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Project Ideas: Outdoor Living

DIY Copper Patio Torch



So every year around this time I start doing all of the little projects around the house to get the yard and patio ready for the soon to be warmer weather.


This year I decided to stop throwing away my money on the patio torches that normally only last a season or two and make some that will last a life time with very little maintenance. 


The initial cost to build them is quite a bit more than the bamboo torches but if you add up all of the money I’ve spent over the last few years it would be much more then what it’s going to cost to build the new ones. And I don’t every have to replace them so it will be money well spent.


This is a very easy project that anyone can do. You can make a couple of them in one afternoon.


Here are the materials that you’re going to need to build one torch.




Tools and Materials


Hacksaw or copper pipe cutter

½” stick of copper - Post

½” x 12” copper air chamber – Fuel Reservoir

1” x ½” copper reducer – Base and Top

½” x 3/8” copper bushing – Wick Holder

Torch wicks

Sandpaper or sanding block

Gorilla 2 part Epoxy

Torch Oil – Citronella or Bitefighter fuel  

Clear gloss spray paint


*If you want to build 2 torches all you would need is 1 more each of ½” x 12” copper air chamber and ½” x 3/8” copper bushing plus 2 more 1” x ½” copper reducer.


Step 1 

Cut the open end of the reservoir off just below the curved edge to create the 12” long fuel reservoir. If needed cut the pipe to the correct length. I purchased a 10’ stick so I cut it in half to make 2 torches. If you purchased a 5’ piece your all set.



Step 2

Use the sandpaper to clean the entire surface of the reservoir and the rest of the pieces. With a clean cloth wipe away all sanding residue. This will allow the epoxy and the clear gloss coat to adhere properly and it will also give it a nice shine. Tip: Make sure you sand all in one direction otherwise you will have scratches going every which way. (Unless you want that look.) **If you prefer to let it patina naturally you would still sand all of it you just wouldn’t apply the clear gloss coat.




Step 3

Pour a little bit of the 2-part epoxy onto the container it came in and mix well with the dowel.  Once it’s mixed well apply a small amount inside one of the reducer fittings and attach it to the pipe, then epoxy the reservoir to the open end of the fitting. 




**Make sure that the reservoir is straight so that it will stand up correctly. Let the epoxy dry per the manufactures recommendation.    


Step 4

Add the other reducer to the top of the reservoir. Do not epoxy this piece on so you can remove it to add the fuel. Insert the wick into the bushing and set it aside. The bushing will fit snugly into the reducer to hold the wick in place. You will insert it into the reducer after the clear coats are dry and the reservoir is filled with fuel.


Step 5

 In order to keep the copper shiny I applied a few light coats of an outdoor rated clear gloss finish. As I mentioned before if you prefer to let the copper age naturally leave it bare and it will patina over time.


Step 6

Once the clear coat has had time to dry completely. Stick the torch into the ground till it’s secure. Probably around a foot deep. Remove the reducer and fill the reservoir with torch oil. Keep in mind that the wick will displace some of the oil so make sure to leave room for it. Replace the reducer back onto the reservoir and then insert the wick making sure that the bushing is secure in the reducer.


Now you’re ready to light it and enjoy your beautiful work.


All of your friends and family will be jealous of your unique and very stylish copper patio torches. 


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Posted 2016-05-11T22:40:18+0000  by Christine_HD_OC Christine_HD_OC
Greetings Christine, 

The torches are so great!! I love the fact that they can be left to season and age naturally and take on the wonderful patina that weathered copper brings to the garden and landscape. Beautiful project!!
We all need to be mindful of mosquitoes, and keeping bugs at bay while we enjoy the outdoor season.

You have made repelling insects classy, and economical!    Great job, Maureen
Posted 2016-05-12T11:37:29+0000  by Maureen_HD_BOS
Thanks Maureen,

I plan on adding colorful ribbons for each holiday to liven them up a bit. 

My backyard is all pavers so I actually will be sticking them into large pots once I get my flowers planted in them for the summer. 

I cant wait to sit back and enjoy them all summer long.

Posted 2016-05-13T15:10:01+0000  by Christine_HD_OC
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