Glass Bottles Turn Useful Again

recycled glass objects –Don’t forget! Carnival of Green Crafts is fast approaching. Send in your submissions now.–

Out of all the items found in my recycle bin, glass bottles are the ones that puzzle me the most. I know that we can make plastic beer rings into beautiful silver necklaces and the bottle caps into pendants and pincushions but what about the bottle itself?

Glass is one of those crafts that is very elusive to me. First there is the process of creating it which involves very high temperatures, taking hot molten glass and using tools that, by necessity, keep you at a far distance. Second, there is a certain aesthetic that glass caries that just isn’t my cup of tea.

I am definitely intrigued by the process of glass making and have spent much time interrogating friends that have taken glass blowing workshops. I am oddly fascinated by it, even if I’m not attracted to it aesthetically. Juliet got me thinking with John Bassett’s glass sculptures but I wanted more. That is why I was pleased as punch to come across a group of Etsy sellers that recycle empty glass bottles and turn them into a variety of wonderful and quirky objects.

Bottlebottoms uses recycled glass bottles and removes the top to create cute glasses. Each glass is hand cut and polished to create sets of tumblers (pictured), highball and iced tea glasses.

BigSky, uses recycled glass bottles to make a variety of new items. My favorite is the soap dish (pictured). Made using a glass production kiln, then slowly cooled, it’s new shape is very inventive and fun. Be sure to also check out their paperweight. Made from a crushed bottle, the paperweight is fired in a casting mold then slowly cooled to create its dome shape.

My favorite seller for using recycled glass bottles, though, is Bottled Up Designs and Laura Bergman’s glass hoop earrings (pictured). Made from the neck of glass bottles, these earrings are simple in design but very elegant for a rough material.

Image credit: Bottlebottoms, BigSky, Bottled Up Designs, respectively.

Written by Kelly Rand

Kelly covers visual arts in and around Washington, DC for DCist and is editor of Crafting a Green World. Kelly has also been published by Bust Magazine and you can find her byline at Indie Fixx and Etsy’s Storque and has taught in Etsy’s virtual lab on the topic of green crafting.

Kelly helps organize Crafty Bastards: Arts and Crafts Fair, one of the largest indie craft fairs on the east coast and has served on the Craft Bastard’s jury since 2007. Kelly is also co-founder of Hello Craft a nonprofit trade association dedicated to the advancement of independent crafters and the handmade movement. Kelly resides in Washington, D.C. and believes that handmade will save the world.


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  1. I am the opposite – i love glass, and love things made of glass. I was just staring at my glass recycle bin wishing i could turn my olive oil bottles into glasses or a cool light fixture. I don’t know about glass blowing though.

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