Bottles are an incredibly versatile item, able to be used and re-used in many different ways. Crafters over the years have found many different techniques of reusing, repurposing, and even reshaping bottles to create decorations, gifts and even handy household items. With this guide buyers will be able to see the different crafts that use whiskey bottles, as well as the various items necessary and how they can be found on eBay.
‘Up-cycling', as it is often called, is the re-using and re-purposing of items, rather than just throwing them away. This is not only good for the environment, but bottles, as an easily reusable item, can be formed to serve many purposes old and new. Popular ways of repurposing bottles are:
A very popular way of re-using a whole whiskey bottle, these are familiar in restaurants that use the traditional Chianti bottle with their straw baskets. However, whiskey bottles are more than up to the task; the buyer just needs to ensure beforehand that the bottleneck and candle size match. Best suited to the taller bottles are the tapered candles, which are typically used for long candleholders.
Turning bottles into oil lamps or lanterns is an easy way to recycle a bottle as well as create a pretty, interesting source of light without too much technical know-how. To create a lamp from a bottle, the buyer will need a wick, a topper to hold the wick in place (available separately, or can be made from a cork) and lamp oil.
Repurposing a bottle into a piggy bank is not only simple, but it is a great way to keep change together in one area – and for the buyer to be able to see how much change they have. This is a method of repurposing that requires little work and no other crafting items, and so is an ideal craft for buyers starting small.
When selecting a whiskey bottle to be a coin holder, buyers should make sure that the neck of the bottle is large enough for coins to fit. Bottles such as Bell's are popular as coin holders due to their large size.
Reshaping is a craft that requires more work and equipment than basic repurposing, though it can often produce more dramatic results and changes. Popular reshaping crafts include:
Bottles can be reshaped into drinking glasses and tumblers in a variety of ways, depending on ease and the technical skill level of the buyer. Typical equipment used is either a glasscutter or a more basic combination of string, heat and acetone – which can be found in liquids like nail polish remover.
The glasscutter provides a more precise cut. However, the string and acetone method is far less costly, which may be better for crafters on a budget. Buyers using either method should, however, sand down the lip of the new glass to make a smooth edge. With cutting glass, buyers should opt for thinner bottles, as bottles made of thick glass – such as Jack Daniel's bottles – may be difficult to cut well.
Slumping glass bottles is a way of heating bottles until they loose their shape, relaxing down into almost-flat objects. These shapes can be used for various purposes such as ashtrays, spoon rests for cooking, or even key bowls. Moulds can also be used to force the slumped glass into a certain shape while it heats.
To slump glass, a kiln is required as well as a safe space to heat it in – kilns not only grow extremely hot, some release agents used to stop the glass from sticking to the kiln or mould can give off toxic fumes, and must be used in a well-ventilated area. Moulds can also be bought to push the glass into shapes while heating, and kiln paper can be used not only to provide a smooth surface, but also in place of a release agent.
Some crafters like to combine man-made with natural beauty and recycle their bottles into plant pots, hanging pots and even terrariums. Most plants prefer to be watered from the bottom – as watering from the bottom prevents fungal disorders developing on the leaves – and to create a plant pot that can do this would not only require cutting the bottle, but also requires a drill and the correct glass drill bit.
When drilling glass, buyers should make sure to protect their hands, arms and eyes from glass dust as well as making sure that the glass or drill does not become too hot and shatter.
Broken Glass Crafting
Crafting with broken glass is a technique used by many people to create abstract designs as well as whole pictures – glass and ceramic both can be used to decorate items as various as mirrors, jewellery box and plant pots. Although glass pieces are already available on eBay, many choose to break bottles to use their interesting colour or feel.
Whiskey bottles can be turned into very interesting and different decorations whilst whole, with their various shapes, colours, looks and sizes. Some crafters choose to keep bottles whole but modify them with their own decorations, painting and etchings to make the perfect decoration or decorative gift. Popular ways of using bottles as decoration are:
Although some buyers choose to leave whiskey bottles empty and with their labels still on as decoration, others choose to completely remove any labelling and instantly fill the bottle with something eye-catching. Stones, sand and coloured liquids are popular choices, though if buying stones the buyer should ensure that they will be able to fit through the neck of the bottle.
Bottles are a popular medium for painters, whether onglass,ceramic and stoneware whiskey bottles. This is because of the different shapes and challenges it presents compared to a flat medium, such as canvas or wood. If painting on glass or glazed ceramic, buyers will need to find specialised glass paints and should consider glazing the item again afterwards to protect the paint.
Etching can be used not only to decorate bottles, but also to give personal touches to bottles that may be being reused – such as labelling or names. To etch onto glass, crafters usually use a stencil – these can be bought or made from adhesive vinyl – and an etching cream to transfer the image from the stencil into the glass. The cream can then be washed away, leaving the image behind.
Etching cream is an acid that permanently removes part of the glass surface, and cannot be undone, so buyers should take care when they begin to etch onto bottles.
Buying Whiskey Bottles as Craft on eBay
Now that the buyer has a sense of the various ways they can use whiskey bottles when crafting, they must begin to search for bottles online. When searching for whiskey bottles on eBay, buyers should consider:
- Price – the prices of items will often be a deciding factor when purchasing, and some crafts require more expensive items than others. For example, the large and often very costly kilns. Buyers can use the search preferences to adjust search results to match their budget, and with items available at both Auction and ‘Buy It Now' there is a great deal of flexibility when purchasing.
- Type – the type of craft the buyer has decided on for their bottles will decide the price, the items needed and sometimes even the size and type of the bottles required.
- Items – the items needed varies according to craft, the type of bottle and the way the buyer wishes to craft, such as a glass cutter versus the more basic acetone and string method. Choosing a craft will help guide the buyer's search for additional items.
- Condition – the condition of the bottles will depend on what the buyer needs for their craft. If cutting or slumping, nicks and scratches are likely to be not quite as much trouble as the bottle is going to change shape, whereas if it is being used for decoration buyers are likely to prefer a bottle in the best condition possible. Buyers should bear in mind that prices will change according to the condition of the bottle.
- Local Sellers – buying bottles and crafting items from local sellers is an ideal way to keep prices down, particularly when buying large, bulky items such as kilns.
If the buyer requires any advice on searching they should not hesitate to consult eBay's Search Tips page for more guidance how to get the perfect search result. If they have any questions about any of the items they see listed they should make sure to ask the seller.
Crafters are very skilled at making something old into something new, and whiskey bottles of all materials are a popular medium to work with, due to their designs, sizes, colours and malleability – particularly with glass. With this guide buyers should not only see the various uses they can put whiskey bottles to, but also the various items and techniques they will need to employ whilst crafting.