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5 ways to make money from empty Gin bottles

Natasha Hegarty 28th Sep 2021 One Comment

Reading Time: 6 minutes

With the British guzzling 75 million bottles of the juniper-based drink every year, Gin is well on its way to being an island favourite. But going through all those bottles means a lot of recycling, but instead of filling the bin, some creative people have been using their empties to make beautiful home accessories.

Getting fully on the bandwagon for sustainable living, Brits have been binge-watching Tik-Toks and taking to Pinterest for inspiration and tips on how to turn a normal everyday object – such as an empty Gin bottle – into something beautiful as people look for thrifty ways to liven up their home décor.

And decorative Gin bottles are in high demand by the crafting community, who are scouring eBay to find cheap second-hand bottles for their upcycling projects. So much so, searches for “empty gin bottle ideas” are up 433% compared to pre-pandemic.

Here are five ways of making money from Gin bottles:

  1. Sell the empty bottles
  2. Light it up
  3. A floral arrangement
  4. Get scrubbed
  5. Scent for days


Sell the empty bottles

gin bottles

This is the easiest way to make a bit of extra cash as all you have to do is have a lovely time drinking the gin, give the bottle a good soapy wash, and pop them on eBay. You probably won’t make over what you paid for the bottle of gin and selling on eBay will cost you 10% of the final transaction value, including taxes and postage, but by grouping a few together, you can make a decent bit of pocket money from crafters looking to use them for their own projects.

But how much can you expect to make? Well data analysts at Lifestyle Packaging have found the average eBay resale price for 120 popular and craft gin bottles and compared this against their RRP and the findings are pretty impressive.

Top of the tipples is Mermaid Pink Gin, with its stunning textured blush bottle. Retailing at a rather pricey £38, the average selling price on eBay for an empty bottle of this strawberry flavoured gin is £11.98, giving you 31% cashback per bottle.

In second place is the world’s bestselling gin, Gordon’s London Dry Gin. Retailing at £15.50 for 70cl, eBay sellers can make on average 30% of the RRP back per bottle – £4.65. Surely there must be a nearly empty one of those in your home bar.

The Eden Mill Golf Gin, with its striking green bottle, comes in third place for reselling value. A favourite of golf and gin fans alike, this decorative and unique-looking bottle sells on average for £8.82 on eBay – that’s 29% of the £30 retail price.

That’s not bad at all for something you would ordinarily be throwing away.


Light it up

gin bottles

Upcycling is a great way to make extra money and you can really make more than the value of the bottle of the Gin this way. Once the bottle is nice and clean and dry, buy some cheap battery-run fairy lights and pop them inside the bottle. The sparkly lights will make for an atmospheric light all year round, but it will look especially festive during Christmas.

Staying with lighting, there are lots of different decorative filament lightbulbs on the market that are very inexpensive, which will allow you to turn the bottle into a lamp. This will involve slightly more work than the fairy lights, where you will have to drill a hole in the side of the bottle for the light’s cable to be threaded through, but a quick Google should be all you need to give it a go.

These bulbs look great on their own, but if you are searching for a different look, then you can add a lampshade to the top, meaning you can make something that fits in with your décor, but with a cool twist. Making things even cheaper and more sustainable, this will work brilliantly if you have a lampshade lying around that you’re not already using.

However, if all that is too much like hard work, you can buy USB light up corks for under £10 on Amazon and it’s just a case of popping it in. Simple.

If you don’t want to keep these items for yourself, your creations can sell on Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and the handmade treasure trove, Etsy.


 A floral arrangement

If you’re looking for the perfect vase but you just can’t find one you love in the shops, look no further than your empty gin bottle. After a wash you can pop some freshly picked blooms in there from your garden and there you have it, a brand-new vase. The gin bottle will look just as beautiful with some faux flowers too if you’re not that green-fingered, and they will last forever, saving you cash in the long run.

If you really want to ensure the new gin bottle vase fits with your home décor, give the bottle a paint to match your colour scheme and style before adding the flowers, if you’re not too bothered about losing the actual gin bottle colour. The designs are endless too, just use your imagination, stencils, appliqués, or even freelance a paint design if you have a steady hand, but ensure you add a primer coat before you go in with your paint of choice to give it a professional-looking finish.

Again, have a look on the reselling sites to see what other people are selling and you can join them with your own creative business.


Get scrubbed

Using an empty Gin bottle in the bathroom gives you so many options for sprucing the space up, as well as being quite practical too. Once the bottles have been thoroughly cleaned, they can be turned into shampoo or soap dispensers to really give your bathroom a unique look – but make sure your visitors are aware the Gin has all been drunk and they are being used for something else now! All you have to do is purchase a inexpensive pump in the finish of your choice, fill the bottle with your chosen liquid, screw the pump on, and job done.

This idea can make a stunning addition to a bathroom whether you decide to keep it for yourself or sell it, as they make such a unique design idea. They are really popular over on Etsy, so take a look on there and see if you can make some money from selling your creations.


Scent for days

Reed diffusers can be very expensive, but they smell amazing. Using an empty Gin bottle as a scent diffuser is a great way to make use of an item that would ordinarily be thrown away, though this works best for smaller bottles. There are a few additional items that you need to buy first, such as a pack of reed diffusers which are very inexpensive, sweet almond oil, and essential oils in whichever scent you fancy.

The amount of oil you need will completely depend on what size bottle you have so it is best to have a Google when you have chosen your bottle. Once the correct mixture has been poured in, sit back and smell the beautiful new scent filling your room. Again, you’ll have to decide whether you sell it or keep it for yourself, either way you will have created a pretty item that will brighten up any room.


So, get creative and you can make some extra money for all those Christmas gifts that you need to buy.


Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.

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2 years ago

Hope this works as well for vodka bottles!

Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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