Vintage Style Bottles with Faux Rusty Lids

Give regular glass bottles a vintage inspired makeover with grungy looking DIY labels and faux rusted lids
glass jars with vintage advertising labels, rusty lids

This post may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. My full disclosure policy can be found here.

Wouldn't our grandmothers roll their eyes if they knew how much we value old stuff? We hunt for it in thrift stores, search the sides of the road and gloat when we find a treasure!

Glass jars

This sustainable DIY is for those of us who have been unsuccessful in the hunt for true antique and vintage treasure! I'm sharing how to turn regular old glass jars into beautiful, vintage inspired decor pieces for your home!  Here's what I started with and I'm so glad I saved these bottles from the landfill because they look nothing like this now!

source of glass jars
You could use any glass jars for this project - pickle jars, soda bottles, mason jars, etc! Let's turn those glass jars into some wonderful vintage inspired pieces. 

Check out these beauties now!

glass jar with vintage labels

How to Give Glass Jars Vintage Style with Rusty Lids and Labels

Prep jars

Once you've cleaned the insides of the jars, peel off the labels by soaking them in warm water. My best tip to remove the sticky residue came from a reader. Make a paste of olive oil and baking soda and rub it on the jars. Use your fingernail or a stiff sponge to release the stubborn spots. Run the jars through the dishwasher to get most of the smell out of them (that sauerkraut is some stinky stuff, LOL).

Print labels

I'm using the Bluetooth thermal printer from Munbyn, a little powerhouse that prints all shapes and sizes of labels. The Munbyn 300dpi printer is perfect for the business owner but I've enjoyed testing the boundaries of the machine and using it for DIY projects! In fact, check out the round labels I made for my 5-Minute Lavender and Lemon Sugar Scrub.

Thermal Printer for business and home

I appreciate the sustainability of this printer because it will never run out of ink or toner because it doesn't require it! A thermal printer uses small heated pins to form characters on heat-sensitive paper. The results are high resolution prints, and the eco-friendly shipping labels I used are *BPA free, waterproof and oil-proof, which allows me to manipulate them with markers, coffee stain, paint, etc. Munbyn carries lots of colored thermal labels that can add a special, custom touch to your projects. I'll be showing you exactly how to give the labels a grungy, vintage look! The printer and labels are available on Amazon and very affordable. You can use this label maker for jars to update or create new storage for any space in your home.

How to make labels for jars:
  • always use thermal labels with the thermal printer
  • while thermal printers only print in black and white, I've found ways to get around that, which I'm sharing below!
  • if you choose to use a home printer, you'll need a laser printer, prints from an ink jet printer will run when you add the coffee stain to it (best tip is to save labels to flash drive and have them printed at Office Depot)
I used the 4x6 thermal shipping labels to create my vintage inspired DIY water bottle labels. I based these labels off old advertising crocks and bottles. Isn't it hard to believe that everything from potted meat to lemon curd, marmalade, ginger beer and even medicine used to come in stoneware crocks? These items are highly prized but hard to find in the wild! If you search them on Etsy, you'll find they are incredibly expensive!

My reproduction style bottles cost next to nothing, and I feel good about recycling items that would otherwise go in the garbage!

shipping label before, after with vintage design

I only printed three labels, but the Munbyn thermal printer can print up to 72 labels a minute! A great time-saver if you're using them for your business!

Munbyn thermal printer, shipping labels, vintage designs, glass bottle

If you are a subscriber of DIY Beautify, you have FREE access to my vintage inspired labels, as well as the rest of my printables from my Resource Library! I've created 7 different vintage labels that you'll be able to use for all kinds of crafts and home decorating projects! Sign up here to subscribe!

Coffee Grunge Stain

I got this recipe from Tracey of My Sweet Home Living. In a mason jar, mix the following:
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup instant coffee
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extra
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon
This mixture will keep for weeks in the fridge! When you're ready to use it, remove the lid and heat jar in microwave for about 30 seconds. Put the lid back on and shake mixture to incorporate the cinnamon (the cinnamon tends to form a sticky semi-solid in the bottom of the jar after sitting).

I didn't want much cinnamon on my labels, so I didn't shake the jar. I dipped a small craft brush into the liquid mix and brushed it over my labels.

labels with coffee stain

Once the coffee stain was completely dry, I cut out the designs leaving a small border, peeled off the backing and carefully stuck them onto my bottles.

coffee stained vintage labels

Add Fake Rust

To give the lids of the bottles and jar a rusty look, I used instant coffee, ground cinnamon and Matte Mod Podge. This is a multi-step process and you can add as much, or little, rust as you want!

  1. pour a little Mod Podge into a container
  2. add some instant coffee and mix the two together
  3. brush on a heavy coat of the coffee/Mod Podge mixture to lids
  4. sprinkle with cinnamon
  5. brush on another layer of Mod Podge to seal the cinnamon

easy DIY rust with instant coffee, cinnamon, Mod Podge
How many coats depends on the look you want. I did two. You can speed up the dry time with a heat gun. The cinnamon melts into the glue and creates a very realistic looking rusty finish. Let the faux rust completely dry before you add the tops back to the jars.

Doesn't this fake rust look amazing though? It smells pretty amazing too 😁

faux rusted lids

I had so much fun playing around with these pieces and creating these vintage style bottles.

upcycled glass jars with vintage labels and rusted lids

You could use these pieces purely for decor, or make a set and use them to store dried pantry staples like coffee beans, dried beans, oats, etc.

I hope you loved this tutorial! Please pin and share with your vintage loving friends.

vintage jars, dried roses, wood pie safe

vintage scale, glass jars with grungy labels and rusted lids

Disclosure - This post was sponsored by Munbyn. All opinions are my own

bringing beauty to the ordinary,


share this post


  1. This is SO COOL!!! I had no idea you could make fake rust!! Super neat DIY, Cindy!


Post a Comment

Your comments are like sunshine and chocolate! Thanks for taking the time to leave a nice one ;) I read all comments and love to respond if you leave your name and email! Otherwise, please look for my response under the post where you left it!