Creative Ideas For Repurposing Bottles and Jars

Welcome to the 318th Metamorphosis Monday!

At some point every summer, I will make a Peach Bourbon Trifle to either take to a party or for one I’m hosting here on the porch. I found this delicious recipe in an old Southern Living magazine many years ago.

When I make the trifle, I always use Blanton’s bourbon. You can see it in the background of this photo taken when I posted the recipe a few years back here: Peach Bourbon Trifle

Bourbon Peach Trifle Recipe


Blanton’s comes in the cutest bottle. The bottle is a faceted shape and it’s topped off with a cork sporting a horse and jockey in honor of the Kentucky Derby that’s held in the state where Blanton’s is made.

Blanton's Bourbon

Picture from Blanton’s Online


There are 8 different stopper designs showing the jockeys and horses in different strides representing the different stages of the race. Each has a little letter on it and all together they spell out the name, Blanton’s. I have to confess, one of the main reasons I buy this bourbon for my trifle instead of another brand is so I can collect the cute faceted bottles and horses. It’s also very good bourbon.

Blanton's Stoppers

Picture from Blanton’s Online


Apparently, there are other folks who are fans of the design of the bottle. Recently, I came across two pictures online of how folks have repurposed the Blanton’s bottles and stoppers. The horse and jockey do make a cute finial for the top of a lamp, don’t they? This would be a fun lamp for a wood-paneled study or library, or in a home bar area.


Source, I think


Loved this idea for using the bottles to store spices. It kind of looks like a horse race going on atop the stove. Seeing the way folks have repurposed Blanton’s bottles made me think about how I’ve repurposed bottles and jars in the past. I’ve gathered several examples together for  this week’s Met Monday.


Source for picture

I’ve been collecting tall clear bottles for a while. I have a tablescape in mind that I’m going to do if I ever get enough. In the meantime, they came in handy for this table setting when I had just a few iris in bloom. It wasn’t enough for a big bouquet so I scattered them down the length of the table displayed in clear, tall bottles. (View this table setting here: Whimsical Spring Table Setting With Floral Centerpiece)

Iris Centerpiece for Spring Table Setting


When I was working on collecting pretty bottles for my bottle tree, I purchased these drinks from Trader Joe’s. The tallest bottle in this group below…

Drinks from Trader Joes


…created a fun centerpiece for this tablescape: Easy Centerpiece for a Spring Table

Summer Table Setting With Gerbera Bottle Centerpiece


I can’t wait to see green leaves on the trees again out back. Just 18 days ’til spring…it’s coming!

Spring Tablescape with Gerbera Bottle Centerpiece


One of the early table settings I posted on the blog was this blue and white table setting. The blue “vases” in this table setting were bottles I saved after purchasing a coffee drink that came in them. They were too pretty to toss. Unfortunately, I think the drink was discontinued…it was only around a short while.  (Tablescaping in Blue and White)

Blue and White Tablescape with Silk Magnolia Blossoms


I’ve saved pickle jars for creating Halloween lanterns with scary bat silhouettes.  Make a Frosted Candlelit Lantern For Halloween

Make a Frosted Halloween Lantern


Of course, there’s always the good old mason jar crafts. The big jars make great lanterns to light a path for Christmas. Make a Christmas Lantern

Mason Jar Lanterns for Christmas


They also work well for summer lanterns. Make a Lantern for Summer Parties

Make Candlelight Lanterns


They even work as drinking glasses for a casual, 4th of July celebration with patriotic punch. Dining on the Porch for the 4th of July

4th of July Table Setting. Warren Kimble Colonial Flag Dishware


The recipe for the punch can be found here: 4th of July Patriotic Punch

4th of July Patriotic Punch Recipe


Finally, a colorful bottle tree is always a good excuse to save and repurpose old bottles. Bottle Tree Dreams

Bottle Tree


Update on 07-28-16: I recently created an elegant centerpiece using clear bottles. View this tablescape in detail here: Romantic Candelight Dinner on the Porch

Romantic Candlelight Tablescape in Silver and White


Do  you repurpose old bottles to make lamps, creative table centerpieces or to hold spices? What are some ways you’ve repurposed them in your home?

Looking forward to all the wonderful Before and Afters for this Met Monday!

Met Monday


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In order to link up, you’ll need to include a link in your MM post back to the party so the other participants will have an opportunity to receive visits from your wonderful blog readers.

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Only link up Before and After posts that are home, gardening, crafting, painting, sewing, cooking, DIY related.

Do not link up if you’re doing so to promote a website or product.

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Please do not link up more than 2 or 3 Before and Afters each week. Thanks!

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  1. Thanks for hosting Susan! I love the bourbon bottles! THey have a very nice shape to them. Especially love the lamp!

  2. Thanks for the ideas. I also have a collection of bottles. Your bottle tree is fantastic. I need to start looking for that bourbon. Thanks for hosting.

  3. I’m wanting to head straight to the liquor store today to look for Blanton’s bourbon. I’d love to make a lamp with one of the bottles.

    Thanks for hosting!

    • Paula, call before you go because for some crazy reason, there’s been a shortage of bourbon over the last year or so. Blanton’s was really hard to find for a while…no one had it. When the stores get it in, they only get a few bottles and it sells out again quickly. Apparently, bourbon has seen a big resurgence in popularity in recent years. I think that’s part of the reason for the shortage.

  4. Thanks so much for the party Susan !
    I’ve only used bottles for vases – but after seeing those filled with spices I’m in love – what gorgeous bottles !
    Next time I’m in the States ( almost want to go this afternoon since we’re so close to the border lol ) I have to get a couple of these – I think a new obsession might just have been born !!!
    Have a great week

    • I love the spice bottle idea, too. It would take me forever to collect enough for that, plus you need to use a lot of spices, I guess. Wonder how long spices would save in those bottles…might last a long time.

  5. I have a passion for all things glass Susan, I really appreciate this collection of ideas~ the bourbon bottle is fabulous! If anyone has a great solution to easy label removal it would be you, can you share your secret or if you’ve blogged it before, can you tell me where to look? Thanks so much for the party today and the cool bottle displays!

    • I haven’t ever blogged about it but that’s a good topic. Normally what I do is first just start with soap and water. If a residue is left behind, sometimes it will roll up/off with your finger. I’ve also used tape to pull it off. It’s amazing how well tape will work in pulling off sticky residue. As a last resort, when nothing else will work, I break out the big gun…this stuff called “Good Off.” I don’t like to use it because it stinks to high heaven but it works when nothing else will. You have to throw the paper towel or whatever you use away outside the house once you’re done because it’s too smelly to just toss in the trashcan in your kitchen…but it does work. It’s fine on glass/ceramic etc… but don’t use it on anything with color like a colored tin container, unless you can test it. It’s strong so you just don’t want to use it on something it could damage. Google it and you can read all about it. There are other products out there like Goof Off, but can’t recall their names right now. Hope that helps, Jenna.

    • Jenna, Cleo just recommended in a comment a product called Glue Gone that has a citrus smell. I’m going to look for that…sounds perfect!

  6. Not only would I buy that bourbon for the trifle, but I think that I would buy it specifically for that stopper!…Love the way people have re-purposed it…Always enjoy seeing your beautiful tables and decor…and that bottle tree is the greatest!…No bottle projects on the radar yet…just starting to gather some of my favorites and hope to come up with a project…Have a great day Susan and thanks for hosting!!

  7. That has got to be the coolest looking liquor bottle ever! Thank you for hosting!

  8. I love your ideas for bottles and jars, Susan! I think your bottle tree is still my favorite…so colorful! Thanks for hosting!…hugs…Debbie

  9. You are so smart, Susan, to reuse those great bottles like you do. We’re not drinkers, but those bourbon bottles make me want to at least try the recipe. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have a great week, and thanks for sharing the platform with us.

    • lol I know, a bottle of Blanton’s lasts me forever since I so rarely drink it. It is considered to be an outstanding bourbon though, from what I’ve heard and read. There’s not much bourbon in the trifle but it gives it great flavor and a little zip when you come across it. I do love how it tastes in that trifle.

  10. I’m a hoarder of bottles! I need to get a giant bottle tree. Your tree looks so pretty. That lamp looks great! I need to find some good uses for all of the bottles I have kept. Thanks for hosting.

  11. Over the years I’ve saved 12 of those tiny bottles that come with ketchup, mustard and mayo when you order room service at nice hotels. They come from several family trips and I use them across the two window sills over my kitchen sink. I put fresh flowers in them, usually some combination of daisies (my favorite) and other yellow flowers. I might add in some pink or purple for Easter and Valentine’s Day. It’s my favorite thing in my kitchen and those bright happy flowers cheer me up on gray days. I have pictures of them from those flowers, plus the Christmas version with red carnations and lots of greenery from our back yard, but I can’t figure out how to post them here. Is it possible to post pictures in the comments?

    • Kelly, I logged out and then took a look as if I was going to leave a comment and it appears it doesn’t offer that option, unfortunately. It sounds beautiful though! You were so smart to save those! Nothing can beat pretty flowers in a window!

  12. Thanks so much for the party!!


  13. You certainly have given us tons of creative ideas today Susan! Those bottles are so interesting, and the stoppers alone are worth the purchase of the bourbon ;).

    Thank you for the party!

  14. I love to decorate with repurposed bottles, the bourbon and all the other ideas are terrific! I’m now on the hunt for some blue bottles, I think a trip to Trader Joe’s might be in my near future. Thanks for hosting us, Susan!

  15. The lamp and spice jars are the most clever and usefule ideas for recycling; that’s the perfect bottle to save.

  16. My goodness, you people start partying early in the morning! All those bloody bottles of booze before 9:oo am! As for me I am going back to bed, I will see you all later! ( In my Lisa Vanderpump voice!)

  17. Thank you, Susan for all this inspiration you shared with us today! I need to look for that Blanton Bourbon the next time I’m at the liquor store. I would love to copycat that lamp for my husband’s den. He would love it! Also pinned the Bourbon Peach Trifle Recipe. It looks yummy! Thanks for sharing!

  18. Very pretty ideas, Susan, one and all, but I love that lamp! Thanks for hosting! ๐Ÿ™‚ Kim

  19. I started doing this after seeing it in a magazine like 5 years ago. I still have some bottles but threw the rest away as I didn’t even know where I would store them all. But one day I will start all over again

  20. Those stoppers are so adorable — I’ve never seen anything like them. Love the creative ideas too! Thanks for hosting, Susan, and have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. I collect bottles…and the bourbon bottle is right up my alley. I’ll try and find one, let my son drink it…don’t worry he’s old enough….and get the bottle back! Those minis are adorable! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  22. I love using old bottles. My favorite use for them is something I did for Halloween. Used old wine bottles (some were actually antiques that I purchased at a old mining town in Idaho) and put labels on them that I ordered on-line. The labels looked like ones you would find in a witches pantry – bats blood, etc. I have an awesome skeleton head a some cob webs that I add to the display. Love it! I also have some small apples juice bottles that I sit in my window sills in the summer with fresh cut flowers in them. They just make you feel good. Have a great day and thanks for sharing all your wonderful ideas.

  23. Thanks for the party—have a great week!


  24. Hi, Susan,
    This was such a timely post for me. I had gone to BBB for jars to fill with M&M’s for my daughter’s baby shower. They are darling jars: Quattro Itagioni, Made in Italy, slightly larger than baby food jars, with a glass bee hive and bee design on the side. I had about 8 left over (some people left their favors on the table!) They are meant to be spice jars, but I would prefer to find another use for them. I know I could use them as vases for small flowers, but I would sure like some ideas as to what to do with them. Any suggestions would be appreciated. BTW, I love the bourbon bottle you featured today: that lamp is PERFECT!! Thanking you and your readers in advance, Rosie

  25. I DO recycle old bottles and jars, but I haven’t (yet!) used them for anything as fine as that lamp! I like to use pimento jars for storing tiny beads. They hold a lot but don’t take up much space. I also have a collection of old bottles dug up many years ago at my grandparents’ ranch in Texas. Great memories you’ve brought up today.

  26. My husband drinks that same bourbon — love the re-purposing ideas! Thanks for the link-up, too!

  27. Spring is coming indeed and I can hardly wait for more porch time. Your bottle are beautiful! Thanks for sharing and hosting.

  28. You know I had to comment on this post!!! Been collecting bottles since high school….and that’s just a couple years ago…..ha, ha….

    That bourbon bottle is the best, and the amber liquid makes it shine. I will look for that bottle around here, don’t drink but will use it for baking. I’ve even saved those beautiful Arizona tea bottles, works of art. My favs are the glass vitamin bottles in brown….am currently looking for corks to fit and use as spice bottles, already have the labels, will post that soon.

    To remove the residue under the labels, I soak them in hot water, remove the labels by peeling them off, then I use a product called … Glue Gone….it has a wonderful citrus smell. On stubborn spots, let it soak for awhile then use paper towels to remove. Works very well and I’ve used it on mirrors and glass in frames. Try it.

    Also have some cute jars that mandarin oranges came it…..very cute!! Yes, I will buy a product just to have the jar!!! Is there a support group for this addiction???

    You have the best posts, thank you for that……..xoxoxo

    • I am buying some Glue Gone! That sounds perfect! I haven’t seen the vitamin bottles…will have to look for those next time I’m in the store. lol about buying a product to the get the jar…I would so do that, too. There must be a support group, but I hope not! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks, Cleo!

  29. Love your post and love the Blanton’s bottle and stopper…Many times I will buy a product for the bottle or container and then repurpose…;-)
    I have a large cobalt collection and many pieces in the collection are bottles of different shapes and sizes.
    I also like to use ‘squatty’ tequila bottles for decanting olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil and different vinegars.
    I also have a beautiful tall bottle with a nice shape which I use for making and keeping my homemade vanilla extract.

  30. Bottles….I have dozens and use them in some arrangement at every opportunity. BTW, I remember you posting a Storybook Cottage entry. Did you happen to see mine on an actual Storybook Cottage in Tennessee?

  31. Susan, Thanks for all the great ideas!

  32. Hi Susan and so many great ideas. Thank you for hosting.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ๐Ÿ˜‰

  33. Such clever ideas! The blue and white table is so gorgeous! I also can’t take my eyes off the peach trifle! It looks absolutely incredible! Thank you for being such a gracious host!

  34. Thanks for hosting! This is my first time to link up. And your peach bourbon trifle sounds amazing!

  35. Thanks for the party. I just tried to join, added your link to my blog, then added my link to the party and got a no back link comment??

  36. Never have been a big fan of peaches Susan, but that is probably because I’ve never tasted one from Georgia. โ˜บ That said, I will try your recipe out as one of yours that has become a family favourite (particularly for my son-in-law who seldom eats desserts) is your Devils Food (Cake) Toffee Trifle. Re your bottle collection it and your creativity how you use them, is definitely to be admired though for myself, I usually collect the labels off of them for different projects and have even been known to go dumpster digging for them to find unusual ones. (Can’t believe that I just shared that …. LOL.) -Brenda-

    • lol You are too funny! Brenda, how do you get the labels off without ruining them? You have to share your secret to that!

      • Susan, they are several methods to do it as it depends upon the glue used. You can soak the bottle for a number of hours in water with a bit of dish detergent and ‘slowly remove it by gently peeling it off’ but the favourite of mine is using heat. I know some people pop them in a 350ยบ F oven for about five minutes but I have found that the heat from a hair blow dryer is often just as effective.

        • Oh, I’ll have to try that if I have a particularly interesting label that’s worth saving. Thanks for those tips! Brenda, I was thinking about you today since I know you sew. I was looking at some pictures I took of how the seamstress made my tartan bedskirt. She did some things she doesn’t normally do because the bedskirt is 4X fullness and the fabric was super heavy. I am thinking about doing a blog post about it but the only folks who will probably be interested it are those who do sew. But it’s so creative what she did, I really want to post it, so I probably will.

          • Hopefully the label removal tips will be helpful to you in your project Susan. (Let me know how you make out.) Regarding the construction of the bed skirt; I myself would love to know as I am always open to learning new techniques whether it be in construction or finish and perhaps it would be of some assistance to your readers as to what to look for if they are having one custom made for themselves. Yes, No? โ˜บ -Brenda-

  37. Love the shape of the Blanton’s Bourbon bottle and the stopper. I could see where they would be great for making a lamp. I may just have to give it a try. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks so much for sharing this and for hosting. Happy week to you.

  38. Mary from Virginia says

    How have I missed those cute bourbon bottles? They are super precious and I am a huge horse race fan. I feel a trip to the ABC Store coming on today!

    I love all of your bottle ideas.

    AND girl, that bottle tree is amazing!!! Now I want a large bottle tree. I need to look back through your files to find out where you purchased. I have a very small tree and keep it in one of my flower beds.

    Your tables are always so beautiful!

    • Thanks, Mary! I found the bottle tree in Ballard Designs Outlet several years ago. I don’t know if they ever have them in their catalog. This would probably be a good time to start looking for one with spring coming up and everyone starting to think about their gardens.

  39. What a great collection of ideas for using bottle and jars! And what a great reason for buying “beverages” of many kinds ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. Hi Susan,
    It’s been awhile not seeing you and joining your parties. I just had too much to think and diagnosed of a diffuse illness. Hopefully, now and the future I will be rocking with you and your parties.

    Anyway, Blue blooded bloggers think alike. I guess, we all have our bottles somewhere under the porch or up in the attic, LoL*

    I used wine, water bottles. I ever just buy them for the reason of the bottles. Painted them as you have in your bottle tree etc etc. But these years had passed, unfortunately those bottles were forgotten.

    TY for your reminder and of course, the Spring is almost there, it’s PARTY TIME! Although I am away for a 3 weeks trip in Cape Town & Zimbabwe, I will be posting and join your fun.

    Happy week ahead, Sus… Njoy and always take care.


  41. Hi Susan – I’ve been away from blogging for awhile and things have sure changed! I am trying to make my link back to your blog “clickable” but I’m having trouble with it. I don’t remember link backs being so tricky. Anyway, will be working on it tonight and hope to have it figured out.

    • Welcome back to Blogland! Gloria, it’s been a while since I created a link using Blogger but usually there’s an icon in the menu bar when creating a post and you just highlight the word(s) you want to make a link and then click on the link icon and put in the address you’re linking to and hit “save.”

  42. Susan love all the ways you use old bottles. The lamp is my favorite.

  43. Thanks for hosting Susan! I love your bottle collection! What beautiful Tablescapes they have helped you create! I absolutely adore your Whimsical Spring Table Setting With Floral Centerpiece! Pinned, too!
    Have a wonderful week, Susan,

  44. Susan, I can’t find where you replied (i got a notice from gmail). Anyway, those aren’t my starbucks jar. I wanted to do that but never had the space. i did put some spices into a bottle but never did the etching or anything fancy.

    I live in Virginia Beach and we have a bunch of International markets because of all the military bases close by. I buy spices from there and from some Mexican Tiendas. I picked up saffron for $1.99! Those stores are where I get all my spices from. I do buy them from work so that all the jars will be the same. But I refill them from the other places. I do plan to order some from here that we may not carry, especially blends

    • I love how it looks! I bet it wouldn’t be that that hard…famous last words. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks for the tips on where to buy spices…will check that site out.

  45. I also visit the indian markets as well. I get big bags of “farina” for the same price as a box of cream of wheat. Also I can get garam masala and other indian spices in big quantities for better prices

  46. Hello,
    First time posting (following for awhile). First, just want to say I love your blog! Love the ideas! I too collect and repurpose bottles. For those tiny collectibles I like to arrange those inside big jars (pickle jars, half gallon and gallon sizes) with the lids painted to match the room then I group them together in tablescapes, (tops of cabinets too) about the house seashells on the porch, as well as dried items collected from the garden. The kids marbles, game pieces and yo-yo’s in the hall, themed “game room.” Also other jars with hinged lids I like those for the bathrooms for toiletries, bath salts, antique accessories and the kitchen for dried goods, antique utensils, I even have a huge two foot jar filled with cookie cutters. Mason jar terrariums faux and live plants, and of course as candle lanterns. lol, did I mention I collect bottles/jars?! Have a great week!

    • Angela, I love all these ideas! I think I’ll copy your cookie cutter idea. Right now I have mine all stashed into gallon size baggies and that totally isn’t working. ๐Ÿ™‚ Love the idea of decorating with things we already have (or find from the garden) and use on a daily basis!

  47. Cyndi Raines says

    Hi Susan,

    Loved the bourbon bottle! I don’t drink, but tempted to get it for the peach dish and just to have because it looks so cute! I use “Goo Be Gone” to get sticky labels off and it too has a lemon scent and does a GREAT job. Thanks for all the ideas to recycle glass bottles / jars.

    • Cyndi, I noticed recently there are folks on eBay selling the empty bottles, so that may be an easy way to get one if you don’t drink.

  48. Cyndi Raines says

    SUSAN!! I am so happy! I took your advice and went on eBay and purchased a wonderful bottle, with the stopper (letter N) AND the nice little black bag it comes in — all for $7.50! What a deal! (can you hear me screaming with joy -haha). Did I tell you my husband is originally from KY and I thought it would look good in our den. He does like it. So now, I think we’ll have a nice luncheon the day of the Kentucky Derby and have some friends over! One thing leads to another….Thanks again, you’re the best!

    • Glad you found one! That’s great! After I wrote that post, I discovered Blanton’s sells a miniature version of their bottle in their online store at their website. They would be so cute for storing spices. They were out of them the last time I looked so not sure if they have gotten them back in yet or not. I love that cute horse topper! Cyndi, your bottle will be perfect for your Kentucky Derby gathering!

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