I recycle quite a few glass bottles or jars each week, but I recently decided to find fun ways to reuse some of them instead. The first point to make about reusing glass bottles is that there are so many shapes beyond the usual soda bottle that you can start saving such as juice bottles, jam jars, and salsa jars. Second point – you can take labels off of bottles easily by soaking it in warm water, then simply throw the jar into the dishwasher.
1. Make your glass look like milk glass – Pour a bit of paint into the bottle and slowly twist and tilt it around until the entire inside of the bottle is covered in a thin layer of paint. Allow to dry and use as a vase for fake flowers (don’t use water in the bottle unless you add a few layers of a waterproof sealant) or make a collection of various “milk glass” bottles.
2. Create a terrarium – This is best with bottles that are both wide-mouthed and have a top. A terrarium is best for plants that like humidity and are smaller, so grab plants such as ferns and moss that are small enough to not be crowded in the jar you choose. All you have to do is use soil to plant your chosen plants in your bottle, add water, close, and place in the appropriate amount of sun (determined by the type of plant you choose). Little terrariums look nice when they’re grouped together!
3. Hanging candle holders – To turn a bottle into a hanging candle holder, you simply need to wrap wire (I use thicker beading wire) around the neck, under that little bump that’s on most bottles or jars, multiple times and then create a handle out of the wire and attach it to the wire you wrapped around the neck. Find taper candles that will fit your bottles and add a lightweight filler to the bottle to help the candle stay in one spot (I like to use a layer of coffee beans). Hang your bottles using fishing line so it looks like they are floating.
4. Baking mix containers – This is another reuse that needs a lidded jar. I love the look of those gifts that are jarred baking mixes or hot chocolate mixes. Luckily, these are things that are quite easy to create. Use your favorite brownie or cookie recipe to decide how much of each dry ingredient you need, pour all of them into the jar, and cap it off. Write out the rest of the recipe (eggs, oil, etc) and instructions and include it with the baking mix. Voila, adorable gift.
There are even more ways reuse bottles rather than recycle them, and now that these ideas are running through your mind, I’m sure you’ve thought of some. Have fun being green and crafty with your glass!