How do I Decorate with Antique Glass Bottles?

Lumara Lee

Decorating a home or apartment with antique glass bottles is one way to make living quarters more attractive without spending a lot of money. There are various ways to use antique glass bottles to beautify a space. Antique glass bottles can be used as vases and candleholders. Colored bottles look pretty sitting on a mantel, bookshelf, or windowsill. Wide-mouthed bottles can be filled with polished stones, marbles, colored sand, or seashells to add a decorative touch to any room.

Placing the antique bottles into a wicker basket is a great decorating idea.
Placing the antique bottles into a wicker basket is a great decorating idea.

Antique glass bottles are a natural way to decorate a bathroom and are often used as containers. Bottles with wide mouths can be used to store cotton balls and swabs, combs, hair rollers, toothpaste, and other sundries. Antique glass bottles come in many different colors, so it will be easy to find one to complement any bathroom décor. Another way to spruce up the bathroom is to fill the bottom of a wicker basket with fake grass or colorful ribbons. Placing several small antique glass bottles in the basket will create a very pretty yet inexpensive decoration.

Shells can be added to wide-mouthed bottles for added interest.
Shells can be added to wide-mouthed bottles for added interest.

Old wine bottles are often used as candleholders. The top of the bottle is usually just the right size to hold a taper candle without allowing the candle fall through. As the candle burns, the wax will drip down the sides of the bottle. It is best to burn candles of different colors in the bottle candleholder. After several candles have been burned, the dripping wax will make a festive, colorful pattern on the neck and sides of the bottle.

Antique glass bottles make attractive vases for floral bouquets. An old milk jug filled with dried flowers will add a vintage touch to the décor. Adding a row of colored bottles to a windowsill will look attractive anytime, but will be especially striking when the sun shines through and turns them into sun catchers.

Colored antique glass bottles may also be used as sun catchers in a valance that can be made to hang over a window. Corks should be affixed to the bottles with a strong adhesive, and thick twine should be nailed to the corks. The other end of the twine needs to be securely tied to a sturdy curtain rod. Hanging the bottles at different heights by alternating high and low will look more attractive and help to keep the bottles from banging against one another. When the sun shines through the bottles, the colors will dance around the room.

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Discussion Comments


I found a bunch of really nice antique glass jars recently and wasn't sure what to do with them, even though I bought them with enthusiasm.

In the end I used a couple to make small terrariums, putting in a mix of stones, sand and soil, then using tweezers to place a few ferns and things.

I had a friend with a glass drill make holes in the sides of the rest of them so I could string them up outside my porch and put candles in them.

It looks really good, although the candles make the glass a bit sooty. I'm thinking I might replace them with lights somehow.

At any rate, this is a really good way of using old glass jars and I think it would work with bottles as well.


@browncoat - Actually I like antique bottles because they tend to come in more shapes and sizes. I don't think there's usually much value in them particularly because they're old, but because they have lovely colors.

People hardly use bottles now, not compared to the way they used to, so there's much more variety in the older ones. And they are quite easy to find online or in antique stores. They don't really charge too much for them either.

I find it looks quite good if you group a small bunch of them where the sun will hit them, paying attention to the colors and the shapes so they have a nice harmony.

Or having two or three together each with a bunch of the same flowers.

You just have to be careful not to overwhelm a room with them, as old glass bottles can be quite big and have a lot of presence.

When I moved into a new apartment recently there was a tiny, exquisite blue glass bottle with leaf shapes on it sitting on my windowsill.

I was sure it had to be an antique that the previous tenant had accidentally left behind and I was thrilled with my find...until I went to the local liquor store and realized that it was a miniature version of a standard bottle of spirits.

I still really like it though and I think it looks quite gorgeous. I even get compliments on it, particularly when I've put a small bunch of flowers in there (just wildflowers from around the house).

So, don't discount the little bottles you might be able to find at the thrift store or even the leftovers from after a good night with your friends.

Antiques can be overrated when it comes to decorating your house.

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