Spring Decor with Old Milk Bottles

Spring Decor with Old Milk Bottles

When my County stopped recycling glass, I became a more mindful consumer. But as much as I tried to avoid glass containers, I was intrigued by a certain brand of soup. I thought the glass bottle looked like one of those old milk bottles. And I wondered if I could upcycle it with milk tops into Spring decor?

Soup at Fresh Market that comes in a glass milk bottle for upcycling ideas

You see, I already had a nice collection of vintage milk bottles. And the soup bottle fit right in!

Vintage glass milk bottles to be upcycled into flower vase ideas with milk tops

I also had quite the collection of milk tops. You know the kind that I mean, right? Those colorful cardboard disks that advertised the dairy?

Milk tops or milk bottle caps to upcycle for the flower vase ideas

FYI- I bought many of these milk caps from Crafty Lisa’s Vintage. She’s my favorite source for vintage paper supplies!

My plan was to upcycle the old milk bottles with a little craft paint. And then I’d embellish them with the milk caps or milk tops. Hopefully, the end result would be colorful flower vases to use as Spring Decor!

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Painting the Old Milk Bottles

Instead of spray painting the exterior of the bottles, I decided to paint the inside of them. Crafters had already been doing this for years, and I wanted to finally give it a try.

Because I was in a Spring frame of mind, I selected some craft paints in fresh pastel colors, one for each vase.

Painting the inside of the vintage glass bottles

To paint the interior of the glass milk bottles, I needed to pour the paint inside and swirl it around.

But most craft paint is slightly too thick for this. So…

First, I added a couple of drops of water to one of my acrylic paint bottles. Then, I shook it vigorously to distribute evenly and thin out the paint.

Thinning out craft paint with water before painting the inside of old glass milk bottles

Note- for completely full or new bottles of craft paint, you may want to squeeze out a dollop of paint first. Then add the drops of water and shake.

Next, I squeezed the slightly runnier paint into each bottle. I started with less paint than I thought I’d need.

Spring decor ideas with old glass milk bottles to be used as flower decoration at home

With a little patience and covering the bottle top with wax paper to shake it a bit, the craft paint coated the entire milk bottle.

Then, I drained the excess paint onto junk mail from my recycling bin!

Flower vase ideas by painting the inside of vintage milk bottles

I also moved the upturned milk bottle periodically, as excess paint would pool in the neck.

Painting the inside of vintage glass milk bottles for Spring decor ideas

When there wasn’t much or any excess paint dripping out, I turned the milk bottle upright and carefully wiped off the very top. Then, I let it dry overnight.

Then, I proceeded to repeat this process for all of the vintage milk bottles, each one with a different color.

Embellishing the Vintage Glass Milk Bottles with Milk Tops

Just like that, I had quite the collection of milk bottle vases. I loved how colorful they were and how they represented the entire pastel rainbow.

Flower decoration at home with vintage milk bottles as vases with milk caps

Finally, it was time to add the milk tops to the vintage milk bottles. I thought they’d be the perfect embellishment, especially since I had so many in my stash!

First, I started with the old glass milk bottles that had flat sides. Basically, that meant every bottle but the soup bottle.

For those, I matched up the milk caps with the color of the bottle and hot glued them in place.

Milk tops on the vintage glass milk bottles as Spring decor ideas for the home

The soup bottle, however, was round. So, I attached a vintage milk label (from Crafty Lisa’s Vintage on Instagram) to the glass bottle using double sided tape.

Milk bottle vase for flower decoration at home with old glass milk bottles

And that was it! My vintage glass milk bottles had been painted and embellished with milk caps. 

Milk tops on vintage milk bottles to use as flower vase ideas for Spring decor

Spring Decor with Old Milk Bottles

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “But Sadie, you can’t use these as REAL vases because the paint is on the inside!”. And you’re right, I can’t fill them with water because it would ruin the paint.

But, that’s OK- I always planned on filling them with artificial flowers instead.

Decorating for Spring with vintage milk bottles

BUT, if you want to use these with real Spring flowers, you could either paint the exterior of the milk bottles or use florist water tubes, like these.

I like trying different crafting techniques AND I love how shiny the glass looks over the paint!

Upcycling idea for old milk bottles

If you enjoyed my milk bottle vase project, then you might also enjoy this Easter decor idea with hobnail milk glass!

Decorating with hobnail milk glass for Easter

Craft on!


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Upcycling idea for vintage milk bottles

Milk bottle vases

Upcycling idea for milk caps or milk tops to use as Spring decor

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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. Teresa Townsell says

    So adorable! I love your milk bottles! I have some old milk caps and will have to try this. My Grandmother used to deliver milk, and so I have a fondness for decor like this! Brilliant and clever idea!!!!

  2. They just stopped recycling glass in my township. Most of what I’ve had to throw away hasn’t been that nice but you’ve got me thinking. I love your cute bottles. The colors are perfect for spring.

  3. So adorable! Even though our styles differ, I really appreciate your innovative ideas that keep me thinking outside the box. ?

  4. paulasweetpea says

    What an adorable idea! That soup bottle does indeed look like a milk bottle. I like how you painted the inside of the bottle so that it’s still shiny on the outside. My vintage loving heart pitter-pattered over those milk caps! There are dairy farmers in my family, so this project particularly appeals to me.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you!! There’s just something timeless about the nostalgic memories of milk bottles, the basket carriers, and the idea of daily delivery, isn’t there? And to have that in your family history is EXTRA awesome!

  5. These are so stinking cute!! I love the colors you chose and adding the caps is perfect. They stopped picking up our glass recyclables too but I can still drop them off at our recycling facility. I might be holding on to some of them to paint like yours though! Thanks for joining us on the tour!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you! Yes, the issues with glass recycling is becoming more and more common, unfortunately. I guess it just forces us to be more creative, eh? Thank you so much for herding all the cats for the tour!

  6. Thanks so much for sharing how you painted the inside of your bottles….I have some real milk bottles and wanted to show the painted letting on the outside of the bottle better and was racking my brain as to what to put inside the bottle to do so. Now I will try painting the inside of the milk bottles……Thanks for the inspiration and your bottles are simply charming!! LOVE the pastel colors!!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Yes!! I have a modern milk bottle with red & blue lettering and plan to add white paint inside…ran out of time before I needed to publish this…but I think it’ll look so cute as if it’s filled with milk but now a vase!

  7. One cannot help but to feel sheer happiness when Springtime rolls around, and that’s exactly what you executed so well here.
    Thank you for sharing your creative soul with us. Well done Ms Sadie!

  8. Sheila Miller says

    Love the vases. Where is this soup sold, besides Amazon? I have a collection of original glass milk bottles. The containers that coffee six-packs come in also resemble milk bottles. I enjoy your posts, thank you.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Oh, I don’t know if it’s sold on Amazon! I found it at Fresh Market – in small bottles AND bigger bottles in this shape!

  9. How sweet, I love them!


  10. These turned out so cute, Sarah! I love what you did with the caps!

  11. I’m drooling over your milk cap collection! You’ve got a wonderful variety! And this is an adorable way to appreciate them. Love their bright, spring colors! Fun to be hopping with you!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you!! I get everything from Crafty Lisa’s Vintage (she’s on Instagram)…she’s my “vintage paper” dealer, LOL. And thank you so much!

  12. Why don’t they recycle glass? That’s crazy! I’m glad they still do here!
    Your little vases are so cute, I love the springy colors!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      It’s an economic thing. The last processing plant within a hundred miles (or so) has closed, so it’s not cost-effective to truck the recycled glass to the next-closest facility. It’s just cheaper to make new glass. It’s becoming a wide-spread problem, all over the country!

  13. Debbie O says

    I’m sitting here in northern Michigan, freezing my heinie today but got an instant warmth just looking at these bright and shiny jars!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Ugh, winter is hanging on TIGHTLY to certain parts of the country, that’s for sure! Sending warm sunny days fairy dust your way!

  14. Lindsay Aratari says

    What a great idea!! I need to try these out!

  15. Robyn D Wright says

    Where did you get those adorable small bottles? Love this project!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      I want to say at a vintage market that used to be held at a farm here locally. I’ve had them for YEARS and they were tucked away in a closet, LOL.

  16. Lynn Spencer says

    Too Charming! And I wonder…could you spray the inside with a polyurethane or polycrylic to seal the paint so that you could add water? Hmmm…inquiring minds want to know!

    But, water or not…these vases are so springy and fun.

    Thanks for the Springtime Inspiration

    Hugs, Lynn

  17. So cute – love all the colors for spring!

  18. These turned out so cute! I made some spring decor a while back by painting the inside as well. Super easy and pretty! Love the pretty loves and the milk caps!

  19. You could use glass or plastic tubes that fit into the bottles, like old cigar holders.

  20. Those are EXACTLY the colors that scream spring to me! Our town has stopped glass and all plastic except #2 recycling. Darn. I am busy saving my glass bottles to make my Christmas Epsom bath salts to use as gifts. Dry goods and craft supplies are going into some. Hurts my recycling heart to throw them out!


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