How to Remove Wine Labels for Art and Scrapbooking
Removing wine labels is not a terribly difficult task. Many home winemakers soak and scrub them off to reuse the bottles. But sometimes you get a particularly fun or beautiful label and you think it might be nice to cut out part of the design for your scrapbook, use it for a collage you're working on, or even frame it. You're in luck! The oven method of removal is free, and it works quite well on most newer wine labels.
WARNING: This method is not intended for antique or valuable labels. For old bottles and expensive/valuable vintages, use a professional wine label remover to ensure completely damage-free and perfect preservation.
Prepare Your Label for Removal
- Enjoy your favorite wines as you normally would.
- Hang onto the bottles with attractive or funny labels that you'd like to save.
- Choose a test bottle for your first attempt. I used one that had a pretty label, but that I wouldn't be torn up about (as it were) if I screwed up the process.
- It probably goes without saying, but don't attempt this process on a full or unopened bottle.
How to Heat Your Wine Bottle
- Preheat your oven to between 100°F and 200°F. My oven only starts as low as 200°F, so I used the "Warm" setting. If your oven's temperature is slightly off, start with 100°F and increase the temperature by increments if the label does not come off smoothly.
- Set your wine bottle or bottles on the oven rack and bake them for about 10 minutes.
- When the time is up, remove the bottles carefully using an oven mitt. Despite the low oven temperature, the bottles will be hot to the touch.
- Use a sharp kitchen knife to lift the edges of the label.
- Once you have peeled up the corners, the label itself should be cool enough to touch with your bare hand. Just be careful not to bump the glass with your skin, ouch!
- Carefully peel the label off. It should detach from the bottle easily and cleanly. You now have a lovely intact wine label for art projects!
- The removed label will be very sticky. Place it on a sheet of wax paper for easy reuse later.
What's your favorite wine label art project?
My Wine Label Cards
A Few Final Suggestions
- Your labels may be curled from the peeling process. Once you've placed them on the wax paper, try pressing them between the pages of a large, heavy book for a week to get them to lay flat before use.
- The wine bottles should be fairly clean and free of residue once the labels are removed. Consider using them for crafting projects as well or saving them for a winemaking friend or relative.
- This process also works well with beer bottles. Think of the awesome man cave decorations you can create!