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Decorative memory bottles

Here’s how to make decorative memory bottles.

Some may think my love of recycling objects into art has gone too far. 

memory bottle

But I’m not alone in my discovery of the beauty of glass jars as a means to display artifacts and mementos. That’s right! A glass bottle can be used, and it’s the perfect way to save a memory. Let’s think outside of the regular shadow boxes. 

There are many other creative people out there who have been using glass bottles in their crafts. Have you ever polished off a Frappuccino and thought, “Wow, this is a cool bottle!” Well, I have!

I’ve done the same with mini ketchup and tequila bottles. The trick is to find a bottle that has character and a big enough opening to drop in the goodies. Once you have the inside filled, you can embellish the outside.

Think of it as an untraditional picture frame, or a reverse shadow box. Either way, you’ll have an amusing piece of art for your home. This idea would be cute for party favors, gifts or invitations, too.

Decorative Memory Bottles



  • 1 chunky glass bottle with lid
  • Glass paint
  • Colored sand or pebbles
  • Color copy of a photo or written poem or verse
  • Small silk (or dried) flower
  • Small objects that will slip easily in the bottle
  • Ribbon
  • Handmade label


Thoroughly wash and dry the bottle, removing the label and glue residue.

Apply the glass paint at the top of the bottle around the inside rim so it dribbles down the sides. Pick up the jar and move it around so the paint is equally distributed. Let dry completely. Pour in the colored sand or pebbles at the bottom. Slip in the picture and other objects.

Add the lid and decorate the outside of the jar with the ribbon and label.

Author of Crafty Chica’s Art de la Soul: Glittery Ideas to Liven Up Your Life ($19.95, Rayo Books, an imprint of Harper Collins).

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