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how do i build a glass bottle wall? Answered

HI there, i'm in hopes of kind of a walk through for making a multi color, multi bottle privacy wall in my back yard out of concrete and various size shape and color bottles. I could probably muddle through and come up with something, but my big hangup is the back side where all the necks of the bottles are sticking out, what is the recommended way of constructing the wall?



Best Answer 8 years ago

In the most simplistic terms, a glass bottle wall is a mud wall with bottles embedded brick-like in the wall at regular intervals.
A little more descriptive way to do it is to start with a foundation, lay down a thick layer of mortar and embed the bottles, all roughly the same dimension, half-way into the mortar. Put down a second layer of mortar covering the bottles and then embed another layer of bottles, evenly spaced. Continue upwards until you reach the desired height. The  For lateral strength, you would need vertical pieces of re-bar tied to or embedded in the foundation.
The bottles could be laid in the mortar alternating neck and bottom on each layer or all oriented the same direction. The mortar woulld fill in the space between the adjacent bottles.

If you are trying to make a structural wall, bottles embedded in concrete, end out works just fine. I saw one in Germany back in the '60's. There was a beautiful one going around recently on the internet. It was more of a wall to define a space and/or provide privacy. Using a diamond drill bit, drill a hole in the bottom of a glass bottle, lining it up with the neck of the bottle. Run rebar through the bottle, stack the bottles. Insert the top and bottom of the rebar into a wood board, predrilled, Affix the boards top and bottle, alternate various colors with similar sized widths.


6 years ago

Pam- a lot of us are always on the lookout for ways to cut bottles. One of the more positive ones was to use a tile saw. What technique did you use?

Get a glass-cutter and some heavy-gloves, score the necks and snap them off.


         Glass cutters do a lousy and dangerous job on bottles. Those that you see advertised do not work well at all.
          To cut glass bottles the right way is to rent or buy a tile saw with a diamond blade. You can make perfect cuts over and over again with a tile saw. And unlike the bottle cutters you will not be asked to fill each bottle with ice water and then dip it in boiling water after scoring it. The tile saws will cut completely trough the glass for you.

I've heard this is the way to go as well. Use a tile cutter. Good ones are expensive, and then there's Harbor Freight... Saw another wall using the bottom half of two bottles butted together to form a unit which is then used in the wall - no necks!

That's another way. I suppose I should have said "score the necks and knock them off with a lump of wood" - I was thinking of speed on this one.


Have you ever done that? Hard to score and break. Lots of work and time.

For one bottle, maybe, but a wall's worth?


Best way, IMHO. I do a fair amount of glass art, and I'm moving into recycled/upcycled glass as a medium. I've been giving this very question a lot of thought recently, and this is the best solution I've seen so far for more than a few bottles at a time.


7 years ago

Saw an interesting take on this on a TV show. The people took wine bottles, slid a mason jar over the top, then wrapped the whole thing in sheet metal. Then when they embedded it in the wall of their building, you saw a flat bottom on either side. They claimed the sheet metal bounced more light into the room. I'm playing with the idea of connecting the two bottles with metal tape instead of the sheet metal.
I have another idea; haven't done it yet, so am open to feedback. Here's my idea. Make a frame, lay it down flat on a bed of sand or on plastic. Fill the frame with bottles like you're packing a box for the store. Fill in the spaces with quick concrete, or sand mix. When cured, lift the whole thing up vertically and now you have a wall 'panel'. Workable?

Good idea, but very very heavy! Maybe in small sections better? Use lightweight concrete? Yes there is such a thing, actually a variety of types, most often using perlite for aggregate.

I'm doing bottle wall inserts for a wall (i.e. 13.5x15 rectangles) in my house. They ride between studs. I measured the width of the stud plus the sheetrock, (approx 4.5 inches) and cut 2.25 bottoms off my bottles. Washed, I'm now gluing together with silicone. Hope to make an 'ible out of it, eventually. This will give me a finished bottom on each side. Don't know if this will help, since it's not a full wall.

It is possible to just leave the necks on the bottles. In fact I have seen it.  The attached pictures were taken at an undisclosed location somewhere in the Former U.S.  The bottles appeared to be typical 12 floz beer bottles.