Friday, January 14, 2011

You had me at Merlot

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Today's project is something I came up with as an idea for using empty wine bottles.  We seem to have a lot of those lying around, and instead of just dumping them in the recycling bin, I wanted to come up with a way to re-use them.  I often times save bottles because I think they have an interesting shape and might make a nice addition to my ever growing collection.  But what to do with them?

I had a couple of ideas, but wanted to come up with something that made them look a little less like...empty wine bottles, was cheap and easy (ie:  no glass cutter necessary), and would spice things up for an interesting look.  Ahhh....Jute to the rescue!  Here's what I came up with.

All you need is an empty bottle, who doesn't love an excuse to polish off a couple glasses of wine! (I like glass because it is nice and sturdy, but you could try plastic.  It also doesn't have to be wine, it could be bottle, soda bottle, olive oil name it, it actually might be fun to play around with different sized bottles), Jute, and glue (I used basic clear tacky glue).
All the necessary ingredients...yes, that's really it!
Step 1: Wash out the bottle!  The last thing you want is to smell moldy residue a few weeks down the line.  I chose to remove the labels (hot water and soap worked fine, sometimes with a little dab of goo be gone for the persistent pieces), but this is optional.  The jute will cover everything, and you most likely won't even be able to tell if there is still a label underneath.

Step 2:  I like to start at the top of the bottle, add about an inch of glue all the way around.
Step 3: Attach the Jute and start wrapping it around the bottle.  The glue will dry clear so don't worry if it leaks out between the strands of Jute.  I like to keep it nice and tight without any gaps of glass showing through, but whatever you think looks the most creative is fine too!
Beginning of the "wrapping" process
Step 4:  Continue to wrap the Jute around the bottle, after the first initial inch it isn't necessary to add glue to the whole bottle, the Jute will keep itself in place.  Every 2 inches or so I like to add a little more glue just to make sure things don't slide around too much.  Keep chugging along...
The "wrapping" process continues...
Step 5: About half way through I like to flip the bottle upside down and balance it on the table.  I feel like I have better control this way, and can just hold onto the string of Jute while I rotate the bottle on the table.  But whatever works best for you is totally fine.
Flip for more're almost there!
Step 6:  Once you reach the last inch or so of the bottle, make sure to add some more glue so that things stay in place.  Don't worry about covering the bottom of the bottle, this means it won't lay flat on the table, or whatever surface you choose to put it on.

Step 7:  Cut off the Jute and add a little extra dab of glue on each end so that nothing fray's or comes loose over time.  Then...let it dry!

Now, you may be wondering what to do with your bottle now that it's finished.  I personally love using it as a simple flower vase.  I have one on the small table in my bathroom, which I think adds a nice personal touch.
Used as a flower vase
I also have a small collection of interesting wine stoppers.  Some I've purchased (one while on a trip to Scotland visiting Sister #2!)  others were gifts or ones that just caught my eye at the store.  Take a look:
 I think the pretty stoppers give the bottles a little extra flare.  Here I have another bottle sitting on top of my heater with one of the blown glass stoppers in it.
As decoration with a pretty glass stopper
You can come up with your own ideas of how to use your bottles.  I think they would look pretty just on their own.  I like the idea of using different sized bottles and arranging them nicely on a shelf somewhere.  My mom really likes the idea of getting a lamp kit and turning the bottles into lamps.  I'm not sure if I can pull that one off...but it might be worth a try! Hmmmmm decisions decisions.

**Please click on my Linky Party tab at the top of my blog to see some of the parties I participate in. Also check out all the other fabulous projects going on!**

I hope everyone had a great week and are ready to enjoy their weekends!  I'll be up at the crack of dawn tomorrow to catch a bus to NYC with Sister #1, where we will meet up with Sister #2.  We will then be headed to Broadway for the show Wicked!  I'm wicked excited! :)
All content, including text and original photos, are copyrighted and property of Jen Caffelle

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