two etched glass bottles on a stack of books on a window sill

How to Make Your Own Reusable Water Bottle

Week 5

Why buy a reusable water bottle when you can make one from a glass jar or bottle you already have? In this tutorial, I'll teach you how to upcycle any glass jar or bottle by removing the label and the odor. You can stop right there or continue learning how to personalize it with a little etching.

What you'll need

To remove label and odor

  • Glass Bottle - I like vinegar bottles because they have a screw on cap and nice shape.
  • Pot that is big enough to fit bottle
  • Baking Soda

To etch

  • Cricut Vinyl Scraps, Sticker Negatives, or Masking/Painters Tape. I think this is a great opportunity to use the backs of sticker sheets and Cricut scraps that would normally be trash.
  • Etching Cream - ideally from a local art supply store and not a big chain. I use Armour Etch, which does come in a plastic bottle, but a little bit goes a long way so you can do many projects with one small bottle.
  • Paint Brush
  • Rag to wipe away etching cream

Let's make a water bottle!

  1. glass vinegar bottle on counter

    Grab a glass bottle. I like this vinegar bottle because is has a screw on cap and similar shape to plastic water bottles.

  2. instant pot full of water with baking soda being sprinkled in

    First, we'll remove the label. Get a large pot of water simmering and pour in a little baking soda.

  3. vinegar bottle in hot pot of water

    Put your glass bottle in the pot of hot water, fully submerging the label. You may need to add a little water to the bottle to weigh it down. Within a few minutes, the label will fall off. Pull the bottle out and dry it off.

  4. glass bottle with a little bit of water and baking soda

    Now, let's take care of any remaining odors. Add water and a spoonful of baking soda to your bottle and shake, shake, shake it for about a minute. If your bottle still stinks, repeat this step and shake a little longer.

  5. cricut scraps, sticker page and painters tape on a table

    Find Cricut scraps or unused sticker sheets that can make a design on your bottle. Painters and masking tape will also work for clean edges.

  6. polka dot sticky sheet being placed on bottle

    Make sure your bottle is dry and place your stickers or tape on the bottle. Note that the exposed area will be the design left behind. Push down all sticker edges to keep etching cream from creeping beyond the desired area.

  7. armour etch cream being applied to exposed dots on glass bottle

    Apply etching cream to all of the areas you would like to see etched. Do not get this on your skin or in your eyes, as it can badly irritate or even burn them. Use gloves and goggles to protect yourself.

  8. etching cream applied to all polka dots on bottle

    Once all desired areas have received the etching cream. Let set for five minutes. Any less and it may not etch completely. Any more and the stencil may begin to wear out.

  9. glass bottle being rinsed off under faucet

    After 5 minutes, rinse the etching cream off of the bottle.

  10. hand using rag to wipe off remaining etching cream

    Use an old wet rag to wipe away any remaining etching cream.

  11. polka dot stick being pulled off of bottle

    Remove the stickers and tape from your bottle.

  12. finished product glass bottle with etched polka dots

    Show your friends and family how easy it is to make a personalized reusable water bottle.

Comparing 5 Different Reusable Water Bottles →