How to Build a Wall Out of Wine Bottles

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Empty wine bottles can be used for a large number of arts and crafts projects around the house, from flower vases to incense burners. If you have a lot of empty wine bottles lying around, you can use them as little bricks and learn how to build a wall out of wine bottles.

Things You'll Need

  • Wine bottles
  • Trowel
  • Mortar
  • Pebbles
  • Concrete
  • Water
  • Sand
  • Shovel
  • Level
  • Collect enough wine bottles to complete your wall. Nothing is as frustrating as being unable to complete a project for lack of building material. Ask friends and family to save their wine bottles for you. Inquire with a restaurant manager about taking empty bottles off of their hands. Make a trip to your local landfill or recycling center, where wine bottles will likely be in high concentration. You will need roughly nine standard 3-inch diameter wine bottles per square foot.

  • Decide on insulation for the bottles. Filling the bottles with water allows them to retain heat from the day to warm the room at night, and cold from the night to cool the house in the day, smoothing out heat fluctuations in your house. Fill the bottles with sand and seal with wax to add extra thermal mass for heat retention. This, however, will block light passage.

  • Prepare and install base for your wall. Dig a shallow trench into the earth, half fill it with pebbles, then cover it with a layer of quick drying concrete. Use a trowel to level the concrete layer and allow the base to dry according to the package instructions.

  • Lay a patch of your mortar onto the base with the trowel, enough to lay a few feet's worth of bottles. Lay the first bottle on the far edge of your wall. Set the bottle level on its side, pressing into the mortar evenly. Continue laying the base level from left to right, keeping a distance of a two fingers between bottles. Add mortar to stabilize as necessary.

  • Spread a layer of mortar to cover the tops and sides of the base layer of bottles. Press your first bottle of the row into the mortar covered "V" created by the first and second bottles of the base row. Continue laying bricks in the "V" formed below it, pressing the bottles level into the mortar. Alternate the brick pattern of the first two rows until the wall is at the desired height.

Tips & Warnings

  • Any binding material suitable for your climate will work for building with wine bottles. Examples include cob, adobe, and cement.
  • If you have an adequate supply of wine bottles of different colors, consider arranging the bottles to make an interesting color pattern or design.
  • Do not use water filled bottles in areas where the water can freeze. Freezing and thawing can cause the glass to shatter.
  • Home builders do not recommend bottle walls by themselves as load bearing walls. Additional supports (such as wood or metal support beams) are necessary, which can be integrated into the bottle wall.

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