Recently I made some shell-covered vintage bottles for my mom.  We’d been admiring the expensive versions in the beachy boutiques for quite some time, and I could tell how much she wanted them.  However, I knew I could create my own versions that were just as beautiful on the cheap.

After finding these bottles in various thrift and antique shops, I absolutely fell in love and knew I wanted to incorporate them more into my own decorating style.  Their aged, hazy green-blue tinge was more beautiful to me than any crystal vase.  Add a sprig of bouginvilla or a few wildflowers and you have a display that makes my beachy heart go pitter-patter.

And to my delight I discovered I wasn’t the only one.  When I stumbled across these pictures I immediately filed them into my “Inspiration” folder.  Then I promptly fell out of my chair in excitement as I drooled over their simplistic, vintage beauty:

From "A Beach Cottage" (one of my FAVORITE blogs!!)

From "Dreamy Whites" (another favorite!!)

From “Eat, Drink, Chic”… Lovely
From “Country Living”.  Vintage bottles, twine, and wildflowers – perfection.

But as inspired as I was, I just couldn’t bring myself to pay up to $15 per bottle. Yikes.  A gift for my mom is one thing, but I’m too cheap frugal to pay that much for my own home decor unless it’ll do the dishes for me.  And the laundry.  And a foot massage after pouring me a glass of Moscato would be nice.

What?

My love for vintage glass bottles went on the back burner for awhile.  Until the hubs brought this home from the grocery store a few days ago:

He swiped one when I turned my back to grab the camera.  Little booger…

Anyway, if you’ve never had an IBC – boy are you missing out!!  ^_^  IBC Root Beer makes for the best Root Beer float on the planet.  Their Cream Soda is pure creamy bliss, too.  But more importantly than that, IBC has the most beautifully vintage-looking bottles I’ve seen… without actually being vintage.

So my mind went into overdrive trying to imagine how to give them that aged, tinted look that I loved so much about their much older counterparts.  Inspiration finally struck as I was unscrewing the top to my ever-trusty bottle of Mod Podge.  Here’s how you do it:

You also need an oven.  I knew there was a reason I took the picture on the oven. Duh.  Oh, and you need a mixing utensil, be it a paintbrush, a Popsicle stick, or coffee stirrer.

I think I should mention that this project can get a little messy, so have a sink and some paper towels handy.  Or a hose if you decide to do it with a three-year-old (like I did).

step 1: Cover your work surface with the wax paper and preheat your oven to the lowest setting (200 degrees, in my case).

step 2: Choose a container large enough to hold your bottles.  Pour your Mod Podge into the container.  **NOTE: The deeper you fill the container, the easier it will be to get your bottles covered.  But as cheap as I am, I tried to use only as much as I needed.  It kills me to throw perfectly good crafting supplies away… I’m a pack rat that way.

step 3: Thin your Mod Podge down with a few tablespoons of water.  You want it to be the consistency of the glue mixture you dipped shreds of newspaper in and covered balloons with in first grade.  Helpful, right?  (Notice the sarcasm there?)  Sorry.  It was the only thing I could think of to explain it.  Hopefully more than three of you will understand what I’m talking about.

step 4: Whip out your green and blue food coloring.  I went with three drops green and two drops blue, which gave me a very realistic vintagey color.  However looking back on it, I would have put in a few more drops of blue (simply for my own turquoise-obsessed gratification).

step 5: Keep stirring until the Mod Podge is completely thinned and mixed.  **NOTE: I apologize for the difference in colors in these pictures.  I guess my camera has a hard time distinguishing between green and blue.

step 6: Place your bottles into the container.

step 7: Cover the lower half of your bottle by holding it by the neck and spinning the lower half in the mixture.  **NOTE: I specifically did not brush the mixture onto the bottles because I was trying to make things as difficult for myself as possible make them look realistically vintage, and I felt that brush strokes would ruin the effect.  However, if you don’t mind seeing faint lines on the finished product, the following process would probably be made much easier with a paint brush.

step 8: Let the messiness begin!  Cover the neck of your bottle by (trying) to dip it and spin like you did in the previous step.  This is a little difficult to do because the lower part of the bottle is now slick and hard to hold on to.  Just cover as much as you can then continue on.

step 9: To cover the parts on the neck that may have been missed in the previous step, scoop some of the mixture onto your fingers and glob it on.  Again, I didn’t use a paint brush on purpose here in order to avoid the brush stroke lines.

step 10: Keep spinning and globbing until your bottle is completely covered.

step 11: Stick your finger into the drinking hole to lift the bottle into an upright position, which will cover the bottom of the bottle with gloop.  If you notice a bare spot, dip your fingertip into the mixture and dab it thickly on.

step 12: Like so.  =}

step 13: Place all your Mod Podged bottles and glassware onto the wax paper to air dry for a few minutes.  Wait until they’re a bit chalky in order to make them easier to handle.

step 14: Place your bottles and glassware into the oven for 30 to 45 minutes.  **IMPORTANT NOTE: I simply grabbed the wax papered cookie tray and placed the entire thing (along with the bottles) into the oven.  DO.  NOT.  DO.  THIS!!!! Take the bottles OFF the wax paper and place them directly onto the rack inside the oven.

Why, might you ask?

Because if you don’t, this will happen:

Wait, you mean to tell me that Mod Podge is sticky like a glue and will adhere the bottles to the wax paper?!  C’mon… really?

Yeah.  Really.

I ended up having to throw this one away because I just could not peel the wax paper off the bottom.  It was literally baked on.  Bummer, because I had big plans (and a great tutorial) planned for this glass.  Lesson learned… insert sad face here.

But even through the mishap, I’m very happy with how these turned out.  My mom even scolded me for spending money on vintage bottles.

Pffff.

Me? Spend money?  Yeah, no.

Thanks again for crafting with me, everyone!  I’d love to hear what you think.  I read each and every one of your comments, so feel free to ask if you need clarification on something.

Stay tuned for the Beachified Blue Bottle tutorial, coming tomorrow!  Until then, happy crafting everyone!!  ^_^