So you like to drink wine, right? And you haven’t been convinced that boxed is the way to go. So what do you do with all those wine bottles? Probably just throw them away. Well, I don’t see any reason you can’t use drinking as an excuse to get crafty. Here are a few ideas culled from internet that can spruce up your digs while keeping landfills free of your alcoholic excess.
First thing first
You need to learn to cut wine bottles. There are plenty of methods out there, but this seems to me to be the safest and simplest method and seems to have the best results. However, it does require you to buy a glass cutter.
If you don’t want to buy a glass cutter and instead want to try some other methods try these.
The common element in all of these is to stress the glass through the alternating applications of concentrated heat and cold. Just remember to wear gloves and protective eye wear.
Now that you know how to cut the glass, you’re more than halfway to some pretty neat homemade home decor.
The first one I came across was an ad in the latest Imbibe magazine for Potting Shed’s hydroponic herb planters. I don’t really know anything about hydroponic principles and some digging on the web didn’t really turn up anything definitive. However, I did find other examples of wine bottle planters both hydropoonic and…um…regular. Obvioulsy the commercial version from Potting Shed looks better, but it’s also $35. Pick your poison. (Psss: You can see the inner working of the Potting Shed’s planter here.)
These are probably the easiest to make once you master cutting the glass.
Zappos (pictured to the left) sells theirs for $20 for the set.
Of course if you’re going to be putting your lips on them, you’re going to want to polish those edges. You can use a blow torch if you have one and if you have some mad blowtorching skills. Glass needs to be heated and cooled evenly or it will develop cracks. Even if you don’t see them, there’s a good chance that a blow torch in inexperienced hands will lead to tiny microfractures which will eventually lead to an unusable piece of glassware.
No, it’s better to just use sandpaper or (again, if you have one) a Dremel. Just be careful to keep the sandpaper off the face of the glass. You don’t want to scratch the pretty parts.
Bonus!!!! Tumblers can be made to hold candles! The Earth Glass Project sells their’s for $20 a piece.
And if candles aren’t your preferred manner of intoxicating illumination there are plenty of lamp designs using wine bottles. I’m a huge fan of Jerry Kott’s designs. I used some of his lamps as a photo in a post earlier this week, but here’s another set from the Sierra Club blog.
Now, Kott is an artist and he’s perfected the skill of cutting glass and leveling the cut so that he can mix and match bands from different bottles for simple but beautiful lamp designs. But with the right bottle, you can probably imagine something simpler.
Or you could go really simple with a design like this: shove some Christmas lights in a bottle. Voila! A masterpiece from Sterlin Wine Online.
You will need to know how to build a lamp, but trust me, it’s pretty easy. This How Stuff Works page gives a few different methods of turning nothing into lamps.
If playing around with electricity has you too freaked out, with little more than a wick and a stand, you can turn uncut wine bottles into torches for your deck.
I probably don’t have to tell you how to make an oil lamp, but if here’s the quick run down. Find a way to submerge the bottom of the wick in the oil while letting some of the wick stick up out of the oil. Provide a barrier between the upper part and the lower part. That’s it.
If that doesn’t do it for you, try these fancier lawn torches from LifeHacker which have an elegant solution to the whole thing.
- Use a Bottle Cutting Jig to Turn Beer and Wine Bottles into Usable Glasses [Video] (lifehacker.com)
- Recycled Wine Bottle Lamp (blogher.com)
- Today Involved Empty Wine Bottles (weedeaters.wordpress.com)