Close Up of Self-Watering Wine Bottle Planters With Herbs On Window Ledge Next to Other Plants.

How To Make Self-Watering Wine Bottle Planters

Self-watering wine bottle planters offer both functionality and attractive décor for any space. In this tutorial, I’ll walk you through the steps of how to upcycle empty wine bottles into something practical and pretty.

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How To Make Self-Watering Wine Bottle Planters

Supplies For Making Self-Watering Wine Bottle Planters

  • Empty glass bottles – I find that wine bottles work best in general, but I have had success with beer bottles and other glass liquor bottles. It is important that the neck of your selected bottle is short enough to fit inside the base of the bottle so that it fits easily inside the base. I learned this one the hard way 😉 
  • Glass bottle cutter kit – I use this one from Amazon. 
  • Superfine sandpaper for wet sanding
  • Mesh material – I cut up mesh garlic and potato bags. I had these lying around so they didn’t cost me anything extra and they worked perfectly.
  • Cotton rope – I used an old rope toy that my dog destroyed. Worked like a charm! Bakers twine, garden twine or macramé cord would also work well.  
  • Ice water
  • Scalding water – My electric kettle proved to be incredibly useful for this project.
  • Old towel for sanding over
  • Safety equipment such as cut-resistant gloves (my glass cutter kit came with a set), safety goggles, mask, protective clothing, etc. – Safety first!

Disclaimer: This DIY project involves cutting glass, operating sharp objects and working with very hot water. Users are advised to exercise extreme caution when undertaking this project and to educate themselves on appropriate safety measures. Proper PPE such as cut-resistant gloves, protective glasses, mask and protective clothing, etc. should be utilized to ensure safe working conditions and to protect against cuts and burns. This article is for informational purposes only, and users undertaking this activity do so at their own risk. Ever Harc LLC and its partners cannot be held liable for any injuries or damages users incur.

Cut Glass Bottles, Herbs and Supplies for Self-Watering Wine Bottle Planters On Table.
Herbs Planted In Self-Watering Wine Bottle Planters on Window Ledge Next to Other Plants.

Method For Making Self-Watering Wine Bottle Planters

Begin by washing your selected bottle and removing labels. Let dry. *See Tips and Tricks section for easy label removal methods.

Adjust your glass bottle cutter kit according to the kit’s directions so that your bottle sits where you want your cut to be made. You want to make sure that the neck of the bottle is short enough to fit inside the base. 

Someone Turning Wine Bottle On Glass Cutter. Another Glass Bottle and Tea Towel In Background.

Place your bottle on the glass cutter kit making sure that the bottle is snug against the scoring blade. Carefully, yet firmly rotate counterclockwise applying even pressure all the way around. The idea is not to cut through the bottle at this stage, but to score evenly all the way around creating a natural place for the bottle to break later. Ideally, you will only circle the bottle once to score, but if the line is too faint to see, you may need to score again.

Close Up of Wine Bottle On Glass Cutter After Being Etched.

Once etched, working over a sink, pour scalding water over the score-line of the bottle for about 5 seconds, rotating as you pour. Working quickly, then pour the ice water over the score-line, again rotating as you pour for roughly 5 seconds. 

Once the cold water makes contact with the hot glass, this should stress the glass enough for it to break. However, sometimes it does require another round of hot/cold water for it to break so repeat this process if necessary. 

Once the glass has separated into two pieces, wet sand the edges with superfine sandpaper to smooth. Wash well after sanding to remove any residual glass dust or shards. 

Someone Holding Etched Wine Bottle In Sink While Alternating Pouring Hot and Cold Water.
Glass Bottle That Has Just Broken Cleanly In Sink.
Someone Sanding One Half Of Wine Bottle That Has Been Cut.

Next insert the neck side of the bottle into the large bottle base. 

Thread your cotton rope through the center of your mesh material and secure with a knot so the rope doesn’t fall through the mesh. Make sure to allow enough rope so that it comes in contact with the bottom of your bottle base. 

Add your mesh to the neck portion of the bottle sending the rope through the neck. 

Add your soil and plant with the herbs or plants of your choice. 

Keep water in the base side of the bottle and let the cotton rope take care of keeping your plants watered!

Overhead Shot of Mesh With Cotton String Pulled Through It In Wine Glass Planter.
Close Up of Cotton Strings Strung Through Mesh in Glass Wine Bottle Planter.
Herbs Planted In Self-Watering Wine Bottle Planters Of Various Shapes and Sizes.

If you like this DIY, be sure to check out some of these other projects:

Tips and Tricks

  • For easy label removal, boil some water (I love my electric kettle for this!) and, working carefully and in a sink, pour the water into your bottle. Let sit for 10-15 minutes so that the adhesive heats up. Most labels will pull right off!
  • For particularly stubborn labels, I get as much of the label off as possible, then rub coconut oil over the residual adhesive with a soft cloth. Works every time! 
  • I’m not going to blow smoke up your bum – glass cutting took me some time to get right. If you’ve never cut glass before, I recommend practicing before diving in with your prettiest wine bottle. After a few practice runs, muscle memory starts to kick in making the scoring process a lot easier and more consistent. 
  • I tried several different methods for glass cutting before settling on this one. One thing that absolutely did not work for me was dunking the etched bottle in hot and cold water. I ended up dunking in both multiple times for each bottle and when the bottles would finally break, they did not break cleanly. Because of this, I stick to pouring the alternating hot and cold water directly over the scoreline of the bottle. 
  • For the pouring method, I advise holding the bottle just an inch or so above the bottom of the sink. When the bottle breaks, it does so quickly, and I definitely ended up with a shattered bottle from it falling into the sink. Next time, I think I will also place an old towel in the bottom of the sink to cushion the fall.
  • One thing I did not try was the acetone-soaked string method for breaking the bottle. This method seems unnecessarily dangerous to me, and there seem to be pretty mixed results. If you’ve tried this method, I would love to hear about your experience!  
  • Not quite ready to take the plunge into the world of glass cutting? That’s ok! You can still put your old wine bottles to work for you in the garden. Wine bottles make great self-waterers without any cutting. Simply fill your wine bottle with water and insert the neck into the soil of your planter. As your plants get thirsty, the wine bottle will naturally release water.
Overhead View of Herbs Planted In Self Watering Wine Bottle Planters Next To Cotton Rope, Gloves and Terra Cotta Pots.
Close Up of Sage Planted In Self-Watering Wine Bottle Planter On Window Ledge Next to Other Plants.
Close Up of Sage Planted In Self-Watering Wine Bottle Planter On Window Ledge Next to Other Plants.
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5 from 1 vote

How To Make Self-Watering Wine Bottle Planters

Self-watering wine bottle planters offer both functionality and attractive decor for any space. With this tutorial, you can easily upcycle empty wine bottles into something practical and pretty.
Total Time45 mins
Keyword: Self-Watering Planter, DIY, Wine Bottle Planter, Upcycling
Yield: 1 planter

Materials

  • Empty wine bottle or glass bottle of choice
  • Glass bottle cutter kit
  • Superfine sandpaper
  • Mesh material
  • Cotton rope
  • Old towel
  • Ice water
  • Scalding water
  • Safety equipment - cut resistant gloves, safety goggles, mask, protective clothing, etc.

Instructions

  • Begin by washing your selected bottle and removing labels. Let dry.
  • Adjust your glass bottle cutter kit according to the kit’s directions so that your bottle sits where you want your cut to be made. You want to make sure that the neck of the bottle is short enough to fit inside the base.
  • Place your bottle on the glass cutter kit making sure that the bottle is snug against the scoring blade. Carefully, yet firmly rotate counterclockwise applying even pressure all the way around. The idea is not to cut through the bottle at this stage, but to score evenly all the way around creating a natural place for the bottle to break later. Ideally, you will only circle the bottle once to score, but if the line is too faint to see, you may need to score again.
  • Once etched, working over a sink, pour scalding water over the scoreline of the bottle for about 5 seconds, rotating as you pour. Working quickly, then pour the ice water over the scoreline, again rotating as you pour for roughly 5 seconds.
  • Once the cold water makes contact with the hot glass, this should stress the glass enough for it to break. However, sometimes it does require another round of hot/cold water for it to break so repeat this process if necessary.
  • Once the glass has separated into two pieces, wet sand the edges with superfine sandpaper to smooth. Wash well after sanding to remove any residual glass dust or shards.
  • Next insert the neck side of the bottle into the large bottle base.
  • Thread your cotton rope through the center of your mesh material and secure with a knot so the rope doesn’t fall through the mesh. Make sure to allow enough rope so that it comes in contact with the bottom of your bottle base.
  • Add your mesh to the neck portion of the bottle sending the rope through the neck.
  • Add your soil and plant with the herbs or plants of your choice.
  • Keep water in the base side of the bottle and let the cotton rope take care of keeping your plants watered!

Notes

  • For easy label removal, boil some water (I love my electric kettle for this!) and, working carefully and in a sink, pour the water into your bottle. Let sit for 10-15 minutes so that the adhesive heats up. Most labels will pull right off!
  • For particularly stubborn labels, I get as much of the label off as possible, then rub coconut oil over the residual adhesive with a soft cloth. Works every time! 
  • I’m not going to blow smoke up your bum - glass cutting took me some time to get right. If you’ve never cut glass before, I recommend practicing before diving in with your prettiest wine bottle. After a few practice runs, muscle memory starts to kick in making the scoring process a lot easier and more consistent. 
  • I tried several different methods for glass cutting before settling on this one. One thing that absolutely did not work for me was dunking the etched bottle in hot and cold water. I ended up dunking in both multiple times for each bottle and when the bottles would finally break, they did not break cleanly. Because of this, I stick to pouring the alternating hot and cold water directly over the scoreline of the bottle. 
  • For the pouring method, I advise holding the bottle just an inch or so above the bottom of the sink. When the bottle breaks, it does so quickly, and I definitely ended up with a shattered bottle from it falling into the sink. Next time, I think I will also place an old towel in the bottom of the sink to cushion the fall.

If you make your own self-watering wine bottle planters, be sure to share pictures and tag Ever Harc on social media. I can’t wait to see your finished projects!

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Christina
4 months ago

I love this! They are so pretty.

W. Santiago | Literal Med

This is a very good idea. I would like to try to do it using bottles of different vibrant colors. Or maybe colors that I can change depending on the season or holiday. Thanks!

Giangi
4 months ago

5 stars
This is genius!! I travel a lot added to the fact that I have a tiny green thumb, I am constantly buying new plants. This is perfect for me. Thank you so much for sharing

Carolyn M
4 months ago

I love this post and am pinning it. As a wine drinker I have lots of wine bottles that usually go into the recycle…this is even better!