15 Clever Ways To Reuse & Upcycle Empty Gin Bottles

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Give your empty gin bottles a new lease of life with these clever ideas to reuse or upcycle them. From making lamps and light fittings to housing cleaning products or household essentials, the only limit is your imagination!

If you have some empty gin bottles, then don’t head straight to your nearest bottle bank. There’s a whole lot more that you can do with the empty bottles than just recycling them.

Why not consider giving them a new lease on life through upcycling? There’s a whole host of things you can do with an empty bottle – especially as so many gin bottles feel too beautiful to chuck into the bottle bank or your glass recycling bin.

Plus, recycling glass bottles is energy-intensive. In the hierarchy of waste, it’s always more environmentally friendly to reuse something rather than recycle it, where possible.

15 Ideas For Upcycling Empty Gin Bottles

Person using an old bottle as a vase for a cream rose and foliage, with a blue text box that reads clever ideas to reuse and upcycle old gin bottles.

Wondering where to ‘be-gin’? Worry not, I’ve got 15 clever ideas to help give your old bottles a new life. Use the quick links to jump to a particular section, or keep scrolling for the full list of upcycling ideas.

1. Use It As A Water Jug

Old spirit bottle reused as a water bottle, on a table with glasses and candles.
c/o Isle of Raasay Distillery

If you have a particularly pretty gin bottle that you can’t bear to part with, then one incredibly straightforward way to reuse it is to use it as a water jug for your table or bedside. There’s very little you need to do – perhaps just removing the label first so that no one thinks they are reaching for the gin!

I got this idea from the Isle of Raasay Distillery, which uses its beautiful gin bottles as water jugs all over its distillery, including in its on-site restaurant and hotel.

2. Make A Table Lamp

Isle of Harris gin bottle turned into a lamp, with a blue shade.
c/o Boozy Lights

For an upcycle that’s a bit more involved, then did you know you can turn your old gin bottle into a beautiful lamp?

The good news is that you don’t need to be an electrician to do this. You can easily buy fittings online to turn bottles into lamps. There are two different fittings available:

  • Bottle lamp kit – This fitting requires you to carefully drill a hole in the bottle, to feed through the power cable.
  • Bottle lamp adaptor – This fitting doesn’t require any drilling. All you need to do is push it directly into the top of the bottle. You will need to drape the power cord down the back of the bottle though, so it isn’t quite as neat.

Alternatively, you can buy one pre-made. Boozy Lights, which sells on Etsy, specialises in making stunning lamps, like the one pictured above, from used spirit bottles.

3. Turn It Into A Wireless Lamp

Spirit bottle filled with LED lights on a table with vases of flowers.
c/o Cat Lane Weddings

If you’re looking for an easier way to make a lamp from your old bottle, then you can easily buy LED bottle light kits that don’t require a plug socket. John Lewis, for example, sells a USB rechargeable bottle light.

Alternatively try Hobbycraft for string LED lights like in the photo above, captured by Cat Lane Weddings. As you can see, this is a great way to make eco-friendly centrepieces for a sustainable wedding.

4. Use It As A Vase

Brown Bathtub gin bottles reused as vases on a wedding table.
c/o Emma Wilder

These vases, featured on Whimsical Wonderland Weddings and captured by photographer Emma Wilder are another quick and easy way to reuse gin bottles that are just too pretty to throw away.

As a table centrepiece, bottles from the same brand look great grouped together. But even just one bottle would add a pretty accent to your home.

5. Use It As A Soap Dispenser

Hendricks gin bottle upcycled into a liquid soap dispenser
c/o Tangled Vine

It’s really easy to upcycle a gin bottle into a liquid soap dispenser – be it for hand soap, washing up liquid or bubble bath. All you need is a bottle soap conversion kit (£5 on Etsy). Just check your size as all bottles are different.

All you then need to do is cut the plastic tube to the length of your spirit bottle and fill the bottle with soap. Next, push the soap dispenser into the bottleneck, and you’re done.

You might want to remove the label so that visitors to your house don’t mistake your soap for gin! Alternatively, you could add a label or sign to the bottle to avoid any misunderstandings.

If you don’t want to DIY, then Tangled Vine on Etsy sells pre-made soap pumps made from reused spirit bottles, like the one pictured above.

6. Refill With Your Own Homemade Gin

cranberry and orange infused gin recipe

I’m a big fan of making my own infused gin. In fact, I try to make a batch of Cranberry & Orange Infused Gin every Christmas, both for myself and to give as gifts.

To save waste and money, I often reuse my old gin bottles to house my infused gin. All you need to do is sterilise the glass bottle before use and check the lid is still tight, and you’re good to go.

7. Use Your Gin Bottle As A Candle Holder

Spirit bottle filled with dried flowers, and a pink candle in its neck.
c/o Shropshire Petals

Another effective way to upcycle your old gin bottle is to use it as a candle holder. Shropshire Petals fill empty bottles with dried flowers, before adding a candle on top, for stunning effect. However, even using the bottle without flowers still makes for a pretty and effective candle holder.

8. Use The Bottle To Hold Homemade Cleaning Products

Homemade cleaning products in reused glass bottles.

Into making your own cleaning products? I like to reuse old glass bottles, including gin bottles, to house my homemade natural cleaning products. I find old gin bottles especially good for holding my homemade fabric conditioner.

Just make sure that the bottles are properly labelled, and stored away from your spirits so that no one gets a nasty surprise!

9. Use As A Home Decor Object

Glass bottle with rope around it, next to two other glass bottles
c/o The Wicker House

Gin bottles can also easily be upcycled in home decor objects. Whilst the sky’s the limit on what you can do with them, I love what The Wicker House has done. This super simple DIY takes just 5 minutes, and all it involves is simply winding some rope around your bottle, and glueing it.

Whether you use it as a decorative object, or as a pretty vase, it’s a great way to give something that would otherwise be discarded a new lease of life.

10. Use It To Hold Refill Condiments

Old gin bottles filled with olive oil refills, next to spice jars and three cacti plants
c/o Sophie Tait at Trash Plastic

If you have a refill shop near you, then be inspired by Sophie Tait at Trash Plastic. Sophie uses empty gin bottles to refill on olive oil and other cooking oils to avoid buying oils from the supermarket that come in plastic bottles. Not only does it help reduce your use of plastic, but it also looks pretty stylish too!

You can even buy an oil drizzler spout for your bottle, to make dispensing easier.

11. Turn It Into A Plant Pot

c/o Rock Rose Gin

If you want to bust out the power tools, then you can upcycle your old gin bottles into beautiful plant pots, like the clever people at Rock Rose Gin. It’s a great way to create a sustainable herb garden for your kitchen windowsill.

12. Make A Terrarium

Person upcycling an old gin bottle into a terrarium

If you want to go further than making just plant pots, then I’ve found a handy tutorial from Worcester Terrarium to upcycle an old gin bottle into a terrarium. Yes, a terrarium!

Whilst it looks tricky to make, you just need a few key materials and a little creativity to create this beautiful planter. Adding the plants can be the trickiest stage, but Worcester Terrarium recommends using a chopstick or long tweezers to carefully place your chosen plant in the soil.

13. Make A Bird Feeder

YouTube video

Another option to reuse your old gin bottles is to make a bird feeder. If you have some woodworking skills then the above video will talk you through all the steps you need to make one of these beautiful feeders. The video uses a wine bottle, but an old gin bottle will also do the trick.

If you don’t have access to woodworking machinery then your local Community Shed would be the place to go. Here you can get access to tools and support from other members.

14. Use It To Make A Candle Jar

Old Thunderflower gin bottle upcycled into a candle jar next to a plant and wooden mirror.
c/o Adhock Homeware

If you have a lot of DIY experience, then you can incredibly carefully cut your bottle to make a candle jar, which you then fill. If that sounds too scary (it’s not something I would feel comfortable trying) then worry not. You can buy candles in pre-cut gin bottle candles from places like Adhock Homeware.

15. Use It As A Reed Diffuser Jar

Reed diffuser sitting on books, next to a mini bottle of Padstow gin and a glass bottle of moss balls.

Finally, if you have any small bottles of gin, then these can be upcycled as reed diffuser bottles. The narrow neck makes them ideal for this purpose.

I’m currently working my way responsibly through this small 20cl bottle of tasty Padstow Gin. It’s such a beautiful bottle, so it’s going to be ideal as a reed diffuser. Just make sure you either remove the label or add a label so that no one drinks it by mistake!

Other Ideas

And of course, if you don’t have the energy, skill, or inclination to upcycle your old gin bottle, then remember that gin bottles are one of those things that you can recycle for cash. Depending on the brand, your empty gin bottle could be worth as much as £10. This is because they’re sought out by crafty people looking to upcycle the bottles into products they then sell.

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