Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bottling Things Up...

I do love antique bottles..the shapes, the colours, the embossed lettering, the frostiness they sometimes acquire through being buried in the ground for years and years...

But just sometimes this isn't enough...
I've been selling old bottles in my shop for a while now; some sold as they are and others tied in a length of ribbon and a brooch or buckle attached, to be removed and worn if wished.
Nothing is glued, so all can be returned back to how things were if necessary.
That is until today...I finally plucked up the courage to do something I have wanted to do for a long time. I'm all for recycling and up-cycling in order to make something useful or beautiful... but just occasionally I feel a pang of guilt when I take the scissors to old fabrics and lace for example, just in case what I have planned doesn't turn out how I imagined. I am to be found regularly sewing in the shop and am often asked what I am currently lady was horrified to see me chopping into a vintage hand embroidered tablecloth, until I showed her the huge tear in the middle of it and the countless rust spots which would have made it unsaleable as is. She could then see the merits of salvaging the good bits to be seen and appreciated on something new.

So, my latest handmade items include these, where I used some roughly torn fragments of antique lace which I applied to the surface of some shapely old bottles in my collection.

I suppose if someone where to take offence, then the bottles could be soaked in some clear water and eventually the lace would slip away to reveal the unscathed bottle beneath!

I know there are lots of bloggers and craftspeople out there using various vintage and antique materials in their craft work and so there shouldn't really be this sense of guilt that we are altering these things for ever, more that we are giving them a new lease of life to be loved and enjoyed for a long time to come.
That said, I would have a problem with scissors being taken to an old quilt for example, without it first being assessed if a repair were possible to prolong its intended use. Or a linen tablecloth could be given the boiling method of laundering to possibly remove some unsightly stains.
I bought a few more bottles at a flea market on Sunday, which still had their original stoppers in place.

These I gave a decal label in an antique style, which would make them perfect for storing bubble baths and oils in a traditional style bathroom.
And a broken china posy earring was fixed to the top of each as a sweet decorative touch. Done!

Two simple little projects that didn't cost the earth :)

Niki x


  1. Those look beautiful Niki. A lovely idea for the bathroom. Enjoy the rest of the week. Lizzie x

  2. Really lovely ideas
    Julie xxx

  3. Hello Niki....Oooo I LOVE the bottles you put together with lace and most especially the last ones with the decals and earing tops...JUST BEAUTIFUL! If I lived closer I'd be there buying all 3! I hope you have a wonderful evening...Maura:)

  4. Those are beautiful, Niki - like everything you do!

  5. Hi Niki

    A creative day for you today. I love the way you have enhanced these bottles, really pretty!
    Really pleased with my purchase, will post about it soon...
    Take care
    Isabelle x

  6. AHAA! A girl after my own son goes metal detecting and always brings me lots of old bottles back. My collection is large and I have a problem getting them clean...any advice Niki?
    Best regards

  7. Hi Niki
    They look lovely - and it is all about being thrifty and recycling. I use damaged vintage quilts in my homespun items and I am sure the people who made them would love to see them being reused in cushions and lavender bags rather than thrown away.
    Jo xx

  8. They are so pretty.

  9. You've transformed those vintage bottles into lovely pieces of art, Niki!

  10. I love the bottles with the stoppers, they would look fab in the bathroom, eat your heart out kirsty!

  11. I love the lace on the bottles!! The ones I have aren't old, but, oh my, they'd look good made up like yours. If I lived closer, I'd be over tomorrow to bring one home! ♥♫

  12. I love the bottles! I love the lace and the brooches and I love them plain as well...I think people will love them!
    I do know what you mean about cutting into or using beautiful things though, I make teacup pincushions out of vintage china teacups and I am always trying to explain to people that they were too chipped or had hairline breaks to allow them to be used as they were intended and I didn't want to throw them away!
    Kiss Noises Linda

  13. They are beautiful, I don't see anything wrong in giving items a "new" life, especially when the finished results are so lovely.

  14. What a very nice post.............I believe a person can use, re purpose, or re invent to there own likeing of any vintage item they choose.........That is the whole fun of all of it what you want.........just have fun with it.......XO MARY

  15. Please do stop tempting us with all these gorgeous things you keep making, you know I live miles and miles away from your little shop!! lol. Seeing all your beautiful things is what keeps me going...and wishing... will you be putting any of the bottles for sale on line?? Lucey xx

  16. You are so clever the way you come up with these lovely ideas.Who would have thought of putting lace round a bottle?..but it works beautifully!

    Bellaboo :0)

  17. Those bottles look lovely Niki, the lace so pretty. I have a collection of old bottles on my bathroom shelf and I love the way the sunlight hits the old blues and greens, it reminds me of the sea. Thanks too for the post about the shoes, wow I love those purple ones!

  18. I'm with you all the way on re-using,upcycling etc. Why let something sit in a box in a dark place, when it can have an airing as a new creation,a thing of beauty/loveliness or useful object?
    I realy do like the lace covered bottles!
    Sandie xx

  19. Brilliant, Niki! Yet another masterpiece of an idea come to fruition!!

    Emails marginally improved so will attempt to send you an update.

    Sue x

  20. Bringing new life to something that would otherwise be consigned to landfill is a wonderful thing to do - and remember, it is exactly what our ancestors did, so be proud to carry on a tradition that's hundreds of years old. xx


Thank you for finding the time to visit me...
Niki xx