16 Creative New Ways to Use Old Bottles

Is your recycling bin overflowing with old wine, beer, and soda bottles? Glass bottles fill local dumps and monster landfill sites all over the world. While households can cut down on unnecessary waste by reusing glass bottles for food and liquid storage, many of us simply have more old bottles than we know what to do with. If that's the case at your home, it’s time to get creative! Sometimes, simply adding paint, twine, and other decorative craft supplies is all that’s needed to give an old bottle a new look and new life. For the more ambitious, learning basic glass-cutting skills opens up even more possibilities for making the most of those old bottles. Still stumped? Here are 16 new ideas for upcycling your old bottles. Give one a try, or maybe use one as inspiration for creating something uniquely your own!

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  1. Hanging Lights


    How simple and pretty is this? A sculptural row of hanging lights is the perfect accent for a kitchen island or breakfast bar. Select recycled beer or wine bottles of similar color, size, and shape, put a small light inside each one, and suspend them from the ceiling. This distinctive look would be a great addition to a cottage or beach home.

    Related: Weekend Projects: 5 Unique and Easy DIY Pendant Lights for Any Room


  2. Outdoor Light


    How do you like this smart use for an old bottle? Clamp an empty wine bottle to a fence or wall near your outdoor deck or patio. Outfit the bottle with a fuel-based light or even a candle for a playful outdoor light that will cast a pleasant glow on warm summer nights.

    Related: 13 DIY Lanterns to Illuminate Your Porch, Patio, or Garden


  3. Stained-Glass Panels


    Incredibly, this stained-glass panel is made from upcycled wine bottle bottoms. To design your own custom panel, choose an assortment of bottle sizes, patterns, and colors, then cut off the bottom of each bottle. Arrange the bottoms in a pleasing pattern, then hang your creation on the wall as art or in a window to catch the sun.

    Related: 5 Things to Do with… Empty Wine Bottles


  4. Yarn-Wrapped Bottle Vases


    If you or someone you know knits or crochets, you'll have easy access to plenty of ends of yarn to wrap around your old glass bottles. Starting at the bottom, wrap the yarn snugly around the bottle and glue it in place so no glass shows. Either leave the vase as is or paint it. Choose twine for a more rustic look.

    Related: DIY Penny Vase


  5. Wine Bottle Shelves


    A few wine bottles, some scrap wood, a drill, varnish, and elbow grease are all you'll need to construct this new shelving unit from old bottles. Choose your bottles carefully to ensure the neck will support the wood. Switch up the effect by filling the bottles with tiny shells or pebbles.

    Related: 10 Insanely Creative Shelves You Can DIY


  6. Coke Bottle Bird Feeder


    Got an old soda bottle and a few hours to spare? If so, head over to the hardware store to pick up a few bits and pieces to create this one-of-a-kind bird feeder. The nifty birdseed base is actually the base of a chicken feeder, which you can find at a farm supply or feed store.

    Related: 5 Things to Do with… Bottle Caps


  7. Beer Bottle Mobile


    Want an outdoor mobile that will get the attention of your friends and neighbors? This out-of-the-ordinary glass-and-metalwork mobile is crafted from beer bottle bottoms, giving new meaning to the phrase “Bottoms up!”

    Related: Blown Away: 12 Upcycled Wind Chimes You Can Make


  8. Wine Bottle Hurricane Lamps


    How's this for a simple yet charming candle assortment? Just slice the bottom off three wine bottles of different shapes and sizes, and pop each one over a tea light. Group them together on a mantel or tabletop for a flexible, easy-to-make centerpiece.

    Related: Weekend Projects: 5 Easy DIY Candle Holders

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  9. Bottle Garden Edging


    For some decorative recycling, consider burying old bottles upside down to create edging for your garden beds and walkways. This example uses only cobalt blue glass, but bottles of any color would look just as striking.

    Related: 19 "Zero Dollar" Garden Hacks


  10. Wine Bottle Wall


    For added privacy, create a glass wall with recycled wine bottles and metal pipe. To recreate this design, drill a hole through the bottom of each bottle, and then thread the metal pipe through them in a pattern that pleases you. The light and reflections on the bottles will change throughout the day, so you’ll never tire of looking at your DIY masterpiece.

    Related: Quick Tips: Glass Block Walls  


  11. Dish Soap Dispenser


    Add a little glamour to your dishwashing liquid with a DIY soap dispenser made from an empty bottle. This version from Kayla Aimee Writes is decorated with glitter and adorned with a chalkboard label, but feel free to use any crafting supplies to customize the piece. Besides the bottle, all you need is a pouring spout. Dish detergent never looked so classy!

    Related: Over a Dozen Things You Didn't Know You Could Clean in the Dishwasher


  12. Painted Decorations


    Let your crafty side run wild by creating a collection of painted bottles to serve as stained glass decor.  A Beautiful Mess (the DIY team behind the project) made a paper cutout of a cactus, traced the design on a bottle with liquid leading, and then painted the inside of the cactus with window color. The bottles work perfectly as window displays and centerpieces. You can even fill them with fairy lights to provide extra ambiance and atmosphere to your next gathering. 

    Related: 13 DIY Window Treatments to Dress Up Your Space


  13. Recycled Beer Bottle Goblets


    Turn beer bottles on their heads – literally – and create a set of recycled bottle goblets. To make this version from Practically Functional, cut off the bottom of the bottle to form the foot. Then use silicone glue to attach the mouth of the bottle onto it, and voila – drinking apparatus! Sanding the edges will ensure it’s safe for drinking. Since bottles come in many shapes, sizes, and colors, you can make a delightfully eclectic collection of goblets.

    Related: 10 Extras to DIY for Your Kitchen


  14. Wine Bottle Planter


    This wine bottle planter from Succulents and Sunshine makes a unique display, thanks to the arrangement of succulents inside of it. Placing in a sunny window, or on a table for a centerpiece, will bring low-maintenance beauty to any space.

    Related: 10 Inspired DIY Planters to Dress Up Your Garden


  15. Painted Lamp


    This classy bottle lamp from One Dog Woof was made with a recycled whiskey bottle and a generic bottle lamp kit. Swirling paint on the inside of the bottle, instead of applying it to the outside, gives the lamp its glossy appearance. Although drilling a hole through the bottle is not required, it will allow you to hide the lamp's power cord inside. Top the DIY piece with your favorite lampshade, and enjoy upcycling at its best.

    Related: Weekend Projects: 5 Bright Ideas for a DIY Lamp


  16. Drinking Glass


    Take a cue from Carly Arnwine and convert old bottles into glass tumblers by cutting off the tops. The technique of scoring the bottles and separating the pieces takes some practice, but it's relatively simple, once you get the hang of it. Sand the cut edges to make them smooth and safe, then customize your new glassware to suit your design taste.

    Related: 16 New Ways to Store Kitchen Necessities


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