Uncork Creativity: 12 Things to Do With Empty Liquor Bottles

The answer isn't always at the bottom of a bottle. But in the case of these 12 clever things to do with empty liquor bottles, that's exactly where it is.

Published December 31, 2023
Teenage boy placing empty bottles

If you've ever emptied the trash or recycling after a party or holiday, you're probably familiar with the jangling of empty liquor bottles rattling around in the bags. But why throw away these bottles when there are so many things you can do with them? While you can recycle most of the bottles, why not reuse them instead? Put your empty liquor bottles to good use with some of our creative upcycling projects.

Recycle Your Empty Bottles

Wine bottles

Check with your local recycling center to see which bottles you can recycle and what the requirements are to do so. Even if your local trash pickup doesn't take glass bottles away with your recycling, you can set them aside and haul them in when you have a good-sized stash. It's a great way to keep high-quality bottles out of landfills.

Use Empty Liquor Bottles to Water Plants

For those bigger planters and those empty, oversized liquor bottles, you can put them to work on the farm. Maybe not an actual farm, but your fast-growing plant farm.

Those tomato plants that need lots of water while you're gone for the weekend? Fill that empty bottle with water, then place it neck-down into the dirt for the plant to get slowly watered while you're away.

Smaller bottles are better for indoor plants or plants that don't quite need as much water. Buying those various sizes of liquor is finally paying off! 

@wearesproutl DIY hack alert: here’s how to keep your plants watered whilst your away, using just an empty wine (or rum) bottle. You can leave your plant to do it’s thing, whilst you go off and enjoy yourself.  #planttok #diyplantwatering #lifehack #reuse #diy #plantcaretip #planttips #selfwatering original sound - wearesproutl

Make Infusions

Detox fruit infused flavored water

If have liquor bottles on hand, then you have the perfect vessel for whipping up homemade infusions. Dream big and infuse your gin, tequila, vodka, rum, and whiskey. Stash your simple syrup or make-up mixers. You already know that a pourer will fit on those necks, so take advantage of your new, empty (and clean!) treasure. 

Turn Your Empty Liquor Bottles Into Vases

flowers in glass vase

My favorite thing to do with empty bottles is to immediately turn them into vases. I'm not fabulous at buying enough flowers to fluff out a big vase. But now, when I bring a bouquet of flowers or another eucalyptus bouquet home, I can spread them out across liquor bottles, and suddenly my home is overflowing with color and flowers. 

Hydrate With Your Empty Liquor Bottles

A glass of water served on the coffee table

Pour some water back into those empty liquor bottles — not for your plants, but for you! Keep your bottle bedside for when you inevitably wake up thirsty and pour yourself a fresh glass of water.

Bring the water with you outside for your al fresco dinner. But instead of that chunky water bottle, bring some aesthetic with your water-filled bottle and actual glasses.

Use for Storage and Stashes

If you like to collect stuff, you collect shells, rocks, pennies, and anything and everything. The problem, then, is what to do with your treasure stash. The answer? Keep everything in one place and use it as a decoration by storing those tiny keepsakes in your empty liquor bottles. Now you can take those shells out of your coat pockets and car crevices and give them a proper home. 

Grow Plants in Bottles

Avocado seed growing in a glass of water with plants

With dirt or with water, all depending on the plant, you can turn your empty liquor bottles into the bottle that keeps on giving. Giving you fresh oxygen and a pretty plant, that is. You'll need plants that are happy to grow through the bottleneck or plants that are happy to vine and thrive as they extend down. 

Let There Be Candle Light

Wine Bottle Candle

Carefully add and secure a candlestick to the neck of your empty liquor bottle. Fill with marbles if the neck is slightly too thick and secure to the sides on the inside with glue or melted wax. 

Beware of the dripping wax if you do burn the candle, so don't leave it unattended until you know how this will behave. 

Let There Be Actual Light

Christmas LED lights in bottles

Add fairy lights or heat-safe Christmas lights (I say heat-safe from a place of experience because not all lights are created equal, and some give off a lot more heat, which can cause problems). Feed the string lights into the bottle, and then you have lighting wherever you go.

Bonus points for using battery-operated lights because now it doubles as a flashlight. No more wandering the house like a Victorian ghost with a candle when the power goes out. 

Let There Be Outdoor Light

Did you know that you can turn your empty liquor bottle into homemade tiki torches? The internet, from Amazon to Etsy, offers do-it-yourself kits to make this happen. Which, you definitely want to follow a guide, so you avoid making a cocktail of a different kind. 

Upgrade Your Olive Oil 

 woman pouring olive oil over sheep cheese on plate

You can store any liquid you stash in a bottle (think olive oil or vinegar) in your empty liquor bottle. Adding a pourer will make it far easier to use those liquids with far less mess. (Looking at my current olive oil bottle that always seems to be slick with oil. I can't keep living like this.)

Wash Up in Style

Hand Sanitizer

This may not work for all bottles or soap dispensers, so you'll need to do a little extra homework. Use a smaller, shorter, stout empty liquor bottle and fill it with your favorite hand soap. Not only are you not using a new plastic soap bottle, but you give your sink a mini facelift. 

An Empty Liquor Bottle Full of Ideas

You won't always find answers at the bottom of a liquor bottle. Unless, of course, you're looking for an empty liquor bottle. After you've had your fun and a couple of cocktails, give that bottle new life. You've shared so many memories together that it only makes sense that you'd want it to stick around. 

Uncork Creativity: 12 Things to Do With Empty Liquor Bottles