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Creative Ways to Recycle and Re-purpose Glass Bottles and Jars

Updated on April 24, 2014
BNadyn profile image

Bernadyn is a writer who contributes her work to various websites and magazines and is the Owner/Director for the website, B is 4.

Ways to Reuse Glass Bottles and Jars

Source

Ideas to Reuse Glassware

  • Weddings
  • Parties
  • House Décor
  • Jewelry Holder
  • Storage: food, supplies, kitchen utensils, bathroom essentials
  • To serve food and drinks
  • To give as gifts for weddings, anniversaries, birthday, graduation, baby shower, Mother's Day, housewarming, etc.
  • To give out as awards and prizes


Reuse Glass Jars and Bottles to Save Money and the Envrionment

Glass bottles and jars are materials that can be reused and re-purposed in so many ways. They are becoming more popular to use for decorations for the home, at weddings and for parties. Reusing glass bottles like wine and beer bottles cost less for centerpieces, table settings or table number markers. Decorating them also gives you a chance to bring out your creativity and work on a fun craft.

Why not reuse glass jars that you get when you buy pasta sauce or a jar of pickles to save money instead of buying other containers to store food, craft, art and office supplies.

Read more for easy and crafty tips to make use of glass bottles and jars. It is an easy way to save money and helps out the environment!




Multiple Ways to Reuse Glassware

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Glass jars make it easier to change out photos and takes up less space than picture frames.
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Glass jars make it easier to change out photos and takes up less space than picture frames.
Glass jars make it easier to change out photos and takes up less space than picture frames. | Source
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Use Glass Bottles and Jars for Weddings and Parties

There are many ways to use glassware for special occasions, such as weddings, where things like decorations and table settings can become expensive quickly.

Here are some ideas on ways to reuse glass that you may already have at home or that you can collect over time:

  • Use glassware as vases for flowers
  • Table numbers and seating: Use wine bottles or beer bottles to put numbers and even names for table seating
  • Make lanterns or chandeliers: you can use baby jars, wine bottles, cut bottles to hold lights inside or attach string lights inside
  • Use jars to place photos inside
  • Use small jars like baby food jars to put in candy or small party favors for guests. Decorate lids by covering them with fabric or painting them.
  • Use glassware as candle holders, using candlesticks, tea light candles or floating candles
  • Embellish and paint wine bottles to place as décor and centerpieces on tables or in other parts of the venue. You can do various things to have them fit the theme of the wedding: paint them using spray paint or use glass paint on the outside or acrylic paint inside, use glass etching to monogram the initials of bride and groom, write sweet words like "Love," "Joy," "Happy" or the date of the wedding. You can also use chalkboard paint to cover the area you want to write on using chalk.
  • Wrap the bottles with burlap, twine, ribbons, lace, doilies, crochet work, fabric and scrapbook paper to match the theme.
  • Decorate them with rhinestones, flowers, glass paint, etc.
  • Have guests write advice and well wishes on paper or pebbles and place them in a jar

Reuse Glass Jars for Wedding and Party Decor

Glass jars can be useful for wedding and party décor including photo frames, candle holders, table numbers and flowers.
Glass jars can be useful for wedding and party décor including photo frames, candle holders, table numbers and flowers. | Source
Decorate the jars to match the theme of the party.
Decorate the jars to match the theme of the party. | Source

How to Etch Glass

Design Glass with Glass Etching for Gifts and Awards

write a special message
stencil design
monogram initials
write well wishes
write date of occasion
write poem
write name of recipient
etch favorite character
write achievement for award or milestone
write quotes

Reuse Food Jars

Decorate and paint jars  in various shapes and sizes for house décor.  These are vinaigrette jars I painted using food coloring and glue.  I added some glitter for some sparkle, then baked in oven for ten minutes on 350 degrees to be translucent.
Decorate and paint jars in various shapes and sizes for house décor. These are vinaigrette jars I painted using food coloring and glue. I added some glitter for some sparkle, then baked in oven for ten minutes on 350 degrees to be translucent. | Source

Recycling Glass

Do you recycle glass?

See results

Reuse Glass Jars and Bottles for the Home

  • Decoration
  • Vases for plants and flowers
  • Make terrariums
  • Photo frames
  • Hold a collection of objects (cork, shells, rocks, pebbles, coins)
  • Use jars for storage: craft, art, desk supplies, food - sugar, flour, spices, etc.
  • Candle holder
  • Bathroom containers: cotton balls, cotton swabs, cosmetics, make up brushes, razors, combs
  • Soap dispenser
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Use as glassware for everyday food and drinks

Reuse Glass Jars for Storage Supplies

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Hold paint brushes, office and other art and craft supplies in jars.Jars are great to use around the house to hold supplies like desk supplies.  I used glass paint to paint these clear jars to match the room I placed them in.
Hold paint brushes, office and other art and craft supplies in jars.
Hold paint brushes, office and other art and craft supplies in jars. | Source
Jars are great to use around the house to hold supplies like desk supplies.  I used glass paint to paint these clear jars to match the room I placed them in.
Jars are great to use around the house to hold supplies like desk supplies. I used glass paint to paint these clear jars to match the room I placed them in. | Source

Benefits from Recycling Glass

If you do not want to reuse glass for anything, then you can always just recycle them. There are several benefits to recycling glass instead of throwing it away and letting it fill up the landfills or harm the environment.

WWF.Panda.org explains the advantages of recycling glass:

  • "The cost savings of recycling is in the use of energy. Compared to making glass from raw materials for the first time, cullet melts at a lower temperature. So we can save on energy needed to melt the glass.
  • Glass produced from recycled glass reduces related air pollution by 20% and related water pollution by 50%.
  • Recycling glass reduces the space in landfills that would otherwise be taken up by used bottles and jars.
  • Using glass for recycling means there are less glass objects lying around in the landfill or bin."

In many grocery stores, there are bins where you can deposit glass bottles and jars.

Reuse Jars for Various Uses Around the Home

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Hold kitchen utensils in jars and use them as food storage for things like sugar and flour.Wine bottles can be used to hold jewelry like bracelets.  Decorate or paint the bottle to match your bedroom or dresser.I like to collect shells and corks.  I am not sure what to do with them yet so for now, I'm storing them in jars and vases.
Hold kitchen utensils in jars and use them as food storage for things like sugar and flour.
Hold kitchen utensils in jars and use them as food storage for things like sugar and flour. | Source
Wine bottles can be used to hold jewelry like bracelets.  Decorate or paint the bottle to match your bedroom or dresser.
Wine bottles can be used to hold jewelry like bracelets. Decorate or paint the bottle to match your bedroom or dresser. | Source
I like to collect shells and corks.  I am not sure what to do with them yet so for now, I'm storing them in jars and vases.
I like to collect shells and corks. I am not sure what to do with them yet so for now, I'm storing them in jars and vases. | Source

Crafty Ways to Paint Glass Bottles

  • Glass paint
  • Acrylic paint
  • Spray paint
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Use food coloring and school glue to make a paste that will paint onto glass. Bake in oven for about ten minutes to make it come out translucent.
  • Use a hot glue gun to write or draw on glass, then spray paint over it.
  • Use a turkey baster to pour paint inside opening of bottle and turn it upside down to let excess paint drip out.
  • Use glass etching

Wine Bottles as Vases and House Décor

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Wrap scrapbook paper around the bottle to match the seasons or the theme of the room.   They are fairly inexpensive so you can switch them out  often if you like. I like using wine bottles as vases for house decor.
Wrap scrapbook paper around the bottle to match the seasons or the theme of the room.   They are fairly inexpensive so you can switch them out  often if you like.
Wrap scrapbook paper around the bottle to match the seasons or the theme of the room. They are fairly inexpensive so you can switch them out often if you like. | Source
Source
I like using wine bottles as vases for house decor.
I like using wine bottles as vases for house decor.
Source

Easy Way to Cut Glass

There are easy ways to cut glass at home which are shown on the videos here. After you cut bottles, there are several ways to reuse them:

  • Tumblers
  • Shot glasses
  • Candle holders
  • Decoration
  • Containers
  • Plant holder
  • Small plate or bowl for dipping sauce (if you cut the bottle closer toward the bottom)

Either method you use to cut the bottle, make sure you are doing it safely! Also, remember to sand the edges.

Cut Glass Bottle Using String, Matches and Nail Polish Remover

Reuse Jars for Food and Drinks

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Reuse glass bottles for milkshakes and other drinks.I like to reuse mason jars and baby food jars to serve food.  It works out well for my kids to serve them sweets so the portions are small.  Also, jars with lids can be brought to lunch.Ice cream and cookies in a jarDrinkwareUse jars to serve colorful food like Jello.Jars are useful to hold food like cake pops on the table.
Reuse glass bottles for milkshakes and other drinks.
Reuse glass bottles for milkshakes and other drinks. | Source
I like to reuse mason jars and baby food jars to serve food.  It works out well for my kids to serve them sweets so the portions are small.  Also, jars with lids can be brought to lunch.
I like to reuse mason jars and baby food jars to serve food. It works out well for my kids to serve them sweets so the portions are small. Also, jars with lids can be brought to lunch. | Source
Ice cream and cookies in a jar
Ice cream and cookies in a jar | Source
Drinkware
Drinkware | Source
Use jars to serve colorful food like Jello.
Use jars to serve colorful food like Jello. | Source
Jars are useful to hold food like cake pops on the table.
Jars are useful to hold food like cake pops on the table. | Source
Source

Other Helpful Ways to Reuse Glassware

  • Use a wine bottle as a rolling pin
  • Use glass jars and bottles as paper weight
  • Use them for arts and crafts - trace their top or bottom for patterns
  • Use small bottles as soap dispensers - attach a pump on top
  • Message in a bottle: can do this for significant other, children, anyone special - maybe a gift for Mother's Day/Father's Day/Birthday/Grandparents
  • Vase for candy bouquet or food bouquet
  • Other gifts with food can be placed in jars: cookies, cookie mix or cocoa mix, candy
  • Store play dough, paint, homemade bubbles
  • Wind chime, wall décor - see this link on Oddee for interesting ways to reuse bottles

Having Fun and Being Green

I first began collecting drinking bottles, such as wine and soda pop bottles a few years ago for sentimental reasons. Whenever my husband and I went somewhere special and I ordered a drink in a bottle, I kept it, particularly if it was a bottle to celebrate a special occasion. I decided eventually to reuse them instead of just sitting on top of my kitchen cabinets. Now, I collect bottles to see how I can reuse them for practical reasons around the house and for parties. I am now inspired to design and decorate glassware since we go through so many of them every month. It is becoming my new hobby, which has been fun and exciting to learn a new craft. I am happy to explore something new and to know that I am helping out the environment in the process.


Do you have any fun or useful ways you reuse glass bottles?


©BNadyn 2014

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  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

    I love your creativity and I love your belief in recycling and reusing. Carry on my crafty friend.

  • ewen-chia-review profile image

    abc abc 3 years ago from nowhere, michigan

    Reusing or re purposing is incredibly important as to not blast mega tons of pollutants as we process materials to be recycled. Toxic waste is being dumped in our air, waters, and lands. I really appreciate your article.

  • BNadyn profile image
    Author

    Bernadyn 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

    Thank you, Bill, it is something that has become so important to me and it has helped me home in my interest in crafting more. It's something beneficial all around so I love spreading the word about it. :)

  • BNadyn profile image
    Author

    Bernadyn 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

    ewen-chia-review, thank you for reading and yes, I agree, toxic waste is everywhere and every little thing we do to help decrease that goes a long way.

  • profile image

    sunnymad 3 years ago

    I love the creativity and I am a big green freak ,so I love the recycling and reusing idea.

  • BNadyn profile image
    Author

    Bernadyn 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

    Same here, I'm always looking for fun and creative ways to reuse. Thank you, sunnymad. :)

  • Wendi Gjata profile image

    Wendi Gjata 3 years ago from Hialeah-Florida

    I love all your articles about how to be green and recycle stuff, this one is so great! I love all these ideas and think they are all so creative! :D Can't wait to complete some of these for my room

  • BNadyn profile image
    Author

    Bernadyn 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

    That sounds like a great idea! Thank you, Wendi, appreciate the nice comment. I'm all about reusing. :)

  • grand old lady profile image

    Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

    I love collecting bottles and jars, and you have given some great new ideas on ways to use them, especially as picture frames. Fantastic. Voted up:)

  • BNadyn profile image
    Author

    Bernadyn 2 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

    Yes I love using the jars as picture frames, one of my favorite things to do with the jars. Thanks for reading and voting up. :)

  • Chin chin profile image

    Chin chin 2 years ago from Philippines

    It's amazing how creative people can be in recycling bottles. I also recycle glass jars. Last Christmas, I used and recycled some to give as gift to our friends. Now, there's plenty more ideas to choose and use from your list. Great hub!

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