Hi Everyone this is my first instructable. Please be gentle.

I f you like it, please vote for me. Thanks.





We have built two bottle buildings.



One is a small storage building made with a variety of different bottles. The other is a larger building made primarily of wine bottles, with design accents made of old ashtrays, glass floats, candy dishes, glass blocks and Japanese floats, this building was originally built as a small concert space that will seat 50 people plus a small stage. We have also hosted art shows in the space.

This instructable will focus on the building of the walls of bottles. You will be able to incorporate bottles into your own structures or make garden walls with bottles. I will post other instructables that will take you through the building process from start to finish.

Step 1: Materials




Materials needed:


Bottles, lots of bottles, in assorted shapes and colors if you would like.


Optional: Heavy weight glass candy dishes and ashtrays, glass block, Japanese floats and other interesting found glass objects.


Type S mortar mix.


Ivory dish detergent


Wood posts, sizes vary depending on your project I used 6X 8 treated posts.


Roofing felt.


Bolts to connect the treated post size depends on the size of your posts.




Rubber gloves

Lots of sponges



Tools needed:


A mixing bucket or wheelbarrow to mix mortar.


A hoe or shovel for mixing mortar


Medium sized trowels (one for each person laying bottles)


Staple gun.


A level (standard or a string level)







<p>Hello!</p><p>What a wonderful tutorial! I am going to build a small bottle house/wall to house a composting toilet and shower for a yurt. Very excited that I came upon your posting. </p><p>Cheers, Alison (Melbourne, Australia)</p>
<p>Hope someone can help. I have been collecting wine bottles from work friends for over a year hoping to show off a finished wine bottle wall next weekend at a planned party. I have attempted to build twice and both times the suggested mortar products have crumbled. Once over the cold VA winter and the second time after only a few weeks. I will try using the type S mortar you suggested although lowes and HD don't sell the exact same brand. Also can't find anyone to tell me where I can purchase the lime. Must construct this weekend and would prefer to make this my last attempt. Any suggestions on the bonding products? Thanks</p>
How much was it total to complete the smaller building? How much mortar did you end up using?
<p>Suggestions on how to work around cross beams in pole barn structures? </p><p>Most larger pole barns/post and frame construction have some kind of diagonal cross bracing between wood beams/posts. I am trying to find a 30 wide x 40 long pole barn without post or modify it so that it is still structurally sound. I would like to first build a structurally sound post and beam building with roof and &quot;fill in&quot; with no load bearing bottle wall - discussed here: <a href="http://www.strawbale.com/load-bearing-straw-bale-construction/" rel="nofollow">http://www.strawbale.com/load-bearing-straw-bale-c...</a> Will the glass bottles if tied into the post provide structure? or thought on how to modify pole barn so it does not have the cross-beams? </p>
I'm currently in the process of constructing a wine bottle building here in Michigan. I've never built a building before and have lots of questions. Mostly about the foundation. Can I email you?
This is an awesome idea! I just have one question, do the bottles on the wall tend to hold water? We have a mosquito problem where I live and I would hate to give those little blood suckers another place to breed.
These are in the pacific Northwest and despite all of our rain the bottles are dry inside. I think it is mainly because of the overhang. I am currently scouting a location for several bottle buildings in Mexico. Here It is very dry, but Dengue fever is rampant and we can not have mosquito condos. Also, the bottles also seem like a perfect place for scorpions to hide. <br> <br>My plan for this climate is to glue glass pieces to the bottles. We were considering it on these buildings to increase the insulation factor of the bottles. <br> <br>I will post a photo of the glass on the bottles later this weekend.
<p>Just make bottle bricks. Easiest.</p>
What part of the Pacific Northwest is it in?
Midway between Portland and Olympia.
Glass drops can be added to the bottles to keep stuff out. Just dip a bead in silicone and place it on the bottle opening. I would leave a tiny gap to allow for expansion/contraction. It would be easiest to apply the glass bead before the wall is built. the gap should face down when it is placed in the wall. This will also improve the insulation factor of the bottles.
<p>I would like to know how well this would hold up to cold weather. I live in Montana and would like to build one of these as an art room/craft shed. I am not sure how to make the foundation. I also wanted to make one for a storage building for my gardening equipment. In the bigger building did you put in power if so how? I have all kinds of questions but right now these are my main ones so that I could try to get started. I would really appreciate any feed back you could give me. kbearkreation@mail.com</p>
<p>You would want to use bottle bricks rater than full bottles for better insulation. </p>
<p>Could you use a metal frame rather than wood? </p><p>Did you do anything to tie-in the mortar to the wood posts? - in theory the bottle wall could move separate from the wood post and fall forward or backwards. </p><p>I noticed in this glass block wall they put a metal rod that is drilled into the post to reinforce for this. Do you think that is need or possible since the bottles are stacked in a way that you could not run a straight metal post. </p><p>http://www.doityourself.com/stry/instructions-for-reinforcing-glass-blocks-during-installation</p>
<p>That is called porcupining and you do it so the winter shrink does not cause the panel to come out of the frame.</p>
<p>cool will give a small garden wall a go first. thank you.</p>
<p>What would be a good way to make a wall that I can hang things up with on a bottle wall?</p>
What do you want to hang on the wall?<br> <br> I typically hang items from the beam at the top of the wall or on the posts.<br> <br> It is easy to use a concrete bit and insert a plastic anchor or check out this page for some other options.<br> <a href="http://www.familyhandyman.com/masonry/pouring-concrete/how-to-choose-and-use-concrete-fasteners/view-all" rel="nofollow">http://www.familyhandyman.com/masonry/pouring-concrete/how-to-choose-and-use-concrete-fasteners/view-all</a><br> <br> If you are simply looking for a way to hang your coat, you can make a permanent coat hook by turning a bottle with the neck in. That is best done with stronger bottles like wine bottles or soda bottles, liquor bottles may be too susceptible to accidental damage.
<p>How much does it cost to make</p>
Another option would be to make a grid or some other design within your basic frame before laying the bottles. This gives you more wood to hang things on and it may also give you more interesting design opportunities.
<p>This is very inspiring!! I have also been looking at Earthship houses. I'm interested in creating an interior bottle wall between a small sunny room and a hallway that gets no natural light in an existing building. Wondering how to go about it, how to find out what's inside the wall, like wiring, etc. Also, if I cut the bottles in half and join 2 halves together with silicone and maybe some type of impermeable tape, will the seams be strong enough to support the wall? Any suggestions? Thanks for posting these instructions!!</p>
<p>Hi! I'm trying to generate a wall section and create a presentation on glass bottle construction for my Architectural Detailing course. I was wondering what size posts you used in your framing and what the R-value of your walls happened to be. This is an amazing application of recyclable materials and I am excited to share this with the rest of my class!</p>
<p>Artlife I have some other building questions can you email me at kbearkreation@gmail.com</p>
<p>This type of building would definitely stand up to the cold weather. I know of at least two in Canada, one in upstate New York, and one in Norway that have worked out just fine.</p><p>I can not find my other photos of the build, but, I am going to visit a friend that had copies of all the photos, so hopefully I will be able to post more info on the finer details and the slab.</p><p>The first step for you is to check your local building codes. If you are making a small storage building a slab may not be required. We got the state and local building codes and then exceeded them.</p><p>As far as power to the building was concerned. We had some issues because the previous owner of the property built a two story shop/garage from scrap and did not get it approved. The power had to come off the box in that building but because of local rules that beautiful 50+ year old building would have to be pulled down to approve a permanent power system in the bottle building. So we had to resort to a &quot;temporary power system&quot;.</p>
<p>How it will provide strength??</p><p>How it will protect from natural calamities like earthquake,floods and other things?? </p>
This building has been up over ten years and it has been exposed to many small earth quakes along with some flooding,snow wind and ice.<br><br>The only problem encountered was when the large mulberry tree that is right next to the building was hit by lightning and a large branch came crashing down on the building. I expected a lot of damage to bottles as well as the supports. It didn't happen. The roof caved in on one of the pie pieces. It was an easy fix, other than lifting the heavy wood of the building. Surprisingly, not one bottle broke.<br><br>I have seen bottle buildings that have been standing for over a century. These things are not as delicate as they look. That is not to say that they are all sturdy, it depends on how they were built. The methods I used, came about by examining problems in older structures.
Thanks for the great post! This answered my questions! Now to convince the husband that we should build one!
I am curious about the roof! Are those old CDs and Christmas lights? Pretty neat looking. :) <br>
Thanks so much for sharing this! Just wanted to double check - what's the ratio of mortar mix to that 1/4 cup of Ivory and 1 cup of lime? Or do you just mix up some mortar per the package instructions and add enough to the 1/4 c Ivory and 1 cup lime to get the peanut butter consistency? Thanks again!
You mix an 80 pound sack of mortar according to package directions and throw in the 1/4 cup of ivory soap and the cup of lime and mix it in completely, then you are good to go. <br>Good luck and I would love to see photos.
You have that many bottles?
No, we don't drink we got the bottles from wineries after they had open houses. Also, after we started building we received lots of gifts of wine. Including many left in the middle of the night by unknown givers.
We don't get many hard freezes in this area. But we do have some. I have seen a couple of bottle buildings in British Columbia, one north of Spokane where they have lot's of snow and cold. In fact the road to the bottle building is closed in the winter. Brrrrrr. I would recommend wine bottles or at the minimum soda or beer bottles that are thicker than typical liquor bottles. I wouldn't use formaldehyde bottles : see here, <a href="http://www.michaelkluckner.com/bciw4glasshouse.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.michaelkluckner.com/bciw4glasshouse.html</a>&nbsp;You may want to use the glass beads seen below , depending on your weather. Good luck. Please feel free to ask for advice anytime.
I love your building!! I have planning to build one in my yard as a pool bar. We live in Southern Ontario and I am worried how well it will hold up in our cold winters. Do you have any advice on this? <br>Thanks again for sharing your instructions. <br>Fabulous <br>
The Pacific Northwest is an awesome place! this is truly a great idea! I am sure it will be a winner! Thanks for sharing and do have a summer! <br>sunshiine <br>
I am currently visiting Mexico. I am definitely having a summer!<br>Thanks,<br>Artlife
Awesome! This would be a great project in Mexico!
Oh wow, Would love to see an Impact video where a wall of this is struck with various objects. Slow motion captures would be awesome!!!
That sounds great! I think you should do it. Just build at least one wall for your video. ;-)) <br> <br> <br>I am way too emotionally attached to these particular buildings to throw anything at them.
huh. interesting.. * casually adds to bucket list*
GREAT! I think of a bucket list as a do it today list, there are no guarantees. ;-))
do you have any idea why the glass bottles are so strong? just thinking about it it amazes me
Sorry, I thought I posted a response on the 8th. The wine bottles are strong because the glass is thick. There strength is rated in the same range as glass blocks that are more traditionally used for construction. The liquor bottles are thinner and more fragile, but they are holding up.
I wish I could build this, it is truly amazing I voted for you to win and I hope you do win goodluck
You can build one. I think one of the most amazing things about bottle buildings is the fact the fact that the vast majority were built by elderly women. Elderly women with no background in construction.<br><br>This may seem strange but, bottles are much easier to work with than most traditional materials. They are lighter weight and less cumbersome. Also it is much less expensive.<br><br>If you don't have property ask around, you might find someone that would love to put up a cool garden wall or storage shed. <br><br>If you (or anyone else) would like to build even a small wall, I would be happy to encourage you and answer any questions you might have
This is super impressive
Thank you. We had lots of help building it.
Your user name says it all! This is truly an amazing project! Can't wait to see your future Instructables! Please post soon!

About This Instructable




More by artlife:Kid's fishing game Giant Four Across or Connect Four game Kids wooden tool set UPDATED new tool 
Add instructable to: