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I work with stained glass a lot and often use the bottoms of wine bottles in my windows. The bottles with the pushed in bottoms look really cool with the sun shining through.
I receive a couple of e-catalogues (I can't afford anything in them but they're fun to look at anyway) and an item for sale in one of them simply floored me. They're asking $99.00 - $249.00 plus shipping for just ONE wine bottle candle hurricane lamp! Oh my!
I immediately got online and checked out how much it would cost for a bottle/jar cutting kit and found a couple of sites that sell them for only about $40.00 and they are complete with cutter, polisher and instructions!
I am not a wine drinker but I know plenty of people who are (in moderation of course), and they will gladly donate the empties so I can make a bunch of assorted sizes and colors by simply cutting off the bottom of the bottles to give away as gifts, maybe even sell at local craft fairs or keep for personal use! The candles can be purchased at the dollar store.
Oh, and you can use the glass cutting kit for jars and assorted bottles to make vases, pencil holders, candy and nut holders, etc by cutting off the tops instead of the bottom for future projects too. And recycling is good ;-)
By Ann from Richland, WA
This is a guide about making a wine bottle lamp. Wine bottles inspire many crafting ideas.
You can create a lovely, repurposed decoration or vase by painting the inside or outside of a wine bottle. This is a guide about painting wine bottles.
Reuse your emptied wine bottles with this adorable grape leaf craft. This is a guide about grape leaf wine bottle decoration.
Recycle a special wine bottle for an inexpensive gift. This guide is about empty wine bottle gift ideas.
Save all your clear wine bottles after use. Rinse them out and clean the labels off. After you have collected about 5-10 of them, fill them with water and add food coloring of your choice.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
How do you put a hole in the bottom of a wine bottle without breaking it?
By Dianne from Wooster, OH
It's not easy! You need a special drill bit. You can sometimes use the one made for drilling ceramics but a diamond bit works much better. & while you're drilling you need to have someone drip water on the bit & the area being drilled.
Check this out:
They sell flat nose diamond bits & also have a "how to" section.
I do drill wine bottles with a drill press. This helps because you can exert even pressure. First fill the bottle with cool water all the way to the top and cork it. I use a vacuum sealing cork. Then use some plumbers putty to create a dam at the drill site and fill that with water. All this is to keep the glass cool. Drill away. The tricky part is at the very end, you don't want to put to much force because it can still splinter.
I would like ideas for uses for wine bottles. Has anyone tried to cut them with a welding torch? Thank you.
By Sheilah Link
I have a large collection of empty blue glass wine bottles. I'm looking for design ideas for reusing them. I love the cobalt blues and all the different shapes and sizes. Ideas?
Here's a few ideas:
I saw the coolest use for cobalt blue wine bottles on HGTV.
---> They made a "Bottle Tree"... which was a long wood (or metal) spike (about 5 or 6 feet tall) with wood dowels sticking out of it. They put the bottles on the dowels that stuck out horizontally and planted IVY or another creeper and wound it around the "tree" in their yard. This looked SO VERY COOL in the sunshine and was weather proof. You could substitute the homemade tree with a small leafless shrub too.
*** I would wind this with clear tiny Christmas lights & leave it up all year in the garden!
---> or use them to make a coat hanger by using a high quality bonding glue to a post or a small beam of wood
---> Set the bottles on a shelf or a window ledge and stuff with mini low volt lights & you have a beautiful conversation piece!
---> Break up the bottles in a brown bag wrapped in a towel using a hammer and use the glass (wear gloves) to do mosaics with.
--->You can buy a glass cutter, and make other stuff
---> One more idea. Take the bottles to somewhere that they have a kiln and you can melt the glass into blobs.
Some time ago, my mom took cool bottles ( and the blue wine would have been way cool) and she hand painted "oil" etc on them, put a cork, some raffia sold them for a church fundraiser.
You could turn them into hanging plant starters, take wire and "wrap" adding pretty glass beads. shells and so on. Good luck, sounds fun already!
You can drill a hole in the back, put a 20-string of Christmas lights through the hole and then decorate the outside with ribbon, wine charm and grapes or whatever you like. We do these and sell them and have been doing pretty well.
Does anyone know of a use for vast quantities of wine bottles, the typical 750 ml. size? My family loves good wine, and the proof has taken over the garage.
I have two suggestions. 1. You can hand paint a few to look like old vases to give as gifts. 2. Run an ad in your local paper for people who like to make their own wine. You might be able to sell some of them. Of course there is the old stand by of making candle holders out of them.
You can use them as a plant border for your garden much digging involved but if they are sunk low enough would give a nice look.
Also Someone who makes their own wine might just love to get them.
The first one that comes to mind is a piggy bank/doorstop. You might fill them with other things, like small seashells, bleached pine cones, etc. Just possibly, you could persuade plants to grow in them; if you try this, you should put plenty of gravel in the bottom so the plant would have good drainage. I think it might look pretty to stuff a short twinkle light set inside -- not more than 50 lamps. Of course, there is the candle holder, and it might work better with the bottle parly filled with sand, gravel, or else water. Another idea for a sparly look would be to collect all your tinsel strands in one. Perhaps you can fit one with a pump or squirt attachment, and keep it full of lightly scented water; as the kids play with it, it will serve as a humidifier this winter!
You could certainly use them to make herbed vinegars. Remember that you will usually get a better result from an herbed vinegar if the vinegar heated almost to a boil, and then poured in over the fresh herbs. This cooks your herbs quickly, often eliminating bacteria and enzymes that make foods (even herbs) break down. With other bottles, you might try making your own extracts, such as vanilla extract.
A bottle with not even a hint of green could be a terrarium. And I do meant note even the faintest tinge of green -- green glass blocks light plants need to grow.
Perhaps you can make a coffee table by placing a board or glass panel on four or more bottles of equal height.
If you are willing to learn to use a glass cutter, more uses are possible. By removing the top, you could turn one bottle into a unique and attractive umbrella holder. In the same way, clear bottles could be transformed into bell jars, so prized by ambitious gardeners. I've seen these for sale in catalogs at outrageous prices!
Rose B, mother of three, in NC
Old wine bottles can of course be recycled, but also look great as an outline for garden beds. Just jam head first into ground, mix colors & shapes if you
want to. Also if you see any rat holes in ground, [we used to get them around
our chicken coup] just jam them in those holes. But recycling really is best.
- Linne Dodds
If you still have wine bottles left, you could use them as mosaic pieces (place the bottle in a zipper bag and use a hammer to break into pieces, make various sizes). If you have different colors your mosaic will look very colorful.
I have an old wine bottle from Italy. I dont know how old it is ,but Ihave had it for about 25-30 years. It has an inscription on the bottom of it (D.R.L.) Solaro(Italy) and the #6. It also has a picture of a soldier on the front of bottle. Can anyone tell me anything about it?
I would check a brewing store, they sell empty clean bottles for homemade wine, I don't think it would hurt to ask them about buying yours (if no chips or cracks).
Does anyone know where I can find a wine bottle that is about 4foot tall and the base is about 6-7 inches in diameter. The neck is about 3 inches around. It is green....I had one and it recently fell over and broke at the neck. I originally found it at a flea market and I really want another one. Empty or full.
How do I cut wine bottles from top to bottom?
By Sam from West Chester, PA
I saw an article with pictures many years ago in Architectural Digest with cut off wine bottles of all sizes and colors. They were placed upside down, making a row. Has anyone seen this design and can help me to do this on my horseshoe driveway. I have a picture in my mind, but find it hard to put it in the ground. Thanks.
By Judy Northup from Trinidad, TX
How do I fuse glass "gems" (the glass pieces bought at craft centers that look like squished marbles) onto a glass wine bottle without using a kiln?
Sorry, no photo, I have not figured it out, nor found a resource.
I am looking for high end wine bottles for a decorating project. Any ideas where I can get them?
Did you consider approaching local area bars and restaurants? Having worked in the business, we just toss these anyway and would be happy to have them taken away for us. Approach them between the hours of 1-4pm which is the slow period and ask to speak to the floor manager or bar manager and you're sure to at least get considered.
What are some ideas to do with wine bottles, maybe some kind of craft idea or other uses?
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I drink a glass of wine every evening with my meal for my health. I've accumulated many wine bottles and was wondering if anyone had any ideas on how I could use these empty bottles.
By Elizabeth from Warren, AR
My brother used to collect pretty colored bottles and sit them on his window sills. The light would shine through them and made them look even better. (04/16/2009)
By vickie guy
Fill wine bottles with sand and turn bottles upside down and bury it half way into dirt (or put upside down bottles on to dowels) to line a garden bed. (04/17/2009)
Have you ever seen those fancy bottles of flavored olive oils in the gift shops, or in the deli section of grocery stores around Christmas time? They are really very easy to make and make great gifts. And right now is a good time to start them.
Just get a large quantity of olive oil, pour it into large jars, add some gloves of garlic, sprigs of your favorite herbs, cover and let sit for a while in a dark place. Whenever there is a gift occasion, strain some oil into a wine bottle, add some fresh cloves of garlic and a sprig or two of the fresh herbs, cork it and you have a great gift ready to go.
You could also add it to a gift food basket that includes packages of assorted pastas, cheeses, dell salamis, and a bottle of wine. You could also include some pour caps like you would see on the liquor bottles in a bar. Those work great on the bottles of flavored olive oils.
Enjoy the praise you will receive for such a special gift.
Pat T in Nevada
Editor's Note: Be very careful when flavoring olive oil with garlic or other food items. There is a very serious risk of botulism, which can be deadly. Commercial processors use techniques and preservatives that are not available for the home cook. Homemade flavored oil should be stored in the refrigerator and used within a week. Here is a ThriftyFun request on the subject.
My mother puts the wine bottle upside down in her garden to capture water in the little dip on the bottom. This serves as a water reservoir for her butterflies. I thought she was crazy until I saw a butterfly on one last summer. You can also buy wicks attached to covers at most vineyards to turn your old wine bottle into a lantern using lamp oil. These are pretty. (04/22/2009)
My brother brought us a vase of flowers from the farmer's market and the vase was a wine bottle that had been painted with a flower design. If you have artistic talent you could paint vines or flowers and vines on the bottles. I've also seen bottles filled with marbles or sea glass and put in windows. They're beautiful. (04/22/2009)
You can use them as a retaining wall for a flower garden, too. (04/23/2009)
I've got a few uses. Here's my #1 favorite to do with bottles. If you have access to a glass cutter, you can actually make your own vino glasses. They're fun and easy to do and can also be done with beer bottles, etc.
For the 750 ml bottles, simply draw a line (circular) just below the "neck" of the bottle, where the bottle begins to "flare". This piece will become the "stem" of your glass. You can place the body of the bottle in a vice to hold it steady, though make sure you cushion the vice ends with toweling or rags to avoid breakage.
Once in the vice, begin sawing through at the "flare" area. Once you've cut through, you'll have to sand to a very smooth edge where you've made your cut. Once the sanding is completed, attach the bottle top (flare side will be the base, bottle top and neck will be the "stem") to the bottom of the bottle using either glass fusing glue or any fusing method you prefer.
Make sure you wear safety glass while sawing the bottle to avoid any eye injury. (05/05/2009)
Another great use for wine bottles is using them for bath salts that you make. You can purchase the plain, non scented salts at any craft store and add what ever fragrance you'd like to them. You can find the various fragrance oils needed at the craft store also.
Add a cute "stopper", place a ribbon around the bottle and you've got great and inexpensive gifts.
The salts and oil go a long way. Depending on the bottle size, you can make at least 10.
I've made these tons of times and love having them on hand for last minute gifts. (05/05/2009)
Can you tell I'm a "bottle freak" with this 3rd post?
I too agree with not making an infused oil, though you can make an infused vinegar in the empty bottles very simply after first making 110% positive the bottles are clean and sanitized. A double "trip" through the dishwasher alone will do the trick.
First chose whether you want to use a simple white vinegar or the cider variety. Next place any fresh herb you'd like in a large container (not the bottles at this point) and pour your vinegar over the herbs, covering them completely. Store the container in the fridge for about 2 weeks. Once the time period is up, strain the liquid/herbs through cheesecloth, then add to bottles. A quicker way is to bring the vinegar to a simmer before pouring over herbs. It'll help bring out a deeper "flavor".
You must keep both mixtures refrigerated, even after transferring to the bottles. The vinegars are great used alone, with a dipping oil, as a dressing on grilled veggies. The uses are endless. (05/05/2009)
A number of years ago after the Christmas holiday season, we had many empty various colored wine bottles in the basement. My wife asked me to put them in the garbage. I thought that would be a waste and that there must be someway to convert these wine bottles into something useful.
After many experiments and failures, I finally found a way of crushing these bottles and creating beautiful pictures. If lighted from behind they are just like stained glass pictures. I have made many pictures this way. Thanks.
Sponge paint them different colors and use them as vases. (07/04/2009)
I have about ten empty wine bottles and would love a crafty way to reuse the. I was thinking of using dishwashing liquid and putting the bottles on my windowsill, but what kind of "top" would i use?