So many awesome glass bottle crafts call for just part of the bottle. Sure, your upcycled glass bottle vase, lamp, and oil dispenser use the entire glass bottle, but your upcycled suncatcher, hurricane lamp, and wine glass just use the top. So many wonderful projects that you can think of are great ways to give a new life to an old bottle, but many of them will, alas, leave you with a boring old glass bottle bottom and nothing fun to do with it.
You can toss that boring bottle bottom into the recycling bin… except there are SO MANY awesome ways to upcycle even glass bottle bottoms! Check out my list of my favorite projects that just happen to do really cool things with the least likely parts of glass bottles. Find your next favorite project and empty out that recycling bin all at once!
Just the Bottom Bit, Please
Use these projects to give new life to just a bottle bottom, after you’ve made something amazing with the rest of the bottle!
- DIY faux sea glass. It may not be real sea glass, but if you put it in a rock tumbler, you’ll get a nearly identical look! Bottle necks and bottoms work best for making faux sea glass, as they’re thicker and stand up to the tumbling process better. Tumble an entire bottle bottom or cut it into tesserae for mosaics first. Afterwards, drill a hole in the glass to make an ornament or pendant, or incorporate it into a mosaic. You can also paint, engrave, and decoupage these tumbled glass pieces to make them even more interesting.
- glass mosaic. Because a bottle’s bottom is often its only part without a curve, bottle bottoms are ideal for creating glass mosaics. Tumble them to increase their opacity, or leave them as-is.
- ring holder. Put these everywhere you have the tendency to absentmindedly take off your rings. They’re true sanity savers! You can also, of course, use these little dishes to hold coins or candy, or even small servings of condiments.
- stained glass. Stained glass requires a specific skill set and has a somewhat steep learning curve, so I don’t recommend trying this particular project as your very first DIY. But if you know the basics, you can incorporate bottle bottoms into all kinds of stained glass projects. I especially like the idea of using the bottoms of special bottles–an anniversary bottle of wine, perhaps, or a vintage soda bottle manufactured in your hometown.
- fused glass. Yes, you can fuse glass bottles! Rosemary’s Clay shows the process of firing, firing again, and slumping. It’s best to use only one bottle at a time for each fused glass piece, because without knowing the provenance of your bottle, you have no way of ensuring a compatible melting temperature between bottles. This is a project for those who enjoy experimentation and problem-solving!
- coaster. Are you a lucky duck with a microwave kiln? If yes, please make me a set of bottle bottom coasters! You can use a mold to put a raised design on your coaster, or embellish it afterwards with bake-on porcelain markers.
Everything but the Top!
Use these projects to upcycle the rest of a bottle, after you’ve cut the neck off to do something else cool with!
- container candle. This project is especially great for upcycling a bottle bottom because you can make it with a bottom of just about any height. I especially like it with vintage bottles that have painted-on branding–they glow like luminaries!
- planter. The fun thing about a glass planter is being able to see into it, so make the layers of your upcycled glass bottle planter as pretty as the ones in this tutorial! I think these work best with bottles without branding or embossing to muddy the view inside. White wine bottles look great upcycled as planters!
- wall storage. Here’s an unusual upcycling project that would look at home in the kitchen or the workshop. I really like the idea of storing whisks and wooden spoons in wine bottles strapped into their wall storage to keep my counters clear, easily removable so I can wash them!
- drinking glass. Use this method for cutting and sanding a glass bottle to make yourself a set of drinking glasses! Wine bottles make particularly good drinking glasses, as soda bottles are a little too narrow and thin for my liking.
- faux stained glass lanterns. If your bottle bottom is tall enough to hold a tea light, then it’s tall enough to craft into a faux stained glass lantern!
- mosaic candle holder. Embellish the base of a plain glass jar or bottle with a mosaic. E6000 or a similar epoxy glue is a solid choice for gluing glass to glass. Grout your mosaic or skip the grout and let candlelight shine through the tesserae.
Do you like to upcycle glass bottles? If so, what tips do you have for using every part of the bottle? Let us know in the Comments below!