How to Build a Wine Bottle Tree


Long ago, across the rural southern United States, people made bottle trees, also called spirit trees, to keep evil spirits away by trapping them in bottles. Blue bottles attracted evil spirits the most, according to the folklore, then sun would come out and destroy the spirits. People would remove and plug the bottles, then release the plugged bottles into a river. In more recent times, bottles trees, usually made from dead trees with shortened branches and wine bottles of all sizes, represent works of art. You can also make bottle trees from metal.

How to Build a Wine Bottle Tree
(Tamarra Feeley/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • 4x4 post, 8 to 12 feet long
  • Drill
  • 1/2-inch wood-boring bit
  • 1/2-inch dowel rod, 6 to 8 feet long
  • Variety of glass wine bottles
Step 1

Drill holes 2 1/2 inches deep along the sides of the post, at 45-degree angles. Space each hole 8 to 10 inches apart. Do not make the holes even and symmetrical; drill them randomly.

Tamarra Feeley/Demand Media
Step 2

Cut the dowel rod into smaller 10-inch pieces for your "branches." Insert each dowel piece into each of the holes you drilled. Now you have a tree with branches placed randomly, as real trees have.

Tamarra Feeley/Demand Media
Step 3

Place the openings of wine bottles of your choice onto each of the dowel rods along your tree.

Tamarra Feeley/Demand Media
Step 4

"Plant" your wine bottle tree in an area where the rising or setting sun will hit it, causing your tree to sparkle for a few minutes each day.

Tamarra Feeley/Demand Media

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Tips & Warnings

  • Use your imagination when creating a wine bottle tree. For example, you may want a tree with wine bottles all the same color but of different types and sizes.
  • See if you can find a bush or a small, natural tree you can decorate with wine bottles. This will provide a more rustic look to your creation.


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