Upcycle Aesthetic – Rustic Uses of Wine Bottles

The aesthetic I will influence into my upcycle project is rustic, earth tones, and rough textures. When brainstorming for this project, I struggled with ideas or aesthetics. I started by thinking of what materials I would typically throw away, like bottle caps, can tabs, cardboard, broken plastic, and bottles, and I couldn’t come up with an idea with a concrete aesthetic. So after struggling to brainstorm for a while, my roommates and I collected materials unknowingly one night and ended up with a few empty wine bottles. At first, I had no idea what to do with these bottles, but as I kept staring at them, I got a better sense of their potential. I realized that wine bottles are beautiful on their own, with no cork, wine, or label, just empty bottles, clear, green, or amber glass.

Earth Tone Colour Palette for Procreate - EtsyCandle Wine Bottle | Upcycled Candles | Personal Wine

With this rustic, unfinished look, I could create a functional set of upcycled wine bottles that I could use in my daily life playing into the simplistic functionality design advice of Dieter Rams. The first idea that came into my mind was creating a candle out of the base and designing a label that matched the aesthetic. I would initially cut the bottom off and sand the edges, design a label with natural earth tones to play towards, and add a natural wick and wax with a rustic nature scent. My second idea was to use the bottle as a canvas by painting a white rectangle and using that area for a collection of photos related to rustic nature, where I would mod podge transfer the images onto the white rectangle of acrylic paint. For the third piece in the set, I came up with the idea of cutting up the bottle and turning it into a wine glass. For this, I would find a bottle with a bulged middle of the base and cut off the bottom. Then I would cut the stem off with a little room for a glass of wine. Then I would sand the edges and glue the bulge of the base to the stem of the bottle, ensuring the seal is watertight.

My initial draw to this idea and aesthetic was our need for more wine glasses in my apartment and what is better than making them out of the very thing that you drink out of them. Additionally, this was the first time I had used glass as a medium for a project since it is brittle and has no structural properties that make it useful for projects other than decor. For this reason, I decided to take on the challenge of working with glass. Overall, I believe that this will be an interesting project as it will push me to use materials that are usually considered unwanted to create functional items.


Figure 1 – Earth Tones

Figure 2 -Wine Bottle Candle Example

Figure 3 – Me

Figure 4 – Me

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • I find it very hard to work with glass; in addition to what you said (it’s brittle and not many good structural properties), it can pretty dangerous to work with, so be careful. I’m excited to see the finished product and maybe even test out your new wine glasses with some wine!

    • Yes, it’s been an exciting challenge dealing with glass and seeing the upper bounds of what I can make with it. I make sure I sand down the edges with water and sandpaper with gloves until I don’t see and feel any sharp edges and then I sand it a little more. I’m excited to bring them in and show them to the class!

  • Chin-Hsuan(Andrea) Wang
    February 10, 2023 11:08 pm

    The idea is really fascinating. Also, I love the color palette that you picked up, it delivers a sense of peace and tranquility. I’m curious about the coloring method you will use to paint the bottle, also the layering process. Looking forward to seeing your work!

    • Thank you, I felt like the earth tones palette matched well with the colors of the bottles and gave off peaceful energy. The method I have been using is rubbing sandpaper on the area where I want to paint to make it easier for the paint to stick to the bottle. Excited to bring it in!


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