After you empty a bottle of wine, what do you do with it? One option is to throw it away, but maybe you're a thrifty, DIY type. Many of the simplest repurposing ideas don’t even call for tools, making these wine bottle rehashes great for a quick project or a beginner!

Remove the Label

There are a few ways to remove the labels from your wine bottles. Some peel off easily, but others require a bit of elbow grease. If the label doesn't come right off, try using a razor blade to scrape it off. You can also soak cotton balls in rubbing alcohol and press them against the label until it is saturated, then scrape it off. Finally, some people submerge their bottles in hot or warm water for fifteen minutes or so. Often, the labels fall right off.


Clean the Wine Bottle

Use a bottle brush to clean the interior, unless your project will benefit from an eternal red wine scent. If you can’t fit a bottle brush in the neck of the bottle, swish hot water and soap in the bottle. Rinse it and let it dry before beginning your project.


Prepare the Outside of the Bottle

Some craft projects require you to prepare the outside of the bottle. If you need glue or Mod Podge, you may want to scuff up the glass a bit with fine sandpaper. If you plan to paint the bottle or use stickers, ensure the surface is clean and smooth by rubbing it with alcohol and dusting off any dust particles that could impact the application.


Add Guides or Stickers

Painting a design? Add guides or stickers to help the process. Painting over circle stickers or other shapes lets you peel off the stickers later for see-through parts of the glass. Some stickers come off more easily than others, so make sure you chose some meant to come off glass. Furthermore, some need to be removed while the paint is still wet, while others remain until the project dries.


Paint or Coat the Bottle

Use a paint that is suitable for glass. Your layers should be thick enough for good coverage, but not so thick that they create bubbles. If you're using a paint textured with sand or glitter, consider the best method to get even coverage. Sometimes, painting a bottle with glue and rolling it through the texturizing agent is the best bet.

paint wine bottle repurpose fotostorm / Getty Images


Good Glue for Embellishments

Embellishments like beads, rhinestones, rope, and ribbon can really give your wine bottle a life of its own. Use strong craft glue, such as E6000, to make sure your decoration has lasting power. Whether you're embellishing a small spot or covering the whole neck and body, you don't want to be reattaching things that come unstuck every few weeks.


Fill the Bottle

If decorating the outside of the bottle isn't really your style, consider simply reusing your old wine bottles for gifts and personal products that could just a prettier display. Fill the bottle with bath salts or oils, pickled vegetables, or salad dressings. If you're still going for decor, you might fill the bottle with fairy lights or just pop in a couple of sprigs of lavender or a cut flower stem or two.


Add a Top

If you put something liquid in your wine bottle, you need to seal the opening. If you don’t want to use the cork that came with the bottle, there are dozens of reusable tops out there. If you're using the bottle for a practical purpose, you might want to invest in a pour top or easy screw-top.


Add the Finishing Touch

Gifting a reused wine bottle could call for a pretty gift tag on frayed twine or ribbon, or just a thick ribbon in a pretty bow. The finishing touch to the reused wine bottle might be a ribbon around the neck. Even if this addition is just going to be removed, it can be fun to make the tag match the overall theme of the piece, such as an olive-shaped gift tag for a bottle of bath oil.


Just Use the Corks

Wine bottle decor isn't for everyone, but that doesn't mean you can't get something out of the many bottles you've worked through over the last year. If you buy wine with real corks (a rarer and rarer event, these days), consider making a project with just the corks. You can glue them to a shadowbox in the shape of a letter or in a specific pattern, or make an entry mat, picture frame, or coasters. The possibilities are practically endless!


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