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How to Remove Wine Labels for Art and Scrapbooking

Updated on November 25, 2015
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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.

I chose this pretty but cheap red wine bottle to test out the process.
I chose this pretty but cheap red wine bottle to test out the process. | Source

Prepare Your Label for Removal

  1. Enjoy your favorite wines as you normally would.
  2. Hang onto the bottles with attractive or funny labels that you'd like to save.
  3. 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.
  4. It probably goes without saying, but don't attempt this process on a full or unopened bottle.

Since my oven doesn't go below 200°F, I used the "Warm" setting.
Since my oven doesn't go below 200°F, I used the "Warm" setting. | Source
Place your wine bottles on the oven rack. (Pardon my ancient, stained oven. It's older than I am, but it still works beautifully.)
Place your wine bottles on the oven rack. (Pardon my ancient, stained oven. It's older than I am, but it still works beautifully.) | Source

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!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Use a sharp kitchen knife to carefully lift the corners of the label.
Use a sharp kitchen knife to carefully lift the corners of the label.
Use a sharp kitchen knife to carefully lift the corners of the label. | Source
  • 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.

Peel the label off carefully.
Peel the label off carefully. | Source

What's your favorite wine label art project?

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My Wine Label Cards

I use my wine labels to make homemade greeting cards. What will you use yours for?
I use my wine labels to make homemade greeting cards. What will you use yours for? | Source

A Few Final Suggestions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. This process also works well with beer bottles. Think of the awesome man cave decorations you can create!

How'd It Work?

Did your wine labels come off easily and stay intact?

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Comments

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    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Christy,

      I have always wanted to do this. Thanks for the idea.

      Cheers

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

      I had not realized it was so easy to remove the wine labels. I like the idea of using them for greeting cards. Clever idea! I just wanted to know how to remove the label for my home wine-making efforts. But, you just gave me the idea of using the label for something else. Thanks! Great instructions and accompanying photos.

    • Christy Kirwan profile image
      Author

      Christy Kirwan 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thanks, Vinaya Ghimire!

      And thank you, MarleneB. I hope your crafts and your wine turn out great! It will be awesome if you can reuse every part of the wine bottles. Turing "junk" into something useful or pretty is such an awesome feeling! :)

    • paiva25 profile image

      Paiva 4 years ago from Goa, india

      Never thought about trying to heat a bottle up..will give it a try..

      A simplier way that I have tried with beer bottles (a friend of mine gifted me some Portuguese beer) is to just leave the bottle to soak in water for a while and the label just peels of easily...

      Or even condensation caused by taking a chilled bottle outta the fridge works..

    • Christy Kirwan profile image
      Author

      Christy Kirwan 4 years ago from San Francisco

      That's a good point, paiva25, though wine bottles use a different type of adhesive than most beer bottles (though older bottles of wine do use the same type, so if you're drinking aged wine, soaking or a label remover is best). This method is much easier and less damaging to the labels of newer wines, in my opinion.

    • ytsenoh profile image

      Cathy 4 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

      Christy, thanks for this hub. I've been a collector of wine bottles for years, so I find this really interesting as to what you can do with the labels. And, it never would have occurred to me to heat up the bottle to help get the label off. Thanks.

    • CampbellLena2013 profile image

      Lena Campbell 3 years ago from Maryland

      I liked this idea, I'm a artsy crafty kind of girl but I never thought of this idea, very original and fun. :-)

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 3 years ago from America

      Once you get the label off put the wine bottle on a bottle tree. Good information I always have problems getting the labels off for my bottle tree. Even soaking sometimes won't work. Voted up.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Some food labels are beautiful, too. And sometimes I just want to get the labels off easily to use the jars or bottles. Never knew about the heat & peel method. Thanks for sharing!

    • sparkleyfinger profile image

      Lynsey Harte 3 years ago from Glasgow

      Great Idea! Voted up and useful! I like to keep beer labels- usually to use as a decoration for my bar area! usually quite difficult to get off in one piece, so I will try this in future! Thanks!

    • profile image

      Jena 3 years ago

      Tried. Did not work.

    • Christy Kirwan profile image
      Author

      Christy Kirwan 3 years ago from San Francisco

      Hi Jena, were you trying this process on a beer bottle or old wine bottle? Most beer bottles and wine bottles that are 10-15 years old or older use a different type of adhesive that will not come off with this process. You'll want to use a purchased label remover for those.

    • profile image

      NDWineKitchen 3 years ago

      I have tried this 4 times now. Brand new bottles... Not having any luck :(

    • Christy Kirwan profile image
      Author

      Christy Kirwan 3 years ago from San Francisco

      Uh-oh, what brands of wine have you tried it on, NDW? I've never had any trouble, though if the oven is too hot it can damage the labels...

    • profile image

      cindi 2 years ago

      I just want one sde of label, and keep the other on. Recommend??

    • Christy Kirwan profile image
      Author

      Christy Kirwan 2 years ago from San Francisco

      Hi Cindi,

      It shouldn't cause any problems if you only remove one of the labels. :)

    • amazmerizing profile image

      amazmerizing 2 years ago from PACIFIC NORTHWEST, USA

      Sounds like it might work... I smell a new experiment coming on!!! TFS

    • CelebrateUSA profile image

      Ken Kline 2 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Very useful information. Upcycling, retaining for history - great tip!

    • profile image

      Judy Crowell 24 months ago

      I've been a complete failure at soaking. Can't wait to try this!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 22 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Christy, this was a clever idea to remove wine labels for your art journals. Voted up for useful!

    • cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

      Treathyl FOX 14 months ago from Austin, Texas

      LOL. I have a friend who collected wine bottles. She always took the labels. I never thought about saving the labels. Now that I think about it some of them are very pretty. (O.o) :) You have excellent HUBs.

    • cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

      Treathyl FOX 14 months ago from Austin, Texas

      LOL. I have a friend who collected wine bottles. She always took the labels off. I never thought about saving the labels. Now that I think about it some of them are very pretty. (O.o) :) You have excellent HUBs.

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