Message in a (Repurposed) Bottle

Message in a (Repurposed) Bottle

Ever since my county stopped recycling glass, I’ve been trying to come up with fresh ways to repurpose the glass bottles I end up with. Now that summer is on the horizon, my head is already in the sand- beach sand, that is. So, this time around, I decided to recreate the look of a message in a bottle…using glass wine and liquor bottles that are no longer allowed in our recycling bin.

Glass recycling in Greenville South Carolina is no longer allowed by Sadie Seasongoods /

No glass recycling in Greenville County, South Carolina!

I know, I know- no glass recycling is the absolute pits! BUT- I think you’re really going to like how this project turns out, and it’s insanely easy to make. This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.

To get started on my idea, I first needed to remove all the labels/foil from my bottles. My method involves soaking the bottles in a bucket of hot water for a while- and some labels melt right off with this alone. For those that leave sticky residue, I use a favorite cleaner of mine to help take it all off. But one of my bottles must have had a really weird shape for air flow because even after 4 days, it hadn’t dried out inside! So, I reached into my scientist background and used a laboratory desiccant (don’t worry, it’s non-toxic) which dried it out in a few moments.

Removing labels and drying out wine bottles for repurposing craft projects by Sadie Seasongoods /

My scientific secret ingredient…

Because I was recreating the look of a message in a bottle, I needed to “age” my bottles ever so slightly, as if they had tumbled along the ocean floor for oh-so-many years. I used a colorless sea glass spray, but instead of spraying close and heavy for an opaque finish, I sprayed lightly from further away.

Using Krylon sea glass spray paint on repurposed glass bottles by Sadie Seasongoods /

To get that tumbled glass look…

And it worked brilliantly! The bottles had exactly the look I was going for.

Basically, I was going for the “underwater schmutz” look.

Creating message in a bottle DIY summer decor with upcycled wine bottles by Sadie Seasongoods /

A little cloudy, a little gritty- perfection!

The next step was adding a finger or two of sand into the bottom of each bottle. I had “borrowed” some sand from the Florida shore when I visited my parents- but you could use decorative sand if you don’t have access to the real thing.

Adding beach sand to repurposed wine bottles for DIY Message in a Bottle decor by Sadie Seasongoods /

Thank you, Florida!

For the “message” part of message in a bottle, I repurposed pages from my “upcycling book” (I bought it at a thrift expressly for projects several years ago).

Repurposed vintage book page for DIY message in a bottle summer beach decor by Sadie Seasongoods /

Love using the same book for several projects!

I simply removed a page and folded/tore along each edge for a natural look. Then, I carefully rolled the page around a pen, applying a glue stick along the last inch or so to secure it. Once it had dried/set, I wrapped a touch of hemp cord around the center as insurance (and to add to the natural look). There- a message for my message in a bottle!

Repurposed vintage book page for DIY message in a bottle summer beach decor by Sadie Seasongoods /

The message part of Message in a Bottle…

Repurposed vintage book page for DIY message in a bottle summer beach decor by Sadie Seasongoods /

Romantic and beachy…

To finish everything off, I nabbed corks from my never-ending stash, and loosely/randomly wrapped more hemp cord around them.

Creating Message in a Bottle decor with upcycled glass wine bottle and vintage book page by Sadie Seasongoods /

Finishing touches…

And voila! Perfect message in a bottle décor that looks beachy and coastal and romantic…and well lovely. An easy and fun way to bring the shoreline indoors, no matter where you live! And wouldn’t these be wonderfully easy decor for a beach wedding this summer?

Creating Message in a Bottle decor with upcycled glass wine bottle and vintage book page by Sadie Seasongoods /


Aren’t they great? I love, seriously LOVE, how they look- especially as a cluster, which I’ll place around the house this summer. And make sure you check out all my beach décor projects for even more inspiration before you click away!

Craft on!


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  1. How to use Drierite

    • http://Sadie%20Seasongoods says

      Hi, Lucy, are you asking how to use it? You pour a few granules (amount depends on how much moisture you’re ridding, so I used probably a few dozen granules poured through a funnel into my bottle) and shook them around in the bottle. The blue granules turn purple as they absorb moisture- then I just dumped the granules out.

  2. http://Mary%20Ann says

    Love these, just going to have to empty a few liquor bottles now, for the sake of art of course! Thanks for this!

  3. http://Robyn%20Wright says

    I love how your sand isn’t perfectly clean.

    • http://Sadie%20Seasongoods says

      Thank you!! I think it makes it even more authentic looking, but wasn’t planned- the sand I swiped from the beach just happened to look like that, LOL.

  4. http://Meg%20Miller says

    Yay, Drierite! Thanks for the link, I didn’t know I could buy it retail!

  5. A really cute idea for a coastal look! I am going to tell my friend as he has a cottage at the coast here in Oregon!

  6. Cute idea. Wondering how to use them as a decoration for a Ladie’s afternoon Tea. in June

    • http://Sadie%20Seasongoods says

      Thanks, Deborah! I’m sure clusters of shorter bottles done up like this would make darling centerpieces.

  7. http://Kathy%20A. says

    Love it, as usual. Once upon a time I bought a bag of play sand at Wal-Mart as it was easier than bringing home beach sand (in my shoes ALWAYS happens!). Think I used the end of it on icy stairs! Anyway, I love adding sea shells, too. As a kid, I always wanted to find a pearl in a clam shell (They grow in oysters!) so I have been known to glue a pearl bead into a shell to add interest. Also loved your post with the aqua Ball jars–what a great combo for a centerpiece. I made your candleholders with green sea glass paint, wrapped with jute and sea charms. I can imagine how well they would all go together the length of a table or a mantle. Awesome!

  8. Darn, looks like I’m going to have to consume a few bottles to recreate this idea. Hmmm whichever poison has the cutest bottles win! Now to scour Pinterest for some delicious cocktail recipes. Cheers!

  9. Absolutely love this idea! Going to do the same with a message for each of my kids. Thanks!

  10. Yep… definitely love these! Saving to my DIY Dreams Board! (saw this on Morning Cup of Joe)


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