Altered Bottle Art Using Twine and Clothes Pins

9 Materials
2 Hours
I started this project with a bottle filled with cheap wine. Once emptied, it left a terrible black residue (sludge). Yuk!
Of course, my first attempt was to simply fill it with warm soapy water and shake. The gunk really didn't budge until I added a handful of glass beads from my bead collection. Viola!
When you see the final art piece, you will probably ask "Why did she bother?" It's just one of those things - you know it's there! Also, because I wanted a solution for future work and to share that solution with you all.
After removing the metal springs, lay out the two sides and mark with a marker pen at the top. This will indicate where to stop the twine. Notice the layout of the pin with the two narrow end touching.
Starting at the neck, make a loop and hot glue down the short tail to the bottle. It is important to secure the twine but only at the very beginning and at the very end.
Continue twisting the twine round and round the bottle until you reach the red mark. Hot glue in place, leaving a small (2-3") tail. This tail will allow you pull the twine tight and/or to make adjustments if necessary when it all comes together. Now is the time to dye the twine.
To insure full color, I added an entire package of Rit dark brown to about 2 quarts of hot water. Pour the dark brown dye over the twine until completely saturated (about three times over).
Drop the clothes pins into the dye and allow to sit about 2-3 minutes.
Set pins on a paper towel and allow to dry overnight.
Even though the dye is still wet, it is OK to generously apply "MomPodge" over the entire twine area. Let it dry overnight. This will insure the twine will not slip. Check out my "MomPodge" project here on Hometalk. It also includes gesso and modeling paste.
With the elastic band in place, arrange the clothes pins until the circle is completely filled.
Wrap each of the indentations with twine, hot gluing the ends in place.
This part was a little tricky, as the time it took me to apply a layer of hot glue around the circumference of the bottle, take the picture and attempt to slide in place, the hot glue was already solidified. To make it work, first I removed the first attempt of glue, then using a hot gun, I heated the bottle area, applied the glue, flipped the bottle and slide the pins in place QUICKLY.
With the top half of the pin in place, repeat the process for the bottom half. Be sure to invert the pins and add the twine to the very middle.
Once everything is in place, dye the twine around the pins (again, I just poured the dye over the dye bath until saturated and evenly colored. Allow the entire project to dry overnight and then spray with crystal clear enamel to protect it.
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Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Marsha G. Marsha G. on Jul 10, 2018

    Just curios but why didn’t you just lightly hot glue each clothes pin in place instead of the whole row of them?

    what did you do to heat the bottle?

  • Short Short on Jul 02, 2019

    What are you using this for???

  • Sidney Rippy McLaughlin Sidney Rippy McLaughlin on Feb 15, 2021

    Did you consider filling the bottle with hot water to keep the glue from drying too fast? Seems like it might work,


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2 of 41 comments
  • Teresa Mahieu Teresa Mahieu on Jul 09, 2019

    I like how this turned out. Looks very much like a barrel. Love it! Oh and I love your hot glue holder. Keen idea!

  • Pat Ruge Pat Ruge on Jul 09, 2019

    Thanks, Teresa. What I like best about the holder is that when the jar gets to nasty, I just replace it with another. I've since added a few magnets and a small pin cushion to the top and sides making it even more useful.