Showing posts with label wine bottles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wine bottles. Show all posts

Tutorial: Cut Wine Bottle Vases

DIY Tutorial: Cut recycled glass wine bottles to create an elegant, self-watering vase for orchids and more.I don't have much of a green thumb, but somehow, my grocery store orchid is sprouting a baby orchid, also known as a keiki. I have been watching it grow for about six months and I think it is finally large enough to be removed and planted in it's own container. So, it's time to make a wine bottle vase.

These vases are a clever way to recycle empty wine bottles. I have used them successfully for planting orchids, a variety of succulents and even a spider plant.


  • safety glasses
  • clean, empty wine bottle
  • ruler
  • dry erase marker
  • G2 Bottle Cutter
  • two 2-qt pitchers
  • hot and cold water
  • 60 grit sandpaper
  • small rock
  • HydroBalls
  • soil (optional)
  • plant


When you are choosing a wine bottle for this project, you don’t want one with a long tapered neck. It won’t set into the base of the bottle nicely. Look for a bottle with a short, straight neck.

If this is your first time cutting glass, avoid bottles that have a large indentation, or punt, on the bottom of the bottle. Sometimes the punt is there to add structural integrity to the bottle and makes it a little trickier to cut. Also, I have found that clear glass wine bottles are usually a little bit thinner and easier to cut than colored glass.

Over the years I have cut a lot of bottles and have about an 80% success rate. Glass can be difficult to work with. Imperfections in the glass can cause your bottle to break in unpredictable ways even if your technique is flawless, so have a couple extra bottles ready to go.

A little common sense warning - You need to be very careful while completing this project. Not only can glass be very sharp, one of the water baths will have boiling water which is very hot. Also, containers you use for crafting, shouldn’t be used for food.

When working with glass, ALWAYS WEAR SAFETY GLASSES!
Measure your bottle from the top of the neck to where the sides begin to straighten out. For my bottle, that’s about 6 inches.

The bottom of your bottle will need to be at least that deep so the top can set inside it.
Measure the bottom of the bottle from the top of the punt (again, the flatter your bottle bottom, the better). Use a dry erase marker to mark where you will cut.

I am cutting six inches above the indented punt.
Place the bottle cutter on a flat surface and position it so the scoring blade is aligned with your mark and is at a right angle to the glass.

Press the bottle firmly against the scoring blade and carefully rotate the bottle all the way around. You will hear a faint tearing sound.
After scoring, you should be able to see a thin, but clear mark that goes all the way around the bottle.
Place two plastic containers in a deep sink. Fill one container, about 3/4 full, with boiling hot water and the other with nearly freezing water.

If your water baths are not hot or cold enough, the bottle will not separate.
Hold the neck of your bottle and place in into the hot water so the water level is slightly above the score line. Keep the bottle submerged for about 10 seconds.

Lift the bottle straight up and move it to the cold water for 10 seconds. Again, make sure the water level is slightly above the score line. If you listen closely, you will hear the glass making a cracking sound.
Carefully lift the bottle straight up and move it from the hot to cold water for ten seconds at a time. Be aware that the bottle will most likely separate as you are pulling it up to move it from one water bath to the other.

You can use tongs to remove the bottle bottom from the water if necessary.
STOP! Once the bottle has separated your first instinct may be to touch the cut edge. The edges can still be sharp and need to be sanded before you put your fingers on them.
Rinse the edges of your bottle and wet a piece of sandpaper. Place the sandpaper on a flat, protected surface. Rub the bottle bottom over the sandpaper for several minutes until the cut edge is no longer clear. Rinse off any glass dust particles.

Repeat for the bottle top.
Next, you need to sand the outside and inside edges of the bottle top and bottom. Hold your sandpaper at about a 45 degree angle to the cut edge and rub all the way around the bottle.

Again rinse the bottle pieces to remove any fine glass dust.
Now the fun part, adding a plant. Find a small rock that can be dropped down into the neck of the bottle and wedged snuggly into the opening so that water can go up the neck, but no planting material can fall out.
Place the neck of the bottle upside down into the base. Fill the neck with clay hydro balls. These help distribute the water into the top of the vase without flooding the plant.

You can fill the remaining part of you vase either with soil or with more hydro balls and then your plant.
Remove the top of your vase and fill the bottom with water. Replace the top and enjoy!

DIY Tutorial: Cut recycled glass wine bottles to create an elegant, self-watering vase for orchids and more.

One of the benefits of using this type of vase is that you rarely need to add more water to your plant. However, from time to time you will need to remove the top of the planter, rinse out the bottom, and freshen up the water.

DIY Tutorial: Cut recycled glass wine bottles to create an elegant, self-watering vase for orchids and more.

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Tip: Non-Toxic Way to Remove Sticky Labels From Glass Bottles and Jars

Tip: Non-Toxic method for removing sticky labels from glass bottles and jars using two common household items.I love re-purposing glass bottles and jars. There are so many beautiful craft projects you can create with them. So, whenever I find a bottle or jar I particularly like, whether it's because of the color, size or shape, I clean it and remove the label so it's ready to use when the creative mood strikes.

Most of the time all it takes to remove a label is a good soak in some hot soapy water and a little elbow grease.

Other times, it's not so easy. Depending on the type of glue or adhesive that a manufacturer uses, it's possible that there is still a sticky residue even after the bottle has been washed. Fortunately, I have two, non-toxic, secret weapons that I frequently use when I can't soak and scrub the glue off. Chances are you probably have both of them in your house right now - cooking spray and Vaseline.

Tip: Non-Toxic method for removing sticky labels from glass bottles and jars using cooking spray My first choice for label and glue removal is cooking spray because it's handy in the pantry next to the kitchen sink.
Tip: Non-Toxic method for removing sticky labels from glass bottles and jars using cooking spray If glue still remains after a bottle or jar has been soaked, scrubbed, and scraped, spray the bottle with cooking spray, rub it all over the gluey areas and let it stand for a few minutes while you check your e-mail, fold laundry, have a cup of coffee or whatever.
Tip: Non-Toxic method for removing sticky labels from glass bottles and jars using cooking spray Then, wash the bottle in hot soapy water and scrub it with a dish cloth. Some glues come off on the first try, but it's possible you may need to repeat the process once or twice.
Tip: Non-Toxic method for removing sticky labels from glass bottles and jars using cooking spray Once the glue is off, dry the bottle and it's ready to use in whatever earth friendly project you can dream up.
Tip: Non-Toxic method for removing sticky labels from glass bottles and jars with Vaseline Sometimes, a bottle has some super duper gunky glue that even cooking spray can't dissolve. That's when I bring out the Vaseline.
Tip: Non-Toxic method for removing sticky labels from glass bottles and jars with Vaseline It's pretty much the same process. Just spread some Vaseline over the sticky area and let it sit for a few minutes.
Tip: Non-Toxic method for removing sticky labels from glass bottles and jars with Vaseline Wash the bottle in hot soapy water and scrub it with a wash cloth. Repeat if necessary.

No harsh chemicals, no fumes and no more sticky labels.

Tip: Non-Toxic method for removing sticky labels from glass bottles and jars using two common household items.

What do you like to create with empty glass bottles and jars?

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Happy Grow-vember

When you live in a desert, summer gardening is difficult, if not impossible. Honestly, I've pretty much given up on the idea of growing anything here between May and October. It's just, too hot! Happily, when November rolls around, the temperatures start to drop creating perfect conditions for a winter garden.

Most of our backyard is filled with traditional, prickly, desert flora. However, tucked away in a back corner is the 50 square feet of gardening space I dedicate to fresh winter veggies. The area is filled with nutrient rich compost and is bordered with brightly colored glass bottles that are dazzling in the morning sun.

This year, the first plants to go in my garden were snow peas. I have never grown these before, so I'm curious how they will do. Even if they don't produce many peas, I think they'll look nice climbing up the trellises.
The next plants to go in the garden were broccoli and cauliflower. I've had a lot of luck with broccoli the last couple years and I figured cauliflower can't be that much different.

Finally, I added the greens - red and green romaine, butter crunch, speckled red leaf, two kinds of chard and kale. I love growing lettuce because you can continually harvest it throughout the winter. Just pluck a couple leaves off each plant every day or two and they flourish until about March, when they bolts and go to seed.

I'm looking forward to a fresh mixed greens salad to accompany our Thanksgiving dinner. Until then, I'll just enjoy the bright colors around the garden when I water it each morning.

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Wine Bottle Bird Feeder

DIY Tutorial: How to make a bird feeder out of an empty wine bottle by The Chilly DogI have done a number of wine bottle projects in the past, including my recent humming bird feeders. There are so many interesting ways to give a standard size, glass wine bottle new life. Until now I haven't had any ideas of what could be made with a large wine bottle. So, there are four large, clear bottles that have been lingering, unused, in my collection.

I was inspired when Jennifer, one of my very crafty friends, showed me a picture of a bird feeder made from a wine bottle. We were both excited about the concept. We chatted about how cute it was, but we  saw some issues with the functionality of the design. I kept thinking about the bird feeder idea and finally came up with my own design that is fairly inexpensive and doesn't require any glass cutting.


  • large wine bottle
  • 6 inch square glass plate ( I found mine at the grocery store for less than $2)
  • 24-30 inches of 12 gauge galvanized utility wire
  • silicon adhesive
  • dry erase marker
  • ruler
  • drill with 1/8 inch glass and tile bit and a 1/2 inch glass bit
  • pliers
  • wire cutter
  • safety glasses


Start by washing and removing the label from your wine bottle.

Bottle-Bird-Feeder (4) Use a ruler and dry erase marker to locate and mark the center of the plate and the center of the bottle bottom.
Bottle-Bird-Feeder (5) Use the 1/8 inch glass and tile bit to drill a hole at the center of the plate and the center of the bottle bottom. (Make sure you are wearing your safety glasses. You don't want to get any glass particles or fragments in your peepers!)
Bottle-Bird-Feeder (6) Use a dry erase marker to draw two half inch circles, one on each side of the bottle, about an inch up from the bottom. Make sure they are not on or near the seams of the bottle.
Bottle-Bird-Feeder (7) Use the 1/2 inch glass bit to drill where you marked. Again, make sure to wear your safety glasses.
Bottle-Bird-Feeder (8) Turn the bottle upside down and apply 4 dots of silicon adhesive along the edges of the bottom of the bottle.
Bottle-Bird-Feeder (9) Turn the plate upside down and position it over the bottle. Set the plate onto the bottle making sure that the holes you drilled are aligned. I used a toothpick to help me check the positioning.
Let the glue dry completely.
Bottle-Bird-Feeder (10) Use a pliers to bend a loop, about the size of a quarter, in one end of the wire. Bend the remaining length of wire up at a 90 degree angle. (It kind of looks like the tool you dip Easter eggs with when you dye them.)
Bottle-Bird-Feeder (11) Run the length of wire so it goes through the plate, then the bottle and out the top of the bottle. The loop that you made will be under the plate.
Bottle-Bird-Feeder (12) Finally, bend a loop in the top of the wire so you can hang your feeder.

All you need to do now is fill your feeder and hang it outside.

My first attempt at filling this feeder turned out to be a disaster. The neck of the bottle is pretty narrow and I spilled bird food all over the place. You can avoid my mistake by making a simple paper funnel so the seeds go into the bottle without all the mess. Much easier and cleaner.

If you are wondering whether the birds will like this type of feeder... They look happy to me.

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Filling a Wine Bottle Hummingbird Feeder

How to fill a wine bottle hummingbird feeder so it doesn't leak by The Chilly DogBefore I made my first wine bottle hummingbird feeder, I searched high and low for a cork and hummingbird feeder tube that would work for this kind of project. I must admit that it was a little frustrating, though. I couldn't find anything at our local pet stores or the store that specializes in wild birds and bird feeders.

So, as no surprise, I ended up on Amazon where I discovered some basic Hummingbird Feeder Tubes For Making Your Own Feeders (Pkg of 12). (Single feeder tubes are also available on Amazon, Songbird Essentials SE619 Stopper Hummingbird Feeder Tube, but since I was planning on using this as a class project, I bought the multi-pack.) They looked like they might be just what I needed for the project. Then I read the reviews... People either loved these feeder tubes or hated them. I just couldn't understand how the tubes could work so well for some people and leak so terribly for others. I decided that they would still be worth a try.

I'll admit right now that my first couple attempts at using the feeder tubes did not end well. The first time I filled my feeder it dripped all over the place. The second time I had the opposite problem and the nectar was pulled up the tube and into the bottle so the birds couldn't reach it at all. And once, I didn't push the cork in tight enough so it fell out, leaving a sticky puddle all over the ground. But, after a bit of experimentation I found that these feeder tubes actually work pretty well if you fill the bottle correctly and remember a few tips:

  • Fill your feeder when it's cool outside and the nectar, bottle and air temperature are all about the same.
  • Fill the bottle completely (all the way to the tippy top) and wait until there are NO AIR BUBBLES in the nectar before you insert the feeder tube.
  • Twist and push the feeder tube cork into the bottle to create a tight seal.
  • Hang your feeder in a shady spot.
  • Don't leave your feeder outside on super windy days.

You can watch my video tutorial for how to fill your wine bottle hummingbird feeder.

I'll walk you through the basic steps.

Set your hummingbird feeder on a flat surface. I like to fill mine near the sink so I can easily clean up any little spills.

Pour the nectar into your bottle so it is about halfway up the neck. Using a funnel makes the process easier, but it is not necessary.

You will notice that there are bubbles rising up through the nectar as well as on the surface of the nectar. Gently tap the bottle on the counter to force the air bubbles up.

Once there are no bubbles on the surface of the nectar and no more bubbles rising up, carefully fill the bottle all the way to the top.

Again, wait until there are no bubbles in the nectar.

Set the feeder tube into the neck of the bottle. To create a nice seal between the cork and the glass, twist the cork while you push it into the opening.

Notice that the nectar is being forced into the feeding tube.

Continue twisting and pushing the cork into the bottle until it is secure and a few drops of nectar have been forced out of the tip of the tube.

Take your feeder outside, turn the bottle upside down and hang your feeder for the hummingbirds to enjoy.

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