Liquor Bottle Painting for Fall Pumpkin Decor

Liquor Bottle Painting for Fall Pumpkin Decor

After our junkin’ journey trip to Louisville, we came home with several interesting bottles of bourbon. And normally, that wouldn’t be a big deal…but as you may recall, we can no longer recycle glass in our county. So, I’m once again tasked with coming up with ways to recycle glass into projects. And this time, I decided to do some liquor bottle painting and transform them into Fall pumpkin decor.

I promise you it’s not a crazy upcycling idea! Because, as fate would happen to be, several of the empty glass bottles had shapes that reminded me of pumpkins and gourds.

liquor bottle crafts

I began to formulate some bottle painting designs in my mind. I wanted the painted gourds to look somewhat realistic with striations of multiple fall colors.

And yes, this is not the first time that I’ve painted bottles with autumn in mind! Remember these amber glass bottles that I made?

decorating for fall with amber glass bottles But, anyway- I digress! I gathered up a few crafting supplies and put my gourd-bottle idea to the test!

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Glass Bottle Painting Ideas for Fall

Even though I’m a spray-paint-kind-of-gal, I needed to brush paint these liquor bottles to get the color design right.

But I know how aggravating it can be to work paint glass with acrylic paints. So, I took an important first step- and sprayed them with white primer first (after removing the labels, of course).

glass bottle painting ideas

Next, I let the spray primer dry while I gathered some craft paints. I assembled a collection of different orange paints (and a light green one that isn’t shown), as well as some cheap crafting paint brushes, too.

Also, I grabbed a paper plate for painting – you’ll see why in a moment.

I had this idea that I could slightly swirl two or three colors in order to get striations of color, like on real gourds. 

Note that I said swirl, not mix, the various paint colors. It’s an important distinction to make here!

First, I squeezed out dollops of paint in various colors so that the edges touched. Then, I used toothpicks to pull the paint into each other, like a spiderweb effect. Finally, I carefully dipped my paint brush into the swirl and brushed it on the glass bottles in long, even strokes.

painting glass bottles as pumpkin decor

And you know what? It worked like a charm.

Next, I repeated the same process using different combinations of paint colors. My idea for liquor bottle painting was working out better than I had even hoped!

glass bottle painting ideas for fall

DIY Pumpkins with Liquor Bottle Painting

Even though I planned on wrapping the bottle necks with jute twine, I went ahead and preemptively painted them a dark green/brown.

JUST IN CASE the jute didn’t cover it completely…

liquor bottle painting for fall pumpkins

To finish up my fall pumpkin decor, I wound the jute twine around the dark green neck using my hot glue gun to hold the twine in place.

Next, I scavenged some leaves from a floral stem that had “veiny” leaves, like those found on pumpkin and gourd vines.  I hot glued them in place and continued to wrap the necks with twine.

wrapping bottles with twine for fall decor

When all was said and done, the first of my glass pumpkins was done! And I absolutely LOVED how it turned out.

pumpkin decor from a glass bottle

Now I just needed to finish my other bottles!

Liquor Bottle Painting for Fall Pumpkin Decor

And just like that, my trio of painted gourds was ready. Don’t they look terrific?

glass pumpkins by liquor bottle painting

It really pays to hand paint them to get those subtle, but important, striations of color. Just like real pumpkins and gourds!

I think we may go shopping for a few more stout-shaped glass bottles so I can make more using green and yellow paints. That way, they’d look even more gourd-like.

Either way, I’ll definitely be incorporating these into my autumn decorations from here on out. Thanksgiving table decor, too!

fall pumpkin decor with liquor bottle crafts

I just can’t help myself at this time of year- I turn EVERYTHING into some kind of DIY pumpkin. I even made a few pumpkin projects in my book, “Crafting with Flannel”.

fabric pumpkins in crafting with flannel

And if you enjoyed this upcycling idea for pumpkin decor, then you’ll love how I made these “stained glass” pumpkins from thrift store pieces!

alcohol ink on glass pumpkins

Craft on!


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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. These are adorable! I love how you used the different colors to make them look like real gourds.

  2. What a cute idea, and shading the orange looks more realistic.

  3. Gentle Joy Photography says

    Your bottle/pumpkins look festive and fun! 🙂

  4. Very cute, Sarah! Great way to re-purpose those cocktail bottles. (We’d probably have an endless supply of “pumpkins”, lol!) Visiting from Vintage Charm.

  5. chris tucker says

    sarah this is so good looking and i love the paint job, pinned xx

  6. Very cute!

  7. GREAT idea – I can se me using these for centerpieces!! Hope you come join us at Reader Tip Tuesday:
    It’s open & growing all week… would love to see you & this awesome idea at the party.

  8. Fonda Rush says

    These are fantastic! I love the color variance you created. This is a great recycle! Now, I need to find a bottle that isn’t bourbon to make one of these!

    I love your new photo. You look like a happy, healthy do-it-herself-er! You’re a beauty! I enjoy the blog you work so hard to put together. Keep up the great work you do!

  9. Sarah, I am obsessed by these repurposed bottle pumpkins. I have some tiny bottles I’ve been saving for some project some day. Now I know what I’ll be doing with them. I couple of years ago I made pumpkins from soda bottles and they’ll be the perfect complimate to my (your) repurposed bottle pumpkins.

  10. Seriously girl, this is brilliant! It’s like those bourbon bottles were meant to be turned into pumpkins! Pinned and sharing but they are just too cute not to be.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Awww, thank you!! It’s not the most original idea…but the “no glass recycling” thing really sticks in my craw!! Gotta figure out how to reuse those bottles and jars somehow…!

  11. What a great idea. The pumpkins are lovely.

  12. I love this idea. Thank you fro the instructions. The pumpkins are so realistic. Thank you for the idea.

  13. Another one of your great ideas to get me in the autumn spirit! Fabulous new profile pic!

  14. Lisa Philbeck says

    Love these! I need to look for plump bottles to make a pumpkin!

  15. Love your glass pumpkins; they are so cute. My fall back on pumpkins involve wrappping batting around a roll of toilet paper, then a layer of orange cloth with the ends stuck into the toilet paper roll, then a rolled up piece of brown paper (usually a paper bag edged with funky scissors. Then I add a silk grape vine stem. Sometimes I add a black cardstock Halloween face with tape. When Halloween is over, I use it till Thanksgiving, then put the supplies back in their ziplock and the tp back in the bathroom! Great space saver. Love your posts.

  16. I like how swirling the paint adds depth. The pumpkin bottles are one of the best fall decor items I have seen.

  17. What a great project! I have a bin of my favorite bottles, I love to reuse things too! Your glasses are so cool and I love the unusual shapes!

  18. Love your bottle pumpkins! I think there a few bottles in my stash just dying to become pumpkins.

  19. I love what you did with these, they are the cutest bottle pumpkins I’ve seen!

  20. Such a fabulous idea!! Perfect way to welcome in Fall!! Your blog is FULL of wonderful inspiration!!

  21. Such a cute project! I have some round jars that would be perfect for this.

    It’s odd that they wouldn’t let you recycle glass in your area. I’d rather buy stuff in glass than plastic anyway. But I’m glad they started up again.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      The last processing facility in our area closed…and it’s not economical for any company to truck our glass out to the next facility. I don’t think they’ll ever start up again- it’s awful for a recycling lover like me.

  22. Such a cute idea and a great tutorial.

  23. Those are adorable! I always see weird shaped bottles at the thrift shop and now know what I can make with them!! Bring on Fall!! 🙂

  24. Oh yeah! Perfect bottles for pumpkins/gourds. And the paint technique looks great! Great idea and reuse. 🙂

  25. acraftymix says

    I don’t care how many times glass bottles have been painted Sarah, you always add your unique touch and make it seem like it’s the first time I’ve seen it done.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      You always say the sweetest things, Michelle- it puts a smile on my face and a warm fuzzy in my heart. Thank you so very much!

  26. LOVE how these came out, they look so cool! The primer really does make a difference. Gotta try this, and soon.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thanks, Ann! YES, the primer is a can’t-miss step, that’s for sure. It’s inexpensive and doesn’t take much, so it’s a win-win-win!

  27. These are fabulous, Sarah! Thanks for sharing @ Vintage Charm–pinned!

  28. This is so creative and something simple to make is always nice.. Antique stores would be a great place to find old bottle for this..

  29. I love this idea and the colors are so rustic. I’m going to share this. Hugs, Linda on Poinsettia Drive

  30. So cute! I pinned it 🙂

  31. What a gorgeous transformation! I like the colors, I like the depth of the colors, the leaves, the rope detail… everything!!! Excellent work!

  32. Very nice. This is one I will try!

  33. Great idea….cut as a button…..our city tried to stop recycling glass, but the uproar was so loud, that they changed their minds. Sure am glad that they did. I have been recycling since before it became popular.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      UGGH, I wish we could have stopped the “cease all glass recycling” here, but other nearby counties still accept it…so I sneak over to their bins. 😉

  34. I really didn’t NEED another project since I just moved and have a thousand things to do, but these are just too cute to NOT make. Thanks for the idea.

  35. Linda Weeks says

    Thanks! This is lovely autumn decor!

  36. Those are adorable! I love turning something that usually gets tossed out, into something beautiful. Pinning this to try! 🙂

  37. Thanks so much Sarah! Love this project!

  38. Michelle Siew says

    Hi Sally your pumpkin bottles look terrific. They are so breathtakingly beautiful. As I’m from the east, we don’t for the jack o lantern kinda stuff and i don’t celebrate Halloween (against my belief system). But since your bottles turned out so pretty I would like to try making them. But I don’t quite understand what you mean by swirling the colours and using a toothpick part. Could you elaborate.
    I have never ever celebrated Halloween and not into any pumpkin craft. But yours is really too great looking for me not to try them.


    P.S. u painted them with acrylic paint right?

  39. Love this idea for the glass bottles they perk the fall decor !!!

  40. Barbara Warner says

    Love these painted pumpkin bottles. Glad you’ve showed me how to use the white spray primer before painting o colors. Your bottles are just adorable. Love that you added the silk leaves and twine stems. Beautiful.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you so much- they turned out better than I could have hoped. And YES, that primer step makes all the difference in the world, I promise!


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