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Wedding Project: Painted Bottles

These have been a bit of an ongoing project - we've been saving empty bottles for about 10 months now, to go on the tables at our wedding - alongside all the old medecine and vintage lemonade bottles that we've been hunting for.

These will display wild flowers and herbs eventually, but for now they are sitting pretty on the window sill.

So far I have painted four bottles: one wine bottle; a mulled cider bottle and two Galvanina soft drink bottles, you can buy these in Waitrose or I've also seen them in farm shops. These look particularly cool as they have raised lettering.

I got the idea of painting bottles from Rebecca Davies (thank you), Rebecca upcycles and paints old furniture, Shabby Chic style, and helps out in Smile at Home, a shop a few doors down from where I live in Caterham, Surrey. I'd seen a few in the shop and they look great.

It's usually best to put a dark colour on as your first coat, I've tried using black acrylic paint, and also mixed a dark green acrylic with some chalk paint, this seems to stick to the glass really well. Be patient and let it dry properly!

To get a crackle effect I used PVA glue, just the cheap kind from Poundland. This is a massive experiment, different techniques work for different people. It took me quite a few attempts to get it right! Best to practice on an old piece of wood if you can. I use neat PVA glue but some might prefer to water it down.

Paint the PVA on the section that you would like to crackle in one direction. I tend to put it on quite thickly. Let it dry until it's still tacky to touch, this can take a little while. When you are ready paint your top colour on in the opposite direction to the PVA (use a lighter colour) - you'll feel a slight drag on the brush - this is what creates the crackle. I also found heat helps speed up the process - a hairdryer is good as is sitting it on a radiator. The PVA reacts with the paint, and the different drying times cause the paint to crack. Thicker glue creates bigger

cracks. I used in Autentico chalk paint in Vanille, it reacted with the green acrylic underneath and came out a mint green colour, I also mixed some turquoise in.

I tried different colours and techniques out on each bottle, but found dry brushing some copper acrylic paint over each bottle made a lovely patina effect. I sprayed the larger wine bottle with cheap gold hairspray (another Poundland buy) this also worked really well. I sealed each bottle with some dark wax to protect them.

I have more indoors to test out next week - and will be trying out some different colours. Have fun!

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