Ursula Owens
Ursula Owens
  • Hometalker
  • Lewiston, MI

My bottle 'sun' or 'star'

6 Materials
2 Hours
Easy

My bottle 'sun' or 'star', depending on what time of day it is...zone 4 garden, no breakage problems, buried in sand. Recycled wine, beer, and liquor bottles:)
how to bury bottles to create yard art, gardening, outdoor living
Bottle 'sun' in my gazebo in the center of my veggie garden. Zone 4, no breakage...has been buried for a couple of years. Old grind stone in the center.
how to bury bottles to create yard art, gardening, outdoor living
First I chose the spot in the center of the new garden. I laid out the 'point', then dug the bottle in upside down...whole. I had an old grindstone that I used for the center. I used a post hole digger, shovel, and rubber mallet.
how to bury bottles to create yard art, gardening, outdoor living
The bottles all buried...you can easily make adjustments in the sandy soil. I used a 2" by 4" and a level to get the bottles aligned to the same height.
how to bury bottles to create yard art, gardening, outdoor living
I filled with sand to bring the ground level up to where I wanted it...just and inch or so from the top of the bottles.
how to bury bottles to create yard art, gardening, outdoor living
I spread pea gravel on top to finish the sun off.
how to bury bottles to create yard art, gardening, outdoor living
This summer I added a 'door mat'!
how to bury bottles to create yard art, gardening, outdoor living
Here is the final view. The bottle sun is under the pergola (which has been taken over by hops!).
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Have a question about this project?

33 questions
  • Rosel Kynast
    on Dec 27, 2015

    how can I build a vertical vegetable garden.

    • Sharon
      on Apr 27, 2016

      A pallet ,set on end, with the board going horizontal... Tack or staple landscape fabric to the back ,fill with soil and plant in the spaces...either leanit against a sturdy surface,nail to a secure surface,or even attach to posts that have been set securely in the ground...water from the top.

    • Rosel Kynast
      on Apr 27, 2016

      Thanks Sharon, I will give it a go. My husband has PD and can't help soslowly but sure, I will try it. "The garden is my therapy".

    • Cantito01
      on Apr 28, 2016

      Go to the library and get Mel Bartholomews"s book-The New Square Foot Gardening book. His older book, "Square foot gardening also shows how to make one. It makes it very easy to see and make! I've used it for a number of years and it is great!

  • Jody H
    on Mar 19, 2016

    Do you think I can do this work in regular Arizona soil?

    • Ursula Owens
      on Mar 19, 2016

      I am not sure what Arizona soil is like but Michigan soil where we live is pretty sandy. It withstands our cold frozen 5 month winters so I am guessing it can handle Arizona soil!

    • Rose Burdic
      on Apr 26, 2016

      In some places in AZ soil is clay. Seems it would work if you amend the soil first with sand?

    • Jessieann
      on Apr 26, 2016

      sand and clay equals cement. You could wet the dirt dig down the depth of the bottles, place your bottles and backfill the dirt.

    • Jessieann
      on Apr 26, 2016

      Or fill the hole you created with sand so if you wanted to rearrange the bottle, it would be easy. Do you live near a wash? You could get sand there.

    • Jody H
      on Apr 27, 2016

      No wash, but I can find sand., Thank you!

    • Sharon
      on Apr 27, 2016

      I think it would help a lot to cut the bottles beforehand (at least past the "neck") ...there are ways to do this with or w/out a saw...this would require less deep digging and make it easier to keep bottles "on-end" while backfilling soil.

    • Ursula Owens
      on Apr 29, 2016

      I think cutting the bottles would be a lot more work. The bottom part of a wine bottle is very strong. If you cut the bottle you are interfering with the strength of the whole bottle.

  • Eliza
    on Apr 27, 2016

    Did you fill the bottles with sand or are they empty?

  • Lori Anderson Froehlich
    on Apr 27, 2016

    Nobody has answered my question :( Do you fill the bottles with sand before burying them?

    • Suzie
      on Apr 28, 2016

      Not a bad idea. I would! It would just give it more stability.

    • Ursula Owens
      on Apr 29, 2016

      No. No need to. You can see in the pictures that they are not full of sand.These have been through 6 northern Michigan winters and haven't broken. I had some in another garden for over 20 years that never broke either.

    • Glenn Hemperly
      on Jul 7, 2016

      What ever.

    • Annie l hardaway
      on Jul 7, 2016

      Like

    • Carol Day
      on Jul 7, 2016

      no

    • Patricia
      on Jul 7, 2016

      Wouldn't it be easier to just cut up the bottle? This way the bottle can be cut into multiple rings and save on bottles and use them in other craft projects.

    • Yvette Huesler
      on Jul 8, 2016

      Probably no need to fill them with sand. I think there would be better reflection from the sun if you do not fill them.

    • Ann
      on Mar 5, 2017

      Patricia I think by using the whole bottle it's more stationary. It's not going anywhere. Where a piece of glass not mortared might move, shift as the weather changes or people walk on them.

    • Kristine Kelley Bailey
      on Jul 30, 2017

      Not to mention that cutting the GLASS bottles into rings would mean they are weaker and sharper both, even if you spent the week it would take to grind them smooth.. Her project, done HER WAY> PERIOD. Cutting them into rings, they would also sink completely out of view quite quickly.
  • Bpettyjohn
    on Jul 7, 2016

    We get a lot of hail where we live. Would this be a big problem? Would the fact that they are sunk into the ground make them stronger?

    • Yvette Huesler
      on Jul 8, 2016

      Wine bottle bottoms are extremely strong. Hail would probably not damage them as they are well supported by the soil.

    • Janet
      on Apr 27, 2017

      This is a great and colorful idea. Do you plant enough hops for your own use? It makes a great arbor.
  • M
    on Mar 5, 2017

    aren't the bottoms of the bottles too slick to walk on?--we had some stepping stones covered with glass stones and we had to take them up to keep our old bones in tact.

    • Ursula Owens
      on Mar 5, 2017

      These do not cover a large area and there is pea gravel as filler. I have never had a problem with slipping as my feet are never entirely on just bottle. The bottoms of many of the bottles also have ridges on them which actually breaks up the surface even more.

  • Mike Pisio
    on Sep 23, 2017

    Have you ever thought of using LED lights inserted into the bottles to light them up? would most likely look very interesting.
    • Ursula Owens
      on Sep 25, 2017

      That would be cool. I think it would be pretty hard to dig up the bottles to replace the lights though. The full bottle is buried. I have used solar lights under the arbor. I do not have electrical hook up out there.
    • Carol Day
      on Feb 17, 2018

      what do you do when you have to replace the LED lights, this is way to much work. the way she did it is the right way. Very nice

  • Jackie Nissim
    on Oct 7, 2017

    What is used for the center of the sun project?
    • Ursula Owens
      on Oct 7, 2017

      The center is an old mill grindstone. See the explanation above.
  • Camille Nordwall
    on Feb 17, 2018

    How do these create light?
    • Laura Bennett
      on Feb 17, 2018

      It doesn't !
    • Alicia Pousada
      on Feb 17, 2018

      There was no claim that they would emit light. It's just a sun design.
    • Anne Gleeson
      on Feb 17, 2018

      She likely asked because of the "star" at night reference. I thought maybe it glowed too, but realize now she just meant the shape.

  • A
    on Feb 17, 2018

    Love it but I’m intrigued by the metal looking containers on the left in the photo. What are they and what is their function? Avid veggie gardener.
    • SHARE
      on Feb 17, 2018

      Looks like metal bushel baskets. Probably for collecting produce from her garden. Just a guess!!!
    • SHARE
      on Feb 17, 2018

      By the way, we here in IL can buy them at Farm and Fleet!
    • Judy L Smith
      on Feb 17, 2018

      Looks like kegs to me.
    • Karen Peterson Olson
      on Feb 17, 2018

      I'd say kegs. I'm guessing they brew their own beer when she said the pergola is being taken over by hops!
    • MK McDonald
      on Feb 17, 2018

      Excellent deduction Karen Peterson Olson! I would guess that too!
    • Ursula Owens
      on Feb 19, 2018

      They are galvanized bushel baskets. They are available at any farm store but I have found quite a few at garage sales and antique/junk stores.

  • User
    on Feb 17, 2018

    What climate did you do this in? I'm currently saving bottles in Chicago.....
    • Nadine Hartman Bourne
      on Feb 17, 2018

      If you scroll up to the top just under the hometalker name it says Lewiston, MI and she said zone 4. I believe that isn't too far from you in Chicago, IL. Share pictures if you do this. I love the look of it I worry it would be slippery, not that we have had too much rain in central CA.
    • Ursula Owens
      on Feb 19, 2018

      Yes, I'm in norther Michigan. They have been safely in the ground for almost 8 years.


  • None
    on Feb 17, 2018

    What's your question?I'd love to see more of whatever you have done in your yard and house please! Do you have a website or instagram or something? Your garden looks amazing!!!
    • Ursula Owens
      on Feb 19, 2018

      Thank-you! I'll post a few more pics here. I love to recycle garden antiques. I've just finished a 'she shed'. I am in the process of decorating it with my garden antique finds.

  • Patti
    on Feb 17, 2018

    Can you use plastic 1.75 liter plastic whiskey bottles
    • Kay
      on Feb 17, 2018

      why not? It's YOUR project! You don't need permission from a stranger on the internet for anything you want to try!
    • Patti
      on Feb 17, 2018

      Well THANKS Kay
    • Kay-Ellen
      on Feb 18, 2018

      I would think you would have to fill them with sand or water to keep them from collapsing. Also, they may degrade due to sunlight.
    • Gloria Gatch
      on Feb 18, 2018

      When I read your post you gave me an idea, to use the plastic bottle with the dollar store gems, if they fit through the hole, just enough to fill the bottom a couple inches and then ad whatever inexspensive item you can think of to fill it up, put cap back on and bury.
    • Patti
      on Feb 18, 2018

      Thanks Gloria, I like your idea so why not give it a try. Have a HAPPY DAY

    • Faye miller
      on Feb 18, 2018

      Or you could buy glass jars at the dollar store
    • Melissa V
      on Feb 19, 2018

      Faye...that defeats the whole purpose of reuse and recycle (or upcycle). ♻️

    • Christine Cajigas
      on Jun 2, 2018

      Mellisa V, I laughed my ars off when I read your response! It is true. The objective to this site is to go about and share our ideas in an inexspensive way. We don't all live in the same inviorments, and may not be suitable for everyone. However, some of the responses aren't always kind. So, let's just try to support one another. This would be a happier world if we did. Pretty idea on this post with the bottles!

    • Vanessa
      on Oct 29, 2018

      Excellent idea since we rarely drink anything out of bottles (we recycle our plastic on trash day)

  • Msm11355119
    on Feb 17, 2018

    Where are old grindstones usually found? Antique stores?

  • Zenia
    on Feb 18, 2018

    Can the bottoms of the bottles break while they’re in the ground?
    • Barbara Morris
      on Feb 18, 2018

      Yes they can because anything glass can break but wine bottles are usually very thick on the bottom and one would most likely have to break them on purpose.
    • Ursula Owens
      on Feb 19, 2018

      They have been in the ground for almost 8 years. Nothing has broken yet.


  • Mary Coakley
    on Feb 18, 2018

    What a lovely idea can you walk on them.?
  • Sarge
    on Feb 19, 2018

    Did you fill the bottles with dirt/sand before filling?

    we have "gumbo" soil here and eventually the empty bottles would be forced up from the ground (or sink out of sight)

  • Sarge
    on Feb 19, 2018

    Did you fill the bottles with dirt/sand before filling?

    we have "gumbo" soil here and eventually the empty bottles would be forced up from the ground (or sink out of sight)

    • Ursula Owens
      on Feb 19, 2018

      I did not fill these first. Sometimes after winter they pop up a bit...I just push them back down.

  • Steve Draeger
    on Oct 29, 2018

    How putting an LED light in each for night time use


    • Dorothy Sittler
      on Oct 29, 2018

      I was thinking the same thing but then it would have to be maintained. What about a solar creature?

    • Ursula Owens
      on Oct 30, 2018

      It would be difficult to change the lights if needed since the full bottles are buried. I have put solar fairy lights in the pergola over this instead.

  • Tick
    on Oct 29, 2018

    I’m in Chicago area, can this be done here? We have black dirt and clay.

    • Dorothy Sittler
      on Oct 29, 2018

      I was raised with clay and the garden was clay too. It took more strength to work the ground but it can be done. We used to load the garden with manure in the fall.

    • Ursula Owens
      on Oct 29, 2018

      I wouldn’t put the bottle in anything but sand.

    • Vivian
      on Oct 29, 2018

      Dig an area the size you want to uae for this project deep enough to accept the bottles then bring in the sand place your bottles and pea gravel. Remember that the sand and gravel will accept water and the clay will not drain fast so you may want to do a drainage level diet then sand etc.

    • Jane Pickens Dobrowolski
      on Nov 1, 2018

      Hi Tick, Cantigny has bottles used as edging in the demonstration

      garden. You might be able to get more information the durability

      of bottles in the Chicago area from their gardeners.

  • Laura
    on Oct 29, 2018

    How do you guard against cold breakage? How do you get every sliver of glass out of the yard when you move? I grew up in a 200 year old house (from the era when trash, including glass bottles, was buried in the back of the yard). Frost heave causes buried glass to move through the ground to surprising depths from which it reemerges to cut your bare foot, even decades later. A shard of glass thrown up by a lawn mower is dangerous, no matter how pretty it looked thirty years before.

    • Ursula Owens
      on Oct 29, 2018

      Please see previous conversations. These are buried in sand only. This is in an area that did not have a yard or topsoil.

    • Deb French
      on Oct 29, 2018

      Also it was stated for zone 4 if your a gardener/planter you know your zones. Not sure where 4 is but I know I'm in done 5

    • Lora Taylor Hyatt
      on Oct 29, 2018

      Could always use something to line the area under the bottles such as a super heavy plastic

    • CGodNme
      on Oct 29, 2018

      Thank you I had the same problems.

      The previous home owners buried theirs as well.

      Im still finding glass not good especially on our drive way UGH!!


    • Pjo26908388
      on Oct 29, 2018

      Broken glass from trash piles is a whole different subject. A project with solid bottle at the surface of a yard are not problematic. And/If you are bothered by the possibility then perhaps another project is for you.


      Many my if my friends have upside down bottles as borders and patios. Going on 10-15 years they are still quite lovely. Many even have ferns sprouting within the bottles.

    • Jeanne
      on Oct 29, 2018

      I agree! Though a beautiful design, the nurse and the mother in me in envisioning catastrophic injury with this one. Maybe cut bottoms off and make wall mural instead?

    • Mickey
      on Oct 29, 2018

      Beautiful project. I don’t think some of the respondents quite understood the process. The bottles are not buried like trash years ago. They are set in sand (not entirely buried) upside down in an area where the lawnmower isn’t going to be used. Looks quite safe to me if done as she did.

    • Wendy Baldwin
      on Oct 29, 2018

      I agree! If it is an area where homeowners know it’s there it should be safe. They can remove them someday if they want a change. I think it’s a really cool look!

    • Christkitty2000
      on Oct 29, 2018

      Too bad people dont read your instructions. Very pretty idea

    • Nancy Turner
      on Oct 30, 2018

      At my parents cabin, when the patio at the beach was poured, they upturned a soda bottle in the cement incase someone wanted to put in an umbrella. My parents never did and the bottle was still intact when I was in my mid thirties.

    • Erin
      on Oct 30, 2018

      Put on shoes.

    • You31180292
      on Oct 30, 2018

      i live in Kansas city Missouri - I have had bottles I buried and we get freezing weather still great after 5 years. I did not fill mine with anything...your sun idea is next on my list!

  • Merrilee Morrison-Cotter
    on Oct 29, 2018

    Did you fill them with sand?


    • Ursula Owens
      on Oct 29, 2018

      No

    • Hilary
      on Oct 29, 2018

      I wondered the same thing Merrilee, you would think that the sand would make the bottles stronger.

    • Ursula Owens
      on Oct 30, 2018

      I think if the bottles were full of sand then in the winter when they freeze, the moisture inside would expand and break the bottle...when the ground freezes now, it just pops them up a bit. In the spring I use a rubber mallet to pound them back down.

    • Merrilee Morrison-Cotter
      on Oct 30, 2018

      Good point, Thank you.


  • Rosemarie Bass
    on Oct 29, 2018

    I live in zone 6a-6b. Can this project be done safely where I live?

    • Linda Sikut
      on Oct 29, 2018

      The lower the zone number, the colder the winter weather. So zone 6 is warmer than zone 4. You should be fine.

    • Ursula Owens
      on Oct 29, 2018

      Just make sure you bury in sand!

    • SkyHaven Glass
      on Oct 30, 2018

      I am a glass artist and work with all types of glass. I have made many pieces using bottles over the years both in and above ground. Ursula has done it the right way. You don't want anything inside the bottle that will wick up water inside. That would freeze in colder climates, but it would only crack the bottle which could easily be replaced. No matter where you live there will always be something in the grass or ground that could hurt you. Nails, rusty cans, thorns, and yes... broken glass. Wear shoes, and enjoy your life.

  • Anjelica Rodriguez
    on Oct 30, 2018

    Just curious, wouldn't they break if someone were to step on them?

    • Joe Jones
      on Oct 31, 2018

      That’s a tricky question because sure they could tile can but it has to be stepped on just right. A bottle will hold a humans weight if it’s in the up and down position but sideways it is brittle. They stacks pounds and pounds of bottles on top of one another in the warehouses.

    • Bob Denman
      on Oct 31, 2018

      No, most botles have a thick bottom

    • Linda Butcher
      on Nov 5, 2018

      Yes

    • Dorcas Wright Berthold
      on Nov 5, 2018

      And the ground is keeping them perfectly still. I’d bet you could bounce a nickel off of one and it’d be fine.

  • Cesca
    on Nov 5, 2018

    would it benefit the garden by somehow absorbing heat from the sun?? Just curious..


  • Edna Mills
    on Nov 5, 2018

    Do u fill bottles with sand first

  • Jackie Seley
    on Nov 5, 2018

    Can I use any kind of bottles as long as I have all at same height

    • Denise Davenport
      on Nov 5, 2018

      They wouldn't have to be the same height as you can bury them deeper or less so they are even with the ground!

    • Sandra Jean Adkins
      on Nov 5, 2018

      Just make sure they are all level. It doesn’t matter if they’re all the same size or not.

  • Karen Bradford
    on Nov 5, 2018

    What are the round metal objects to the left of this photo? I’m curious. By the way, your garden is absolutely gorgeous!! In what part of the country are you? This is what having enough rain fall looks like!

    • Ursula Owens
      on Nov 5, 2018

      Thank you! They are galvanized tubs. I am located in Northern Michigan, zone 4b. We do have dry spells but I use drip irrigation from our lake which is about 100 feet to the north of this.

  • Rosemary Jones
    on Nov 5, 2018

    Kool idea to use bottles but what keeps bottkes from going deeper into ground?

    • Sandra Michaels
      on Nov 5, 2018

      Creater of this is not answering you but I have a thought.

      Maybe stomp on the bottles when it’s in place and readjust?

    • Ursula Owens
      on Mar 1, 2019

      I’m not sure...maybe the density of the sand? It’s heavier than beach sand.


  • Rosemary Jones
    on Nov 5, 2018

    What prevents bottles from sinking more into ground?

  • Pat Acosta
    on Nov 5, 2018

    How can I camouflage a double pane window that has white residue , unable to replace at this time.

    • Vicky Hager
      on Nov 5, 2018

      Magic eraser

    • Karen Martin Long
      on Nov 5, 2018

      Cornstarch water paste on lace will stick to window. Easy to remove later. Or that stained glass paper with stick backing at Lowe’s Home Depot.

    • Catrina Taylor Duffy
      on Nov 6, 2018

      Oh, boy...Lol

      It's in a "Spray Paint" can.

      It leaves a "Misty" appearance when dried. (Similar to what is used on a 'Bathroom' door/window, for privacy.)

      Should cover up the "white" ... Negating its focal-ability!!😂😂 Hope you have a Good outcome...that you'll enjoy!!

      Stencil with "Snow" it's Christmas!!! ⭐⭐⭐

    • Pat Acosta
      on Nov 9, 2018

      The residue is on the inside of double pane so impossible the magic erase would help. Thank you tho.

    • Pat Acosta
      on Nov 9, 2018

      Will check for the spray paint. Thank you.

    • Teresa
      on Feb 24, 2019

      The gas had leaked from your double pain window and smokes white.... Use the spray that will call the glass is the contact papers for like the bathroom privacy... Anything along that line will work great

      Even pain with the cracked glass look.... Choices are really endless..... Home Depot has the best variety to offer is my suggestion

    • Katie
      on Feb 24, 2019

      Use wallpaper paste to adhere bits of colored tissue paper. Creates a "Stained Glass" affect.


      I used to have a window done up this way & measured & cut a black poster board to fit.


      Afterward I made a design on the poster board that highlighted a symetrical pattern to give it definitions.

  • Pat Beakley
    on Nov 6, 2018

    Do you fill your bottles with sand before burying to equalize pressure to keep from breaking? Really like the idea.


    • Ursula Owens
      on Nov 6, 2018

      No...in our climate the moisture in the sand in the bottle would freeze in winter, expand, and break the bottle.

  • Chris Sandbeck
    on Nov 30, 2018

    I live in mud country, not how this would work or if it would work as mud has no give and take. Could add sand to soil.


    • Teresa
      on Feb 24, 2019

      Yes sand is the answer for your soul type... You can buy it by the truck load or by the bags at the local handyman store..

Join the conversation

3 of 407 comments
  • Bernice H
    on Feb 26, 2019

    I still love this,saw your post before. Am glad it is still together and a most unusual unexpected treat for the eyes! 👏👏👏

    • Ursula Owens
      on Mar 1, 2019

      Thank you! They are still all doing great with nothing broken! Right now they are covered in 3 feet of snow.

  • Connie
    on Mar 1, 2019

    Very clever...inspired me to drink more wine as I garden😁. Will have enough to complete this project by June.

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