Let The Good Times Roll
'Tis the season when recycling bins runneth over. Lighten the load with these attractive and useful projects and pointers.
1. Keep Plants Hydrated
To make a slow-drip irrigator, drill a ¼-inch hole through a cork and stopper a water-filled bottle. Press the whole thing neck-first into well-hydrated soil.
2. Level Crooked Wall Frames
Fill a bottle to its label with water and hold it bottom-down atop a picture or mirror frame. Adjust the frame until the water's meniscus is aligned with the label's edge.
3. Stop Tall Boots from Toppling
Tuck bottles into the shafts of winter footwear so that they'll stay upright in a closet or mudroom.
4. Make a Festive Light Display
Feed a 50-light string (get the kind with just one plug) into a hole drilled in a bottle's side. We used a ¾-inch tile bit, then enlarged and smoothed the hole with a conical grinding stone.
5. Prop Books
Fill a bottle that has special meaning with sand for a keepsake that doubles as a bookend.
6. Have Stone-Patio Repairs at The Ready
Use a wine bottle to store stone dust, and dispense the dust to fill the joints between the flagstones or bluestones of a terrace or walkway.
7. Block Candles from Drafts
Fashion hurricanes to place over tea lights by carefully removing bottle bottoms. See the step-by-step directions here.
8. Space Open Wall Shelves
To float shelves about a foot apart, use wine bottles as a spacer. Put up one shelf, then place two bottles of the same type near its ends. Rest the next plank atop them and mark its location. Remove the bottles and continue installation.
9. Edge Garden Beds or Paths
Stockpile empties until spring. Excavate an 8-inch-deep trench and bury bottles neck-first, leaving exposed bottoms to glint in the sun.
10. Get The Kinks Out of Wallpaper
A bottle makes a sturdy spool on which to reverse-roll wallpaper or shelf paper to smooth it flat before applying it.