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June 5, 2013 at 1:00 AMComments: 1 Faves: 0

Re-Purposing Old Glass Bottles

By Kristin McKinney More Blogs by This Author

I've always loved collecting glass bottles. They can look so cool. Whether they're old, or a limited edition, or have some sort of embossing on them, I think they're awesome. I still have bottles from when I was little and would get Sarsaparillas from general stores while on vacation. I'm a really big root beer fan so I would try to buy one in every state we went. I still remember the root beer bottle I got from the Field Museum in Chicago, when I went with my grandmothers and
sister. I have ones I've picked up from thrift stores, usually old pop bottles. I even have Coca Cola bottles I bought from Meijer when they had special old fashioned looking ones for awhile. I saved the caps too, and one day plan on turning them into earrings. I even keep bottles that don't really have any special meaning, like Izze sparkling juice bottles, or Jones Soda bottles, although I usually only keep those if I like the picture.

I obviously really like glass bottles. The problem is, I don't know what to do with them. Some I use for vases, while others just sit out on a dresser. The majority are packed away in a box somewhere or got thrown out by my mother, who disliked that I kept every single bottle I ever got from anywhere. Recently, I've found some really cool ideas on Pinterest for ways you could re-purpose or decorate old glass bottles. Here are some of the ideas I want to try out.

Painted Bottles:

This project is good for a bottle that's plain and didn't have anything on it. For this, all you need to do is pick up some spray paint in a desired color. (Make sure to do this craft outside)


  1. Make sure to clean off your bottle really well. Remove the label and use goo-gone to get off any sticky residue.
  2. Lay out some newspaper in the area you want to work, and then spray paint away.
  3. If you would like to add some texture to your bottle, take a hot glue gun and put a design or word on the bottle. Wait for it to dry, and then spray paint it.

Another idea is to make your own chalkboard paint and cover the bottle in that. Chalkboard paint is super easy to make too.

For chalkboard paint, all you need is non-sanded grout, which you can pick up from The Home Depot. Pick the color paint you want, and then mix in 2 tbsp of grout into one cup of paint. Mix until there are no clumps left, and you're done. This paint doesn't last long, so only make what you need.

Tinted Bottles:


  • Water
  • ModPodge
  • Gel food coloring


  1. Microwave 3 tbsp of water for about 30 seconds.
  2. Add a couple drops of food coloring. Make sure it dissolves fully.
  3. Add ½ cup of modpodge.
  4. You can add more food coloring to make it more vibrant. The color on the bottle will not


    come out as dark as what you see in your measuring cup.
  5. Pour some of your mixture into the bottle. Swirl it around until the entire inside as been coated, and then pour out the excess.
  6. Take a cookie sheet, and lay several pieces of paper towel on it. Put your bottles upside down on the paper towels and let them drain for about five minutes. After that, turn them right side up and let sit for another five minutes.
  7. Preheat your oven to about 170 degrees. Place the bottles in the oven on the lowest rack, and set the timer for 20 minutes or until the inside of the bottles are dry. Let them cool; then fill with hot water and a little soap. Let them sit over night to clean.

If you want the color in the bottle to be darker, you can repeat the process. Make sure the bottle is cool first.

Bottles Made Into Cups: 


I'm sure you've seen those pictures on Pinterest of people who have taken old bottles and cut them down to use as vases or

glasses. I have always wanted to do this. It looks so cool! It took me a while to find an actual tutorial on how to do it, but I finally did.


  • Sand paper
  • Twine
  • Nail polish remover
  • Bucket of ice water
  • Lighter


  1. Start by cutting a piece of twine that you can wrap around the bottle four or five times. Soak it in the nail polish remover, then wrap around the bottle, and tie it off.
  2. Make sure you are next to the bucket of ice water, and then light the twine. Make sure to hold it away from you at a safe distance.
  3. Rotate the bottle quickly, so the flame runs around the length of the twine. When the flame goes out, immediately put the bottle in the bucket of ice water, neck pointing down. The bottle should crack in half.
  4. Once the top of the bottle has broken off, use sand paper to help smooth out the rough edges. This project may take a few tries to get just right, so make sure you have some bottles you don't care about to start off with.

Make sure while you are doing this project to be extremely careful. Do it outside, and try to make sure someone else is with you in case of an emergency.

When you're finished cutting your bottle, you can take the top from the bottle you cut, sand it down, and then use it as a candle holder.

Bottle Lamp:


I'm really excited about this idea because it will leave the bottle exactly how you got it, which will be nice for some of the bottles I've kept. This craft does require wiring the lamp yourself, which is hard to explain. I found really good instructions for it on, with pictures. Click here to see it.

I can't wait to try some of these ideas; they should be fun. Have you ever done anything cool with bottles you've had laying around?

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