Did you know Americans throw away over 11 million tons of glass bottles and jars each year, even though they’re 100% recyclable? Glass has an unlimited life and can be melted and reused endlessly. Instead of just sending your empty bottles and jars off to be recycled, try repurposing them in the comfort of your own home. Keep reading to learn how to reuse glass bottles and jars of all shapes and sizes in resourceful, fun ways.
10 DIY Glass Bottle Crafts
1. DIY Liquid Soap Dispenser
Simply purchase a pump – or save one from a plastic container – and you can create a unique soap dispenser using any type of bottle the pump will fit. This DIY dispenser would make a heartfelt gift for anyone’s birthday or housewarming party.
2. Wine Bottle Bird Feeder
With an empty wine bottle, some wood, a few screws and a piece of wire rope, anyone with a little DIY know-how can construct this bird feeder. The seeds will filter out bit by bit and once the bottle is empty, simply loosen the rope to pull it out for a refill.
3. Glass Spray Bottle
Empty glass bottles are a great option for storing cleaning products. Just transfer the spray nozzle from an old plastic bottle to a glass one. Spray bottles are handy for multiple household chores, but plastic can leech harmful chemicals into whatever it holds. Luckily, glass bottles of vinegar, juice, soda and other beverages with twist-off lids typically fit the average spray nozzle.
4. Homemade Holiday Decorations
With some paint, Epsom salts and Mod Podge, you can reuse glass bottles of any size to create one-of-a-kind holiday décor. Fill them with fresh pine branches, glittery craft plants, candles or anything else your own creativity suggests.
5. Upcycled Lamp
Head to your local hardware store for a glass/tile drill bit and a lamp holder, purchase a lampshade and you’ll be ready to light up your home the DIY way. This project is best suited for those with some past DIY experience and the toolkit to match.
6. Wine Bottle Tiki Torch
If you aren’t feeling confident enough for the project above, go old-school with this simple idea for reusing a bottle as an oil lamp. Purchase wicks, oil and colored glass gems from a craft store. Then, just fill the bottle, assemble the wick and light!
7. Chalkboard Storage Canisters
Everyone wants their home to be organized and belongings properly labeled. One simple way to reuse glass bottles is to create fun chalkboard storage, serving a practical purpose while creating something nice enough to put on display. All you need is the bottle of your choice and some chalkboard paint.
8. Recycled Container Sand Art
With a stash of glass bottles and colorful craft sand, you’ll be ready to keep your kids busy on a rainy day. You don’t need to limit this project to just sand, either. Get creative adding layers of pebbles, glitter, buttons or any other treasures they scrounge up.
9. Outdoor Bottle Tree
A very creative way to reuse glass bottles is to build an outdoor bottle tree for your garden. You can use any variety of bottles you have on hand for this project. Simply slip them over the limbs of a tree or wooden frame to brighten up your garden. Blue is traditional for bottle trees, but many people today use a variety of colors.
10. Self-Watering Herb Garden
Do you love using fresh herbs in the kitchen, but don’t have the space or skills to grow your own in a backyard garden? One way to reuse glass bottles is to turn them into planters that water themselves. Cut your bottles in half using one of these methods. Then, all you need is a small piece of screen and a thick string to start an effortless windowsill herb garden.
9 Ideas to Recycle and Reuse Glass Jars
1. Personalized Pincushion
Grab a fabric scrap of your choice, some batting and a hot glue gun, and you can recycle a glass jar as a mini sewing kit or button holder, topped with a one-of-a-kind pincushion. This is a great gift idea for anyone who loves to sew.
2. Cute Candy Jars
With a can of silver spray paint and some wooden knobs, you can quickly transform ordinary jars into classic candy jars. Set them out on your counter to satisfy your own sweet tooth or make them the centerpiece of a candy table at a birthday party, wedding reception or other celebration.
3. Homemade Hanging Storage
For a more ambitious way to reuse glass jars, grab a hammer and some leather strips, 1×4-foot boards and decorative furniture tacks to create convenient hanging storage. These wall vases are perfect for holding office supplies, mixing spoons and other kitchen tools, or even decorative items like flowers and candles.
4. Inexpensive Desk Organizers
Whether you decorate them or leave them as-is, a few glass jars can quickly turn a chaotic desk into a pleasantly organized space. Use them to wrangle your loose paperclips, pens and other office items. They’re also useful for a work bench, junk drawer or any other area cluttered with small objects.
5. DIY Terrarium
Fill an empty glass jar with a 2-inch layer of pebbles, enough activated charcoal to cover them and some potting soil. And voila! Your own DIY terrarium is ready to be filled with miniature succulents or cacti to bring a little bit of nature into your home.
6. Custom Toiletry Holders
A few glass jars make for a stylish and inexpensive way to keep your bathroom vanity organized. Use them to store your makeup brushes, cotton balls and Q-Tips. Smaller jars can even be used inside your medicine cabinet or vanity drawers.
7. Old-Fashioned Lightning Bug Catchers
This idea for reusing glass jars is as simple as it is nostalgic. Give your kids a jar with some holes punched in the lid, and let them loose for a summer evening of whimsical fun. If your kids want to keep the bugs overnight, have them fill their jars with grass, a piece of damp paper towel and an apple slice. Release the bugs in a shady area in the morning.
8. Votive Candle Holder
Have some smaller glass jars you need to repurpose? Fill them with votive candles and use them to create a cozy atmosphere in any room. You can leave the jars clear or add metallic paint for a little extra glow.
9. Space-Saving Spice Storage
Baby food jars and other small containers can be reused as storage for your spices. If you buy spices in bulk, this will save tons of space in your cupboards. If not, jars are still more stackable than typical plastic spice canisters. Jars are also easier to fit your measuring spoons into!
More Ways to Look at Trash Differently
Now that you know how to reuse glass bottles and jars, are you feeling ready to upcycle some plastic bottles around the house, too? Or maybe you’re wondering how to reuse and conserve water? Check out the posts below for more ideas on how to keep reducing your carbon footprint: