Recycling Glass Bottles

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Let's start by playing with some encaustic wax on this bottle.
You will need:
  • 1. An empty bottle. A flat sided bottle will be easier to work on.
  • 2. Encaustic Wax
  • 3. Some sort of craft iron
  • 4. (Optional) some Radiant Rain or other spray mist product with lots of mica powder
  • 5. Heat gun

I recommend using actual encaustic waxes- you can use crayons, but you won't get the rich colors and it won't have the same surface finish. Encaustic waxes have resins added that give a more durable finish that can be buffed to a nice high shine.

But wait - back up a bit!

How do you get the labels off the bottles????
I use my heat gun and heat the label until the glue softens. It will usually peel right off then with little or no residue. If I want it squeaky clean- I use a little Goo Gone on it and then clean with alcohol.

I purchased my encaustic wax and my iron through After Midnight Art Stamps.
I've had great luck with this brand of encaustic waxes. The video from Micheal Bossom will give you many more techniques and ideas for using your waxes.

Set your iron to high. Choose a few colors you think will compliment each other. I used mostly blues and purples and a little green on this one- with lots of silver because I love a bit of bling.
The metallic encaustic waxes are gorgeous!

Apply a little wax to your iron. A little wax goes a surprisingly long way.
Sweep the iron over the glass. You don't need to worry about perfect coverage. You are beginning to build up a base of color.
Add a second color. Play around with the iron. Try tapping it for a different look and texture to the wax. Experiment!
Add another color. I tend to go for the metallics at this point.
Experiment some more. See what happens if you set the iron down and pull it up quickly. See what happens when you draw lines with the tip of the iron. Try dripping wax from the iron onto the surface.
That is starting to look pretty yummy!
You can stop at any point. ;)

If you happen to have any spray mist colors handy- try spritzing the wax with it.
If you use your heat gun and warm the wax you get a slightly different effect than if you spray the cold wax.
You can heat an area with your heat gun and try stamping into it.
Don't like what you have at this point?
Not a problem. Just remelt and/or add more stuff. ;)

I wasn't thrilled with the stamped image, so I added a contrasting color of wax, a little more spray mist and tried a different stamp.
Oooh- I think I'm starting to like this one!

Don't forget to take photos of the textures and patterns you are creating.
They will make great background images and texture patterns for your digital artwork!

Now, on to what you can do on the other sides of the bottle.

Suggestions of things to use for giving texture and color to your bottle.
  • 1. Heavy Body Acrylic Paints (I like the Golden, Lumiere and/or Stewart Gill brands)
    • Heavy body Micaceous Iron Oxide (Golden brand)
    • Stainless Steel Paint (Golden brand)
  • 2. Gel Mediums (again, I like the Golden brand)
    • garnet gels
    • glass bead gels
    • mica gels
    • Fresco Flakes (Stewart Gill)
  • 3. Radiant Rain mists (or any other spray mist colors)
A few questions answered

Q. "What if I have drips of wax on the other sides of my bottle?"

A. "I scrape those off with my finger nail."

Q. "Does that mean that the wax will scrape off my bottle easily if it gets knocked around or bumped against things?"

A. "Yes, it does. It is wax over glass. You cannot make the wax bond with the glass. Be careful with it when it is finished.
Mine sit calmly on a shelf and they do just fine."

Or paint over them. They add texture. ;)

I love this stuff. I use it on many of my projects. Get the heavy body type. The fluid type does not give this look.

How do I get that interesting texture? I dab it on with my fingers.
I'm sure you could use a brush if you don't want this all over your hands.

You can speed up drying this layer with a heat gun. Be careful not to melt your wax.

Another favorite Golden brand paint.
Use whatever you have though- any colors, any brands, no reason you can't try this out with inexpensive craft paints.
They will work just fine.

I used my fingers again- but the main thing is to not cover your base color completely.
Let it show through for heightened texture and interest.

This is the same Radiant Rain spray I used over the wax. It is one of the interference colors.

Using this on top of my acylic paint layer pulls it all together.
Plus it adds a little more texture.

Copyright © 2008 by Zeborah Loray