Is your recycling bin overflowing with glass bottles? Rather than contribute to the overflow at the local dumps and landfill sites, consider upcycling them. One of the unique features about jars is their ability to be used over and over again. So rather than throwing them away, consider using them for your next upcycling or decorative craft spree. You don’t need a whole lot to get started, you would be surprised at how a simple piece of string or even a touch of paint can turn even the dullest jar or bottle, into an incredible conversation piece. Interesting in learning more? Keep reading to see how a simple, mundane bottle can be transformed.
What you need to get started
- An overflowing recycling bin of glass bottles
- Copper wiring (optional)
- Wire cutters for the cutting the wiring
- Spool of Cord
- Yarn or para cord
Note: While this list isn’t conclusive, it’s the bare minimum to get started. Always check with your tutorial of choice for the materials needed.
How to remove labels from glass bottles
- An empty/clean sink
- Your craft bottle/s of choice
- ½ cup baking powder
- 1 tbsp. dish soap (Dawn works best)
- 2 cups white vinegar
Upon mixing all of the materials together, the concoction will fizz for a short while, but the end result will leave a clean canvas (void of sticky labels) for you to work with.
Wine bottle lantern
Chances are you have all the materials you need already lying around the house. You can get started with this project with a completely clean wine bottle, acrylic paint, a paintbrush (for the exterior design), and some string lights.
After you’ve cleaned your glass bottle, paint your chosen design/s on the exterior of the bottle. While our particular project example features a simple tree, you can paint more advanced designs.
If you have access to multiple acrylic paints, try alternating between splashes of colors and possibly gluing sequins with a hot glue gun. Not only is this wine bottle lantern easy to make, but if you make enough of them, they would look great as a set.
Glass bottle wind chime
Who doesn’t enjoy the sound of a wind chime on a warm summer day? The wind chime, like hummingbird feeders, have become the tell-tale sign that summer is near. If you enjoy the enchanting unique song of the wind chime and have tons of glass bottles lying around, the possibilities are endless.
While this particular craft might require some skill (mostly glass cutting), it’s still not overly advanced. See the image below for methods of cutting glass. There are a couple of incredible tutorials on YouTube showing viewers exactly how to do this. Once you know how to cut glass, the only decision left is to determine how you want to decorate your original wind chime.
The piece in the photograph features round loops and beads. Depending on your confidence in cutting glass, you could easily get creative and flatten various bottles and create varying shapes to feature on your wind chime. A strong string material (fishing line), along with beads and your bottle is all you need for this project.
Glass bottle flower vase
You can’t get any easier than this. However, the possibilities for this project vary depending on the creativity of the artist. You could paint designs on the outside of the bottle (like the first craft mentioned in this article), etch designs into the glass, or even wrap and paint the bottle itself. We love using Mod Podge and cool crafting paper. If you have a ton of bottles sitting around, you can experiment with designs and possibly give away the vases as gifts.
You can’t have wind chimes without a bird feeder. A bird feeder can vary in complexity, but hot gluing a pan like foundation to the opening of the bottle, will provide the perfect perch for your birds to rest as they consume their treats. A few minor adjustments would make this ideal for a hummingbird feeder.
Tiki torch made from wine bottles
Next time, before spending money on that Tiki torch setup you saw in that home decoration catalogue; consider making your own. Incredibly easy to make and even unique, you can proudly exclaim to your neighbours that you made it yourself, when they ask you where you got them.
How to cut glass bottles
Learning to cut glass is an important part of some wine bottle crafting, though not all. Cast a glance at the gallery below to learn more about the process and various other do it yourself projects.
About our guest author
Giuroiu Anton is the Founder of Homesthetics Magazine, an online architecture art and design resource. In the spare time he writes as a guest for several architecture websites like Freshome and Architecture`n`Design. He is currently studying Architecture and Urbanism at Ion Mincu University in Romania where he also graduated Tudor Vianu National Computer Science College, his educational background fuels his thirst for technology and design.