Leggi questo post in: Italiano
Mother’s Day is creeping up and will be here before you know it. Have you started preparing gifts for the most important women in your life? Most mothers (at least the ones I know) are happiest to receive something small, but from the heart, and what could be more from the heart than personalized homemade gifts? And since all moms want to protect their children and grandchildren, even better is an eco-friendly gift that won’t have an impact on the environment.
I like wine and beer and basically anything alcoholic, and when I come across a cool bottle, I always make sure to save it for my DIY projects. Today I’m going to show you two really easy wine bottle crafts, making vases with customized words and designs for your favorite mothers and friends! You can even involve small children in decorating the bottles and, what’s best of all, if you’re a crafty person, you probably already have all the materials you need for both of these projects!
The first version of this project is a chalkboard vase, which is super fun to decorate with personalized or seasonal messages. Give kids one of these bottles and some colored chalk, and they are in heaven!
The second upcycled bottle vase is decorated with a glue gun and spray paint, for drawings and messages that will never risk being accidentally erased.
Both of these wine bottle crafts are really easy and very quick for a great last-minute DIY Mother’s Day gift. Now let me show you how to make them! Let’s start with my personal favorite of the two, the chalkboard wine bottle vase.
I got the idea a few years ago when I saw this project on Pinterest. The problem was that it uses chalkboard spray paint, which I have never been able to find in Italy, where I live. I did, however, already have regular chalkboard paint, so I did a bit of googling to see if anyone had successfully used it on glass. This tutorial for jars with chalkboard labels confirmed that it was possible, so I went for it. (You can find chalkboard paint and spray paint here*, if you don’t have any already.)
Alas, after a little while, the friction of the chalk started rubbing off the paint, leaving the glass beneath exposed. I just figured that it wasn’t meant to be until I came across a wonderful trick on an Italian blog: add a primer of diluted glue to the glass to help the paint stick. I tested it, and it worked perfectly!
1. Soak the bottle and remove the label. Wash the bottle and let it dry completely.
2. Put some regular glue (like Elmer’s) in a jar and add a bit of water. Shake the jar to mix it. I don’t really have an exactly proportion of glue to water, but it’s really not that important. You just need to make sure that it’s thin enough to not be clumpy, but thick enough to stick to the sides of the bottle.
3. Brush the diluted glue on to your bottle and let it dry. The bottle in the front of the picture above shows what it looks like just after applying this primer, while the bottle in the back shows what it looks like after it’s dried.
4. Brush the chalkboard paint on the bottle in smooth strokes. Let it dry, and then add a second coat.
5. Condition the chalkboard paint by rubbing the side of a piece of white chalk all over the bottle’s surface, then spread it around with an eraser.
This might be painful for you to do, because it turns your lovely perfect black surface to a mottled gray, but it’s important to do. If you don’t, the lines of your first chalk marks get absorbed by the chalkboard surface and don’t erase well. Conditioning it lets the whole surface soak in chalk, avoiding ghostly remains of future chalk marks. You can always wash off the chalk conditioning if it’s too “dirty” looking.
6. Now comes the most fun part: decorating the bottle! This is the most fun and cool-looking if you used colored chalk. I’m willing to bet that these would look even cooler with chalk markers*, which I’ve never used but am really curious about trying.
I’m always surprised at how relaxing it is to draw and color on these bottles. It’s the same concept of relaxing with adult coloring books, except in the process you create something beautiful that you can decorate your home with, so that everyone else can admire it!
And the nice thing is that, if you get sick of one of your drawings, you can just erase it and start over again! This is the drawing I made on one of these bottles on Valentine’s Day.
And if adults have fun decorating these bottles, go figure how much kids love them! There’s something about drawing and coloring on an unusual object that really appeals to them. They can draw special pictures and write messages on the bottles and give them away for gifts.
My kids have given these away to their grandmother more than once, and she loves being able to cherish their artwork when they are far away.
But sometimes you want a more permanent personalization, one that can’t be accidentally erased. That’s when our second wine bottle project is a good choice. I saw a more simple version of this idea on Pinterest years ago and thought that it would be a great gift from kids to a loved one.
1. Have your child to draw and write on a bottle with a china marker* or any other writing tool that will show up on glass. It’s important that the pictures and letters are relatively large.
2. Trace over the markings with a glue gun.
When I made my first bottle like this a few years ago (the above and the next two photos), I had a terrible quality glue gun and it was pretty much impossible to do this well. I used a much better glue gun for the other bottle in the other pictures, so it went much better. My hand is still not super steady, but I imagine that it gets easier the more you do it.
3. Spray paint the entire bottle. All the markings get covered up by the paint and the glue-traced images pop out already in this first coat of spray paint. But, as you can see in the picture above, one coat is not enough.
4. Spray a second coat of paint after the first one has thoroughly dried. At this point it looks much better. Remember, it’s always better to use more than one light coat of paint than to try to make one thick coat of paint suffice.
That’s it! For kids it’s almost like magic to see their words and pictures get turned into 3-D versions that they can touch.
I personally prefer the chalkboard bottle to the glue gun one because the drawings on it are made directly by the children’s hands, rather than being traced over by an adult. It’s the same concept that I talked about with my DIY portrait bookmarks, whether to show the child’s original drawing/painting, or to embroidery over it for a more finished look.
I discovered that, if you make a mistake when tracing the drawings with the glue gun, the entire shape just peels right off of the glass after it dries. So I started playing around making shapes to peel off on purpose, then spray painting them. My daughter really liked this little heart.
So there you have two really easy wine bottle crafts to make for Mother’s Day or, hey, why not for yourself? (I also made some twine-covered bottles, which you can see above and which I will write about another time.) You can put dried grasses in them or even cut flowers. Seeing as they’re glass bottles, you can put water in them and they won’t leak.
These gifts are both eco-friendly and inexpensive because of the repurposed materials, and you can personalize them with colors and designs that you or your loved one enjoys!
If you love giving handmade gifts without an environmental footprint, make sure you check out my roundup of 18 DIY Mother’s Day gifts made with upcycled materials!
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