As most of you know, my repurposed and upcycled projects usually come to fruition as a result of (a) my pickin’ adventures across the South, or (b) “shopping” from my junk stash in our garage. But this project has a very different- and unfortunate- backstory.
Back in March, we received a note in our curbside recycling bin that glass was no longer accepted- no bottles, no jars, no glass whatsoever. Come to find out, it’s a county-wide issue and none of us in Greenville County, South Carolina can recycle glass! And for someone who prides herself on personal environmental stewardship, the idea of putting glass in our garbage can has caused a great deal of stress and anxiety…and environmental guilt. So, I decided I needed to come up with a DIY project using some of our glass bottles, supplemented with a few from our favorite restaurant, Stella’s (because I wanted some larger wine bottles, and, well, we just never have those on hand!).
As my project vision crystallized in my mind- something soothing, coastal, and beachy…to counteract my no-glass-recycling anxiety- I dug out a vintage milk bottle carrier from my stash. I can’t believe I’ve never used this in a project before! But it was perfect for my idea.
Next, I set about transforming some humdrum clear and soda-bottle-green bottles into “sea glass” bottles…in frosty cool colors. Since I’d never done this before, I decided to try two different methods. This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.
The first method I tried was using a specialty sea glass spray paint (Krylon Sea Glass paint in Sea Foam) which I used on the perfectly clear/colorless and nearly-colorless bottles.
And on the blue-ish bottles, I used an Etch-effect paint (from Martha Stewart…and not to be confused with corrosive glass etching cream). Note- I could ONLY find this stuff online!
Both yielded truly excellent results- and they dried super quickly, even on a humid summer day. So I would definitely recommend either and/or both methods.
Now that I had my bottles ready (and coated with a clear polyurethane spray to keep the frosty paint from scratching off), I turned to my vintage milk bottle basket. Not that he needed any embellishment, but I decided to break my no-burlap rule and wrap a little burlap ribbon around the inside of the basket to give it a sandy-colored foundation.
Don’t get me wrong- I love burlap! But I’ve tried to avoid using it because it’s just plain EVERYWHERE these days!
There…perfect- no adhesive needed, it tucked easily along the inside perimeter, and I simply snipped a little where the ribbon went under each metal divider, to keep it from bunching up.
With the burlap in place, I added in my painted sea glass bottles- and was immediately smitten!
But it needed one final touch- and a little nod to my favorite coastal element, sea oats. Now, you can’t pick or take home real sea oats in places like Florida and Georgia- they’re important sand stabilizers along the shore (sorry, my marine biology degree is showing). BUT, I chose as close a replica as I could find in my local craft store and plopped a few stems here and there in my bottles. Doesn’t that just look so coastal and beachy and dune-y?
Perfect as a centerpiece or on a side table…bringing in a coastal breeze no matter where you live. And if you close your eyes, you might just hear the wind whispering in the dunes and waves bubbling over your sand-covered toes.
But back to reality! If you start seeing more “Repurposed Glass Bottle & Jar” projects here on the blog, you’ll know why. And if you live in Georgia or North Carolina, I might drop off some glass recycling in your blue bins late at night…just joking! (maybe…)
If you love this project as much as I do, you should check out All Free Holiday Crafts for more summertime inspiration! Here’s a great page that contains all sorts of DIY beach/coastal crafts!