Before trying most of these projects, you’ll want to remove the label from your bottle (unless you want an eternal reminder that you’ve been drinking rosé from the $5.99 bin). Creative Jewish Mom has some great tips on how to go about doing that. Also, it should go without saying that you don’t actually have to use alcohol bottles.
1. Decorate a bottle with washi tape to make a pretty, easy vase:
All hail washi tape, supreme ruler of craft supplies.
2. Wrap them in twine or yarn:
Apply glue in sections starting from the bottom of the bottle up, wrapping the twine or yarn as you go.
3. Paint bottles and use the twine just around the neck for a more nautical look:
Instructions from A Smith of All Trades.
4. Make a lamp:
The obvious irony here is that you won’t be able to test if it works until the power comes back on, but it’ll give you something to look forward to (besides the sweet knowledge of your own survival). Find out how at Instructables; use hardware from an old lamp you don’t like anymore instead of buying new stuff from the hardware store.
6. Use nail polish to paint more intricate designs:
Some tips for painting with polish here. You might want to use a smaller bottle, like one for beer or soda, since the nail polish might run out quicker than you’d think. Also, be careful of fumes!
7. Or use Sharpie:
Instructions and pattern ideas available here.
8. Make chalkboard bottles:
You can write ANYTHING YOU WANT on them, like swear words or Justin Bieber’s name. Find out how to make them here. You’ll need chalkboard paint if you don’t already have it lying around.
9. Wrap a bottle in tape before painting it to achieve this cool negative-space effect.
Varying the width of the tape strips will make the pattern appear random, like in this example, and you could also create stripes or some kind of picture with evenly spaced tape. Spray paint works best for this project, but if you don’t have any on hand, any white paint will do.
10. Why stop at a vase? Use newspaper to make a bouquet of flowers that will never, ever die.
Cut a rectangular piece of newspaper that’s about twice as long as the bottle. Wrap and secure around the bottle and cut the remaining newspaper at the top into strips around 1 1/2 inches wide. Run the edge of a scissor blade firmly but gently along each strip in order to curl it. Acknowledge that you’ve gone a little insane if you’re already attempting to recreate living things out of your own garbage.
11. There is an unbelievably cool trick to cutting bottles that requires nothing but cotton string, acetone nail polish remover, and a candle or lighter:
This is witchcraft. Seriously, though, be so careful when doing this; keep the bottle of polish remover far, far away from the flame. Make sure you have plenty of water on hand, and work slowly so you don’t cut yourself. An emery board will help sand down any sharp edges (who knew DIY manicures and at-home glasswork had so much in common?).
12. Once you’ve figured out how to cut bottles safely, experiment with the angle:
You could cut around the base of the neck for a modern-looking container.
13. Or remove the necks entirely to make tumblers:
This project definitely requires sanding down the cut edges with an emery board or sandpaper, since you’ll presumably be bringing them near your face.
14. Again: You have wine. You have candles. Voilá, you have art.
If your candle is too wide to fit in the neck of your bottle, melt the bottom of the candle with another one. Melting the wax slightly will also help it stick better.
15. Bottles have other components too, like caps and corks. Make these adorable thumbtacks/magnets and you’ll have even more ways to stare at your pet’s precious face all day long:
Thanks a million, Martha.
16. Coasters! So you can drink more drinks:
These directions call for a cork base to absorb more moisture, but if you don’t have some available you can glue the caps to a piece of felt or directly together.
17. Make a whole tabletop out of bottle caps:
You might require the help of a friend or two in order to drink this much beer over the course of a single hurricane. Maybe. Directions here.
18. Use spare drawer pulls to turn corks into reusable bottle stoppers:
Directions from The Spotted Fox. Side note: A few years ago I replaced the hardware on my Target bedside table with the drawer pull on the right, and it was a life-altering decision.
19. Or use spools of thread:
Find these directions at A Beautiful Mess.
20. Turn corks into stamps:
These easy, cute instructions are available here.
21. Make a meta wine bottle out of corks:
This example makes use of a wire outline for structure and support, but you can glue the corks directly together. Start at the “base” of the “bottle” and work upward, adding corks in horizontal layers.
22. Don’t forget to remind the people you love that you love them!
And nothing says “I love you” like a gigantic heart made from remnants of all the booze you’ve consumed together. Just like the above project, start from the bottom and work your way up in rows.
Also: Save the bees.