Are you embarrassed when you take your recycling bin out for collection and your neighbours can hear the copious amounts you've been drinking the past week? (Or is that just me!) Well, be embarrassed no more! Grab those glass bottles from the recycle bin and take some inspiration from this article and make something useful out of them. Read on....
Glass Bottle Lamps
Back in the 70's a bottle of Mateus Rose in our household was seen as very posh, having tasted it since I realise how bad it tastes, good job I wasn't of drinking age in the 70's is all I can say!
Still, I would be prepared to buy a bottle and drink it just to make something similar to this vintage bottle lamp made by Stephanie Hare at Share Studios. By mixing vintage drinking bottles and handmade paper shades she creates her stylish lamps, and if that whets your appetite then you must take a look at her terrarium lamps too.
So, how to DIY...Take a diamond core drill and drill a small hole near to the bottom just wide enough to fit your lead through comfortably. Here's an easy tutorial to get you started: How to Drill Glass Bottles
We had a chat with Stephanie and asked her about her work, she had this to say...
"I love the sentimentality of using vintage bottles in my work. Giving new life to the glass while still appreciating and illuminating it's past life is what draws me to vintage glassware. A beautifully aged glass bottle is perfectly paired with a handmade paper lampshade, creating a contemporary lamp and giving it a new place of honor within the household to be enjoyed for many more years"
Glass Bottle Clocks
Sarah Parry from Take 2 Bottles slumps her wine and beer bottles in a kiln to flatten them before drilling a hole in the glass using an 8mm diamond core drill bit. A clock mechanism is then attached.
Sarah turns her other wine bottles into cheese platters and nibble trays with decorative wrap around the bottle necks. Some of which she personalises by engraving on the glass.
If you fancy trying your hand at glass engraving on your recycled bottles, kit yourself out with some diamond ball burrs and give it a go. If you're in need of further tuition or help have a read of '5 Essential Beginners Glass Engraving Tools'
N.B The picture on the right shows a wine bottle with the labels put on after it's come out of the kiln. These are by Audrey Vincent. Audrey also creates clocks and gifts from fused glass.
Glass Bottle Vases
David Guilfoose of Green Wine Bottles makes these elegant and unique vases out of his wine bottles. In fact take a look at David's other work and you'll discover there's not a single piece of glass from an old bottle wasted. He makes candle holders, lanterns and my favourite, earrings.
To create a perfectly smooth edge to your vases there are a number of possible ways you can do this. First slice the glass using a diamond slitting disc, these specialist diamond cutters go through glass like butter and are super sharp so they will already leave a nice clean edge to your work.
Next file away any rough edges or snags using a 600 grit diamond file and then finally for a really professional finish polish the edges using diamond polishing paste, 3 micron (green) should do the trick, if you need to polish further do so with some 1 micron (blue).
Glass Bottle Candle Holders
These beautiful and stylish candle holders by Spanish company Lucirmás have been made using a Prosecco bottle. They have a range of products all made using recycled glass bottles and the list of what they make and create with them is endless. By fusing, cutting polishing, heating and engraving, many effects and products can be achieved from just one bottle.
If you're looking to cut a glass bottle, this article on bottle cutting will be helpful:
Bottle Cutting - How To Cut a Glass Bottle
Glass Bottle Sculptures
And finally onto this, the Bottle Clock. Created by Rick Stanley of Stanley Clockworks. This 20 foot clock monster was built using traditional horological methods alongside computer drafting. 300 beer bottles were used, 3 dials and a whopping five foot gear to enable the clock to function.
It's a really impressive piece of sculptural clock making and a recycling masterpiece!
The importance of recycling is becoming ever more apparent and we all need to do what we can. If that means behaving like a hoarder with a shed full of empty booze bottles so be it!
From wind chimes, mosaics, spoon rests, christmas decorations, jewellery, lanterns and chandeliers, there are so many things you can do with a recycled bottled so think twice before throwing out that empty bottle of Merlot.
Who's Glass have a range of upcycled beer bottles. They even have a service whereby you can send them your bottle and they will transform it for you into a personal gift.
Do you create weird and wonderful things out of bottles but you're not mentioned here? If so we'd love to hear from you. Send us a picture and tell us about your recycled bottle creations.