fall off of your light. For my lights I needed a 25/64” hole. NOTE: Don’t even try this without a drill press. I do not want to hear reports of someone slipping with a handheld drill and destroying something important. Furniture, fingers, etc.

Step Three: Spray paint with clear paint. I tried about three different kinds and ended up using Krylon ColorMaster Acrylic Crystal Clear. Not only does it provide water restistance to those with paper labels, but it gives the bottles a frosted finish. This helps to difuse the light a bit and allows the bottles to act more like light bulbs. If you use Maker’s Mark, you may want to tape off the wax if you don’t want it frosted.

Step Four: Let dry. The paint I used took about an hour until it was able to be handled.

Step Five: Fit the bulbs into the caps. I used bottles with both metal and plastic caps. If I were to do it over, I would choose the plastic. The metal is thin and bends. So if you have a cool old dusty you want to use, you’ll need an alternate method of support. I used craft wire to wrap around the neck and hooked it over the wires. I did find that many bottles with metal caps would accept plastic so that is an alternative as well.

Step Six: Hang them up! I bought stainless steel party light hangers from Amazon. They have a clip on one end and a hook on the other. Now you're ready to sit under the glow of 50 LED whiskey lights, drink a bourbon and start on the next set.