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Olive Oil Centerpieces

The holidays are here in full force! Most of us are very busy right about now planning, shopping, cooking, entertaining, and decorating. It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but there sure is a lot to do, isn’t there?

Many of our customers here at Old Town Olive have a collection of pretty empty bottles around the house. We can sympathize! When you love good olive oil and vinegars, these things happen. We wanted to be able to repurpose those bottles, so we did a little research and found a couple clever ideas on how to use them to make a beautiful Christmas Centerpiece for your dining room table, sideboard, sofa, or coffee table.

Time is at a premium these next couple weeks, but rest assured, these centerpieces don’t take long to make, and they aren’t hard either.

Here are the ideas: You can cut the bottoms off several bottles so they are different heights, then set them over candles. Easy and elegant. Or, you can put Christmas lights inside the bottles and just run the cord out the back to a nearby plug-in. Stunning alone or with greenery on a sideboard, sofa table, or on top of your piano or bookshelf!


Step 1 – Soak

Soak the label off the bottle in warm, soapy water.


Step 2 – Cut (No Dynamite or Special Licensing Required)

How does a perfectly normal person cut glass without making a giant mess or severing a finger? Basically to cut glass you have to do two things: 1) score the glass, then 2) shock it with temperature change, which will fracture the glass at the score line.

The easiest way is to simply buy a small glass cutting tool. Most hobby and craft stores, and a few department stores carry them. They are inexpensive and easy to find.

Use your cutting tool to score a thin line around the bottle. The thinner the line, the better, so resist the urge to keep circling. Once you have a line all the way around, pour boiling water over the score line. Snap! File any rough spots on the edge with a nail file and you’re done.

Note: If you want to put lights inside your bottle, you’ll need to cut a hole near the bottom for the electrical wires to come out. Easy-to-follow instructions are in the link.

Some brave souls use fire and ice to cut the glass. They score the glass by soaking a string in acetone-based nail polish remover, tying it around the bottle where they want the cut, then lighting the string on fire. They then plunge the heat-scored bottle into an ice water bath. Snap! File the edge a little bit and you’re ready to decorate. Detailed instructions can be found here.


Step 3 – Decorate

 Now comes the fun part. What will you put inside your cut bottle? Here are a few ideas:

  • White lights inside amber or green glass
  • Colored lights inside clear glass
  • Small pillar candles inside several bottles cut to different heights
  • White lights and small colored Christmas ornaments inside clear glass


Cheater’s Method…

If you want to make a pretty centerpiece out of old empty bottle but don’t want to fuss with cutting glass, check out these nifty little gadgets, or these. All the beauty, but none of the effort. If your bottle has a cork-sized opening, you can use these little LED lights and get the same effect. Also, since these don’t have to be plugged in, they make an excellent centerpiece.

Have fun and enjoy re-purposing those empty olive oil and vinegar bottles.

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