Add Interest With
Apothecary Bottles And Vintage Labels

Displaying Apothecary Bottles

Decorating with apothecary bottles and vintage labels is nothing new I know, but they still add as much charm as ever before and the project is so quick and easy without breaking your piggy bank.

If you don't have apothecary bottles, any attractive vintage bottles will give the same effect.

And If you don't have original vintage labels, hop over to the graphics fairy where Karen so kindly uploads and offers a huge collection of free vintage images.

Here is what I used to create my bottle d├ęcor:

  • Apothecary bottles
  • Vintage labels (The graphics fairy)
  • Homemade Modge Podge (See recipe below)
  • Small paint brush
  • Distressed Satin Ribbon (See technique below)

apothecary bottles

First I washed the bottles in hot, sudsy water, then rinsed them well in very hot water so the heat would help them air dry quicker. Drying them upside down first to drain the water inside, before flipping them over.

I find this method much easier than trying to dry the inside using a towel, but then I am also lazy. Just make sure they are rinsed well, otherwise you will have streaks on the glass from the soap residue.

Homemade Modge Podge

While the bottles were drying I mixed the homemade Modge Podge which is a really simple recipe. All you need do is mix 2 parts of white cold wood glue with 1 part cold water. Make sure you mix them well together.

If you use Modge Podge often it would be a good idea to mix a larger quantity of glue and water in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake well, label and store.

This mixture will give a matte finish, but if you want a glossy effect, mix a tiny bit of varnish at a time into the mixture until you get the gloss to your preference. I prefer a matte finish so did not add the varnish.

Vintage Label Images

After covering the back of each lable with a thin layer of Modge Podge I pasted them onto the apothecary bottles. If there were any bubbles I used the edge of an old credit card to smooth them out.

After they dried I painted a few layers of the Modge Podge over the labels to protect them, waiting for each coat to dry before adding the next layer.

How to make distressed ribbon

To get the effect of distressed ribbon, I wet the ribbon thoroughly in cold water and squeezed out the excess.

Using some cotton I twisted it tightly around the ribbon in a kind of ball shape, then popped it into the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until it was almost dry to the touch.

After removing from the microwave I cut off the cotton and voila, I had distressed ribbon.

If using this method, be careful not to overheat the ribbon as it can get scorch marks easily once it starts drying. Therefore, rather use short bursts of heat and check each time before reheating. It doesn't have to be very dry, slighly damp is better as it will dry quickly once unravelled.

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