Wednesday, May 9, 2012

DIY Wine Bottles Repurposed

With the amount of wine we drink out here in Spain reaching an all time high in summer (see my recipe for Tinto de Verrano here) it seems a shame to throw all of the gorgeous bottles into recycling. Instead, I've got a few DIY projects that can put your old wine bottles to good (and pretty) use!
Wine bottle candle holders make for a pretty table arrangement
For all of these projects, you need to learn to cut the wine bottles. When I was making these things for my wedding, I bought a glass cutting kit that included a bottle scorer, I scored the bottle where I needed it cut and then alternated between an ice cube and a candle flame until the bottle broke. It was very time consuming and there were A LOT of mess ups.
a bride on a mission...

I discovered a new tactic out here in Spain, where you can't buy bottle cutting kits. Wrap a piece of yarn around your bottle 4-5 times, tie if off and cut it. Then take the yarn off the bottle and soak it in nail polish remover. Replace the yarn (be sure to wipe off any residual nail polish remover from the bottle) and light the yarn on fire. Rotate the bottle and burn for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Dunk the bottle into ice water and it should pop off at the site of the yarn. Use sandpaper to smooth the cut surfaces. Of course there is a lot of room for error, and every bottle doesn't come out perfectly... but it is much quicker (and lets face it... cooler) than the latter method.

Cutting off the bottoms of the bottles you can make these table numbers for a wedding, or as a pretty centerpiece for outdoor dining.
The perfect addition to an outdoor table
Side Note: Because the candle needs to suck air in through the bottom, I added 4 small stick on earrings to the bottom with super glue. That gave the bottle about 1/2 cm lift off the table, which was enough air to keep the candle going. I also disguised a few shotty cutting jobs with a bit of ribbon around the bottom.

Backyard lanterns are another great idea for wine bottles. Once you've cut the bottom of your wine bottle off, find a candle holder with a small lip. Using 14 gauge wire (the same kind you used making Name Hangers) create a small loop that fits under the lip of the candle holder. Then working upwards, make a spiral using a large battery pull the end through the top of the bottle and make a hook at the top. You can hang your lantern from a shepard's hook in your garden, or from your porch.

'Getting lit' takes on a new meaning...
Instead of cutting off the bottoms, you can cut the top to make some cute planters. These work best with small plants that don't need a lot of growing room. Simply cut off the top half of the bottle, and turn it upside down into the bottom half. Fill the bottom half with water, and thread a long piece of felt through the neck so it is submerged in the water. Line the "planter" part of the bottle with the felt and fill the rest with clay pellets or rocks. Choose your plan and give it it's new home. Small plants like bamboo work very well.

The perfect plant for those of us who forget to water!


  1. Love these ideas!! Keep it up!

  2. Thanks! Glad you're enjoying it!