How to Build a Rustic Crate and Wine Bottle Lighting

Easy to Make Outdoor Ambient Lighting

I found these great wood panels at my local home improvement store. They are rustic, rough, and perfect for a number of projects! They measure about 16″ x 72″ and are 5/8″ thick plus they cost me $16.00 each! I didn’t think that was too bad for something so fantastic!

rustic crate wine bottle lighting

Impulse led me to buy two of them without a specific project in mind. That then led me to buy two more… So when I went back to buy more for another project to be featured later, I found out that the panels I had purchased were mistakes! In other words, the panels they were supposed to have on the shelf are paint-grade (smooth) and these particular panels were received then put on the shelves by mistake! That would be my luck…

Anyway, I saw a rustic candle holder in one of the high end catalogs for $149. It was basically a box measuring 39″ long x 16-1/2″ wide x 5-1/2″ tall. The flameless candles were sold separately for about $14.00 each! Do you know how many of  those candles it would take to fill a box that big?? More than I care to calculate! I figured the panels I bought would make a fantastic box to house a few extra wine bottles I had to make outdoor ambient lighting similar to the one in the catalog for a fraction of the cost!!

rustic crate wine bottle lighting Board

 rustic crate wine bottle lighting board close up


  • One rustic panel (Reclaimed wood or pallet boards can also be used)
  • Wine bottles with corks
  • LED puck lights (<– affiliate link!)
  • Museum putty
  • Glue & brad nailer with 1-1/4″ brads

Before I cut the pieces, I set wine bottles on the panel to get the measurements for my box. I didn’t want any big gaps between the bottles and the edge of the box.

outdoor ambient lighting wine bottles

I cut my pieces as follows: One – 18″ x 13-3/4″ (Bottom), Two – 5-1/2″ x 19-1/4″ (Longer Sides), Two – 5-1/2″ x 13-3/4″ (Shorter Sides). The size of the box can be customized to a size that fits your needs.

rustic crate wine bottle lighting box dimensions

  rustic crate wine bottle lighting cut pieces for box


Start by running a bead of glue along one of the short edges of the bottom and nail one of the shorter pieces to that end. Repeat for the other end.

rustic crate wine bottle lighting bead of glue  outdoor ambient lighting box assembly

Run a bead of glue along one of the longer edges as well as the sides of each of the shorter pieces and nail one of the longer pieces to this edge. Repeat for the other edge.

rustic crate wine bottle lighting box assembly  outdoor ambient lighting completed box

It took everything I had in me to resist sanding! Sanding the box would ruin the “rusticness” so I sealed it with a few coats of Rust-Oleum’s Ultimate Polyurethane in Soft Touch Matte. Have you ever used Painter’s Pyramids when finishing wood projects? These are the bomb! I’ll give more info on those later!

rustic crate wine bottle lighting clear sealer

If you’ve never used Museum Putty, this is the best stuff on the planet for securing objects to shelves, etc. It is similar to the blue tacky stuff that can be used on posters so they can be hung without putting holes in walls except better!! The putty will be used to secure the wine bottles to the inside of the box.

rustic crate wine bottle lighting museum putty for bottom of bottle

Put a couple of balls of putty on the bottom of each of the bottles (probably not as much as I did in the photo) and press into place. I wanted all of the labels to face out even at the corners.

outdoor ambient lighting putty on bottle

  rustic crate wine bottle lighting bottle in box

rustic crate wine bottle lighting all bottles in box

Put a ball of putty on the bottom of each puck light and position them in the center of the box.

rustic crate wine bottle lighting battery operated light

The box can be hung from a tree branch (with a length of rope and a few fasteners) or placed in the middle of an outdoor table.

outdoor ambient light completed

Have questions about the rustic crate wine bottle lighting? Leave a comment below!

Originally posted 2012-08-06 08:00:48.


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