How to Print on Bottles

Updated February 21, 2017

Bottles made from glass or plastic are non-porous, which means that printing words or designs can be a challenge. If you choose the right materials, you can print on bottles made from glass or plastic, whether the bottles are textured, coloured or smooth. Many craft projects use recycled bottles as part of the design, such as bottle trees, glass bottle garden fences and hanging tree art. Other projects for bottles with print designs include personalised water bottles or customised bottles for school, work or team related events.

Scuff the area of a plastic bottle where you plan to print with light grade sandpaper. Do not scuff a glass bottle.

Tape a stencil over the area of the bottle where you plan to print. Craft, hobby and discount stores offer stencils in a variety of letter and image designs.

Fill in the open portion of the stencil design with a glass paint pen or a permanent marker. Many permanent markers work on non-porous surfaces, and the variety of colour choices is greater than glass paint pens. Glass paint pens work on glass or plastic. Allow the paint pen or marker to dry. Remove the stencil.

Attach a clear rubber stamp to a clear stamping block or to a stamping grid using grid adhesive. Use a clear stamp, block and grid so that you can visualise the position of the stamp on the bottle.

Apply ink to the stamp by pressing your choice of permanent solvent ink pad up against the raised design portion of the stamp. Permanent solvent ink is designed for non-porous surfaces, and will work on both glass and plastic bottles. Cover the design portion of the stamp completely with the ink.

Press the inked stamp against the plastic or glass bottle; do not press down too hard or the ink will spread away from the stamp. The plastic or glass bottle will not absorb the ink, as other surfaces will. Gently rock the stamp from side to side to transfer the design print onto the bottle. Lift the stamp away from the bottle. Allow the ink to dry.

Clean the stamp immediately with stamp cleaner. Permanent ink will permanently stain an acrylic stamp.

Things You'll Need

  • Bottle
  • Light grade sandpaper
  • Stencil
  • Tape
  • Permanent marker/glass paint pen
  • Grid block
  • Grid adhesive
  • Clear acrylic rubber stamp
  • Permanent solvent ink pad
  • Stamp cleaner
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About the Author

Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home-improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost-effective decorating solutions. Kally's work has been featured on sites across the Web. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.