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April 8, 2018

Use Bottles As Vases

Use Bottles As Vases
How to repurpose a bottle into being a vase

If there are times that you need more vases than you have, use bottles as vases. 
Bottles usually have thin necks and are easy to arrange flowers in. 
The BIG plus to using bottles as vases is that 
they can be very low cost or even free. 

To decorate my house for Spring this year I wanted to use lots of
flowers but I don't have an unlimited amount of vases. 
I found clear bottles that I could take the labels off of and use them as vases. 
In the photo above the two center containers are vases and the 
other containers are bottles. 

Here is my living room decorated for Spring...
Spring decorating ideas

Spring arrangements with artificial branches
On the mantel I used vases (that don't match exactly but are
 close in size and color) to hold artificial Spring branches.

Spring arrangement

I add water to the vases to advance the idea that the branches 
are real. Most of the time the branches have plastic stems. If they
are wrapped in paper, oh well, I may be painting those stems later.
Spring arrangement

The picture between the vases is made from a print with artist
gel medium applied to it to make it look like a painting. I like that
it bridges the feel of Winter (bare birch) and Spring (green grass).

The mantel has a single bookcase to the left...
artificial flowers with real greenery

bookcase shelf ideas

...and a double bookcase to the right...
Interesting bookcase arrangment

Spring vignette ideas

A trick that I like to use is to cut the (usually not real looking) greenery off 
of artificial flowers and use real greenery instead.
It really helps to fool the eye of the beholder. 

On the side of the living room that the double bookcase is on
there is a sofa that sits in front of the bank of three windows.
bird stencil

Usually I make my own pillow covers to save money like these
ones with birds stenciled on them. I saw the solid colored green
pillows with beige fringe on them at a nearby "At Home" store
for only $16 recently...I thought that was a good price. 

simple coffee table arrangment
With so many flowers in the room already, I kept the frog containers on the coffee table simple with faux succulents. 

Across the room from the sofa is a cabinet that houses our
 radio and CD player. 
It was almost black with age at a flea market
before we painted the base of it. 
My husband revived the wooden top. 
bottles can be used as vases

In Spring everything is full of promise

The only flowers that are real on this piece are the white spirea.
They are in a re-purposed Crown Royal bottle. The flowers on 
each end are in re-purposed champagne bottles. 

Bourbon bottle as a vase

chicken wire frame

The frames above the painted cabinet have chicken wire stapled to
 the backside. That makes it easy to change out the decor items on  the frames seasonally. Right now there are faux wooden signs there. 

Benjamin Moore Georgian Green

I usually don't show this angle of the living room (because who wants to look at a 
hulking TV cabinet) but it gives  you a better 
idea of the layout of my home. 
To the left of the cabinet (where the black dinette set is)
 is the kitchen area. 
To the right of the cabinet
(where you see terracotta lamps) is the dining room area. 

Recently the dining room table utilized bottles as vases for
St. Patrick's Day decor. Sadly the spirea has withered and the
table is now being used for various craft projects. 
Use bottles as vases

The table in the kitchen, however, still has a display of a mix of
artificial and real flowers and greenery.  
bottles used as vases

Spring vase arrangement

Clear glass bottles are a good substitute for traditional glass vases 
but they can be a little harder to come by. 
If you don't mind painting bottles to use as vases,
 you don't have to be as picky.
Painted bottles are fun to use as party or wedding centerpieces. 
use bottles as centerpieces

Colored glass bottles are easier to find. Even if you don't drink
wine or beer, you might know friends or family that do and they
would probably be glad to save bottles for you. 

It is easy to soak the bottles to get the labels off. Here is a tutorial
easy way to get label off bottles

For a Mexican-themed party I helped with we spray painted the
cleaned bottles with bright colors. 
spraypaint bottles

spray painting bottles

We put colorful tissue paper flowers in the painted bottles. 
paper flowers as party decorations

If you want to, it is also easy to make the bottles two-tone colored
by using tape and paper to mask off part of the painted bottle
and spray it with a second color. 
two tones bottles

party centerpiece idea

You can also use the bottles to hold water and keep flowers and
greenery fresh for a party or wedding. These bottles are bright
colors but bottles can be made to look more elegant by painting 
them silver or gold for a more formal event. 
cheap party decoration

painted bottles as centerpieces

So the next time you need more vases than you have, think
about using bottles as vases too. 
Bottles make good vases

I am sharing this post over at
Inspire Me Tuesday blog party @ A Stroll Thru Life
Tip Me Tuesday @ Tip Junkie

March 7, 2018

A Lazy Way To Remove Bottle and Jar Labels


There are so many creative and decorative ways to upcycle
bottles and jars. In most ways the bottles and jars would be
used, the labels need to be removed. Here is a lazy way to
remove labels from bottles and jars and how I used  
upcycled bottles in decorating for St. Patrick's Day.

Here's the bottles I have been saving to use for either party
or home decor one day. To be really lazy like me you can 
leave them outside and let them the weather work on the labels. 

If your bottle's labels are still intact, first run the tines 
of a regular fork over the label to scratch it up. 

Then put the bottle in water to soak. 
Let the water do the work for you of loosening the
loosening the label and glue. To keep the bottle submerged
in the water, make sure the bottle is full of water. 

After about an hour of the water working on the label, not you,
take the bottle out of the water. Use the non-serrated side of
a regular knife to scrape off any of the label that will come 
off easily. If there is still label stuck on the bottle, let it soak
longer. It is a lot less effort on your part to not keep scraping
on parts of the label that are not ready to come off. 

A part of the label that will not come with just soaking is
a metallic label on the neck of the bottle. Usually
you can just cut these off with scissors. If it is a thicker
metal, you might need to use wire cutters. 

If a label is clear and/or plastic, it may pull off in one
piece. Try to pry up a corner and pull it off slowly.



If some of the label is left even after a second soaking and 
scrape, put a little dish soap on the label, foam it up and 
let it sit while the surfactants in the dish soap have time 
to loosen the glue that is holding the label on. Scrape again.

By now, the paper part of the label should be gone.

Hopefully the glue residue is gone also. If there is still some
patterns of glue left, here are two things to apply to the bottle
and, again, let them stay in place and work while you don't.

You can try soaking a paper towel in vinegar and let that sit
on the stubborn glue for a while.

Or you can make a paste out of baking soda and olive oil then
 pat it on the bottle to soften up the glue. 

Another thing to try to get remaining glue off that is not a 
sit and soak method (so it does take a little effort) is 
rubbing the the bottle with steel wool. 

I'm going to use some of my now naked bottles to decorate
for St. Patrick's Day! It's crazy that I am putting labels back 
on the bottles I just got labels off of. 

These labels are just online printables of vintage St. Patrick's 
Day postcards. I applied them to the bottles with a water-based
craft glue so they will be easy to take off after March 17.

Here they are finished and being used a vases to hold
Spring branches from my back yard. 







The hutch behind the dining room table also holds some
upcycled bottles.



After the labels were taken off of these green bottles I did my 
best to try to make them look like vintage seltzer dispensers. 
More of the reproduction post cards where used in the hutch.
If you want to see how the tops of these bottles were made you
can click here to go to the blog post. If you would like to see how
I used the post cards last year in decorating click here. 

More St. Patrick's Day decor in the dining room...

I made this faux stained glass window with supplies from the
craft store a few years ago. I love using it every Spring.  

My boy statue gets all of the artificial shamrocks this year.

I hope my lazy label removal tips will help you when you
want to use give bottles and jars a new and useful life!

I am sharing this post over at
Before and After @ The Dedicated House
Share Your Style @ The Vintage Nest

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