DIY Bottle Tree

Welcome to my parents backyard… Yep, that’s a 10 foot tall tree made out of different diameters of steel round rod complete with colored bottles my mom collected from friends and a few she purchased from the internet. You can buy steel round rod at a local steel supply store. According to my dad, you can not buy steel round rod at the big box hard ware stores.
DIY Garden projects
My mom does big crafts (glass block shower wall, etched glass cabinets, USA license plate map) and this steel tree is no different… well except that my mom did not actually make it herself. It was her vision and persistence that got the project complete, but a family friend did the actual welding of the steel. My mom and I were first intrigued with bottle trees after a trip to a plant nursery in Independence, Texas called the Antique Rose Emporium.

Here are a few pics I found on the ol’ internet of bottle trees at the Antique Rose Emporium:

bottle tree
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Upon closer inspection of the Antique Rose Emporium bottle trees you will notice that the these bottle trees are real cedar trees, and the bottles are simply placed on a dead branch.

The roses are pretty and smell yummy, but as a kid I remember the Antique Rose Emporium for the bottle trees, funky art, and this picture of a potted archway.

bottle tree
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So who decided sticking bottles on trees was a good/cool/neat idea? It turns out the idea of a bottle tree has been around since glass bottles were invented. According to this site, that was in 1600 BC in Egypt and Mesopotamia. As the story goes, people believed the whir of the wind through a bottle was the sound of spirits trapped inside. (Remember Aladdin?) Naturally, the next step is to put a cap on the bottle trapping the bad spirits inside, which of course, were then destroyed by the light of a sunny day (who knew vampires used to be so small :). So, people kept bottles by their entryways to protect their home from evil spirits, and the bottle tree was born.

I actually bought my mom a bottle brush tree for Mother’s Day a few years ago, thinking that would suffice her bottle tree fixation. Although the tree I got her did not look like this…

bottle tree
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It was about 1/20th the size with only 5 twiggy limbs. The tree had a tragic soccer ball to the head (branches) and never recovered. My mom decided a real tree could not live in that spot and thought a steel tree would be perfect. (There have a been a few broken bottles, but those are fairly easily replaced!) My family thinks our backyard is a soccer field.

Here was my mom’s inspiration tree. This tree was created by a Mississippi artist named Stepahnie Dwyer.

bottle tree

And here is the DIY bottle tree beauty in our backyard…

bottle tree

*That brick wall is used as a soccer goal. You can see why the tree needs to be super sturdy!

A close up of her carefully crafted branches:

DIY Bottle Tree
DIY Garden projects

My mom and her bottle tree…

bottle tree

My mom’s tree is about 10 feet tall and holds 60 bottles. She estimates that it cost about $300 for materials. $150 for the metal and $150 for the colored bottles. The clear and green ones are just old wine bottles she collected from friends. You can buy vintage glass bottles on Amazon for $2.95 each. Here is an orange glass bottle ,turquoise bottle, and a purple bottle. $300 sounds expensive, but honestly, this style of bottle tree is hard to even find for sale. I have a feeling that shipping would be tricky since this sucker doesn’t come in pieces. Here is a super, simple bottle treefrom Amazon for only $39.95 + $8.99 shipping and handling. It only holds 10 bottles, but still keeps those spirit away and gives off the glow!

bottle tree

Or here is a really easy DIY version that could easily be made with a fence post or the tree kit purchased for $69.95.

bottle tree
What do you think of the bottle tree as yard art? It certainly adds a colorful sparkle to the backyard. It’s fun to look at, sturdy, and a great way to recycle those used wine bottles! Do you have yard art in your garden? Have you ever thought about DIY-ing a bottle tree? If you’re in the market for a DIY bottle tree and have any more questions, I am happy to answer more questions or most likely ask my parents… e-mail me at craftaway (at) gmail (dot) com.

Comments

  1. I love it!!

  2. Your mom is awesome! I have a friend who has a bottle tree in her back yard. I've always admired it! Fun post!

  3. What a unique idea! I've never seen anything like this before…love it though. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Great post, Jamie! Thanks for shaing this fun idea:)

  5. Awesome idea!

  6. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing. I recently went to a garden fair and found a lot of inspiration for the spring as well. Can't wait to have my own bottle tree :)

    http://goinwiththeseasons.blogspot.com/

  7. Wow great project!

  8. I am from South Carolina where people in the Low Country have had bottle trees forever. I want one all in cobalt blue. (It keeps the "haints" away!) Love all your photos! Followed over from Hookin' Up with HoH.

  9. how did you bend metal? Is it rebar or just metal rods? thanks

  10. My son unearthed a lot of vintage bottles doing construction work. This would be a lot better than them sitting in a box somewhere.

  11. Hey, I’m from Australia and I loved the photo of the bottle brush tree. We have those everywhere in our suburb – really beautiful big ones like the photo. I’m sorry to hear your mum’s tree didn’t grow. Glad to see the bottle tree is flourishing instead.

  12. We make those kind of bottle tree’s here at our shop in Lancaster, Ohio. We travel along the east coast to different arts and crafts show. From SC, NC, NY, PA, MD, MI, VA, WV, MA, GA. My brother in law Dave Anders is the owner, designer, cutter, bender and welder. Give us a call at our shop 740-639-4226. We have different trees. Just wanted to post this on here. Because I know alot of people have trouble finding bottle tree’s or they are way to expensive. Our average bottle tree cost $45. The more expensive one is $65 and hold 39 bottles. My brother in law has been welding and make metal art for home and gardens for 15 years now. Beautiful tree!!!

  13. I was wondering how much steel you got and what diameter? I’m hoping to make one for my mother for Christmas! Any more specifics would be fantastic!!

Trackbacks

  1. Marble Fence says:

    [...] you’re new here, check out the first post about my parents backyard and how my mom made a bottle tree. You can see the bottle tree behind the marble fence in the pic below. [...]

  2. [...] My mom finally made her bottle tree! It’s quirky, fun, and festive. I decided to research how bottle trees came to be… [...]

  3. […] might not have a green thumb, but I guarantee you I’d be able to grown this Bottle Tree.  How funky and fun is […]

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