When I began brainstorming my daughter's farm themed birthday party, I KNEW I had to have milk bottles for the children. So, I began my nearly endless search on google, Amazon, eBay.. you name it! While plastic bottles were cheaper, the ones I found were smaller and just didn't look legit. On the other hand, the glass replica milk bottles were much more expensive, especially once I realized our head count for the little ones was surpassing 20.
So... what does every creative genius do? Think outside the box! Or, in this case, outside of a massive box of Starbucks Frappuccino bottles. They were the perfect size (the smaller ones, not the big ones from gas stations - we tried those too) and the plastic striped straws were the perfect height.
I found several tutorials on Pinterest for turning mason jars into straw cups and used that knowledge to convert our handy little milk bottles into (nearly) spill-proof straw bottles for all our guests! And, the best part.. it worked like a charm!
Step 1: Drink all the coffee!! Not a bad start, eh?
Step 2: Wash those empty bottles and remove the labels. There will be sticky residue left behind, but Goo Gone swiftly removed all of the sticky left behind.
Step 3: I did a search for farm animal silhouettes. I printed several in various shapes and sizes, lining them up on the bottles to see how well they would fit. This chicken looked the best. I then put a couple tabs of tape on my cut out and traced the image onto all 28 bottles (Yikes!) with a sharpie. A firmer pattern may have been nice, but this process really wasn't too lengthy.
Step 4: With a multi-surface chalkboard paint, paint those chickens (or whatever shape you desire)! A small bottle of paint would have been plenty; this paint will be used for other projects. Again, this went pretty quickly once I got the hang of it. The silhouettes do not have to be perfect. Remember, we are our own worst critics! Follow the directions for the specific paint for curing the paint on glass. I had to let dry for 30 minutes and then bake at 350F for 30 minutes, placing my bottles in a cold oven and then heating. Allow to cool in the oven (they will be super hot) and viola! Chalkboard chickens! My paint also directed for a non-baking cure (21 days), but we would be using them before a room temperature cure could occur. The Folk Art Chalkboard paint also suggests "priming" the surface with a coating of chalk and then wiping clean. As a note, I only used a single coat of paint. A double layer may prove more durable, but I will admit that the bottle that we have been using at home for the last 10 days shows no scratching (yet). Just be careful hand washing. Some bottles did get some light scratches, but I still think a single coat was sufficient for us.
Step 5: Now it is time to prepare the lids. I bought some 9" plastic red and white striped straws with a ring at the bottom (to keep them from coming out of the top) on eBay and Amazon. The straws are everywhere! In fact, I recommend purchasing them with the silicone grommets from the same supplier to assure the straw sits snug within the grommet. The first set of grommets I ordered on eBay were not as squishy and didn't fit as snug as the subsequent set I ordered on Etsy. I purchased the better grommets from Bondurant Mountain Art on Easy and the owner, Lisa, was so wonderful to work with! They will fit any 5/16" straw and drilling instructions were included with the order.
We decided to buy red, and she has many colors to choose from.
Step 6: After drilling and cleaning up the holes per enclosed directions, my husband sprayed the lids with spray enamel. I love using spray enamel on metal - I like that it isn't matte or too shiny and seems fairly durable. Spray enamel is meant for appliances. Then, the grommets were pressed in, straws added, charms tied on for farm fun, and guest names written on the chalkboard chickens! DONE!!
I absolutely adore how they turned out! The guests seemed to love them too!
My youngest with her Grandad sipping lemonade.
The bottles themselves created enough table interest without having to add too many additional touches for decorations. A simple burlap runner down the center of the tables, some gingham paper plates, and my handy denim pockets to hold they napkins and utensils. A tutorial for the denim pockets will be coming soon.
Don't you think this is a fun twist to the more commonly seen mason jar cups? I definitely do! Please share you comments!
Farm party, Handmade, DIY, Milk bottles, Chalkboard paint, Straw cups, Upcycle