Tossing used wine bottles into the recycling bin helps to reduce the amount of waste in landfills, but you can also upcycle, or give the bottles new purpose. This cuts down on waste and eliminates the need to purchase a new product to serve a given purpose. Making birdhouses is one way to use recycled wine bottles while giving birds sanctuary. Diamond drill bits allow you to drill through materials such as glass and ceramic without the high risk of shattering the bottle. You can make just one birdhouse or group several together in your favorite birdwatching location.
Things You'll Need
- Wine bottle brush or salt
- Permanent marker
- Safety glasses
- 2- to 3-inch diamond hole saw bit
- Outdoor latex paint
- Wire or heavy fishing line
Clean the bottle thoroughly with hot, soapy water, sanitize them in diluted bleach, and then rinse thoroughly. Purchase a bottle brush designed for wine bottles or add an abrasive such as salt and shake the bottle to clean the sides.
Hold the bottle in place on the work surface with straps or with carefully adjusted vise grips.
Mark the area for the entry hole, making a small dot with a permanent marker. The center of the bottle is a good location for the entry hole whether you choose to hang the bottle upright or on its side.
Wear protective glasses and gloves while cutting through glass. Although diamond tips reduce the chance of the glass breaking while you drill, small shards of glass may still fly up as you drill the hole.
Drill a hole 2 to 3 inches in diameter through one side of the bottle with a 2- to 3-inch diameter diamond hole saw bit. Start drilling slowly and steadily increase your speed while apply light to medium pressure. Keep a steady stream of water flowing over the cutting area to keep the glass and diamond bit cool so the glass doesn't crack; you might choose to drill inside a utility sink or have a second person trickle water while you drill.
File the edges of the cut with fine-grit sandpaper to soften any sharp edges. While wearing gloves, rub the paper around the edges of the hole, including the edge inside the bottle.
Brush a layer of glue along the cut edge of the glass, if desired, to make the edges even smoother.
Paint the outside of the bottle with outdoor latex paint to block light from filtering through the glass. Paint a solid color, stained glass or other design.
Apply glue to the wine cork or lid and cap off the bottle.
Wrap wire or heavy fishing line around the bottle and hang it to display the finished birdhouse. You may wish to wrap a coil around the entire bottle but the string must at least be secured under any raised lips around the bottle neck so the birdhouse doesn't fall. Alternatively, you can mount the bottle birdhouse to an outdoor wall, tree or post.
Tips & Warnings
- To add a perch to the inside of the bottle, drill holes through both sides of the bottle and fit a wooden dowel through the holes. Use a diamond drill bit instead of a hole saw bit to make holes smaller than 1/4 inch.
- Wine jugs also work well for this project because they provide more room and have handles that make it easier to hang the birdhouse.
- Use extreme caution when using electrical equipment around water. Ensure that the water only touches the hole saw bit and not the saw itself.
- Photo Credit Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images