Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Up-cycled Beer Bottle Christmas Decor

[I saw this gorgeous display at my sister's house earlier this month and I begged her to write a guest post on how she did it! So here it is, a tutorial written by Lydia! You can check out her other guest post here.] 

Earlier this year I made the decision to stop throwing away glass jars and bottles, and save them for crafts and organization. However, brown beer bottles are not very pretty, and there are only so many things you can do with them. 

I found this option on pinterest and thought to recreate it. I thought of doing an all-seasons “Welcome” and spray painting the bottles green to match our living room. But with Christmas coming, I decided to do a seasonal one since I could do welcome anytime (and certainly have plenty of bottles for it.) I planned to sharpie or paint the letters on, since I am too cheap to buy the vinyl letters. My bottles were going to say “Rejoice.” 

One day, I was perusing the holiday treasures of Target’s dollar aisle where I came across hanging glitter letters. I thought these would look more fantastic than my drawn letters, so I searched for the ones I needed. There was not a large assortment. Resigned, I moved on through ornaments and other decorations, when I realized that it is ridiculous to pay $1 per cardboard, glitter letters! Rather, I purchased some white glue and a variety pack of colored glitter! Let the crafting begin!

I started with 6 Blue Moon beer bottles. We like the pale ales, but you can use any bottle that you have. I decided to use the word “Noel” since it’s shorter and it’s my middle name. and have snowflakes on the ends.

The spray paint I got from my father, who is the epitome of handy and supplied. We had previously used this spray paint to create Gimli’s helmet for our halloween costumes. 

I spray painted the 6 bottles. While they dried, I began creating the letters. I searched the interweb for a long time before settling on a font. I had a very particular look in mind and none of them seemed to match it. In the end, I am not sure which font I chose, but I trimmed it to make it perfect. I printed the letters in a large font onto pieces of cardstock (my leftover wedding invitations) and cut them out. The cardstock was not thick enough, so I pulled out an empty cereal box, traced the letters and cut those out. Perfect. So simple. 

Now for the messy part. I had looked at this tutorial, but really, this is a pretty intuitive process, especially if you did any glitter crafts as a child. Spread the glue over the letters (I used an old paint brush), then pour the glitter over, let it sit for a second, then shake off the excess glitter. I had a really hard time keeping the glitter under control; it’s very unruly. I used foil, but a paper plate might be better. I tried to create the snowflakes in the tutorial, but I had used all of our printer’s ink with the letters, and I couldn’t seem to get it freehand. I bought a pack of 6 glitter snowflakes at the dollar store. I was able to use them with my clear bottles and white lights, also. 

I used some green ribbon leftover from our wedding favors to hang the letters. The “N” was tricky to get straight. I added some candles, and it’s a Christmas menorah. Well, sorta. 

The moral of this story is: never throw away anything! Seriously. Just stay organized. Oh, and never buy anything you can make. Especially Christmas decorations. 

I did my best to think of homemade gifts this year as best I could. Maybe next time I can share with you about the Nook Color case that I made for my mother-in-law! Until then, Merry Christmas! 
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