Introduction: Wine Drinking Planter

This project can be completed in an evening and combines my favourite things: craft and plants! Unfortunately I don't like red wine so I don't make the hatrick :-P

The idea is that you fill the bottom with water so that the top part can wick up the moisture via the roots and you can't over or under water. Great for enthusiastic but not so green fingered people like myself!


You will need:

Supplies... A wine bottle | Compost | Candle wick/string

Equipment... Bottle cutter | Sand in a dish | A jug | Kettle

Optional... Peanut butter | Bicarbonate of soda | Pea gravel

Step 1: Clean Your Bottle

Depending on the wine you've bought the label may come off more or less easily.
If you're lucky you can just pop the bottles in the dishwasher and they will steam loose. Take them out as soon as the run finishes so the glue doesn't reset and enjoy pickling and peeling away.
If you're not so lucky you may need to mix up some peanut butter with bicarbonate of soda. Rub this paste onto the bottle, leave for an hour and then scrub with a Brillo pad or scourer.
You'll also want to use some nail scissors to snip off the collar around the neck.

Step 2: Cut Your Bottle

You want to cut your bottle approximately in half, with the bottom half being the slightly more generous half of the two. Bottle cutting is not an exact science and no matter what you read on the internet the success rate rarely goes above 50% so have at least 2 bottles ready to cut. I've tried numerous techniques and this is the one that works by far the best for me.

  1. Score a single line firmly all the way around the circumference of the bottle. The noise you'll hear if your doing it right sounds like 'SCRAWNCH'.
  2. Place your bottle in the sink in a way that you can turn it easily. I use the smaller side of my double sink, or the 'guinea pig bath' as my housemate calls it.
  3. Prepare a jug of very hot water, it doesn't need to be boiling as this would be dangerous to you and might shock the glass too quickly.
  4. Run cold water from the tap over the bottle, turning it so the score mark gets evenly chilled. This contracts the glass. Quickly wipe off the cold water.
  5. Pour the hot water on the score in the same way to expand the glass.
  6. Repeat alternating hot and cold water until you hear the glass fracture and see a crack forming.
  7. Tap the score line firmly, et voila!

Step 3: Smooth Your Glass

You've now got the basic components of your planter but the edges will be sharp. Pour some sand into any dish and twist your sharp edges around against the sand. Do this for 10 minutes and then you should have a smooth edge. You can use a power tool if you prefer but this is just as effective.

Step 4: Construct Your Planter

  1. 1/4 fill the bottom of your bottle with water
  2. Put the neck of the bottle into the bottom
  3. Snip 4 or 5 lengths of string and push one end into the water, leaving the other ends in the 'bowl' part of the bottle neck half
  4. Fill that with compost
  5. Make a 'nest' in the middle of the compost by pushing it to the sides with your fingers
  6. Pop your plant in and fill around it with more compost. You can add gravel to decorate if you like.

And there you have it. A project that costs next to nothing and can be done in the course of an evening but looks like you bought it at a trendy artisan market!

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