Wine in the Garden

Bird feeders made from Yakima Valley wine bottles. Each one features a different decorative base, and one is embellished further with a copper wire wrap.

Emptying a bottle of luscious Yakima Valley wine was the easiest part of this DIY bird feeder project. The hardest part was drilling two holes in the bottle to dispense the seeds. With a little practice, that part becomes almost as easy. Before you start, watch a few YouTube videos on drilling holes in glass bottles to get the idea. Everyone has a slightly different technique, and this is what worked for my husband and I.


• Safety glasses

• Wine bottle

• Glass plate or saucer

• Duct tape

• Dishpan

• Electric drill

• 3/8” diamond drill bit (more expensive than a tile/glass bit but works much better)

• Hardware of your choice for hanger

First, Fill the wine bottle with water. Apply a 1” square of duct tape over the area you plan to drill. This keeps the drill bit from skating across the glass. Lay the bottle horizontally on a folded towel in a dishpan, and place the dishpan in the sink. Turn on the tap so that water slowly runs over the site of the hole. Water lubricates the bit, and cools the glass. Put on your safety glasses.

Position the bit at a 45° angle about 2” up from the bottom of the bottle. Turn the drill on and carefully make contact with the glass. Don’t put the drill bit on the glass and then start the drill. Continue to slowly drill through the duct tape at a slow rpm. Too much speed will heat the glass and cause shattering.

Slowly raise the bit to a 90° angle and continue drilling. Avoid applying too much pressure. It may take a couple of minutes to drill the hole. You’re not drilling as much as slowly wearing the glass away. When the bit goes through the glass, pull up on the drill. If you push the drill bit through the hole, the glass might break. Drill another hole on the opposite side.

Use fast-set epoxy to glue a plate or saucer to the bottom of the bottle. To make the hanger, use your imagination and whatever you have on hand. For my feeders, two ½” copper tube straps secured with two screws around the neck of the bottle hold a piece of copper wire bent to form the hanger. I had extra wire and added some embellishment. These holes are large enough to dispense a standard wild bird seed mix.

Cheers to for this great idea.

Carol came to Yakima 34 years ago from Buffalo, NY. She and her husband, John, found paradise on one and a third acres just west of Franklin Park, where they raised three children and became Master Gardeners.

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