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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Crafty Gift Idea: Make Your Own Watering Bottle for Plants

Last weekend, we celebrated my brother's birthday. I had asked him for some ideas from his wish list, and one of the things he mentioned was a glass watering bulb for plants. A quick online search yielded some options at Target, Home Depot, and Amazon. But I also came across a blog post with instructions to make your own. I was intrigued.

The instructions were simple: find an empty wine bottle, rinse well, fill with water, insert into a potted plant, and you're done. I decided to take this one step further and decoupage the bottle.

PLEASE NOTE: I was so excited about this project, I wanted to share it with all of you. However, since it involves a wine or liquor bottle, you might not want this to be a craft for your kids. Right now, my kids don't know about wine or liquor, and they don't recognize the bottles as such. I didn't see it as an issue, but obviously it is up to you.

I grabbed an empty bottle from the recycling bin and then rummaged through my bins of random craft supplies. Jar of Mod Podge? Check. Foam brush? Check. Paper for decoupaging? Card stock seemed too heavy, but I remembered some patterned tissue paper that once came with a craft kit. I've probably had that stack of leftover tissue paper for ten years; sometimes it pays to be a semi-pack-rat.

Now, homemade gifts can go one of two ways: (A) it looks like a boutique item, the recipient is truly appreciative and impressed, and he or she will put it to use, or (B) it looks like your kid made it then sat on it, the recipient is gracious but disappointed that you didn't just get a Visa gift card, and he or she will put it in the next donation box for Volunteers of America.

This gift is simple yet has that boutique-quality potential if you follow one rule: When selecting paper for this project, choose 3 colors and stick with shades of those colors. The easiest options are cool colors - greens, blues, and purples - or warm colors - reds, oranges, and yellows. Of course, if you are artsy, you know the color wheel and can choose some complimentary colors with an accent color. Admittedly, I am not that artsy. I just went with cool colors.


  • Empty glass bottle, well rinsed
  • Foam brush
  • Mod Podge
  • Lots of torn paper: tissue paper, remnants of rolls of party streamers, magazines, wrapping paper, etc. 
  • A stand for the bottle (I used a baby-bottle drying rack; an upright paper towel holder would work well, too)

1. Place the empty bottle on the stand and start brushing on Mod Podge in sections. If you're working with your child, have them choose whether they'd like to brush or stick on the paper.

2. Place a piece of torn paper on the wet Mod Podge and brush another layer of Mod Podge on top.
3. Overlap with another piece of paper, and brush another layer of Mod Podge on top.

4. Continue this process: brush Mod Podge on first, add paper, brush on more Mod Podge. 
5. When the bottle is completely covered, let dry, then add another layer of Mod Podge. Repeat with at least one more layer; I did two.

6. If you want to be fancy, add a tag with a pretty ribbon around the neck of the bottle.

It's "green." It's functional. It's practically free. And it's super-cute, too. 

As always, thanks for reading. I hope you and your kids (or just you) have fun making your own watering bottles. Post a Comment and let me know how yours turn out! 

P.S. My Mom gave me a helpful tip for any type of self-watering bulb/bottle/ball: dig out some dirt to create a shallow channel for the neck of the object. This prevents it from getting clogged with dirt, and helps it function properly.


  1. The watering bottle works great! A friend became quite jealous when she saw it. She wanted to know where she could get one, but I told her it was one of a kind☺ The colorful bottle makes any dull plant more pleasant to look at. Thank you!

  2. Yay! I'm so glad it works. Ya know, you can direct your friend to the site so she can make her own. :) It's really easy!

  3. What if you would like to keep it outside? Can you cover it with shellac or something?

    1. Thanks for stopping by ROCmomma! Unfortunately, my experience with these watering bottles is limited to indoor use. However, as long as you use a sealer that is waterproof, the bottles should be fine outside. I'm a big fan of Mod Podge products, and they have an "Outdoor" variety that should work nicely for this project. If you have a Michael's nearby, they carry it: http://www.michaels.com/Mod-Podge®-Outdoor/cp0376,default,pd.html?cgid=products&start=43 Good luck and let me know how it works out.


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