Glass bottles: 5 creative and sustainable ideas for recycling

Do you want to learn how to recycle the glass bottles you used creatively and at the same time help save the environment? You’re in the right place. 


Glass is a material resistant to deterioration, fireproof and usable in more ways than you can think. Just a little creativity, the right indications and a fair dose of manual ability.


In this article we will look at five methods to give new life to the bottles that have exhausted their main task, which is to contain liquids. 

We will see how they can become excellent decorative objects, starting from the simplest solution to get to those that require more attention.

 Before you start, remember that the glass cuts and we don’t want this to happen, so remember to be careful while you work it and take the right precautions. 

 So let’s put on a nice pair of durable work gloves, protective glasses, to cover the eyes from any splinters and leave. 

 Building a candle holder with used glass bottles


Building a candle holder with a glass bottle is simple: take a lit candle, let the melted wax run over the neck of the bottle and wedge it in. But you could do that on your own, so you didn’t need an article to find out.

If you want to create a creative candle holder but always using a glass bottle, unless you have a diamond cutter in your house, you will need to get:


Natural twine (wool, linen or cotton)

Flammable liquid

A basin of water



You will need them to cut the glass bottle reducing the risk of breaking it. 

This operation will serve to divide the base of the bottle, which will become the saucer on which to lay the candle, from the top, which instead will become the cover.


To proceed with this operation, dip the string in the flammable liquid and then tie it to the base of the bottle. Then set it on fire, and as soon as it’s done burning, pour water over it. This will cause the glass to break along the part heated by twine due to thermal shock. 

At this point finish us with sandpaper and you will have the two elements that will contain your candle.

 Keep this cutting method in mind, it could also serve for future creative ideas.

 Turning glass bottles into decorated vases

You can decorate a used glass bottle and give it new life as an ornamental vase in a variety of ways. The advice if you want to use brush colors is to choose the specific ones for this surface, but if you do not have them, you can safely use acrylic.

However, we recommend using natural colors, which are more environmentally friendly.

To create special effects you can use cords or hot glue, which you will then remove once finished, to leave transparent spaces. These will be very useful if you want to use the bottle as a container for lights, the effect will be a nice play of lights and colors.


A last way to turn a bottle into a decorative vase is to cover it with a rope. Using glue, choose the starting point (you can start both the neck and the base of the bottle) and wrap it around the surface.


Hold the rope tightly in place during this operation and secure it from time to time with more glue until it has covered it all. 


Second life bottles of wine


Used glass bottles, how to make a self-watering pot


We are at the third idea to creatively recover used glass bottles. Things are getting more complicated, but let’s not be scared.

 For this operation we will use the same cutting modes seen in the creation of the candle holder, only instead of doing it on the base, we will focus on the top.

 The purpose is to flip the neck of the bottle in reverse, so that it becomes a kind of funnel to be inserted into the cylinder below.

At your discretion you can leave the two parts separate or glue them together, it is purely an aesthetic matter.

Insert into the funnel a cord of fabric long enough to pass through the neck and lie down on the bottom below.

To stop it, use pebbles of gravel, which will also serve as a drainage.

At this point you can insert the map you prefer and cover it with soil almost to the edge. Leave some space so it doesn’t overflow when you water it.


At this point you just have to pour water, which will filter between the ground and the gravel to go and deposit on the bottom, where it will be fished by the string. This is a great way to make your plant irrigation self-manage.


 How a glass bottle becomes a lamp


To turn a glass bottle into a lamp we can take two paths:

if you want a pendant lamp (falling from above), you will have to cut it;

if you want a classic abat jour instead you will have to pierce it.


To give new life to a bottle used as a pendant lamp you will need to cut the base (choose what height), to be able to insert the bulb.

Also for this process you can use the same cutting mode used for the candle holder.

Once you have removed the base of the bottle, insert the bulb holder so that the cable comes out of the neck of the bottle and you’re done. Automatically the cable will act as a suspension and the bottle will assume the role of the hat of your new lamp.


If you want to obtain a lampshade, the glass bottle used will become the basis on which the lamp will stand with its hat. 

On the bottom of the bottle however you will need to drill an exit hole for the electrical cable.

To pierce it you will need a screwdriver and a glass tip. 

Before you start, fill the bottle with water and stopper, so as to cushion the vibration and reduce the risk of breaking it. Then dip it in a basin also full of water, to further reduce the tremors, and begin slowly to dig it.


Once you get the hole, let us go through the cable and you’ll have your bedside table ready to put on. 

 Recycling of glass bottles

Used glass bottles used for building walls


The latter idea to reuse glass bottles creatively and give them new life as a brick for a wall is actually not the most complicated.

The tricky thing is to drink all the bottles you will need for your purpose, especially if it is wine, but this is also the most fun part for some.


The resulting effect will be similar to that given by the glazing, but more rounded.

Start with a layer of concrete, make sure with a bubble that is straight. Once it has dried, adhere the bases of the first row of bottles, separating them with cement. You can choose whether to stand or lie down, following your taste and continue to stack them until you reach the desired height. To make sure that growing your wall of bottles stays straight, you can use a lead, which you will rely on to avoid slopes.

 We have come to the end of this magnificent creative journey into the world of glass bottles. If you are a fan of recovery works, especially with regard to glass bottles, discover our products. On the site of you can find our lines for the house entirely made of 100% recovered glass.


Article by Renato M.G. Sarlo

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