Category Archives: reuse glass bottles/ jars

Flower Centerpiece: Milk bottle Vases in Weathered Canning Jar Lifter

Milk bottle Vases in a canning jar lifter

I found this weathered canning jar lifter and was happily surprised to find that the milk bottles that I saved fit perfectly. Of course I thought of a vase centerpiece. The first time I tried this, I used daisies from my wildflower garden and I liked the look even better.  Regardless of the flowers: charming.

Protect Vegetable Transplants With Home-Made Glass Garden Cloches

MYO jug cloche
My husband made these cute little garden cloches for me. I Think that Martinelli’s apple juice jugs (1.5 liters) look nice with the leaf pattern in the glass but use whatever you can get your hands on. I hope to find some gallon sized jugs next; I’ve seen them in stores. Cloches are very useful in family vegetable gardens like mine!

MYO jug garden cloche
These home-made cloches acts like a mini greenhouse.
How to:
Collect glass jugs. After I transplant tender plants into my garden, I like to set out my home-made garden cloches beside each plant (in this case broccoli) that way they will be close when needed. If it gets cold at night or if it is going to be cold for a few days, I put these cloches over the transplants to keep them warmer.
Removing the bottom off your glass jugs:
Basically you roll the bottle around creating a score line: the tool holds the bottle in place so you get a straight line. You heat the score line with the flame of a candle then cool the area with cool tap water. If all goes well the bottom will just fall off. Then file or sand the raw edge. Plan to practice on a few scrap bottles. Follow the detailed instructions included with your bottle cutter. This is a good beginner bottle cutter project because the edge doesn’t need to look flawless as in when cutting drinking glasses.

bottle cutter
I’ve included a picture of the bottle cutter that we own. We like the bottle cutter that we got but apparently they aren’t available anymore. (It was called BottleCutter) However, if you Google bottle cutter you will find other brands for sale.

Halloween Mood Lighting: Make Crafty Lights Out Of X-rays!

X-rays from my husband’s head MRI and x-ray from his broken elbow turned out to be perfect for making Halloween themed décor. X-rays by their very nature are great when put in front of a light so it wasn’t much of a leap to come up with these lighting ideas. You will need to ask around for unwanted x-rays. Your friends will think you are weird but who cares? Or, ask your vet if they have any animal x-rays that they will be throwing away.


Night light
How to: Cover a night-light with a portion of an x-ray. I used a creepy head x-ray because of the eyeballs at the bottom.


Candle Votive
How to: Cut the x-ray in a rectangle of desired proportions. The ones pictured here are 5 ½ inches tall. Bring the sides around and overlap a little. You could use a stapler or glue but I used a paper clip on the top and one on the bottom because I can easily unroll them for storage. Inside you can use small jars to put in tea lights or a votive. Be careful of where you place your candles because the bottom of the jars can get hot.
These x-rays are creepy looking and therefore provide great mood lighting for a Halloween party!


Lamp shade
How to: Get a second -hand lamp and use the shade as a stencil to cut out a new shade out of an x-ray. Use black electrical tape along the seam. Also, you can use the tape to trim around the top and bottom of the lampshade.

bones +skulls+innards = Halloween

Firefly Lanterns Powered By Bioluminescence: Made From Glass Juice Bottles and Salvaged Wire

Catching fireflies is the quintessential children’s summer evening activity. Every new generation is captivated by these magical blinking moving lights and instinctively wants to know the source.
Make one today or If you are having a summer party that will continue after dark, make a bunch for your young guests.

How to make a firefly lantern:

Save your empty glass juice bottles. Take off the label and clean it.
Use scrap electrical wire to make the handle for your lantern; you will need a piece about 30 inches long. We had some pieces left over from an addition to our house. You might try calling an electrician in your area; maybe they could give you some scraps that would otherwise just go in the dumpster. How-to make the handle:

1. Start on one side of the lamp (point A), go half way around (point B).
2. At point B, bend the wire up for the handle. After you form the loop for the handle, you should end up on the other side of the bottle (point A; where you started).
3. At point A, bend the wire end around the handle loop to secure it.
4. The wire will continue around the neck of the bottle and attach at point B. Use wire cutters to trim off extra wire.

It is a lot easier done than said.

You will want to cover the top of the bottle to prevent the fireflies from prematurely escaping. You could put holes in the cap and use that. Or trace a large cup on a scrap piece of fabric and cut out with pinking shears if you have them. That circle of fabric is held in place with an elastic band. I have a little stash of elastic bands that came off of vegetables or other packaging. You will find a second use for them in projects like this and many others.

Did you know that there are thousands of different species of fireflies? Fireflies blink to attract a mate but some mimic the blinking pattern of a different species of firefly in order to lure them near so they can eat them. Yikes!

Did you know that Fireflies produce light via a chemical reaction?

Find out more about fireflies at The Firefly Files or National Geographic.

Have any other bright ideas or a clever variation? Send me an e-mail and I will pass on your great ideas.
Are any of the directions unclear? If you have any questions about this project or any other, send me an e-mail. -Jane