We’re so psyched to show you this gorgeously boho DIY today! Perfect for the gypsy bride on the beach, it’d work equally well in the woods or under canvas, these little bottles can be used to decorate tables, to create a gorgeous guestbook area, or maybe you need just that little extra ‘something’ for your dessert table… Seriously though, you NEED this glassy gorgeousness in your life!
Oh, and did I mention you could be in with a chance of WINNING this little bottle set!?
The winner will be announced in a week’s time (midday Feb 5th) and it’s UK only entrants please! So get sharing, retweeting or emailing!
Or, of course, y’all could do it yo’ fine self!
Props to the gorgeous people over at Old Bear Media for shooting this with us!
So, by now I’m guessing you’re dying to hear what y’all need to buy to get this DIY on the road, it’s pretty straightforward:
- Glass bottles – we searched ‘Vintage aqua glass bottles’ there are a fair few sellers!
- Chalk pens – we got ours from Amazon, they’re 3mm round nibs and wipe clean
- Hairspray – whatever you’ve got lying around will do!
- Clear acrylic spray varnish – we had this lying around in a matte effect, giving a lovely frosted final effect
- Twine – embroidery thred works like a charm and is available in every colour you could think of!
- Shells – again we got ours from ebay, search ‘cowrie sea shell charms’
- Beads + charms – we used green Chrysoprase beads (again, ebay) and some wooden beads we had lying around, plus these bronze coin charms
- Super glue
- Feathers (to decorate)
- Gypsophilia and/or foliage (to decorate)
And you’re ready to go!
Ok, so y’all are gonna want to do some serious research beforehand for your design ideas., so go hit up Pinterest before you even touch that chalk pen!
We tried out a little bit of everything. From cute phrases, to mandala style and Aztec patterns, to a bohemian feather design. The key is to try them on paper first with a felt tip pen of a similar width nib, see what’s achievable in the space available and play to your strengths! If you can’t make it work on paper, chances are you’re gonna find it tricky on bubbled, antique glass with a chalk pen!
That said, don’t be scared of some of the more intricate designs, so often they’re just a repeating pattern, built up of dots, lines and triangles, but they can produce the most stunning final piece!
A few tips for using chalk pens:
- Get the ink flowing before you go anywhere near your bottles, a combination of pushing the nib down into paper and vigorous shaking should get your ink flowing pretty well!
- You’ll need to shake intermittently throughout the drawing process, but try and make sure you’ve completed your current line, as the flow of ink will be heavier once you’ve shaken, it can make for a slightly disjointed design
- It’s tedious, but put the pen lid on when you shake (she says, sat here, face and hair splattered in white ink!)
- If you want your design a little bolder and whiter, go over your first line or dot immediately after having drawn it, if you leave it to dry a little before going over, you’ll find the dried chalk drags… Yah, talking from experience here!
…And if all else fails, keep a damp piece of kitchen towel close by, that’s the joy of wipe clean!
Add your names, your wedding date, your favourite quote, your wedding hashtag… Anything goes and they’re SO FRIGGIN’ CUTE.
Next up, if you’re doing your bottles well in advance of the big day (totally advisable) you’ll wanna seal the chalk designs onto the glass so they’re leaft water and scratch proof.
Once your chalk designs have dried and you’re definitely happy with them (there’s no going back after this, guys!) go ahead and spray the chalked side of each bottle with a good dose of hairspray from about 10cm away.
The hairspray simply provides a protective layer before you add the acrylic varnish, the chalk and varnish would otherwise react!
Note that at this point your chalk designs are still delicate, they’d still wipe off, or scratch off, so careful not to catch them with your nails (yup, I totally did that too!)
Once you’re happy the hairspray is dry (we left them 30 mins just to be safe!) find yourself a well-ventilated area, a surface you don’t mind getting a little varnished and go ahead and spray each design, again from about 10cm away and be sparing, it’s pretty effective stuff!
It’s worth noting that the matte spray varnish we used gave the bottle a frosted effect, which we adore, but a clear, gloss finish would leave the glass a little clearer. Take a look at the image below, the left bottle has been varnished.
That ‘Washed-ashore’ Look
So the last stage is to add the super pretty, bohemian touches to the necks of each bottle.
When it comes to the neck of each bottle, although we love the look of leaving a few bottles naked, just for the sake of variation, as far as those that you decide to decorate are concerned, more definitely is more!
You’re aiming to achieve that ‘oh, you know, I just foraged these from the beach earlier today’ look, a washed-ashore vibe. Translated into practical terms, that means don’t tuck the ends of your string in, don’t worry if your string frays a little and don’t worry if your beads aren’t threaded symmetrically (in fact, actively try to avoid this!).
Just go to town with it. Mix and match your beads, layer up your charms and play around with different string tensions.
Two little tips: firstly, always pre-thread your string before beginning to wrap the bottle neck… It’s WAY easier, and secondly, always overestimate on twine, nobody likes running out of thread and loose ends are the new black, gals!
When you’re done, simply knot the string in place, and chop the loose ends to the desired length and dab a little super glue onto the knots to make sure they stay put (don’t worry if the glue appears dark/wet it’ll dry clear and string will return to its original colour!)
We added real authentic bird feathers, because hello, FEATHERS!
If you guys love them as much as us, then be sure to enter the aforementioned giveaway by heading over to our instagram feed, twitter or facebook page to enter, or alternatively drop us a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org with one line as to why you think you should win!
The winner will be announced in a week’s time (midday Feb 4th) and we’re looking for UK entrants only.
Any questions about the tutorial, please do give us a shout, we’re always here to help a sister out!
Peace + Love