If you’re anything like most college students out there, you’ll find that one of the top items that clutters up your countertops and your trashcans is wine and liquor bottles. Perhaps dragging your heavy recycling bin out to the curb every week is the most laborious and intimidating tasks of the week. If this is a case, why not lighten your load a bit?
Wine and liquor bottles can be easily upcycled for many decorative and practical uses around the house. Not only are they beautiful, but they make great containers for a ton of different – and sometimes unexpected – things. Here are just some of the awesome ways you can use your extra wine and liquor bottles once you’ve drained them!
Unique Candle Holders
Candles are a cheap and easy way to add some extra ambience and yummy scents to your apartment (when used safely, of course!) Most candles are relatively cheap, but the nice glass containers to put them in…well, let’s just say that’s another matter entirely!
But why pay for an unsightly glass jar with a cheesy candle label on it when you can just use classy wine bottles that you already have laying around? Wine bottle candle holders are classy and unique. They blend incredibly well with a more quaint, rustically styled apartment or in a room with a more eclectic vibe.
There are a few different ways to get the look. If you happen to like the shorter, open-topped candle holders, just get rid of the bottle top. You can then place a candle in easily and still show off the pretty wine label! You can also chop off the bottle’s bottom and place them over candles for unique toppers.
If you want to use the entire wine bottle, you have two options. First off, you can just stick a tall candle into the neck of the bottle and light. Simple and sweet. If you’re looking for something more formal, then find some special wine bottle toppers specifically made for holding candles online. This is the most expensive option of course, but the end result is well-worth it!
Have a bad habit of breaking glassware left and right? Sick of wasting your money on nice glasses over and over and over again? Don’t worry. It’s a common problem – even for grown ups! Glasses are pretty and all, but they’re not quite conducive to partying or households with large dogs (that long, wagging tail has your cups quivering in fear on the coffee table). Luckily, your used wine and liquor bottles are a practically endless – and free – source of unique glassware.
How do you accomplish this? The process might be more simple and clean than you might think. All you need is a bottle cutter (not as expensive or fancy as it sounds), some sandpaper, and some swanky bottles with cool labels that you’d enjoy seeing on a cup.
- Clean the inside of the bottles you want to use and remove the label if you don’t intend on keeping it
- Carefully score bottle exterior while wearing eye protection. If you want to keep the bottle label, be sure to score the glass above the label.
- Sand the top of your glass until smooth
- Drink up!
It’s pretty easy and can be applied to a variety of different wine/liquor bottle upcycles, but it certainly works the best when making drinking glasses!
This is a classic use for wine bottles that has been going on forever because, well, it’s just the obvious go-to! The shape of the bottles are nice to look at and – if you choose to keep the labels on – unique compared to other decorative vases out there. Plus who wants to pay a bunch of money for a container that is going to be obscured by the flowers’ beauty, anyway?
Having a wine bottle vase can be as complicated or as simple as you want. Not very crafty? Just fill the bottle with some water and plop a few flowers in. You’ll have yourself a quick and easy table centerpiece or window sill accent. Looking for a something a bit more decorative? Wrap the bottle in twine, put a coat of chalkboard paint over it, or exercise some of those artistic skills and hand paint the bottle.
Not loving the traditional wine bottle shape? No problem! You can apply the same cutting technique used for the wine bottle glasses to creating more unique and interesting vase tops.
Neat Soap Dispensers
Cheap plastic liquid soap containers ruining the ambiance of your bathroom or kitchen? You’re not alone! One incredibly easy way to remedy this is by pouring your liquid soap into an old wine bottle. This is an elegant way to keep your sinks cleaner and more efficient. Plus you’ll never have to worry about getting pesky soap stains on your faucets from leaking plastic bottles again.
What will you use for the spout on your new soap bottle? Some people just stick an old soap pump at the top and though this method is cheap, it’s not so great for practical usage in the long term. Most soap pumps are made for short, stumpy bottles, so when the soap gets to a certain level, the pump will no longer work correctly until you refill. It’s also unlikely that you’ll find a pump that will seal properly in the neck of the bottle.
The solution? Grab a bottle pourer. These handy devices aren’t just useful for your home bar! It seals perfectly to the neck of your bottle and will provide easy access to the soap. No more broken pumps or wasted soap!
Decorative Plant Feeders
Love the look of having potted plants, but don’t have any room in your schedule for regular care? A plant feeders might be a great option for you, but instead of buying those delicate hand-blown glass ones, just use your leftover wine bottle! Wine bottles not only cost less than the glass globes, but they also hold much more water. Our conclusion: Cheaper +more time to be lazy = perfection.
The process is simple. If your household is a consistent producer of empty bottles, then go the easy way:
- Place the wine cork back in the bottle.
- Drill a large hole into the center of the cork using a power drill
- Remove cork and fill wine bottle with water
- Replace cork and wedge wine bottle neck in soil upside-down
- Water will slowly drip through cork hole and give your plant all the food it needs!
Of course, there are alternatives to this method. If you want something a little more permanent, purchase a long copper spout to insert into the drilled cork hole. This will stabilize your DIY plant feeder and give it a little more leverage when sticking in the plant’s soil. If you don’t want the the bottle to look too prominent or are having issues with the bottle tipping over, use a glass cutter to shop off the bottom of the bottle. It’ll hold less water, but the surrounding leaves and flowers of your potted plant will probably be able to cover it up more easily.
Nifty Party Torches
Outdoor torches are da bomb for outdoor dining or parties. Not only to they provide romantic ambient lighting for those glorious summer nights, but they can even help fend off pesky mosquitoes! Of course, purchasing a new tiki torch every time they run dry can get pricey real fast, especially if you practically live outside during the warmer months. Instead, consider using those empty wine and liquor bottles for your outdoor lighting needs. The process is surprisingly easy:
- Purchase some tiki torch wicks and fluid from your local craft/hardware store
- Fill bottle with tiki fluid
- Place wick into the bottle and lightly coat the wick’s top with fluid
- Light her up in a safe space away from other flammable materials (Note: that includes your face and hair)
- Get ready for a bangin’ outdoor bash!
If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even mount these torches, but this requires some extra power tools and hardware. Regardless of whether they’re hovering or standing, these unique torches are guaranteed to garner some comments at your next outdoor party.
One of the best ways to upcycle your empty wine and liquor bottles is for awesome lighting that screams shabby-chic. The ways you can do this are just about endless and limited only by your creative capacities. Of course, the easiest method by far only requires a drill, some eye protection, a string of Christmas lights, and your empty bottles.
- Place tape on the back of the bottle where you want to drill the hole. This will secure the drill.
- Wearing eye protection, carefully drill a hole into the center of the tape. Don’t apply much pressure as the bottle may break. It may take up to 30 minutes to drill the hole through the bottle completely.
- Wash bottle to remove any remaining glass
- Sand down the edges of the hole to prevent cuts if you desire
- Carefully snake Christmas lights into the bottle. Be sure to leave some cord remaining to plug in the bottle.
- Plug her in and watch your beautiful creation come to life!
Voilà! You have yourself some beautiful lighting that cost practically nothing. Enjoy!
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