New uses for wine bottles

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

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My husband Scott and I are celebrating one year of marriage today. It sounds cliché, but it really was one of the best days of my life. Now, we are reflecting on that great day and the wonderful start we’ve had. In keeping with tradition, we’ve saved the top layer of our wedding cake for dessert tonight, and we’ll pop the bottle of wine his parents gave us for the occasion.

Scott and I always have been fans of good wine, and I’ve been saving special bottles from big events over the years. Included in my collection is the bottle from the night we got engaged, the bottle from the day I graduated with my master’s degree and two bottles from each of our 30th birthdays. This first anniversary bottle will be another to add to the collection.

However, much like other keepsakes, I’m starting to realize that collecting the bottles alone is not enough. I want to be able to display them in a meaningful (and functional) way. Here are some ideas I’m considering that you can use, too:

• Frame your pictures. Start by washing the labels off the bottles. I like soaking them in soapy water and scraping them with a wooden spoon. If there are some stubborn pieces left, a little bit of olive oil can help. Just make sure to wash the oil off with soap and water afterward. Then, using a funnel (or a piece of paper shaped into a cone), pour in sand, sea glass and/or shells to layer the bottom. Next, roll your picture and slide it into the bottle. Use a long, thin handle (I like to use the end of a makeup brush or a pencil) to unroll it once it’s in. Top it off with a decorative bottle stopper.

• Water your plants. You can create a slow-drip irrigator with just a few simple steps. First, drill a quarter-inch hole through a cork. Then, fill the bottle with water and stick the cork back in. Flip the bottle over and stand it up in already-hydrated soil.

• Light it up. Purchase battery-powered, LED mini lights (they often come with about 15 lights per string). Feed the lights into the bottles and poke them into place with a long handle or pencil. The battery pack will not fit inside. Secure it to the neck of the bottle using twine or twist ties, keeping the on/off switch accessible. Then, decorate the top with flowers, bows, shells or other adornments to hide the battery pack.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.