Transforming an old bottle into something useful and beautiful.
June 13, 2011 8:28 AM   Subscribe

Thirty years ago, upon receiving the joyous news of my birth, my grandparents broke out the champagne. They kept the bottle as a memento of that day and recently gave it to me. I'd like to turn it into something both useful and beautiful. But what?

I'd really like to transform the bottle into something I use fairly frequently in my home. I've considered a few things like a lamp or dishes but nothing is quite jumping out at me yet. I'm hoping to get some more ideas I hadn't previously considered.

Here are the bottle specs:
- 1.5 L size
- 13 inches tall, 14 inches around
- 2.5 pounds
- dark green glass
- label is a little bit faded but otherwise mostly intact

- I don't really want to keep it as a bottle—I want to turn it into something else completely different.
- No vases, since I have enough of those already.
- No decorative doodads that just sit on tables or bookshelves. A decorative wall piece would be okay.
- Price is not an issue.

Also, since I completely lack the skills and equipment to do this myself, I will be looking for someone to do the work for me—what kind of person am I looking for and what search terms do I use?

Thank you!
posted by anderjen to Grab Bag (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
At craft fairs I have seen bottles melted down into cheese plates but I like the idea of turning it into a drinking glass.
posted by headnsouth at 8:34 AM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Maybe take it to a glass worker or blower and see what's possible to do with it if the bottle were to be broken into pieces before deciding on what you would like to do with it?

Someone who works with glass would be able to tell you if a) the glass is still able to be worked with like that and b) could help you come up with some ideas for the amount of glass that makes up the bottle. You might be able to get a really beautiful custom piece out of it, but I think the first step would be to find out if the glass can be worked with in order to do that.
posted by zizzle at 8:36 AM on June 13, 2011

A lamp might be nice.
posted by Danf at 8:37 AM on June 13, 2011

Oh. . did not read the post carefully enough. . .carry on.
posted by Danf at 8:38 AM on June 13, 2011

You could see if an Etsy seller would make a mosaic out of it.
posted by yarly at 8:39 AM on June 13, 2011

Best answer: In my mind the best thing of a champagne bottle is the label and the silver wrapping.
Have it sawn in half longitudinally. Then hang it on your wall with the label facing you.
posted by joost de vries at 8:48 AM on June 13, 2011 [2 favorites]

You can drill holes in it and turn it into an incense burner -- looks beautiful, the smoke drifts out of the holes and the neck of the bottle.
posted by hermitosis at 8:56 AM on June 13, 2011

Best answer: a few ideas here (lamp, candle holder, vase (which i know you do not want), earrings (not sure if you or someone you love likes glass jewelry, but it's an idea).

this place has a lot of ideas, including clocks, cheeseboards and dishes. and it does the conversion for you.
posted by anya32 at 8:57 AM on June 13, 2011

Kinda sorta a lamp, but a bit more fun: Wine Bottle Light.
posted by pised at 9:14 AM on June 13, 2011

#1: Decades ago, my husband and I dragged back a bottle of bad wine from a bad inn in France where we were treated by royalty because we ate there three nights straight. We were in the tiny village hoping to score a table at the multi-starred restaurant right across the street but never could get a reservation. The owner of the bad restaurant liked us so much--probably no one had ever stayed at his place for more than a night-he gave us a bottle of the house wine to bring home. It was undrinkable, but we loved the memory. My husband made a lamp out of it, which illuminates our sideboard to this day. We love it.

#2: Near the entrance of the house of someone who staged many famous plays, so that it was the first thing you saw, was a silver bucket on a table holding an unopened magnum of champagne from one of the woman's many well wishers in the distant past. The elderly hostess explained that "You never know when you want champagne to celebrate." Maybe that's a little Miss Haversham-ish, but I love the idea and always have a champagne bottle in the bucket.
posted by Elsie at 10:45 AM on June 13, 2011

Best answer: The twinkly lights in the bottle is the classic choice, of course (and you could hang it from a ceiling, if you don't want it on a surface) but you could carefully remove the label so it is intact and frame it. If the label has graphic punch, this might be the best way to go.

As a mosaicist, I would probably argue against a mosaic in the traditional sense (because of the awkwardness of curved pieces, the dark color that would require light and translucence to get a really good effect, the probable outcome that is made up mostly of non-bottle pieces); these factors add difficulty and require an artist who is non-traditional in some ways), but you might be able to get some nice frames out of it - a bottle cutter could cut rings from the bottle, that - on their sides - would make nice round frames.
posted by julen at 2:10 PM on June 13, 2011

I have a wonderful bottle of Ruination IPA. I stuck one of these in the top and I use it for olive oil in my kitchen. Not sure if it would hold up with a paper label, though, if that's what you have.
posted by raisingsand at 8:05 PM on June 13, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks, all! I think my first stop is probably a glass artist so I can figure out what can actually be realistically done with it. That will help narrow my options. I didn't consider the difficulties of using a bottle for a mosaic. This has been helpful!
posted by anderjen at 10:20 AM on June 16, 2011

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