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Photo: jsgphoto

Matador Nights editor Kate Sedgwick tells you how to open a wine bottle if you find yourself without a corkscrew.

And once the bottle is open, you know what to do.

Once you’re finished, you can recycle the bottle or get creative. Here are 10 ways to reuse wine bottles:

1. Turn it into a candle holder.
Every cheesy Italian restaurant you’ve ever visited has the red and white checked oilcloth, topped with a Chianti bottle that’s living its second life as a candle holder. This DIY project requires zero skills: buy a taper candle, shove it in the bottle. There, that was easy.

2. Use it as a flower vase.
This one falls into the super-easy category, too. Scrape off the label (soak in warm, soapy water first) and voila, you have a ready made vase, perfect for a single long-stemmed flower, like a Gerber daisy.

3. Make a dish soap dispenser.
All you need to do for this project is buy a pour spout and pop it into the bottle’s mouth. You can buy a pour stop at any kitchen supply store.

4. Store olive oil, vinegar, simple syrup, or salad dressing.
If you buy a couple of those pour spouts, you can reuse your wine bottles for all sorts of kitchen purposes.

5. Create a garden path.
If you’ve got lots of old wine bottles, you can turn them upside down and “plant” them in the dirt to turn them into a pretty garden path.

Photo: Francisco Collazo

6. Make some windchimes.
Wine bottles can be melted and flattened into wind chimes. The Flat Bottle Company can take your bottles and flatten them, giving the bottles new life.

7. Let it water plants.
Fill the bottle, tip it upside down, and stick it into your potted plants at an angle. The slow drop will keep your plants hydrated.

8. Channel your creative side.
Turn a bunch of bottles into a folk art piece, like this curious bottle tree, found in a garden in Mississippi.

9. Make a lamp.
Using the wine bottle as a base, buy a lamp kit and turn the bottle into a DIY light source.

10. And don’t throw out the corks!
You can make bulletin boards and photo holders out of the corks.

Community Connection:

Reduce, reuse, recycle. What about upcycling? Learn all about it here.

Home + GardenRecycling


About The Author

Julie Schwietert

Julie Schwietert Collazo is a writer, editor, researcher, and translator currently in New York, formerly of Mexico City and San Juan.

  • eileen

    oooh! I have one more, as a transom/light-letter-inner windows in a cob house. My friend on a farm in N. Cal had some beautiful colored glass bottles (and wine bottles) set into the walls of her adobe/cob/slipstraw house. Filters the light beautifully!

    Love the bottle tree!

    • Julie Schwietert

      Eileen & Kelly-

      Great idea about the wine bottle walls! Wonder how well they insulate– do you know?

      • Kelly

        Probably not that well, I think it’s just a decorative thing. The house I saw (and I cant find it online for the life of me), had the glass wall in the bathroom; it was in place of one of those glass brick walls. It looked so pretty!

  • Kelly

    I once saw a tv show where a couple were building their dream house from the ground up, using 100% reclaimed materials (they were heavily inspired by the Earthship movement). Old wine bottles were used to create glass walls — the ends were sawed off using a glass cutter and cemented into place: and

    You can also use them to create paved walkways or borders in gardens:

  • Abbie

    I’ve used a wine bottle as a flower vase before, but I never thought to reuse it for oils! Thanks for the suggestions!

  • Adri

    I love this article, very inspiring! Thanks Julie!

  • Dona

    You’ve just inspired some great holiday craft projects!

    • Julie Schwietert

      SO happy I could help out with your gift list! :)

  • AdventureRob

    The anarchist in you can turn them into molotov cocktails too!

  • Marie


  • Amanda V.

    Also, my sister the divine and resourceful chef, once taught me that you can use and old wine bottle in the absence of a roller…for dough, etc. Works great!

    • Julie Schwietert

      True! Thanks for adding that one!

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