July 27, 2013

How to Make Beach Bottles

Making bottles have a beach look to them is an easy way
to add a coastal or nautical feel to your home.
Here are three variations on ways to make beach bottles.

The first one I am going to show is the most basic.
You will need a bottle, some type of stopper, twine and
a small beach-related object to put on top.

The bottles I used were already blue.  You could use a clear 
bottle if you would like or color your bottle using a method 
found in the post Making Jars Look Vintage or

The beach objects used here were plastic toys found at
the Dollar Tree in the toy section.  
They were painted shades of white.
The bottles used had skinny necks so I whittled down some
 wine bottle corks to fit.  You could also use rolled up paper.

Because I might want to use these bottles again in another season
or for another reason, I just taped the twine on to the neck of 
the bottle to get it started. You could glue the twine onto the 
bottle if it is going to stay a beach bottle forever.
After winding the twine up the neck of the bottle,
I did use a dot of hot glue to secure it on the lip of the
 bottle  before moving the twine up on to the cork. 
 I think it will come off the bottle easily. 

 Since I don't care about saving the cork, I did use
more hot glue on it to attach the twine.
After you have secured the twine to the bottle and stopper,
put a glob of hot glue on top and hold your beachy object
upright until the glue dries and it can stand on its own.

I left these bottles empty thinking that they would have a similar
 clear blue glass look to the faux fishing floats I made last year.
This year the floats and the bouys that I made for the
Summer of '12 Mantle are being used in the dining room.

Behind the table is a display chest that I finally broke 
down and painted last summer.  This summer it is holding a
collection of faux coral that I made a couple of summers ago.

If you would like to see how this "coral" was made mostly from 
items in the floral section of craft stores, click "DIY Coral".
The blue of the beach bottles goes well with the blue/green
in the back of the chest as well as the folding mirrored screen.

In the mirror on the screen, you can also see an urn holding
a pile of DIY Whimsical Starfish.

Beside the urn, is a vignette on the dining room buffet.

While most of the dining room summer decor is whites and 
blues, this area has amber colors to go with the lamps that
were made out of garden urns. 

The three little ombre glass jars came from the clearance section
at Hobby Lobby (only $2.22 each).  They became beach jars
by having a pretty shell hot glued onto the knob on top.

The amber glass fishing floats also came from Hobby Lobby.

The fan shaped "coral" and the middle coral collage are homemade.

This pretty bowl-shaped coral was purchased at Target this
year for $22.  I thought that was a good price compared to
the faux Pottery Barn corals. 

This art poster was mounted on to a foam core board with
spray adhesive and put into a frame.  This way, you don't
 have the glare of glass over a print.

OK, now that I have made you look at summer d├ęcor in my
dining room, here are the other variations on the beach bottle:
You can add sand and shells to a bottle also and top it off
like the blue bottles.  I used purchased sand but you might
have special sand from a trip to the beach.  My friend, Ginger,
has a collection of bottled sand from every beach she has been to.

 If you are adding sand to a bottle with a narrow neck,

you can make a funnel out of paper to help get the sand in

the bottle without making a big mess.

You will need skinny shells to get in a bottle like this.

If you want to use the bottle for something else later, use tape
to start the twine-attaching/winding process.  If you anticipate
folks picking up this type bottle up to inspect the sand and shells,
you might want to glue the top/stopper onto the bottle so
you don't end up with a beach on your floor.

An easier and more kid-friendly beach bottle uses a wider
mouthed bottle or jar.   This way you have more options of
types of objects and shells you can add.  To be really
kid friendly, you could use a plastic jar instead of glass.

This type beach bottle/jar is fun to twist around and get a new
beach view of different shells that emerge from the sand.
For this reason, it is a good idea to glue the top onto the
bottle or jar so the contents won't come out accidentally.

Depending on how much time and effort you want to spend on
the top of this beach bottle, you can leave off painting the top,
putting twine on the top, or gluing objects on at the end.

Putting twine on the top took more time (and more 
burned fingers) than I thought it would.
I could have left the top like this...

...but the little plastic stingray and the starfish reminded me too
much of going to  "Stingray City" in the Caiman Islands and
letting the rays swim between my feet to not use them.

I was needing a third item to use with these two kookie
ocean glass objects that I got on super sale this past year
so this beach bottle went on the end table in the family room.

I think it will be a fun conversation piece.
Folks can turn it on its side and watch a new view emerge
with every twist...kind of like a sandy kaleidoscope.

I'm sharing this post at
Sunday Showoff Link Party @ Twigg Studios
Blitzed On Pinterest Link Party @ On Sutton Place
Sunday Showcase @  Under the Table and Dreaming
Masterpiece Monday @ Boogie Board Cottage
Inspire Me Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life
Wow Us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern Style
Open House Party @ No Minimalist Here

July 23, 2013

Sea Sayings

This summer-time vignette uses quotes about the ocean 
to inspire and enrich those who visit my home and 
hopefully you will enjoy these photos of it too!

I have really enjoyed these frames that I converted from their
more traditional role as picture holders to a place to attach
various smaller objects by nailing chicken wire to the backs.

To give a more nautical feel to them, I also draped netting 
from the Dollar Tree over them.  Most of the items are 
attached to the wire with tiny wooden clothespins (these
can be found in the craft sections at most stores). 

The larger starfish and the non-flat shells are attached
to the chicken wire by fishing line.

To find the quotes, I just googled "quotes about the sea"
and found some that appealed to me.  I typed them into a 
word processing in sort of old-fashioned fonts and then
printed them out on card stock paper that I had aged.
(opps...mis-spelled a word...didn't notice till it was up...too lazy to go back and reprint)

Most of these papers were aged with coffee grounds...to see 
how that is done you can click on this link 
"Aging Paper with Coffee Grounds".  For other ideas on how to
age paper, see the post "Aging Paper" and "Aging Book Pages".

The quote from "Anne of Green Gables" was placed in the
thing-a-ma-jig that I got when I ordered a "surprize" box
from an online company.  I wasn't sure what it was for but
I have enjoyed it anyway.

Most of the other glavanized items I pulled from my stash of 
stuff came from Hobby Lobby (on sale or using coupons).

The balls of shells were a happy discovery at Michael's.
They were on clearance, three in a pack for $4.

Their round shape co-ordinates with the spheres that got
shells hot glued onto them (hopefully the shells will
pop right off when summer is over). 

The angel's praying hands were easy to just place a shell onto.

One of my favorite guys, a statue I've had for many years, is
watching over the "Sea Sayings" vignette" from the coffee table.

With some specialty "ribbon" from Hobby Lobby
(it looks like chicken wire with a foam coating)
wrapped around him, I'm calling him "Beach Boy".

The "ribbon" reminds me of fishing net.

His fishing net has small shells and starfish attached to it.

His base and the surrounding net have larger shells
and starfish scattered around.

Since the photo of the cabinet that the "Sea Sayings" is on/over
is partially covered by the title, here is a photo without the text:

The piece was almost completely black with aged varnish on it
when my husband and I found it in a flea market. We
 refinished the top and painted and crackled the bottom.
  It is now one of our favorite pieces in our home. 

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