Even if you don’t drink wine all that often, those empty wine bottles can stack up quickly. While you could recycle them, why not repurpose instead? Thankfully, they’re the perfect receptacle for repurposing, allow you to get creative and make all sorts of fun things with them.
We’ve rounded up some of the best empty wine bottle projects so that you can make use of yours – and, if you don’t have any lying around, be sure to start saving them.
1. An Elegant Water Carafe
One of the easiest ways to make dinner at home feel as if you’re dining at a fancy restaurant is to chill one of your favorite empty wine bottles and fill it with water. Use it as a carafe, and voila, your next meal is instantly more classy. You can take it up a step further by creating your own label if you want something that’s more personalized, onlinelabels.com has some great options.
2. Wine Bottle Lamps
It’s super easy to make a wine bottle lamp, and they’re ideal for a bar area in your home. All you need is an attractive, empty wine bottle and a few other items. Of course, if you only have a full one and need to drink it first, it’s best to wait until the next day to put it together. You can use any color or shape, but the more exotic looking it is, the better. You’ll need a drill and a glass cutting drill bit (cheap to buy at your local home or hardware store if you don’t have one already), as well as a long piece of string, and cheap AA battery powered LED string lights like this set available on Amazon. First, soak and then scrape off the label, and then drill a hole that’s large enough to thread your string from the LED light set through.
Drilling through glass can be a bit tricky, but if you use a light oil or water, it will help. Continue to dip your drill bit into it every few seconds as you drill, drilling the hole about a half-inch or so up from the bottom of the bottle. Once you’ve got a clean hole, wash the bottle inside and out, dry it thoroughly and then thread a short length of string through the hole and out the neck of the bottle. Tape the wires from the LED light set to the string, and then pull them into the bottle and out of the hole that you just drilled. Thread the LED lights into the bottle, one by one through the top and then shake it around a bit until they’re evenly spread. Now use a hot glue gun to fill in the hole, and to keep the lights and cable in place.
3. Chalkboard Vases
This one is so fun. Forget about just sticking flowers in a wine bottle and calling it a vase. Instead, get some chalkboard paint. It’s available at most home improvement and hardware stores as well as Amazon, and converts glass (as well as wood, metal, plastic, paperboard, and hardboard), into a usable chalkboard. Simply spray it onto the wine bottle and add your own customized message and/or drawing that can be changed up whenever you like. You can add other decorative items too if you desire, like ribbon or burlap string.
4. Salad Dressing Server
A wine bottle also makes a great vessel for storing and serving salad dressing – far more attractive than that already filled bottle you got at the store. Just clean it thoroughly, dry and add your dressing. You can make it even fancier by adding a spout, available at houseware stores and on Amazon.
5. Dish Soap Dispenser
Instead of storing your dish soap under the sink, display it as part of your kitchen decor by using an empty wine bottle as the dispenser. All you really have to do is clean out your bottle, pour in the soap and add the spout (like this one available on Amazon), but if you attractive decor is what you’re after, you may want to follow the tutorial for this pretty DIY etched wine bottle dish soap dispenser here on Living Well Spending Less.
6. Plant Nanny
Gardening centers and home stores sell pricey glass globes designed to water your plants for you, but an even better, much cheaper solution is the wine bottle to plant waterer/nanny project. Simply use upside down wine bottles to water your plants. You just drill a hole through the cork, fill up the bottle with water and then push it, upside down, into the soil. The hole in the cork allows the water to slowly leak out and provide a steady trickle of water at the root line. This will keep your plants satiated without drowning them, resulting in a cheap, simple solution for keeping your plants water with little work and using up those empty wine bottles too.
7. Keep Your Olive Oil Fresh
If your olive oil came in a light-colored bottle and it’s stored in a spot where sunlight can get to it, it can go rancid quickly. Instead, use a dark-hued empty wine bottle to store it in.
8. Garden Edging
If you have a ton of empty wine bottles, you might want to use them for garden edging. You could even leave the labels on and let them weather off naturally as peeling the labels off is what takes the most work when it comes to empty wine bottle projects.
9. Bird Feeder
One of the best ways to attract birds into your garden so you can enjoy watching them is to feed them. And you’ll keep them fat and happy during those harsh winter months. One plank of wood and one empty wine bottle is pretty much all you need. Just don’t affix the bottle holder permanently to a wall, because when it comes time to refill the bottle, it’ll be easier if you can insert the bottle into the holder in an upright position, and then tip it over when you rehang the holder. Plus, if the bottle starts to get kind of grubby-looking, you can easily recycle it and replace it with a new one.
The directions can be found on The Chicken Street here.
10. Citronella Candles
Who likes mosquitoes? Those annoying insects not only leave a bite that can incessantly itch, they carry disease. Don’t let them ruin your outdoor entertaining. Instead, use your empty wine bottles to create beautiful citronella candles instead. Citronella oil is an all-natural insect repellent made from the distilled oils of different varieties of grass, the main components being citronellol, citronellal, and geraniol. Although those ingredients may sound like something that’s a bit scary, citronella has been approved for use as a food additive by the Food and Drug Administration and has been used in many foods and drinks for over a half-century. It’s also been labeled as a low-risk pesticide by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
11. Use Them to Keep Your Shoes or Boots Upright
If you have tall shoes or boots that keep falling over in your closest, place empty wine bottles in them to hold them upright. If they still flop over, place sand or tiny rocks in the bottom of the bottle to weigh them down.
12. A Flower Hanging Basket
You can even use your wine bottles to make a hanging basket for flowers or other plants. Just buy a hanging metal wine bottle holder, which looks a bit like a chandelier but it won’t light up. You’ll turn it into a unique planter by filling up the bottles with plants, as per Artsy Vava’s great idea.
13. Ribbon Wine Bottle Mantel Decor
This one is really fun – use your empty wine bottles to display a word that means something to you. For example, if you want to showcase the word “love,’ you’ll need four bottles. One will be marked “L,” the next “O,” and so on. Of course, you’ll want to deck them out with pretty things too.
In addition to the wine bottles, you need wooden letters (sold at hobby shops), paint and a paintbrush, sparkly ribbon (Sparklet is ideal), a hot glue gun and hot glue.
First, grab the number of empty bottles you’ll need to spell your world. Then, paint each of the wooden letters using at least two coats of paint. Use some type of sparkly ribbon, like Sparklet to cover the bottle, starting at the bottom and working your way to the top. Wrap the ribbon tightly, and hot glue it as you go. For the neck of the bottle, you’ll need to press the ribbon in, so invariably there will be a few bumps, but the sparkly ribbon will deter from that. Finish by gluing the end of the ribbon in place and then gluing your letters onto the bottles to spell your word.
14. Twine Wrapped Bottles
Twine is great to use on empty wine bottles to create decor that matches your home. All you have to do is wrap the bottles with twine, adding glue along the way. And then, add your accents. Twine has a nautical charm, so these are great to decorate with things like seashells using a little hot glue, but you can add pretty much anything you’d like.
15. Beach In A Bottle
Speaking of the beach, you can create your very own beach in a bottle to enjoy on those cold, winter days, or anytime you can’t get there in person. To make one, you’ll need some white paint, Mod Podge (a common decoupage medium, all-in-one glue, sealer and finish used to attach paper and fabric to various surfaces available at just about all hobby stores and Amazon), water, sand (dirt will suffice), and a clear, empty wine bottle, or bottles. You’ll also want some shells, pieces of coral, and/or whatever beachy item you prefer.
Combine 1 part Mod Podge, 2 parts water and 1 part white paint. Pour it all into a bottle and swirl it around a bit until the entire bottle is coated. Add a pinch of sand, or dirt, to the paint mixture by carefully sprinkling it inside. Turn the bottle upside down on paper towels and allow it to dry, checking every 10 minutes or so and wiping away any excess paint. Once it’s almost dry, turn it upright again and let it dry completely. Finally, add your shells, coral and/or other beach decor to complete your “beach in a bottle.”
There are all sorts of holiday decorations you can make with empty wine bottles, but with Halloween on the way soon, it’s a perfect time to try any one of these DIY spooky decor.
Remove the labels from your wine bottles first by soaking them in hot soapy water.
16. Spider web
For a spider web, use a clear wine bottle and spray paint it black or you could use an unopened bottle of red wine as long as the label is removed first. Then, draw the webbing on with a white paint pen by drawing a dot wherever you’d like the center of the web to be. Next draw straight lines outward from the dot, and connect them, beginning at the center with shorter lines curving toward that center dot. Space the lines further apart while moving away from the center.
For a ghost, you just need a clear wine bottle. Then, using a black paint pen, draw on a ghostly-looking face.
For this one, use an empty wine bottle that has a green tint and then wrap it with painter’s tape. Draw on your jack-o-lantern face, and then cut along the edges of the drawing using a razor blade. That will allow you to remove any excess tape while leaving the design still attached to the bottle. Now spray the bottle with orange paint, but leave the green top unpainted so that it serves as the “stem.” When it’s completely dry, remove the tape design and you’ll have your jack-o-lantern.