We just had an amazing Thanksgiving week. CW and I have made a lot of new friends over the past year and we were able to spend the holiday with almost all of them. We partied hard, ate too much, watched UT kick A&M’s ass, and drank about 15 bottles of wine.
When I got home today, I looked over at the small gathering of seven bottles that have yet to be recycled and I started thinking about how many bottles of wine I might have polished off over the years. I started drinking wine regularly when I was around 25. That was 11 years ago. Let’s say I’ve had a bottle a week (I’m rounding down – a lot), at 52 weeks a year for 11 years. That means I’ve recycled (and drunk) at least 572 bottles. This then led me to think of all of these empties and what I could have done with them.
If you search “upcycling wine bottles” on the net, you will find some pretty awesome ideas. There are actually a lot of things you can do with empty wine bottles besides making ugly, lazy, drippy candle holders.
You can buy a glass cutter and make tumblers. I’ve seen these on Uncommon Goods and at several stores like this one on Etsy and they are super cute. Apparently, they are easy to make if you have a drill with a glass cutter attachment. I mean, who doesn’t have one of those handy?
You can also use them as center pieces for a table. Wash them and remove the label, then paint something pretty on them and make a nice arrangement. Add some flowers, candles, etc.
Another pretty cool idea is called slumping. You have to have a kiln (again, who doesn’t?) to fire the bottles to a temperature high enough to melt the bottle half way. What’s left is a flattened bottle that can be used as a cheese board, dip tray, wall art, whatever you think is appropriate for a flattened glass bottle.
Then there are the lighting fixtures. I’ve seen chandeliers, tea light holders, bottles with holiday lights stuffed inside. Really there are tons of options here. I actually saw a bottle chandelier for over $2,000. That made me throw up in my mouth a little. It can’t cost more than $50 to make one of these so that’s a ridiculous markup. Even Pottery Barn used to sell them.
One version of the upcycled wine bottle chandelier that I like the most can be found on a website called Oregon Live. They have a step-by-step on their modern version of the chandelier. I drank enough this weekend to make two of these…
But the best idea, by far, are actual houses built from wine bottles. Yes, I said houses. Apparently, the late Édouard T. Arsenault built three houses in Cap-Egmont, Prince Edward Island, Canada using wine bottles and mortar. From 1980-1984, Arsenault used more than 25,000 recycled bottles he gathered from his local community, friends, neighbors and relatives and painstakingly cemented them together into whimsical structures. I would like to live there. Except that it’s freaking cold in Canada.
So, the next time you drink a bottle or two, skip the recycling bin and think of something cool to upcycle them into. The possibilities are endless. Just wear goggles, you don’t want to lose an eye. Although I hear eye patches are the new black.