Everyone knows that succulents are cool. Beer and wine are too. So why not combine them?
These beer and wine bottle succulents are a nice simple project that make great gifts for the beer enthusiasts and wine connoisseurs in your life. They use up-cycled materials that would otherwise have to be thrown away or recycled, like the wine and beer bottles as well as broken pottery/kitchenware or broken glass (which are used in place of the traditional gravel -- more on that later). Hope you enjoy!
- Glass Scoring Tool - 2 options:
- one for boiling water
- one for ice cold water
- Alternatives include broken pottery, seashells, or marbles
Step 1: Remove Labels (optional)
To start, you might want to remove the labels off of the bottles. Soak the bottles in hot soapy water and remove the labels by peeling them off. Scrape away any residue using a knife or razor blade. Don't waste your time getting carried away with removing every single bit of residue, because they bottle might not cut properly (we'll get to that later). The idea here is just to remove enough of the label that you can score around where you want to cut; you can always go back and remove the rest of the label later after cutting the bottle.
Alternatively, you might consider leaving the labels on and cutting above the label. I was giving these as gifts, so I used my friends' favorite beer for each of the bottles and left the labels on.
Step 2: Score the Bottle
Score the bottle where you'd like to cut it. You have two options for the tool that you might use to do this:
1. bottle scoring device - this is what I use.
For the bottle scoring device that I used, adjust it to the height you want by loosening and tightening the wing nuts. Press firmly into the handle as you score around the bottle, going around just once.
Step 3: "Cutting" the Bottle
Alternate dipping the scored bottle into boiling hot water and then ice cold water until the bottle breaks. It should break along the scored line, but don't be discouraged if it cracks elsewhere; only about 60-70% break with a perfectly clean cut.
Step 4: Sand Down the Edges
Sand down the edges of the glass using sand paper in the range of 80-120 grit. You can use a variety of tools here, but sanding down by hand is just fine.
If you've got a glass with a bump or imperfection that would take forever to sand down by hand, you can use a belt sander, but don't get carried away because it can cause the glass to chip.
Step 5: Plant Your Succulent
1. Add Gravel or a Substitute. Add gravel about a third of the way up. This just provides some space for excess water since there's no hole for drainage. As an alternative to gravel, consider repurposing things like broken pottery, broken dishes, broken glass, marbles, or seashells. Optionally, you can also cut out a circle of paper towel and place it on top of your gravel or substitute to minimize the amount of soil that mixes in with it.
2. Add your Succulent. Be sure to firmly pack in the soil. Feel free to explore with mixing and matching different kinds of succulents!
3. Layer Top with Gravel or a Substitute. Add one layer of gravel (or a substitute of your choice) on the top around the plant to act as a bit of ground cover.
Step 6: Enjoy!
That's it! Nice job. Thanks for looking through my first Instructable -- let me know if you have any questions or comments!
As a side note, if you used a beer bottle and are giving it as a gift, you might consider buying a six pack to go with it and putting the succulent into one of the slots! Also, once you've learned how to do bottle "cutting", like in this project, you can do all sorts of things with it. I've also made wine bottle vases, sets of cups, and candles.