I have a habit of savings thing I “can eventually use.” Wine bottles, corks, cookie tins, strips of ribbon, plastic packaging components — you name it, and I have saved it, promising myself that I’d one day make use of it in some as yet unknown project. Well in honor of Earth Day (yesterday) and my 4-year blogiversary (yes, it crept up on me this year, because it was last week), I decided to finally do something with all that…well…stuff. Or at least some of it.
I decided to dress up my table for spring, beginning with a group of liquor bottles I saved months ago. I knew they could make a gorgeous centerpiece with just a little TLC. So here’s how to make a repurposed bottle centerpiece:
What you’ll need
- 3 glass bottles, preferably of varied shapes and sizes
- Spray paint in the colors of your choosing
- Spray paint clear coat
- Craft paint
- Small, detail paint brush
- Water and/or any kind of oil
How to remove labels from glass bottles
The first step to prepping the bottles is getting the labels off. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, that depends on what kind of adhesive was used to apply the labels in the first place. To find out, fill the bottles with hot water. Then fill the sink (or a bucket or some other container) with enough warm water to cover the bottles and submerge them. Let them soak for an hour or two, then check the labels. If they’re starting to come off on their own, or move easily when you start pushing at the corner, they’re probably applied with water-based adhesive. Leave them for a few more hours. Then watch in awe as the labels come off like magic with very little effort.
If, however, the labels do not come off easily, that means they were applied with oil-based adhesive. Commence teeth gnashing. Grab any kind of oil you have in your kitchen. I used some basic, inexpensive cooking oil. Slather it all around the edges of the label, then use a stiff plastic card to gently scrape it off a little at a time. I used an old, expired Borders book store card. I wouldn’t recommend using a current card that you have to swipe, since you’ll get oil all over it that could ruin the magnetic strip. If you get to a point when the label is difficult to remove, even with the card, simply slather more oil around the edges and wait for a few minutes. Eventually, you’ll be able to get the rest of the label off.
Now, you can move on.
Thoroughly wash and dry the bottles. Next, simply spray paint them in the color of your choice. When spray painting glass, be sure to keep the spray can about 8-10 inches away while spraying and move your hand continuously in even strokes. This will help prevent unsightly drips and clumps of paint. I did 2 coats, allowing the bottles to dry for about 2 hours each time.
Side note: While I usually use the low-VOC Krylon H20 when I do spraypainting projects, it is water-based and not recommended for painting glass. As you can imagine, it probably would have slid right off. So I used traditional Krylon spray paint outdoors with the bottles somewhat cocooned inside a dropcloth to minimize the amount of fumes released into the atmosphere. (aff)
Back to the steps. Once you’ve achieved the coverage you want and the paint is dry, it’s time to embellish. Print out the words you’d like to see on your bottles in font you like. I chose three simple words: Live. Love. Give. Also seen here. I thoroughly believe in doing all of these things, and i really wanted words that worked well in a group, but could also stand alone if need be.
Cut out the words into small strips of paper. Then flip it over and use a pencil to darkly color the back side of the paper.
Flip it back over and place it on the glass where you want the word to go and hold it in place with your free hand. Use something with a relatively pointed edge to trace the edge of the letters on to the bottle. I used the stylus from my daughter’s Nintendo DS, but a bamboo skewer, a paper clip, or any number of other things could work as well.
Tracing will transfer pencil marks to the paint on the bottle. Great, right?
Next, use a small detail paintbrush to fill the letters with the color of your choosing. I chose turquoise, which I’ve recently realized is indeed my favorite color. Once the lettering is dry, spray over the entire bottle with clear coat to seal the paint and letters.
Group the bottles together and enjoy!
Next, I’ll reveal part 2 of my recycled spring table, another toilet paper roll project (see the first one here) that will cost you less than $10 to complete!
Disclosure: I am a member of the Walmart Moms program. I was provided with compensation for my time and effort in sharing craft projects with you. Participation is voluntary and as usual, all opinions are my own.