Upcycling Glass Bottles

We’ve begun on the next stage of the Recycle Upcycle workshops in the Art Flat and this time we’re looking at making small home furnishing items such as tea lights, vases and candle stick holders.

We found some great inspiration online and have started a pinterest board to collect our research (if you would like to be added to the board to help us collect inspirational images, please email info@rigarts.org with FAO Rebecca Pinterest in the title).

This week we began by decorating glass jars to make tea lights. We wrapped elastic bands and electrical tape around the jars and then covered the whole jar with Valspar spray paint which is ideal for upcycling.


When the jars were dry, we peeled of the electrical tape and removed the elastic bands, leaving a negative line where they had been. Some worked better than others, as the spray paint had smudged where the elastic bands had twisted on the jars. The jar using the electrical tape worked best, although it made much thicker negative lines, leaving less space for the spray paint to cover the glass. This was not necessarily a bad thing however, and we could try using thinner electrical tape. We also tried an intaglio technique, which is the process of engraving into a material – basically, we used a pencil to scrape away some of the spray paint when it was still wet in a swirly design.

Layering different colours of spray paint also gave a great effect, and is something we will definitely experiment with at a later date.

Upcycling glass jars and bottles is a great way to make unique and unusual decorations for your home whilst saving money. If it’s not quite your style however, and you are planning on simply throwing out your old bottles, then recycling your glass is by far the next best option.

According to the Glass Packaging Institute, “glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without loss in quality or purity.” Furthermore, “recycled glass can be substituted for up to 95% of raw materials” and by using recycled glass in the manufacturing process, there is a reduction in emissions of one ton of carbon dioxide for every six tons of recycled container glass used in the manufacturing process which is a huge saving.

So, by recycling containers such as bottles and jars, we reduce emissions or harmful greenhouse gasses which contribute to global warming and reduce the consumption of finite (limited amount) of the earth’s raw materials.

If you aren’t able to recycle your glass containers, RIG Arts are happy to come and collect them, along with juice and food tins, to use in the Recycle Upcycle project.

Remember, if you want to come along to the Recycle Upcycle workshops, we’re open from 6-8pm on Mondays at 12 Broomhill Court, PA15 4ET.

Here’s a link to the facts from the Glass Packaging Institute.




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