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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.
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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. Line them up on a buffet table or fireplace mantle, light some tea light candles in glass cups, and place behind the bottles. In an instant you will have an elegant glass sculpture or centerpiece for your dinner party.
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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. This prevents heat build-up. At least this is how a friend told me she drilled a sheet of glass which is basically the same thing (but not as thick as a pop bottle.
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?
Linda from Cookeville, TN
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 could make stepping stones that would sparkle in the sun, or cover just about anything with the pieces. just go online to get instructions on how to do mosaics.
--->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.
We have a bottle tree made from blue bottles in our neigborhood. There are several sizes - wine bottles, the old milk of magnesia bottles and a smaller blue jar that I think Noxema skin cream came in. They are stuck on the ends of a dead small tree that does not get foliage anymore so they are always visible. It is very cool.
Hey...I have a great idea for your bottles. Get a "Bottle Tree". Try searching for The Bottle Tree Man. They're beautiful!
There is a bottle house in Rhyolite, NV (a few hours out of Las Vegas). It's a house built with bottles instead of brick or other building supplies. Interesting! Built eons ago, mostly all the bottles were recycled from a saloon or tavern. They have tours there, a few times a year. It's just a thought, I bet you don't have that many, lol.
On the note of melting the glass into blobs in a
kiln, you could also cut the bottles into rings on
a wet tile saw, then melt them in a kiln to form
Then string them all together for a recycled and
unique wind chime. Visit your favorite search engine
and type in MOTHER EARTH NEWS RECYCLED WINDCHIMES. Very fun!
I use them to edge my garden beds. I just dig a hole, bury them 1/2 way down and upside down. I put Christmas lights behind them. It is beautiful at night!
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.
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.
How do I cut wine bottles from top to bottom?
By Sam from West Chester, PA
What are some ideas to do with wine bottles, maybe some kind of craft idea or other uses?
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
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 them. I was thinking of using dishwashing liquid and putting the bottles on my windowsill, but what kind of "top" would I use? Any suggestions would be appreciated. (I'm starting to look like a lush.)
Terese from North Carolina
At my local Dogwood Festival last year, they were selling lighted decorated wine bottles. What they did was drill a small hole near the bottom of the bottle, run 1 string of white Christmas lights through the hole leaving enough of the cord sticking out so that it could be plugged in. The decor on the bottles they had was painted on but you could always cover with decals. Marla (03/18/2005)
By Marla Ball
You can put hand dishwashing liquid in the bottle(s) and buy a stopper top for the bottles, sold for pouring out liquors in little doses. It is a small pour spout w/ a screw-in stopper bottom to fit the bottle, plastic. Ask at a place that sells wines, etc. (03/18/2005)
A friend made me a bottle for the bathroom that has bubble bath in it. It is a wine bottle with some hand painted flowers on it and one of those pour spouts like is used for the top on liquor bottles. It is so nice looking in my bathroom. I was told it was so easy to make and I really appreciated a home made gift. (03/18/2005)
Why not give your kitchen an Italian look. Fill several of your wine bottles with olive oil and herbs. Just push the herbs of your choice in the bottles then fill with olive oil. You can do the same with vinegar. Vinegar with red and green jalapeno peppers looks very pretty. Just put the original cork in the top or purchase some new corks. You could fill others with different colored pastas. The possibilities is endless. (03/18/2005)
I have used wine bottles and matching glasses for decorating by using an etching solution and contact paper. Cut out the picture, words, etc. and apply to bottle and apply etching solution per directions, remove contact paper and you have a very pretty bottle. If it is filled with fluid some look nicer, too.
Liquor bottle pour tops do work well if you find ones to fit, the plastic ones seem to be more versatile and have more choices if you are trying to color coordinate. (03/19/2005)
Empty wine bottles can be used for almost any dry household ingredient such as coffee creamer, sugar, dry dishwasher crystals, bath salts, and even rice! They make nice bud vases and candle holders, as well. We also use the wine corks for decorating by placing the corks in a clear wine bucket or spreading them around a center piece during a dinner party. Try pinning name plates in the top of the wine cork on miniature bottles of wine for your dinner guests! (04/03/2005)
I found a nice way to use the wine bottles for gift/crafts. Use a 1/2 inch tile cutting drill bit and drill a hole in the bottom of the glass. Fill it with white Christmas string lights and glass beads. Then tie wire edged ribbon at the top. (preferably dark toned wine bottles). Then buy the nice glass wine corks. These turn out beautiful and make great gifts for people's kitchens. (12/06/2005)
By Dana J
I am Paul from India. I liked the idea of giving used bottles. You can place house model into the bottle and gift it. Here in India we make houses in bottles to sell as fund raising tool for physically handicapped people. (02/10/2006)
By Paul S
With clear wine and liquor bottles you can fill them with water and empty the ink out of different colored highlighters into each bottle. It looks pretty sweet if you display it with blacklight or some other illumination. (02/15/2006)
I love empty wine bottles. But I did read the one idea of filling them with herbs. That is a great idea, but make sure all of the herbs and spices are totally dried, if you plan on using the olive oil that is. If you are just doing it for decoration, then do whatever you like. But I have used dried items with my olive oil, and they came out great. I used sun dried tomatoes, dried garlic, dried basil, parsley, pepper corns, dried chilies, juniper berries, rosemary, and lots more. They come out so yummy. You can leave them in up to a year or more, but after you open it, put it in the fridge. (02/17/2006)
By Lisa Helmuth
I forgot to add, the reason for making sure the herbs and spices are totally dried, is because you could have a mold or some other kind of bacteria growing in it. (02/17/2006)
By Lisa Helmuth
Why not fill them with colored sand and set them around your house, on a shelf, or on top of your microwave cart, etc. (02/17/2006)
I wash my empty wine bottles in the dishwasher then let them air dry. I get a large bottle of dishwashing liquid (yellow in color) and pour it to almost the neck of the bottle. I get silk flowers and insert 1 or 2 stems inside the bottle and this turns into a decorative dishwashing dispenser or just sit it on the window sill. I use corks and get decorative plastic ornaments to stick into cork or hot glue it to the top of the cork. (04/24/2006)
By Darlene H.
A friend of mine would save a whole bunch, clean them, and section off a part of her garden where she would insert the bottle upside down next to each other about 1 inch to 2 inches apart. This makes for an interesting mosaic effect with the different colored bottles. Not sure how they hold up through winter though. Also would be leary if there was heavy traffic especially with kids. Probably best for decorative use. (07/08/2006)
I paint empty wine bottles, however I do not drill a hole in mine. I feed the lights through the open top and use a cork to close the top. (12/29/2006)
To drill hole in bottle, make sure the drill has enough rpm's to do the job. A Dremel 35,000 RPM is capable of cutting it. It might help if you put tape around close to where you are cutting just to absorb some of the shock the glass incurs. Make sure you use safety glasses, some glass chips easier than others. If it's thick glass it won't break and thin will break easily. If you can't tell of the thickness go ahead and start drilling just don't press down hard. You'll find out if you can drill it or not. I've never had one blow up, it just gently cracks on you.
I fold up an old towel, lay it across my lap, put the bottle on the towel resting between my legs, then wrap a little bit of the towel around the bottle close to where I'm going to drill. Doing it in my lap gives me more control over the bottle. TIP: Keep light weight oil on the drill bit, so it doesn't get hot. (02/02/2007)
I saw on TV where they used the empty liquor bottles as legs for coffee tables. It was really neat, you can make the coffee table any shape or style. They painted the bottle the color of their choice and then filled them with sand so they could be sturdy enough to hold the table. (06/16/2007)
You can buy a special bit at your hardware store to drill in pottery and glass. To make a lamp you thread the wire from the lamp kit through the hole made with the drill bit (the plug stays on the other side of the hole) then thread it through and attach the light part. I did this with a heavy clay bottle and it is just about the right weight to not topple over. Unless you can fill the bottle with something to make it heavier I suggest using a candlestick light kit. (08/14/2007)
I use a liquor decanter for my dishsoap. For the top I just use one of those plugs they use on liquor bottles in the bars. I got a bag with 10 or so in it for a couple of dollars at Walmart, but you can find them just about anywhere. The plastic ones seem to work better than the metal ones. I guess because the soap is thicker than alcohol. (08/21/2007)
Recently we used empty wine bottles to make drinking glasses and tumblers with a bottle cutter (search bottle cutter) they are nice, but it requires lots of work to get the edges as smooth as I require. Then we made lamps using a favorite label wine with label still attached, with a lamp kit we got at Lowe's.
We safely used a Dremel to put a hole in the bottom outside edge of the bottle. It is beautiful and make a memorable present for our friend's birthday. I really like the hurricane lamp idea with bottom of the bottle cut away and a length of wire wound inside the bottle that holds a tea light. This whole thing hangs in a tree or somewhere. I saw that on the net too, relatively inexpensive. (02/14/2008)
By Jen and Chris
The easiest way I have found to drill holes in bottles is with some sort of diamond bit (actually, not a drill bit). I use this one that is just shaped like a sphere with diamond surfacing all the way around, and just turn the Dremel up to 10 and apply slight pressure while running cold water over the bit and the hole. (07/09/2008)
To make the beautiful lighted wine bottles: buy a Black and Decker 1/2inch glass and tile drill bit from Home Depot. Hand wash the wine bottles and air dry, being careful to keep the labels intact. Lay the bottle on cloth so it won't roll, and about an inch from the bottom on the back side of the bottle, make a ring (about the size of a quarter) out of silly putty or play dough, leaving a well in the center. Add a little water inside the ring and drill through it very slowly.
The drill bit needs to be kept moist or wet so it doesn't get too hot and break the bottle. Buy the lights 35 to a string at the 99cent store. Start feeding them into the bottom through the hole. From a coat hanger, cut a 12 to14 inch piece, putting a very small hook on one end. Use this to pull the lights up from the top, to even them out as you continue to insert from the bottom until you only have the cord and plug left.
Decorate with wire ribbon and grapes, or for Christmas, use Christmas ribbon and an ornament. They have some lovely grape clusters at the hobby stores that look almost real. (10/06/2008)