One year I found a beautiful set of margarita glasses that I knew my sister, Colleen, would just love. So I bought them for her for Christmas.
My mom was like, “Oh no. Take them back. She won’t like those at all.”
I gave them to Colleen anyway. She loved them. In fact, she loved them so much that she had already purchased the exact same margarita glasses to give to me! (My mom figured that out already. That’s why she told me to return them. Glad I didn’t listen to her!)
Another year I bought Colleen a beautiful bracelet covered in multi-colored gemstones.
She bought me a bracelet that year too. THE EXACT SAME ONE!
We never shop together. We didn’t talk about wanting margarita glasses or gemstone bracelets, but somehow we ended up giving each other the exact same present. Twice. Weird, isn’t it?
This year I decided to get crafty and make Colleen a Christmas present that I knew would be one-of-a-kind. Thanks to Unicorn Spit non-toxic rainbow gel stain, I transformed ordinary wine bottles into works of art.
You can do this too!
Here are step-by-step tutorials for the three techniques I used. (There’s also a video at the end with a demonstration of each technique.) This is a fun way to upcycle old bottles. Any glass bottle will work. It doesn’t have to be wine.
PREPARING THE BOTTLE
Unicorn Spit will not stick to the glass directly, but it will stick to Mod Podge and to chalk-type paint. Just paint the bottle with either one first and let it dry.
Mod Podge dries clear so I used it on the clear bottle I had in my stash. The dark green wine bottles don’t match my sister’s kitchen so I painted those white first with Dixie Belle chalk/mineral paint. You can use any color and any chalk-type paint that sticks to glass. I am so impressed by how nicely Dixie Belle Paint covered these bottles in just one coat.
TECHNIQUE #1: Drip and Blow
I made up that name, but it describes what I did perfectly. I used a turkey baster to draw up the Unicorn Spit and squirted big drips down the top of the bottle starting with the teal and coming back with black and white. Let the spit drip all the way down the bottle. (That sounds gross, doesn’t it? But it looks cool!) You can also come back and zig-zag the spit onto the bottle. This part is just fun.
While the Unicorn Spit drips are still wet, hit the bottle with a blast from a hair dryer. The heat will make some of the colors crackle. The wind will blow all of the colors together leaving you with a beautiful marbled look.
The Drip and Blow method gives you dramatic results, but it also makes a mess. No worries! Just dip your finger in the little puddle of spit on your table and use that to “fingerpaint” your second bottle. I start at the top and work down in small swipes. Then flip it over and work back up from the bottom. You can go any direction you like. Just keep layering colors until the bottle looks perfect to you. Unicorn Spit is non-toxic so I dip my fingers right into it.
If the colors start to look muddled, stop. Let the Unicorn Spit dry and come back and apply another layer of colors. The more layers you add, the more feathery it looks in the end after you seal it.
The Stain Press technique was originally developed by Unicorn Spit’s inventor, Michelle Gordon. This technique looks amazing on furniture, giving new life to old tabletops and dresser drawers. It is one of the techniques we teach in our Introduction to Unicorn Spit class coming up on Sunday, January 17 at our shop, All Things New Again in Leesburg, Virginia. (Details on our class are posted below.)
I modified the Stain Press technique to do on a wine bottle.
Start out the same way as the Drip and Blow, just dripping different colors all over the bottle. Then take a piece of plastic (I use a grocery store bag) and smoosh it all over the bottle to blend the colors together and create texture.
This technique is fun because you never know what it going to look like until you start smooshing! And if you don’t like it, that’s OK. Just let the Unicorn Spit dry, come back and try again. You can always apply more colors or different colors on top of each other until it looks perfect to you.
That’s the beauty of Unicorn Spit—you can’t make a mistake with it! Every bottle you “spit on” will be different and each one will be stunning.
Here’s my video with demonstrations of all three techniques described above.
SEALING THE BOTTLE
Unicorn Spit must be sealed with an OIL-BASED sealer. For these bottles, I used Minwax Polyurethane in the spray can. I just sprayed it all over and then sprinkled a little glitter here and there while the poly was still wet. Once that dried, I sprayed a second coat of poly to set the glitter in place.
Here are Colleen’s bottles all finished! She liked them a lot.
These would make a great present for someone special …