7 Ways to Reuse Wine Bottles

Depending on where you live, there’s a good chance that your local recycling services no longer take glass — and that includes wine bottles. This is usually because glass breaks easily, wreaking havoc on recycling machinery and contaminating other recyclable materials.

For those of us who enjoy a good bottle of chardonnay or Champagne, this is pretty bad news. Well, you might not be able to recycle those bottles, but you certainly can upcycle them. There are fortunately many amazing and creative ways to reuse wine bottles.

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If you think it’s risky to use glass to decorate outdoors, that’s not the case. Wine bottles are made of thicker glass than beer bottles, which makes them superior for outdoor use. Beer bottles — even the pretty ones — are more likely to crack or break outright in bad weather or just from being outside.

So if you have empty wine bottles piling up, here are seven ways to reuse them so you can indulge in a glass or two, guilt-free.

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1. Raise a Garden Wall

It’s shockingly easy to create a wine bottle wall to accent your garden or backyard area. Just dig a small trench that trends downward (this helps to ensure that water won’t get in the bottles, then freeze and shatter in the winter months). You’ll need soil (added by you or naturally existing) on the mouth side of the bottles to hold up the wall. Then just stack them tightly together. You can also use this method to create a raised bed perfect for planting flowers or veggies, too. Check out Brie the Plant Lady’s step-by-step video for a helpful demo.

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2. Let There Be Light Fixtures

The good people at YouTube have sussed out ways to turn all types of bottles into light fixtures. Wine bottles are especially popular because of their size and often brilliant color options. Some require you to cut the bottles, but others don’t. And you don’t have to electrify them either. Just choose the option that suits your skill and comfort level.

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3. Feed the Hummingbirds

This craft is perfect for using up those old screw-top wine bottles. It helps to be handy with a drill when making this hummingbird feeder, but other than that it pretty much requires only household materials to create and finish. Don’t forget to fill it up with some hummingbird nectar.

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4. Produce a Privacy Wall

Although the wine bottle privacy wall does require some time and elbow grease, it doesn’t take nearly as long as planting and waiting for trees or vines to grow. You’ll need some basic building materials (rebar, wood frame, etc.) to create this stunning privacy feature. The toughest part is drilling through the bottom of the bottles with a diamond saw bit. But once your wall is finished, the result will be worth the effort.

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5. Design and Decorate

Don’t pay big bucks at that high-end retailer for wine bottle vases when you can DIY. This is probably one of the easiest ways to repurpose empty wine bottles because it only requires the materials you want to dress up the bottles, and some faux or real flowers to fill them. Try using a little bit of spray paint, or just dress the bottles up with a simple bow or burlap. You can use them as table centerpieces or string them up.

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6. Hang Out With Tiki Torches

Keep troublesome mosquitoes away and add a little light to your outdoor evenings with easy DIY tiki torches. The only supplies you need are empty wine bottles, sand, some tiki fuel, a bronze flange that fits inside the wine bottle’s mouth and a replacement wick. Tools like a funnel and a pair of scissors also help to get the job done. That version sits nicely on a table, or you can invest in a few dollars’ worth of hardware to make tiki torches/citronella candles that mount to a wall or fence.

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7. House Your Succulents

Empty wine bottles are the perfect habitat for tiny succulent plants. This option does require either a drill or glass cutter to create an opening. Then just use a funnel to fill the bottle with soil and place the succulents as desired. You can make these hang vertically or sit them horizontally for different types of planters and decor needs.

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The very first step for most DIY wine bottle projects is getting that pesky label off. First, soak them in a sink or bathtub for an hour. Then use a chisel or putty knife (carefully) to remove the label. Remove any remaining adhesive by spraying with warm vinegar water, then scrub away with steel wool. A plastic label will probably come off a lot more easily than a paper label.

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