Bring the beauty of the bottle outdoors
1 - “Bottle Trees” Book
Originally meant to trap bad spirits, bottle trees arrived in the U.S. with the African slave trade, initially taking root in the South. Now a popular art form, bottle trees can now be found across the nation and inside Felder Rushing’s book, “Bottle Trees.” With humor and affection he tells the stories behind 60 of his favorites. $12.52; www.felderrushing.net
2 - Wine Country Craftsman Piazza Planter
Made by the clever folks at Wine Country Craftsman, this sleek planter comes from recycled barrels — patina preserved — and reused wine bottles. Fill with herbs, fresh flowers, succulents and much more. $50; www.etsy.com/shop/winecountrycraftsman
3 - Bottles Uncorked Wine Bottle Bird Feeder
Birds are guaranteed to flock to your front yard — or back — with this copper-trimmed wine bottle feeder made by Bottles Uncorked. Topped with a “T-cork,” the feeder is easy to fill with your favorite bird seed. $24.99; www.bottlesuncorked.etsy.com
4 - Plant Nanny Watering Stakes
Never again forget to feed the kids (plants) with Plant Nanny ceramic stakes. Designed to slowly release moisture, they work with wine bottles, as well as water or soda bottles. $16.95; www.uncommongoods.com. Also at Wilco Farm Stores.
Do-It-Yourself: Wine Bottle Tiki Torch
This easy project takes bottles from your recycling bin to your backyard for a magically lit al fresco ambiance.
A. Two zinc-plated wood screws (#10 x 1”).
B. Top plate connector or ceiling flange (threaded for 3/8’’-16 thread rod).
C. Copper cap (1/2”).
D. Copper coupling (1/2” x 3/8”).
E. Two hex nuts (threaded for 3/8”-16 thread rod).
F. Teflon or PTFE tape (½”).
G. Tiki wick.
H. Split ring hanger (1”threaded for 3/8”-16 thread rod).
I. Zinc-plated threaded rod (3/8”-16, 6” long).
PLUS: Empty wine bottle (1” diameter neck) and outdoor-use tiki oil.
- Position top plate connector on mounting surface; mark holes for screws and mount. (It’s easier to keep level if you first pre-drill the screws).
- Screw in threaded rod until it stops.
- Thread two hex nuts onto threaded rod. Tighten one down to top connector plate; leave other hex nut at front end so it can be used to secure split ring hanger.
- Thread on split ring hanger just enough so that threaded rod is flush with inside of ring. Turn second hex nut counter-clockwise and flush against split ring hanger.
- Carefully, tightly wrap 1/2” end of copper coupling with Teflon tape; keep each wrap straight and flat, creating a smooth, even surface. Build up tape until it fits very snugly into opening of bottle.
- Insert wick into copper coupling until sticking out about ¼”. (Tiki brand replacement wicks measure 3/8” in diameter, so they fit really well; once they absorb the torch oil they’re even tighter.)
- Unscrew split ring hanger on one side; position bottle neck into ring.
- Flip front half of ring back into place; tighten down ring evenly on both sides. (Don’t over tighten and break the glass.)
- Using funnel, fill bottle with torch oil.
- Insert copper coupling/wick into top of bottle; twist snugly into place. Give wick few minutes to absorb oil before lighting.
- Use copper cap to keep wick dry when not in use.