Helllloooooo fellow Hackers!
I’m sure a lot of you are asking yourselves, “Wait a sec, who is this person? I don’t recognize her!”
Well, first off, I will introduce myself. My name is Sarah and I am a writer. I am a lover of literature, a scribbler of synonyms, a wielder of words. I am also fond of alliteration, if you hadn’t guessed. While I do spend a lot of time writing, I also enjoy working whatever little crafty endeavors I feel like because I, as I imagine many of you, am happiest when I am creating. As such, I offered to fill in on the blog here and there so I hope you guys enjoy a little silliness.
This week I wanted to tell you all about a little project I started doing years ago in answer to a question I seemed to repeatedly ask myself… “What am I going to do with this single flower that was gifted me?” (As a single lady, I don’t often get bouquets but I do get single roses or carnations and hate to just toss them simply because they don’t fit in a vase). Then, one evening, as I was finishing off a bottle of wine (that’s totally normal, right?), it occurred to me.
“This wine bottle would make a perfect single flower vase!”
But the wine bottles looked a little…off somehow, with this random flower just stuck it the top. So I decided to spruce them up a little. I prefer to use acrylic paints and a gloss coat for sealing but you can also use tissue paper, cotton, felt, puff paint, anything your little heart desires really. The purpose is to re-purpose. And any wine bottle will work, any shape or style.
First, you need to make sure to clean the wine bottles inside and out. Squirt a tiny bit of dish soap into the bottle and then run hot water into it. Let this run until the bottle fills and then is overflowing. Don’t stop until all the suds have rinsed clean. Then place the bottles to soak in a tub or sink of warm water to remove the labels (unless you want to incorporate them into your design somehow). I use Goo-Gone to get all the sticky stuff off and like to start with a smooth, clean bottle for painting.
Once you have your bottle ready, assemble your supplies.
I’m going to stick with painting the bottles for the purposes of this post but the great thing about crafting is that it is a truly adaptable form of creativity. Do what you like, what you think looks prettiest.
I use the trays for single colors and the cardboard for when I’m mixing a custom color. Just remember if you mix a custom, mix a LOT of it because you don’t want to run out halfway through coating the bottle. It is really difficult to match a custom color exactly.
You can also use different tools and techniques for the base coat. Sponges to give a speckled look, rags dabbed into wet paint to give the appearance of crinkles and cracks, etc. Use your imagination, there really are no wrong answers. Very important though, I’m speaking from personal experience here; make sure to give the base coat plenty of time to dry/set. Actually, this is a good rule of thumb (rule of wrist?) anytime you’re working in layers. Unless you want to create a neat color blend or technique, that is.
Once you have a base coat, you can use any number of things to add detail. I personally freehand designs onto the bottles depending on what I’m making it for but you can use stencils if you don’t feel comfortable free-handing or you can glue photos and items onto the bottle as well. This white bottle pictured above will be a winter decoration with silver and light blue snowflakes scattered across it once completed.
Once you feel the bottle design is complete, again, allow it to completely dry/set. Then take it outside (don’t do this indoors, it’ll smell awful!) and spray the bottle with a clear coat sealant. If you plan on using it outdoors, use a weather sealant; otherwise, a clear gloss or matte coat of paint is usually fine. If you plan on washing it, the weather sealant again is your best bet.
These bottles make lovely gifts as they are customize-able to the person or a particular season and they don’t take up a lot of space. It’s also a great way to do something useful with your empty wine bottles if your area doesn’t offer any recycling program or you don’t have easy access. They can be sold at craft fairs and festivals (as long as you aren’t putting licensed characters or items on them!) for a little extra crafting money here and there. And best of all, it’s holds a single rose just perfectly.