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Do It Yourself: Recycle Bottles and Cans Into Vases and Candle Holders #30DaysofGOOD

Show off flowers and candles in a way that matches your personality.

Things are easier said than done, or so the old adage goes, and we couldn't agree more. That's why we do 30 Days of GOOD (#30DaysofGOOD), a monthly attempt to live better. Our challenge for July? Do It Yourself.


Flowers or candles bring life to any space, especially when you show them off in a way that matches your personality. A trick I like is to recycle bottles and containers into awesome DIY vases and candle holders.

Make sure to thoroughly clean any food and drink containers you're planning on reusing. Fill your sink with very hot water, add soap and a bit of white vinegar, then let the bottles and containers soak for an hour. While wet, scrub off the labels. If you have a bottle brush, use it to clean the interior. Then rinse everything thoroughly, towel off, and let dry.

All clean? You're ready to customize.

Painted bottles
A fast and fun way to make an interesting vase or candlestick holder from a bottle or jar is simply to paint it. You'll want to make sure the outside of the glass is thoroughly clean before applying your paint. Most paints, including spray paint, will stick to the clean surface, but if you want longevity, look for paints specially designed for use on glass.

For even more permanence, etching the glass (using supplies easily found at hobby stores) allows the paint to adhere strongly. Also, the etched glass, without paint, has a distinct matte look, especially when used with the next technique.

While two matching, painted wine bottles make a very simple yet interesting set of candle holders, the bottles can be further enhanced by first wrapping them in criss-crossed yarn or masking tape, then removing it after the paint is applied. The finished result works great with tea lights. More details here.

Wrap in twine
For a rustic option, wrap your bottle with twine, using standard white glue or a hot glue gun to help stick it in place. Start from the bottom and work your way up, making sure to keep the wrap tight and even. Once you get to the top, add an extra dollop of glue to lock things in place.

You can also wrap a select part of the bottle or container in the twine (yarn works well too). A quart-sized paint can, with a center section of twine, makes for a great display piece for a shorter-stemmed, medium size flower arrangement. Partially wrapped beer bottles or soup cans also work well.

Cut off bottle top
Bottle cutters are inexpensive and easy-to-use tools. You simply load the bottle into the holder, tighten the etching edge, rotate the bottle to score a straight line around it, then put the bottle in cold and hot water to pop it apart. After separated, sand the edges with a diamond-coated file to soften it out and make it safe. This easy method can create some exceptionally cool results.

Read more of Mike Senese's DIY tips and projects at DO IT.

We're giving away $1000 for you to share your own DIY skills with others. Participate in our Host a GOOD Workshop challenge.

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