There are few water bottle companies that sell water in glass bottles. Voss is one of them. The bottles are these beautiful, tall cylinders. You can get them individually at your local grocery store or buy a case from Amazon to save money - this is a great option if you want to make these for gifts as the cost per-bottle goes down to less than $3 this way! I picked up a large bottle at Natural Grocers and used adhesive silkscreens and glass etching cream to transform the bottle into a beautiful work of art as a gift for my sister.
- Voss Artisan Glass Water Bottle (you MUST get a glass one - this won't work on plastic)
- Mini Razor Scraper
- Rubbing alcohol
- Cotton ball
- Martha Stewart adhesive silkscreens (I used the Wildflowers set)
- Martha Stewart Glass Etch Cream (large size here) (If you don't already have some or are not planning to do a lot of etching, your best value may be this Martha Stewart Etch Cream Starter Kit instead which come with 2 oz cream and stencils - each water bottle will use about 1 oz. cream)
- Paint brush
- Painters tape (optional, depending on how neat you are)
- Rubber gloves (NOT optional)
Step 1: Prep Glass
Please note: I recommend keeping the lid on the entire time you work with the bottle to prevent paint chips, soap or chemicals from getting inside.
The Voss bottles come with their labels silkscreened on with paint. To remove them, you will need to scratch it off with a razor blade. To do this without scratching the glass, hold the blade at an angle and gently use it to chip away the paint.
Once the paint is removed, wash the outside of the bottle with soap and water. Check to be sure you removed all the paint and re-scrape problem areas if needed and then re-wash. Set aside to dry.
Step 2: Prep silkscreens
The silkscreens come as one large sheet. Remove the sheet from the protective backing and cut each individual piece from the sheet, following the lines.
Step 3: Place Silkscreens.
Wipe the bottle down with rubbing alcohol and cotton ball to remove any grease, fingerprints or soap residue. Allow to dry.
Select a silkscreen and place it on the bottle, rubbing it to be sure it is well adhered with no bubbles or gaps. You may choose to use painter's tape to adhere the edges as well. I live on the wild side and did not use tape.
Continue adding silkscreens as desired. I wanted the bottle to be covered in the floral motif, so I added all the large stencils and stopped when I ran out of room.
Step 4: Etch Glass
Put on your gloves. Seriously. This stuff is acid capable of eating through glass. You don't want even a tiny bit on your skin.
Stand the bottle up on its end and set on a protective surface.
Scoop some glass etching cream out of the bottle and glob it onto the silkscreen.
Continue globbing cream onto the silkscreens until all the design areas are covered. Be careful not to let any get on areas of glass you do not want etched.
Rinse your brush while your gloves are still on. Remove gloves and set brush and bottle aside for 15-20 minutes or time indicated on the label. When the time is up, put your gloves back on and head over to a sink to rinse. (I used the bathroom sink to avoid any over-splash onto dishes or items that might come in contact with food).
Run the silkscreens under the water and rub with your gloved hand to remove all etching cream. The silkscreens might fall off while you are rinsing and that's ok. Just rinse and rub the etching cream off the silkscreen and set aside adhesive side up to dry (you can re-use it again later). Once all the traces of etching creme are gone from the bottle, gently wash the outside with mild soap and water and set aside to dry.
Like I said earlier, I wanted pattern everywhere so once the bottle was dry, I used smaller silkscreens to fill in some of the empty places on the bottle and repeated the process again.
Step 5: Give!
Once your bottle is clean and dry, it's ready for giving. My sister got hers for her birthday but I think this is a great gift idea for Christmas or any occasion. And you can't beat the price! These water bottles sell for $20 or more in stores and online. I paid $3 for this water bottle and if you were to buy the etching cream on sale or with a coupon at Michael's or Jo-Anns, you could pay as little as $1 per bottle for the cream bringing the price to about $4 per bottle - which is super affordable!
Looking for more ways to personalize water bottles?
I'm surprised I haven't seen more people personalizing these water bottles - they seem like the perfect blank canvas! But great minds think alike and just last week my real-life blogging friend, Breanna from Dollar Store Mom re-did one of her Voss bottles with glass paint. Check her project out here:
Have you ever given a glass bottle a makeover? Let me know in the comments. I'd love to feature you!
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disclosure: I received Martha Stewart Glass Etching Cream and silkscreens as free samples from Plaid Crafts in the hope that if I liked them, I would consider them in a future project. I was not asked to write about these products nor was a compensated in any way for this post by Plaid or Voss. All opinions and instructions are my own. I love this etching cream as a way to give new life to glass bottles to allow them to be loved and re-used over and over again instead of simply recycled. See my full review policy here.