By Elizah Leigh on August 24, 2011

Empty wine bottles can be tossed into the glass recycling bin, but they can also be reborn as nifty repurposed items.

Upon draining the soul-fortifying, antioxidant-rich liquid found within a wine bottle, there are a number of things that instantly come to mind:

  • What time does the liquor store close tonight?
  • How hard could it be to DIY some wine right here, right now? I already have a pound of grapes in the fruit bowl. That should to the trick, right?
  • Could that dusty old bottle of red wine vinegar in the back of my cupboard taste almost as good?
  • Would it be inappropriate to knock on a neighbor’s door and ask to borrow a cup of wine?
  • If I played my cards right, maybe I could score freebie wine all night long by hitting up my neighbors just a few blocks over!
  • This is a cool bottle. I wonder what kind of crafty, cool way I can repurpose it?

Wine imbibing habits aside, sometimes you find yourself with a lot of empties piling up in the recycling bin, and while you know that you’re doing your part to green your little corner of the world by dragging them to the curb, you start thinking that… well… shouldn’t there be more to the story?

recycled wine bottles

After all, a wine bottle is a beautiful thing to look at. So sleek, elegantly designed and easy on the eyes. To contribute to its ultimate high-temperature execution in an industrial-sized cauldron with countless other post-consumer glass bottles almost seems like a pity. Granted, the glass recycling process ensures that such a precious resource stays out of our landfills, but there has to be a better way to help wine bottles live on.

Until we figure out how to implement a recycling system that maintains the structural integrity of perfectly good empties, sterilizing each bottle before finally sending them along their merry way to various different refilling facilities, we’ll continue doing the next best thing.

Crushed glass has proven to come in handy as the main ingredient in glassphalt pavement, tiles and kitchen countertops, but it is also quite commonly melted down, decolorized and molded into new beverage bottles.

Those who see a crafty opportunity do not have to take this sobering wine bottle reality lying down! Do your part for Mother Nature while honoring the creative spirit oozing from your pores by intentionally diverting your empty wine bottles from the collection bin. Take a few minutes to click on the DIY-inspired projects below and you’ll have all the eco-fodder you need to transform those empties into a gloriously new creations that will warm the cockles of your soul!

Architectural basics


Eco-friendly building material



Drinking glasses

Wine bottle stoppers

Soap dishes


Accent table

Wine shelf


Pendant lights

Table accent lights

Hanging tea light holders

Crushed stained glass night lights

Hurricane lamps

Elegant elongated chandelier

Passive-energy lighting fixtures

Lamp base



Mosaic skull

Decorative heart

Flower vases

Wine bottle candles

Green thumb tools

Herb growing kits

Garden edging

Instant potted plant waterer

Hydration system for outdoor gardens

Hummingbird feeders

Outdoor entertaining

Recycled wine bottle barbecue

Wind chimes

Garden screen


Belt buckles

Glitzy pendants

Dangling necklaces

Glass jewelry beads

About the author

Elizah Leigh is an eco-inspired wordsmith capable of captivating readers in just the right manner to facilitate subliminal greenlightenment. If it hasn’t yet happened to you, dear reader, don’t worry... it soon will. She believes that walking on the green side of life isn’t so much about random actions like recycling household materials and eschewing bottled water as it really should be about committing to long-term lifestyle changes that naturally become effortless the more frequently they are practiced — and believe it or not, if you’re looking at the world through green-colored glasses, it’s never a chore.

Working as an eco-journalist for a number of online venues, including Ecorazzi, WebEcoist, WebUrbanist and Causecast, this self-confessed eager greenie and knowledge hound has become deeply entrenched in the world of green living and makes a conscious effort at all times to practice exactly what she preaches. Elizah feels that no one is an "expert" in this field as long as they continue to keep an open mind by acquiring new eco-feathers in their cap — something that she aspires to do with each new article that she authors.

Extremely passionate about greening perspectives as well as lifestyles one carefully selected word at a time, this eco-writer feels privileged to add the 1-800-RECYCLING audience to her increasingly expanding network of green-minded readers. When she’s not tweeting her ever-lovin’ greenie heart out or adding new eco-themed articles to her portfolio, she can be found frolicking outside or shooting the breeze with her menagerie of impossibly needy geriatric felines.

As for what Elizah hopes to bring to 1-800-RECYCLING? Believe it or not, she is convinced that we are all capable of carving out individual and collective legacies in which caring enough about what we do while we walk this earth ensures that future generations enjoy the same basic privileges that we currently do. Can collections of carefully crafted environmentally themed words help facilitate this lofty plan for eco-friendly ah-ha! inspiration? Stranger things have been done to honor Mother Nature. For now, that’s her eager greenie goal, and she’s definitely sticking to it.

Learn more about Elizah Leigh


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