Sea Glass Bottles from the Recycling Bin

Sea Glass Bottles from the Recycling Bin

Earlier this year, our county stopped recycling glass of any kind. So, not only did I become a more mindful consumer at the store, but I started thinking of ways to upcycle our glass bottles. And transforming some of our empty wine bottles into sea glass bottles seemed like a GREAT place to start.

I gathered up some of our empty glass bottles and supplemented my collection with help of a local restaurant.

Empty glass bottles for wine bottle crafts

To create the sea glass bottles that I had in my mind, I planned on using this sea glass paint. It was a new-to-me craft product that I was excited to try!

Sea glass paint to use on empty liquor bottles

As my project vision crystallized in my mind, I dug out milk bottle carrier from my stash of vintage goodies. I can’t believe I’ve never used this in a project before!

But if all went as planned, it would be perfect for displaying the sea glass bottles.

Milk bottle carrier to fill with sea glass bottles

Now I would start transforming my humdrum clear and soda-bottle-green bottles into sea glass decor. 

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Transforming Empty Wine Bottles into Sea Glass Decor

I planned on using the Krylon sea glass spray paint which I used on the perfectly clear and colorless bottles in my collection. I figured that would allow the sea foam green to really pop.

But on the glass bottles that had a blue tint, I used a frost-effect paint (from Martha Stewart, and not to be confused with corrosive glass etching cream). 

Note- I could ONLY find this stuff online!

Frost paint for making the DIY sea glass on empty wine bottles

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 to create sea glass bottles!

Sea glass bottles as wine bottle crafts for beach theme decor

Here’s a side-by-side comparison. I used the frost paint on the taller bottle on the left, and the sea glass spray paint on the bottle on the right.

DIY sea glass with empty liquor bottles from the recycling bin

Next, I gave the bottles a thorough coat of a clear sealant to keep the frosty paint from scratching off.

A Milk Bottle Carrier to Hold the Sea Glass Bottles

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 milk bottle carrier.

Milk bottle carrier or vintage bottle basket

Don’t get me wrong- I love burlap! But I’ve tried to avoid using it because it’s just plain EVERYWHERE these days!

I tucked it along the inside perimeter of the milk bottle holder. Then,I snipped a little where the ribbon went under each metal divider to keep it from bunching up. 

Lining a vintage metal basket with burlap ribbon

The burlap added a sandy color to my coastal decor and a nice textural change. It was going to be perfect for the sea glass bottles!

Vintage milk bottle carrier with burlap ribbon

With the burlap ribbon in place, I added in the sea glass bottles.

Sea glass bottles in a milk bottle basket as coastal decor

I absolutely LOVED how it looked, but decided it needed one more thing…

Sea Glass Bottles from the Recycling Bin for Coastal Decor

I decided to give a little nod to one of my favorite coastal plants, 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 the sea glass bottles. Doesn’t that just look so coastal and beachy and dune-y?

Sea glass decor with Krylon sea glass spray paint

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.

You can never go wrong with sea glass decor for your coastal decorating needs!

Sea glass bottles as wine bottle crafts for coastal decor

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 enjoyed this upcycling idea for creating sea glass bottles for coastal decor, then you may also enjoy these nautical bottles with thrift store finds,  as well!

coastal collection of bottles

AND I’m so excited to announce that my first book is now available! If you love working with flannel or fabric crafts in general (sewing and non-sewing), then you will LOVE “Crafting with Flannel”!

Craft book on flannel fabric

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. Another great project, and thanks, too, for the product reviews.

  2. I love this – so pretty and elegant. My grandma use to save glass bottles under her house. She was from the depression era. When she passed on and the house was sold those bottles were left there. Somebody one day will find a treasure and perhaps create something awesome like you did here. I just love this and now a trip to the ocean would be fantastic.

  3. Oh, I dearly love the look. I live in Florida and would display this all year. Sorry about the recycling – that would kill me. But to think you took a bad thing and made it into a desirable good thing. That’s fantastic.

  4. These bottles are lovely! Yeah, I was reading and thinking, “You can’t pick those sea oats here!” I’m only 90 minutes from the beach, but we don’t go nearly as much as I want to. Go figure! It’s one of my favorite places. And, I’m currently decorating our guest bathroom with an ocean theme. This fits right in and I’m so inspired to get myself some paint and a lovely little crate somewhere…it’s time to head to the thrift store.

    By the way, we can’t recycle glass here either, so you’re not alone. 🙂

  5. Sarah, I just love what you did to transform the bottles! And I hate to throw them in the trash too, but we haven’t been able to recycle glass for years. Liquor bottles are always so pretty anyway, but love how you made them prettier with the paint. Pinned to “Shabby Chic and Antique” board.

    • Thanks, Florence! I’ve heard that glass recycling is becoming a nationwide issue…so I think it’ll be affecting more and more of us. 🙁

      • Brenda Klein says

        You can get the same sea glass look by mixing Elmers Glue and food coloring. I paint it on the bottles with a foam brush. Tie a little raphia around the neck and glue on a seashell or two. Beautiful!!

        • Sadie Seasongoods says

          Happy crafting! I’ll stick to the spray paint because it’s one less step!! 😀

          • Sue Urness says

            Plus if you get the bottles wet the sea glass just disappears!!! Anxious to try the paint!

  6. These bottle are adorable! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  7. Camp Cammidge says

    That’s crazy! Here, they ‘recycle’ glass, but it gets crushed and thrown in the landfill. How short sighted. Thanks for the great project, I had no idea that paint even existed!

    • Uggggh, crushing it and dumping in the landfill is no better!! Boo, hiss. But YES, both paints are pretty awesome, I must say!

      • Camp Cammidge says

        That’s what I thought when I heard that. How are we supposed to save our planet with idiots like that? I guess by using all the scraps and thrown out stuff we can for crafts!

  8. It would be torture to me if I had to stop recycling glass!! I guess they can’t source it out at this point. You are so smart to make something beautiful from your leftovers. I’d be using bottles and glasses for storage too.

    Happy Thoughts of Home. 🙂

  9. What a great display! Love the look of your bottles and that container is awesome. So pretty.

  10. julia scholz says

    Looks beautiful, the bottles came out so pretty! I used to love finding sea glass on the beach when I was a kid. Such a treasure!

  11. Drink more wine, it’s good for you!

  12. Janet Lynn says

    Very nicely done : )
    Just wondering though, can you not take liquor/beer bottles back to the store for a refund?

  13. She has done it again! Another easy super cute tutorial!

  14. I have got to try that spray paint…I didn’t even know there was such a thing! These look so good!!

  15. chris aka monkey says

    this is freaking gorgeous sarah, and i didn’t know they had a spray paint for this either thanks for the share and i pinned xx

  16. Fonda Rush says

    I’m curious as to why glass isn’t recycled in your area. Thank goodness we still can. I hope it isn’t a trend! Love your project. We live near the beach, too {southeastern NC}. The sea-glass look is gorgeous. I love the look of sea oats, too. {I’m not sure how we got ours, but we have a few sprigs.}

    • It’s a statewide problem in South Carolina- all the processing facilities have closed because it’s not cost effective. 🙁 I’ve heard it’s becoming a nationwide problem, as well.

  17. Way to make lemonade from lemons! Your bottles are gorgeous. Maybe you can make potion bottles for Halloween, as well? I’m right there with you … it would cause me extreme anxiety if I couldn’t recycle. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Teresa U says

    love this

  19. I love this effect, I had no idea this kind of paint even existed.
    We are lucky that at the moment we still have glass recycling here but reusing is always better anyway isn’t it as a first option?

  20. It looks great! I’m also playing with glass bottles these days.

  21. Sarah, I absolutely love your solution to the no glass recycling problem. We always have bottles to recycle and I have a similar wire basket. Definitely trying this project. Thank you for sharing at Your Inspired Design LInk Party.

  22. sherrygcole says

    I have not ever heard of sea glass spray but I will be trying this soon. I love how these bottles turned out. This is a great upcycyle!

  23. Gorgeous! I have some of that paint but haven’t tried it out yet. Now I’m really excited about giving it a try. We’d love to have you share this at our weekly link party. Hope to see you there!

  24. What a great idea! What kind of camera do you take your pictures with? Love the quality!

  25. I LOVE how you transformed these ordinary bottles. So clever!!!

  26. You are so resourceful. The bottles are now beautiful. I’m in love with everything ocean-inspired.

  27. I didn’t realize you could buy a spray that would create that look on glass! LOVE it! Saving to my Handy Tips board so I can try it someday!

  28. I love, love, love this project! I am a sucker for a single flower ( or sea grass but we don’t have that in Wisconsin) stuck in a bottle. These are gorgeous and I am totally going to steal this idea. I didn’t even know they made sea glass spray paint!

  29. The colors really caught my eye. To think you did it with the paint. Excellent project. I thought both types worked very well and the milk crate adds to the perfection.

  30. I love that it’s something new made out of something old and beautiful at the same time! Recycling blues, they just gave approval to a land fill near me to make it higher and it’s on a top of a hill that goes directly down to the river. I love the outdoor beauty so much that I just don’t understand when others don’t care and to that extreme level. It comes down to money. Anyway, next time I go to the craft store I will be getting some of that paint!

  31. I am from Ontario, Canada. I think most of us would riot if our recycling was cut back like that. We recycle most anything here, all glass and, if it is broken, there is a specific place to take that too. And you can get free composters too. I often have a huge recycle pile and very little actual garbage. That being said, i grew up with the ocean in my front yard and LUV your sea glass idea. I also love the concept of upcycling,

    • Beth, I might have to move up there and be your neighbor!! Our recycling bins are still overflowing compared to our trash, even without the glass…so you understand how sincerely difficult it is for me to toss anything glass. 🙁

  32. I love this! So gorgeous and elegant, and such a great way to use up old bottles.

  33. Oh how cool Sarah, I love how these turned out! Can’t believe you can’t recycle glass! But hey, at least these didn’t end up in the garbage then and you made them beautiful! That milk bottle crate is amazing too!

  34. christykjames says

    Gorgeous!! Fortunately we can still recycle glass here, but it still hurts my heart a little to let go of some of those pretty glass bottles. I SO want to try this! XO

  35. we can’t recycle anything in suburbs around Omaha, NE. So what’s the alternative to glass? Plastic bottles, paper cartons or fire-burning trash? btw, your bottles & ideas are beautiful…

    • Thank you so much…and that’s horrible that you can’t recycle ANYTHING? And BTW, throwing out glass is actually better than any plastic because it was made with sand and not petroleum products…so it won’t leech anything into the soil and water. But it’s still hard to throw out for me!!

  36. What a great idea to recycle glass into such beautiful decor! Love them! Pinned to share. Thanks for linking up with us for Snickerdoodle Sunday!

  37. These turned out gorgeous!

  38. Love this project, and an adorable vignette! Thanks for sharing your process.

  39. Great idea! I love the sea glass color. This set turned out gorgeous! We are so happy you stopped by and joined Dishing it & Digging It link party. We love having you. Enjoy your day!

  40. Buy 20 cans of sea glass spray paint | Paint everything glass in site. Check! Added to my to do list. LOL Loving this project.

  41. I can’t believe you can no longer recycle glass?!? It is the easiest thing to recycle! That’s criminal. You should be proud of finding such a beautiful way of repurposing those glass bottles.

  42. I’ve never seen sea glass paint, but I’m going to get some! I love this idea – thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY party!

  43. While we are able o recycle our glass, I just know I can create something beautiful with it so I hang on to a lot of bottles. Now I know how to use up a few! Thanks for this 🙂

  44. I absolutely LOVE these. We can recycle our glass, but I am going to start being very picky about what I put out and what I save. These would be perfect for our coastal look at home! Thanks for sharing at Celebrate Your Story!

  45. You are so right about burlap but it was perfect in your sea glass bottle project. Thank you for sharing your beautiful project and tutorial at Vintage Charm.

  46. This is brilliant and the finished project looks amazing! I love the sea glass / sea foam spray paint and the little touches with the rustic bow around the crate as well. – Tasha

  47. So great! I just share to my favebook page Feathering My Nest for my followers to checkout too!

  48. Wow…these are so neat! 🙂

    I’d love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks:

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J

  49. Ut-oh I so need that Krylon Paint! I did not know they had this! Awesome!Thanks for linking up to Merry Monday! Sharing on FB! Have a great week!

  50. I just put that paint on my shopping list! Love how this project turned out.We don’t have recycling in our county at all. Pinning.

  51. To say I’m in love with these would be an understatement!! I’m going start drinking more now in anticipation of doing this project!!

    Thanks for sharing with us at Throwback Thursday!


  52. Swingining by for Talk of the Town, I’ve been seeing these bottles all over the internet this past week…SO ADORABLE! Thanks for sharing your technique!
    Crystal @ Urban Patina

  53. This is such a cute DIY! Those bottles are beautiful!

    Doused In Pink

  54. Sadie… you’ve gone and done it again! Girl you are such a creative genius! LOVE this! I hadn’t heard of this frosted glass paint! MUST get some now!!

  55. Absolutely love this! Definitely giving it a try! 🙂

  56. kerryanne1964 says

    Such a perfect summer project Sarah and a great way to recycle. I need to get my hands on some of that Sea Foam spray paint for sure.
    Thank you for linking up at Shabbilicious Friday this week. I’m delighted to be featuring your lovely project at tomorrow’s party. Kerryanne 🙂

  57. We’ve never been able to recycle glass and the list of no-no’s is steadily growing. This looks like very high-end decor that would cost a fortune and yes I’m feeling a little beach-y dune-y.

  58. I love the colours of these bottles and they look really effective displayed together like this – great project 🙂

  59. These are AMAZING Sarah! I can’t believe how gorgeous that spray turns out! Totally trying this once home again! Featured you this weekend on DIY Salvaged Junk 337. Thanks for linking up! 🙂

  60. What would you use on antique brown glass Clorox bottles?

  61. Thanks for stopping by Peace, Love. Linkup! Hope to see you tomorrow at 6 for more sharing goodness : )

  62. LOVE this project, Sarah! I’ll be featuring it tomorrow night at Best of the Weekend!

  63. LOVE this!

  64. Virginia says

    Looks great. By the way if you have Micheals craft store where you live you can buy the Martha Stewart there.

  65. I didn’t know that sea glass spray even existed! What a stunning transformation!

  66. I share your anxiety about not being able to recycle glass! It never goes away in a landfill. My recycling toter is 30 gallon so feel free to top it off! HA! Love your upcycle too!

    Pam in Asheville, NC

  67. This is gorgeous, Sarah! Thanks for sharing with us at Snickerdoodle Sunday. This is the Most Clicked link from last week’s party and I’ll be featuring it at today’s party.

  68. Norma Spencet says

    No glass recycling in my neighborhood here in GA! I also was very upset when we got the notice a couple of months ago. Glass is the perfect material to recycle. However, your sea glass idea is beautiful!

  69. Love it, such a great idea. Going to try it 🙂

  70. I can solve your sea oat dilemma. Go to your local nursery and buy a pot of Northern Sea Oats. Plant it in your garden or a pot and you’ll have a yearly supply of sea oats. They reseed and spread. I live in No. GA and mine are prolific so I know you’ll be just as successful in SC.

    • I had no idea, Vicky!!! Those look wonderful…thank you for the suggestion- seriously!

      • Oh, and thank you for introducing me to sea glass paint. I’m definitely going to get some and get to work. I think that I can easily turn some glass Christmas balls in to Japanese fishing floats in no time! I’m very fond of sea glass and have quite a bit in a huge bowl. I just know those fishing floats look great mixed in with the glass.

  71. Wow, I’ve never seen the sea glass paint before. Since I have a small collection of real beach glass, now I know I can make some bottles to match. Your display is lovely!

  72. What a fun project! I love spray paint! These really look authentic. Thanks for sharing at Welcome Home Wednesdays! See you tomorrow!

  73. OMG! So glad I found you at Homemade & Hand crafted this is such an awesome idea! I wonder if I can walk over to my neighborhood bar and as them for some of their empty bottles? Humm…..Just pinned and subscribed to your blog 🙂

  74. Hi! We’re going to be staging our house to sell in the next 6 weeis – this will be the perfect accent for our kitchen counter~ I love this.

  75. They are beautiful! Can you use regular krylon spray paint?

  76. Sharon Wright says

    Terrific idea!

  77. FYI – if you have a Target store nearby, they should have a recycling station inside that accepts glass. Our curbside service doesn’t accept glass, either, and everyone in our town takes their glass to Target for recycling.

    • Afraid not- it’s not a choice my county/region just decided to do. The last MRF processing facility in our area closed so there’s no place to take the glass (within a reasonable hauling distance). 🙁

  78. Do you paint exterior or interior of bottles

  79. How did you get the stickers off of the glass?

  80. I LOVE your recycled bottles!! What a great idea. I do have a question. Did you have a sure fire way to remove the labels and more importantly the label GLUE from the bottles before you paint? I find it next to impossible to get all that stubborn stuff off. Thanks!

  81. This is gorgeous! gotta look for some of that sea glass paint. I love the different shaped bottles, so now I’m going to need start collecting! Feel free to run over the border to NC to recycle! I live in NC, about 1 and 1/2 hours from Greenville! Love all your crafts. Thanks for sharing.

  82. HAVE to do this one !!!!! BEAUTIFUL !!

  83. So simple and doable! Thanks for posting!

  84. This is a long shot, but do you remember where you bought the carrier?

  85. I love the idea. I don’t drink,but we have a small pub down the street. Going to ask them to save the bottles for me (empty of course ). I know they throw away tons. You can hear them crashing as they go into the garbage truck. I guess that’s one way to support my local pub. Maybe I can go into business. I will mention your site of course. Thank you so much.

  86. I love the sea glass bottles! I am going to use this idea for my friends beach themed craft room I am decorating for her. The basket is so cute too! Where did you get it? I have seen “vintage wire” type baskets at the craft stores but not one that looks like yours. Great job!

  87. do you think this idea could be used on glass bathroom accessories? Like toothbrush holder, lotion bottle, etc? I can’t find what I want in stores, so thought about making my own. Thanks!

    • Absolutely, I don’t see why not. But it does scratch easily- so be sure to put a couple of coats of a sealant to help protect it. That’d be my only concern with bathroom accessories (since they’re moved, picked up, etc.).

  88. Wow, they look amazing! I love how you styled them too. Will be sharing this on The Creative Circle Link Party this week. Thank you for linking us with us!

  89. I love this idea and am thinking I would like to use it on old wooden window panes with ocean pictures of my sweeties on it. My mind is just churning. My husband will not thank for this but I will. We can still recycle glass in Charleston, SC….

  90. I live in NC so you can drop some bottles off anytime LOL! I love the color of seaglass and need to try that spray paint to recreate this look!

  91. Hello! Beautiful post.
    On your sea glass decor, what other colors did you use? you only show one color. Can you let me know the other colors you used? Thanks!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Just the one sea glass spray paint and the frosty brush-on paint. The bottle glass themselves were different hues, which shows through the paint enough to give them all slightly different looks!

  92. My first glass turned out perfect. My next one, the paint looks frosted and rough. Any idea what I dI’d wrong

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Hmm, I’m not sure- mine were always frosty and textured, just like real seaglass. Not rough, but certainly not glossy smooth.

  93. Evelyn Reed says

    This is lovely, Sadie & so calming. I didn’t know that about sea oats–interesting!!

  94. Nicole Kitter says

    I wonder how that would work but by coating the inside. Same idea, maybe a little more protected from moisture? I think I’ll be trying it. (I’ve got TONS of Elmer’s glue)

  95. Love the use of bottles and glass paint….. the sea glass spray looks amazing. Luckily in the UK our recycled glass is crushed then melted and used to make new bottles or jars….. thank goodness. We get a recycling collection from the house every 2 weeks.


  1. […] specialist spray paints. These tutorials were not great for cut glasses or gave the glass an opaque sea glass look which even though lovely was not quite what I was after. I found the best way to colour the glass […]

  2. […] Don’t underestimate the crafty fun of specialty spray paint! Transform ordinary glass bottles with Krylon’s Sea Glass spray paint for a beautiful finish – summery, breezy, and beachy all at the same time! Learn how to create the centerpiece below at Sadie Seasongoods: […]

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