Years ago, a friend gave me a set of handcrafted glasses made from upcycled wine bottle for my birthday, and they’ve continued to be my most treasured pieces of glassware. If you’re currently pulling together the last of your holiday gift plans, consider upcycled drinking glasses as a special present that your loved ones will cherish through the years.
Tumblers are a broad type of glassware with flat bottoms used for serving drinks, and they really run the gamut: from juice glasses to high ball glasses and water glasses to shot glasses, these are all under the tumbler umbrella. And for the home entertainer that loves to mix and match dining ware with mismatched plates and glasses, having a variety of tumblers in the pantry is ideal.
You can score some great vintage tumblers at thrift stores at a really low cost, and nowadays you can find incredibly swanky upcycled tumblers made from reclaimed wine, beer, and spirits bottles. If you’re in the market to gift-give some beautiful upcycled glassware this holiday season, here are some producers that operate here in the States:
The Green Glass Company has been recycling glass that comes from its partner sites and companies since 1992, and today its production takes place in a Wisconsin-based facility. There’s a large array of glass collections on their website—you can find everything from glasses with the original company logo and design still on them, to multi-colored, frosted collections with cutesy designs imprinted in them. You can even special order your glasses to be custom designed with logos and brand names (especially handy for the eco-minded corporate gift-giver).
Blue Moon Bottles is owned and operated by Ohio artist Sherri James, who turns old wine bottles into what she calls “wine bottle reclamation art.” Her glass tumblers come in sets of four and are hand-cut originals, created in a solar-powered studio and packaged in reclaimed materials. (On her website, you’ll also find beautiful vases, candle lanterns, and furniture all made from recycled wine bottles.)
BottleHood produces the bulk of its goods in San Diego, CA and a small amount in Las Vegas, NV (they also facilitate some fairs in Colorado!). The company sells all sorts of housewares and art made from recycled bottles, and they have an impressive collection of juice glasses, shot glasses, and generic glass tumblers. Especially great for beer lovers, you’ll find an extensive variety of glasses with the original bottle design still intact—from Stone Brewery to Red Stripe (or IBC for the underage kiddos), there’s a bottle for all tastes. If you’ve got some old beer or wine bottles you’ve been hanging on to because you love their design, you can mail them to BottleHood and they’ll turn them into tumblers and juice glasses to order.
The Uncorked Glass Company is located in Atlanta, GA and uses wine bottles donated from local restaurants and bars. The tumblers here are said to go through a process that rounds out the lip of the glasses, providing a special polished finish that sets them apart from others on the market. The bottoms of each glass are also marked with dimples, adding another element of uniqueness. You won’t find a very large array of glasses in their collection, but you will find simple, sophisticated looks with a minimal-chic style.