Case of Crafty

By Jennifer Cossey 

“I really enjoyed your piece about how to use leftover wine, but what about the bottles? Other than recycling them, any creative ideas as to what to do with those?”Tim (Portland)

I tend to have more than my fair share of empty wine bottles collecting dust before they make it to the recycling. Plus, it seems like such a waste to get rid of them with their great colors, shapes and, sometimes, textures. 

Your question inspired me to do a little research of my own and here are some of my top ideas. Move over, Martha Stewart! 

Flower Vases: Soak the wine bottles and peel the labels, throw in some water and a few spring flowers and voilà: a bud vase. Simple, elegant, beautiful and functional. If you want it to hold more than a couple stems, you’ll need a glass cutting tool as well as a buffer wheel to polish and smooth when you are done. Safety goggles and gloves should also be on your shopping list. 

Candleholders: Wine bottles can make beautiful centerpieces for tables when made into candleholders. They add a dramatic effect to a simple table presentation. Several companies also sell wicks long enough to reach the bottom of the bottle, allowing lamp oil to works its way up and create a flame. For a shorter candleholder, cut a bottle, using a glasscutter, creating a votive holder to the desired height.

Oil Containers: Clean the bottles inside and out, and repurpose them as decorative oil containers. Infuse with colorful and flavorful elements such as chilies or rosemary sprigs to add a touch of drama and essence. Not only will they liven up your kitchen and your dinners, they make great gifts. (My birthday is in October, by the way.) 

Water Glasses: These are fun and colorful additions to any dining table; or, again, ahem, give them as gifts to those friends of yours, especially those with birthdays in October, ahhhem. See above notes for cutting glass and remember to use flat-bottom bottles for these sorts of projects.

Whatever you do, have fun and be safe. The Internet is, of course, invaluable for ideas, tips, tools and more. 

Email me your questions at, and I’ll see you next month! 

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