How to decorate with old milk bottles

Written by lauren vork
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Old-fashioned, wide-mouthed glass milk bottles may be outmoded in terms of their intended use, but they still possess a certain antique charm. These once-mundane keepsakes can lend a quaint ambience to your home interior decorating, whether you use them in an unaltered state or make them the foundation of a colourful arrangement of other decorative items. Either way, when decorating with these items, it's good to consider their general aesthetic qualities as well as their history and connotations.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Turn bottles into flower vases. Not only is this a good way to feature the shape of the bottles while making their appearance a little more interesting, but the thick glass and wide-mouthed shape of these old jugs make them ideal for holding flowers and water. Combine their rustic appearance with long-stemmed, large-budded wildflowers such as daisies and sunflowers.

  2. 2

    Fill bottles with colourful, decorative items. If the look of your home is colourful or needs a little more colour, consider using your milk bottles to showcase things like sand art, coloured water or colourful glass pieces that can catch light, such as marbles, fish tank glass or sea glass. You can also use your bottles as a decorative way to hold practical things, such as loose change.

  3. 3

    Use old milk bottles as candle holders. If you can find wide enough candles, you can place them in the mouth (this technique works well in conjunction with filling the bottles with something pretty, as outlined in Step 2), or, if you have a long-necked candle lighter, place tealight or votive candles in the bottom of the bottle and light them there.

  4. 4

    Leave the bottles unaltered. Many glass milk bottles make great decorations all on their own and without any other accessories, especially if you've got several bottles in various shapes and sizes (or some of the rarer opaque glass milk bottles) that you can use to create an interesting, asymmetrical display on a shelf, mantel or windowsill. If you're still shopping for your glass bottles and are looking for a particularly special bottle, look for antique decorated milk bottles. These collectibles are often found at roadshows for dairy and farm-related antiques and can be used as a feature decorating piece in your home.

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