Create decorative works of art for your home or garden with glass bottles and wire. Paint the bottles with glass paint or fill the wire with beads to add colour to the designs. Think twice before discarding a glass bottle-with a bit of imagination, they could become sparkling garden art, dining possibilities for feathered friends or candle holders with a beaded skirt.
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Beaded Garden Art
Wrap a glass bottle in beaded wire to create decorative garden art. Select colourful 22-gauge craft wire and crystal faceted beads, four to six millimetres in diameter, for a sparkling look. A wine bottle is a good choice for this project; the elongated neck adds an elegant design effect. If the bottle is clear, you may wish to paint it with glass or enamel paint before wrapping it with beaded wire. To add the wire embellishment, cut a strip of wire that's three to four times longer than the height of the glass bottle. The longer the wire, the more times you can wrap it around the bottle. Hold the tip end of the wire strand against the side of the glass bottle near the base. Thread several beads over the open end of the wire, close to the end you are holding. Space the beads as you wrap the wire tightly around the bottle. Continue to add more beads as you wrap. Finish by wrapping the wire tightly around the bottle's neck, several times, and then forming it into a loop so you can hang the bottle from a tree branch. Arrange the beaded wire so that the strands are evenly spaced. Glue the beads in place with clear jeweller's glue.
Satisfy the hummingbirds in your backyard by making a glass bottle hummingbird feeder. You can create this simple hummingbird feeder from a 16- or 591ml glass soft drink bottle and 18-gauge craft wire. Wrap wire in a tight-fitting but loosely spaced spiral around the glass bottle, beginning at the neck and working to the base. Stretch a section of wire across the centre of the base. Make a loop in the wire at the midpoint. Twist the wire at the base of the loop to create a hanger for the bottle. The wire loop will protrude from the base of the bottle, so the bottle will hang upside down.
Continue to wrap the bottle with the wire, working from the base to the neck in a close-fitting loose spiral shape. Finish by wrapping the wire around the bottle's neck twice. Insert a hummingbird feeding tube into the mouth of the bottle. Hummingbird feeding tubes are available from many garden suppliers, some pet stores and online retailers. Fill the bottle half full of nectar or sugar water coloured red, and hang it outside.
Beaded Fringe Candle Holder
Create beaded wire fringe from thin jewellery wire and colourful glass beads to fit a glass bottle with an elongated neck. Cut strips of wire to fit from the base of the glass bottle's neck to the base of the bottle, plus one inch. The size of the bottle and your own design preference will dictate the number of wires you need to make the fringe. Add a crimp bead to one end of each strip to stop the beads. Fill each strand with beads, up to one inch from the end. Make a wire circle to fit around the base of the bottle's neck with 22-gauge craft wire. Wrap the open ends of the beaded wire strands around the circle to create the fringe. Place the wire circle over the neck of the glass bottle so that the fringe skirt hangs freely. Insert a taper candle into the mouth of the bottle.
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