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5 Things to do With Old Wine and Beer Bottles

23rd Jul 2013

One of the down sides to being a wine or beer lover is that after a while,  you will probably collect a large stack of bottles that you may not know what to do with. Because they are rigid and full of air, these bottles will take up a lot of space in a landfill, and recycling them is not always practical. Here are some excellent little projects you can do with your bottles.

Stained Glass Images

If you love stained glass, those empty bottles are an excellent resource, especially if you have several different colors. Break them into small pieces by putting them in a thick bag and beating them with a hammer or other blunt object. From there, you can turn your bottle pieces into stained glass artwork by using caulk, roofing tar, or tile grout to seal the gaps and arrange your pieces into a design. Put your finished mosaic on a piece of clear glass with a wooden frame and hang it in a window for a beautiful sunlit image.

Bottle Planter


Image via Flickr by winestyr

Naturally, you can always get the flowers you order from and put them in your bottle without modifying it in any way. This will work, but you can take it to the next level. Try cutting off the top of the bottle and using the larger bottom half as a planter. It may seem scary, but it’s actually terribly simple.

All you have to do is soak a string in acetone, wrap it around the bottle where you want to cut it, and set the string on fire. Once the bottle is extra hot, quickly douse the bottle in cold water and the thermal shock will often break it. Be sure to wrap the string at least three times fully around the bottle. Thicker bottles will need to be wrapped more.

Creative Lamps

You can turn larger bottles into lamps to decorate your living space. All you have to do is insert the electrical components into the bottle. In most cases, this simply requires drilling a hole near the bottom, threading the wire through the body, then using an adhesive such as an epoxy to attach the bulb’s collar to the mouth of the bottle.
Pick up a lamp shade at a local thrift store, and you’ve got a functional and unique conversation piece that also makes clever use of something that would otherwise just be thrown away.

Fun Picture Displays

If you have ever used the adhesive Mod Podge, you know that it’s a great way to affix paper to other objects permanently. Just print out photos from a digital source, laminate them if you want, and then Mod Podge the pics onto your bottle. This way, your family can serve as a great reminder to mind your pints and quarts.


Dispensing heads vary, but you can often break your bottle the same way mentioned above and attach a dispensing top to make a soap bottle. In some cases, you can even find a screw-on top that will work with your bottle as it is.

You do not need to throw away old bottles. Use them in craft projects to make your living space more personalized and inviting, while helping out the planet at the same time.

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