You may have some old wine bottles around your home from a memorable holiday family get-together or maybe a wedding. Why not keep those memories alive in a new fashion by up-cycling those bottles?
Old and new wine bottles alike can get a new life by adding lighting and other beautiful outdoor landscape elements. If you don’t have a wine bottle or bottles around the house that you can use, there are many suitable alternatives:
Cobalt blue wine bottles are popular as are frosted and artisan wine bottles. The possibilities to choose from are almost endless.
Wine and other types of bottles can also be sourced inexpensively at some retail stores. We have links at the bottom of this article for any and all the tools, bottles, and other resources you may need if you don’t have them already.
You can often find free bottles from finer restaurants and bars by calling and asking them. These establishments have no way to return these bottles so they end up throwing them in the trash.
A cork and string light set will keep you from having to drill holes in the bottle. These inexpensive light sets have a string of L.E.D.’s with a fake but realistic looking bottle cork on the end with a small battery hidden inside. All you do is insert the string of lights, then put the cork in the top, turn it on and you’re all done.
That was the easy method of placing electric lights inside bottles. To use Christmas lights (and not mess with batteries), you may need to drill a hole in or near the bottom of each bottle.
Here’s a quick 1 minute video tutorial on how to do this with a diamond hole cutter drill bit.
If you are hanging bottles from your porch/patio overhangs it doesn’t matter if you just the lights in through the top of the bottle since you will be looking at them from below. You will need to address rain water by drilling a drain hole in each bottle, or keep the water from collecting in the bottles by sealing the tops with some clear silicone caulking after you have inserted the lights.
Another idea is to place lighted bottles along pathways in the ground and in garden beds. An easy way to do this is to get some metal stakes or cut some wooden dowels about 18 inches long. Drive them into the ground halfway, leaving half above ground level. Then insert a short strand of outdoor-rated Christmas lights into each bottle, and then turn the bottles upside down and onto the steaks in the ground.
Any bottle with a similar sized opening as wine bottles can be converted into a backyard Tiki torch. No glass cutting is involved here, you only need a wick kit and some torch oil. Wick kits are sold online that are made specifically for wine bottles. You can also use most wick replacement kits sold in stores with wine bottles.
How to make a wine bottle Tiki torch:
Wine bottle Tiki torches can be placed almost anywhere with the help of some kind of bottle holder. Let me explain; the wind can blow the bottles over or kids and pets could accidentally knock then over the bottle on tables and decks sometimes causing a fire hazard.
Tiki torch bottles can be placed along fences, walls, columns, and deck rails with the aid of a bottle holder kit. If placing your Tiki bottles on a table, you can make a cement base to anchor the bottle to the table. Most metal drink holders for the yard will hold wine bottles, but I would go with the ones made for this purpose just to be sure the bottles will fit.
Wine bottle garden walls, fences, and gates made with different colored bottles really catch the sunlight.
Construct a wood frame in the desired size to hold a bottle wall. Then drill holes into the bottom of each bottle and into the top and bottom inside part of the wood frame to hold re-bar rods. Insert the re-bar through the bottles and then place the re-bar rods with bottles into the frame holes.
For this one, you want to bend some copper or other attractive types of wire around the bottle and hang it outside. Adapters made for wine bottles can be found online. Making your own wine bottle hummingbird feeder is an easy project you can make at home. I wrote a step-by-step article with pictures if you would like, you can read it by clicking here.
Remember of course to clean the bottles so our little friends won’t become inebriated, going off and flying into things.
Wine bottle trees have been popular in gardens for years and still are today. The bottles and metal branches can be purchased online.
To make your own, start with a few metal or re-bar rods from the home center. Try to find rods strong enough to hold bottles but thin enough so that you can bend them (with the help of a vice grip). Drive the rods into the ground at a single point so that you can tie them together with black wire at the bottom to make the tree trunk.
I would paint the rods dark brown or black before placing the bottles on the branches. A thin-gauged copper pipe or tubing would also look great used for branches.
People have made all kinds of rain chains from wine bottles, from old glass railroad insulators, and more.
I’ve seen these sold on Etsy. If you don’t want to buy one, it’s still a great place to get inspiration and ideas for your own wine bottle rain chain.
Garden bed borders are easy to make by just burying them upside down in the ground. Up-cycle your wine bottle border by placing string lights in every tenth bottle in the row (or so). This would be a fun way to illuminate your pathways.
Most types of wind chimes, rain chains, and hanging candle holders made with wine bottles have had the bottoms cut off of them to use for these purposes. Glass bottle cutting machines are inexpensive and also found online if craft stores don’t carry them.
Use a wine bottle to water your container plants when you are away from home.
With nicer looking expensive wine bottles you may not want to remove the label, but if you do, scrubbing with hot water and dish soap should remove the label and glue. If that doesn’t completely work try Goof-off or nail polish remover.
See Wikihow for a great D.I.Y. wine bottle wind chime tutorial.
Read our tutorial on how to make a wine bottle hummingbird feeder.
Visit Amazon for the following…
For those who would rather not make their own…