One of the most beautiful pieces of art is a glass bottle wall. People collect bottles for various reasons, but probably the best use for them is this project. Although it is usually just for show, a bottle wall can be as functional as it is beautiful since the glass is fairly durable.
While the construction of a glass bottle wall is time-consuming and requires patience, it can still be done yourself with the required materials and tools.
Step 1 - Gather and Clean Your Bottles
Gather your own collect of glass bottles in preparation for this project. They can be of various colors and size to give the wall a unique pattern, but you will have to remove any and all labels and clue from the outside in addition to thoroughly washing the inside.
Step 2 - Plan the Arrangement
Draw in detail how you will arrange your bottles in your wall. You will especially need to do this if your bottles are in different sizes and shapes. How you will place the bottles is important to the look and overall design and strength.
At this point, you may also want to sort your bottles by size and shape so that laying them in the correct way later is that much easier.
Step 3 - Prepare the Grounds
With your safety goggles and gloves on, you will need to clear the area where you want to place your wall. Remove all sod, dirt, and rocks from the surroundings. Then, dig a trench in that is six inches deep and three inches wider than is needed for the footing of the wall. Fill your trench when you’re finished with about three inches of gravel.
Step 4 - Frame the Trench
You will now use a hammer and nails to build a frame constructed from 2x4s for the wall’s footing. Ensure that the frame is at least 16 inches wide on the inside. On the outside, use supporting stakes attached directly to and even with the frame.
Step 5 - Reinforce and Pour the Footing
Lay down wire inside the footing area for flexible support. Once this is done, you will be able to mix a batch of ready-mix concrete in a wheelbarrow to pour over the wire and up to the top of the frame construction. Smooth out the concrete by going across the top of the frame with the edge of a 2x4 until all holes are filled and the surface is even and smooth. Allow the footing to cure for two to three days.
Step 6 - Add Columns to the Footing
Use cinder blocks to build columns on each end of your wall, laying them to the desired height of your glass bottle structure. Doing this will help provide strength and a great, clean look to your wall since the corners will get the most contact.
Step 7 – Mix Mortar
Mix one part cement to three parts sand to create mortar for your bottle piece. Start in one corner at the bottle, spreading an ample amount of mortar to lay the bottle. As you continue to lay each course, ensure that all joints each piece are at least the width of your thumb.
Step 8 - Reinforce the Wall
When you reach the third course, you can now lay wire to reinforce the cement. You will need to repeat this procedure at every third course to create a sound, sturdy structure.
Step 9 - Trowel the Concrete
When you reach the last course of your bottle wall, trowel the concrete smooth to receive cap blocks to finish the top of your wall. These cap blocks will give protection to the bottles underneath. Allow the mortar plenty of time to cure before doing anything else to the bottle wall. Only afterward can you add any additional touches you might want to enhance the beauty of your project.