Instead of tossing your empty bottles into the recycling bin, why not fill them with flowers to create an interesting display. Maybe suspended from a few tree branches or strewn through the center of your table to create a casual centerpiece?
To add even more ambiance to your backyard gathering, try making your own fire bowl. It's ridiculously easy and very inexpensive...if you're resourceful you can make one for just a few dollars. All you need is a large fire safe container... a metal, concrete or ceramic plant pot works great... a few cans of gel fuel, some mesh and rocks from the beach.
The process is ridiculously simple. Place a few open cans of gel fuel inside the planter, cover it with a cut metal mesh and rocks. That’s it...your done!. Clear a few of the rocks away from above the gel fuel cans so you can light the gel fuel. The gel cans last for about 3 hours, if you’d want to stop the flame earlier, just place something non flammable over the cans of gel fuel to snuff out the flame... the lid from the can works great, I just hot glue a long skinny rock to the lid to use as a handle. The gel cans can be re lit over and over again.
* The gel fuel is sold almost anywhere during the summer months. I've recently seen it at Walmart and Home Depot. They also sell refill fuel, so when your can runs out you won't have to take your fire pit apart, just top up the can.
*Depending on the depth of your container, you may have to raise up the cans of gel fuel...sands works great for this.
***Check with your local fire department for burning restriction that may be in place!