11 Uses for Wine Bottles
Wine bottles are just one of those things that tend to collect around the house. Certainly you can just recycle them, but here are a few suggestions for creative uses for your empty wine bottles. If you aren’t a wine drinker, you may enjoy some of these ideas enough to want to scoop up some of your friends leftover wine bottles.
1. Refill the bottles with gourmet liquids: Clean and re-fill bottles with your own home-made wine, herb-infused vinegars or oils for your own use or given as gifts.
2. Borders for gardens, paths and walkways: Naturally, you’ll need quite a few bottles for a border project. Clean the labels from the bottles. If you are using the bottles for a path or walkway, you will want to dig a trench along-side the path for easier placement. You may want to re-fill the trench with a mix of sand and the dirt you have removed, again for easier placement of the wine bottles. For gardens, you can create various designs no matter how small the space you have to work with. Use powdered lime to outline your wine bottle garden edge – it is a guide for placement and adds nutrients to the garden soil.
3. Hummingbird feeder: Using heavy copper wire and a hummingbird feeder nozzle, you can turn a wine bottle into a hanging hummingbird feeder. Wrap the wire in a decorative design around the wine bottle, leaving wire at the top (actually the bottom of the bottle) for a hook to hang your feeder. Fill bottle with a sugar (about 1 part sugar to 4 parts water) or a pre-packaged solution. Place the feeder nozzle in the bottle and you are all set. If you frequent garden shops you will see similar types of hummingbird feeders. You’ll also see how pricy they are. You can get hummingbird feeder nozzles at some garden supply stores or online. One online company sells them for about $25 for a 6-pack.
4. Candle holders: Aside from simply placing a candle stick in an empty, clean wine bottle, if you are comfortable with and have the right tools for cutting glass, there are several ways to create candle holders from wine bottles. Naturally, you will want to sand or otherwise smooth off the sharp edges. The bottle will also protect the candle flame from the wind if placed outdoors.
5. Bottle or "spirit" trees: A tradition that traveled from sub-Saharan Africa and Arabia to America, bottle trees can be a beautiful addition to a yard or garden area. Legend has it that the bottle trees captured evil spirits in the night and were burned off by the day’s sun. You can either use the branches of a dead tree or create your own bottle tree. Bottles (which traditionally are blue, but you can use any color you like) are placed on the branches by inserting the branch into the bottle neck. Use clean bottles with the labels removed. The tree is best placed in a sunny area where the bottles can refract light. Depending on where you live, you may need to hose off the bottle tree from time to time. You can make your own tree by placing a fence post in cement and nailing 3-inch nails into the post.
6. Decorative light refraction: Fill bottles with sand, beach glass, stones, or other objects and place in a sunny window. It's like a homemade light-refracting cut glass crystal.
7. Water plants while you are away: If the plant and pot are large enough to accommodate the bottle, simply fill with water and insert the neck into the soil.
8. Rolling pin: Take a clean wine bottle, remove the label, fill the bottle with water, cork it and store it in the refrigerator. The weight and coolness of the bottle work well for rolling out pastry dough.
9. Replace a pitcher: Wine bottles are often reused in Europe, even in restaurants, to serve water or carbonated water. The bottles are attractive and take up less space than a pitcher.
10. Target practice: I don’t think I need to explain.
11. Create mosaics: With broken glass from colorful wine bottles (and you may want to place the glass in a rock tumbler for a while to smooth out sharp edges), you can design patio tiles either by either placing the glass randomly in wet cement (in a mold) or create your own design.
Now you can enjoy your wine and your wine bottle.
Cris Carl is a Hometalk - http://www.hometalk.com - writer. Read more articles like this one - http://www.networx.com/article/11-uses-for-wine-bottles - or get help with your home projects on Hometalk.com.