In 2010, Gail Lee Martin wrote this how-to article for the eHow site.
How to Use Old Bottles for Vases
Things You’ll Need:
- old bottles
- soap and water
- GooGone (optional)
I have a thing about glass, especially colored glass bottles. Some of this might come from my father and grandfather, who worked in the Tyro Glass Plant in the early 1900s.
But my own memories of colored glass bottles began in the early days in the oilfields in northern Greenwood County. Most of the bottles we had were ones we saved after using the contents or were found at the camp’s trash dump in a nearby gully. My mother would pick wildflowers for bouquets to put in the dinky rooms of the shot-gun house we lived in at the Phillip’s Petroleum Company’s oilfield camp.
Mother had a tall brown bottle that she used for sunflowers, daisies, and cattails. Mother and I collected all kinds of dried weeds that looked great in this type of vase.
I think it was possibly a beer bottle but to Mother, it was just a unique brown bottle. Because of its height, you need taller flowers or grasses to balance the look.
She had several blue colored bottles of different shapes and sizes. A small blue perfume bottle was used for wild rose buds or the tiny, pale lavender sheep-shower blooms. The taller blue, flat bottles were so pretty filled with wild asters.
Some of the blue colored ones had contained Milk-of-Magnesium at one time. The Vicks VapoRub came in a squat, blue jar with a wide mouth. I loved to float blossoms in them. My parents grew hollyhocks and just one blossom would spread out across the top, completely covering the bottle except for the shiny blue bottom.
For larger bouquets, Mother would get out one of her green canning jars that currently are so coveted by antique dealers. The opening in this type of container was much larger than most bottles. The long woody stems of the wild gooseberry with tiny yellow blossoms were spectacular in this tall green jar. When we set this bouquet on the library table in front of the south window, the Kansas sun shone through the glass adding sparkle to the arrangement.
Soak the bottles to remove the labels. GooGone helps to get off the adhesive.
Wash the inside of the bottle.
The taller, slimmer bottles are easily knocked over, so put them where they won’t get bumped.