I’ve been saving old glass bottles for a while now, because I wanted a chance to creatively upcycle them. And, I did! In this post, I will show you a few ways to upcycle glass bottles in such cute ways that you may never want to throw away a glass bottle again!
HOW TO LIGHT UP YOUR GLASS BOTTLES
First, I have to share with you a super exciting find on Amazon. So, years ago, my cousin gifted to my husband and me an empty wine bottle that had a short string of colored Christmas lights in it, and they were coming through a hole that had been drilled through the glass so you could plug them in. I love it. It was a long time ago, and we still have it on our kitchen counter, plugged in.
I wanted to make something similar, so I did purchase a drill bit that would make a hole in a glass bottle, but I haven’t used it yet. I don’t know if you’ve ever watched my YouTube videos where I DIY often the same things that I write about in this blog. Well, if you have watched them, you would know that I can be a bit of an accident waiting to happen. Although you don’t have to wait very long with me!
Anyway, I think I’ve been a little afraid of working with a.) A drill bit; and b.) Glass! It turns out that I can light up these bottles without having to drill anything. These fairy lights (LED string lights) come attached to a piece of light brown plastic that looks just like a cork! They are battery operated, so you just have to stuff the lights down, into the bottle and then switch them on. Genius!
Finally, I made these bottles and put the lights in them, I put them on my fireplace mantel and everyone asked how I got those lights to go in there without a cord coming out. I mean, really, how clever is that? (Rhetorical question because it’s pretty darn clever.) I will link these magical faux corks down below.
WHERE CAN YOU FIND THE GLASS BOTTLES
Let’s get down to business, shall we? We need to upcycle some bottles. The first thing you need to do is keep your eyes open when you go to a flea market, yard sale or thrift store. Even antique stores are a great source for beautiful old bottles. If you start paying attention for bottles, you will most likely find a few diamonds in the rough.
In addition to shopping for them, another way to find them is to drink alcohol. Now, if you are under 21, I’m obviously not talking to you. Or, if you just choose not to drink alcohol or keep it in your house, I’m not talking to you either. If you have a few empty liquor and or wine bottles in your recycling bin right now, then yes, I’m talking to you. In the case that you don’t drink alcohol (first of all, good for you!), you most likely know someone who does, and you can ask them to save any bottles for you that look interesting.
Materials Used To Transform Glass Bottles
1. Remove The Label
First, you will probably want to remove the label, unless the label is part of the charm. To remove the label, I recommend filling your kitchen sink with enough hot, soapy water to immerse the bottle. If you leave it alone for a while, most of the label will easily be scraped off. I find the best tool for this are those silicon pan scrapers. I’ll link some below. If any adhesive remains, finger nail polish remover on a paper towel will usually work. If you STILL can’t remove it, there’s a product called Goop (linked below) that will do the trick.
2. Use Alcohol (NO! Not THAT Kind!)
Second, use a cotton ball soaked in isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol), and wipe the entire surface of the bottle so you are working with a clean, oil-free bottle.
3. The Rest of the Instructions
On this first bottle, I took a heart-shaped punch and punched out a bunch of hearts from a crafter’s vinyl paper from Dollar Tree. I loved the color of this bottle, so I didn’t want to do anything to change it or completely cover it. But that’s all I did with it. Easy-peasy!
The next bottle had these beautiful areas on it with raised glass in different shapes. I wanted to capitalize on that, so I got out my colored Sharpie pens, and I colored it like a stained glass window.
This bottle was actually featured last year in one of my Instagram Reels and in another post last year. Here is the link. I simply used a few colors of acrylic paint, and I dipped the flat, eraser side of a pencil into the paint and then onto the bottle. I love the whimsical polka-dot look.
This bottle is just a beer bottle, but it really looks pretty, when you take off all the stickers. It has a beautiful amber color, and when wrapped with jute twine and some pretty lace, it is actually a very pretty bottle.
You can see with these other bottles that they are just beautiful bottles all on their own. I don’t need to change anything. One of them is a pale green milk glass, and it also looks very pretty lit up with the Fairy Lights. The fairy lights were not showing up in this lighting, but, take my word for it, they look so pretty.
Recycle, Repurpose, Reuse
Hopefully you’ll try this and take a look at the faux cork lights through my Amazon link. They are very inexpensive, and they will help you make a really cool gift out of a repurposed glass bottle. Equally important, it feels good to repurpose something instead of just throwing it away.
I’m excited to let you know that I’ll be starting a series that I’m calling ‘Celebrate Upcycling’. I will be going to Thrift Stores, Flea Markets and Antique Stores to buy objects, and I will show you how I upcylcle/repurpose the item by either creating something new or by making that item the same but more beautiful. I’m really anxious to get started, so sign up for my email to get the latest info in my Newsletter.
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And whatever you’re doing this week, celebrate it!