Friday Flowers: Plastic Bottle Flowers Revisited

I was eating corn chips for breakfast on the back porch this morning (don’t judge me) when a little boy and his mother walked by on their way to the main road. As he ran his pudgy hands along the ragged tips of the bottle flowers on the fence, he belted out, “MOM. MOM. MOM. THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE HERE MUST DRINK MORE POOPING JUICE THAN GRANDPA. DON’T YOU THINK, MOM? MOM?” to which his mother replied, without a hint of sarcasm, “Gee hun, I’ll bet you are right.”
I was hoping the new neighbors would designate this the flower house or the recycling house …now it’s the pooping juice house. And, as if that were not bad enough, we are in competition with a Grandpa.

Actually, one of my very first blog posts was about making flowers from plastic bottles to cover the bars on the windows of my old apartment. It was pretty neat.The flowers, that is. Not the bars. But I used spray paint for that project which is something I am trying to avoid these days. Random: Do you know that it is illegal to buy or sell spray paint within Chicago city limits? Word.  So I’m doing this with regular craft paint. This not only makes the project kid friendly, it makes it easy to layer up and get some nifty results. I have a trick for making the craft paint last in the great outdoors…read on!

The stubby little stretch of chain-link fence between the back door and the garage has been annoying me for months. One day it will get replaced, but seeing as it is perfectly functional, why mess with a good thing? Especially when you can cover it with flowers. And for zero money, no less. Can’t beat that.
The only word to describe it is cheerful.  It’s hard for anyone to walk by without touching them. I think that’s a good sign.
There is absolutely no reason why you need to layer the paint colors, especially if you are impatient, but I suggest you try it at least once (see my old Fourth of July / patriotic bottles).
After everything is dry, snip off the bottom and cut slits along the sides (I explained this better in the old tutorial), then pull back to reveal your flower. I like to pull up a few skinny strips and trim them short to give dimension. Cool beans.

Couple of Tips

1. Drying Rack: Painted bottles have a tendency to tip over and make a mess, so I made a support structure by jabbing bamboo skewers in a cardboard box. Presto, instant drying rack!

2. Water Proof Paint Extender: I added a small amount of Martha Stewart Multi Surface Paint to each blob of my regular craft paints. Sort of like adding gel medium to acrylic paint, but instead of gel medium, I used MS paint because it sticks to everything (glass, fabric, wood, plastic, everything.). I wanted to be sure the flowers would last a few months outside, and after running one of these flowers through the dishwasher, I am confident this paint is staying put!

I love the way they look side-by-side with the day lilies. I can’t tell which one is prettier 🙂


  1. Kara DeCarlo says

    You are brilliant. I have a bit of chain link fence that I hung prayer flags on…but I think that plastic bottle flowers would be a delightful addition to that.

  2. ajp2020 says

    I was driving by Tyson Furniture in Black Mountain and saw some Aunt Peaches BIG tissue flowers in their window display! I did not have my camera with me or I would have taken a picture for you. They were pretty and BIG!!! I thought of you, of course.

  3. Mary says

    personally, i love that your multi-surface paint color of choice is glitter 😀

  4. Katz says

    No breakfast judging here! If you MUST dress it up to look like breakfast – toast some Cheerios in a hot skillet, toss with melted butter, sea salt and a dash of chili powder. I DARE you to try to not gobble it down really fast! This is delish!! Tastes even better than popcorn (another breakfast favorite at my house)

  5. Katz says

    I love your Friday Flowers every week. They always make me smile!

  6. nutbirds says

    There is nothing wrong with you, it’s that family. They probably only have plastic bottles from prune juice. These new flowers are beautiful. You might start a new trend. You don’t live within the city limits, right? How does one paint their outdoor furniture? Crazy.

  7. Mich L says

    Um. Your flowers are prettier, hands down. (Sorry, God. You do great work and I’m a fan, but Peaches LAYERED hers!)

    The pooping juice made me pee my pants! Would that be what they call ‘off label use?’

    This could be my favorite post of yours, evah.

  8. Alessandra Poggiagliolmi says

    so lovely and clever!!!
    xxxx Alessandra

  9. says

    I feel very lucky to have been a recipient of a tiara made with these very flowers! I love that tiara and it was so special because it came to me when I was down. Thank you. xo

  10. PeachesFreund says

    I was wondering if anyone would notice that or if I should explain that the glitter is not necessary, it’s just what I had laying around. I mean honestly, if given the choice between regular and glitter, why would anyone choose regular?

  11. PeachesFreund says

    That sounds seriously tasty. I might have to fix a batch to take to the movies.

  12. PeachesFreund says

    Ahh…prune juice. That sounds about right. And isn’t it weird about the spray paint? It’s an anti-graffiti thing. I live just outside teh city so I can buy it home depot but it’s still under lock and key and some places have a two can limit per person, per sale. They are strict!

  13. April says

    I bet you that little boy remembers your house when he is 40 years old. That kind of beauty/creativity is thing that sticks with people.

  14. princesstree_hugger says

    I love your blog! The art teacher at my school makes these with the students, except they use wire and make a huge collection of them, with the end results being very Chihuli-esque. Love.

  15. says

    Don’t take it as an insult- I can absolutely see having a chat like that when my son was little, and I adore your flowers!

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