Vintage Style Bottles with Faux Rusty Lids

Recycle those glass bottles with a vintage inspired makeover by adding coffee stained vintage DIY labels and faux rusted lids
glass jars with vintage advertising labels, rusty lids

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If you love old stuff, vintage and antiques, this project is for you!

Wouldn't our grandmothers roll their eyes if they knew how much we value old stuff in this modern age? We hunt for it in thrift stores, search the sides of the road and gloat when we find a treasure! Why do we collect old things? I don't know about you, but for me, vintage and antique pieces represent a bygone era, a time when life was simpler, when family was everything and old pieces evoke all the feels in me! All the best memories of the past, when grandma was still alive ❤

Idea to recycle glass jars

This sustainable DIY is for those of us who have been unsuccessful in the hunt for true antique and vintage treasure! Is that you too? Great because I have good news for all of us! Those old pickle jars, drink bottles and BBQ sauce jars can easily be turned into beautiful, vintage inspired decorative 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, take a look in your pantry and start planning your glass bottle upcycle project! 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

Prepping jars is key

Before we can make new jars look old, we need to clean them up! Use hot, soapy water and once you've cleaned the insides of the jars, peel off the labels by soaking them in warm water. 

Best tip to remove sticky residue from jars and bottles:

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 your free vintage 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.

If you don't own a thermal printer, you can still print out my vintage labels and have success with this project! Read my tips below.

Thermal Printer for business and home

I appreciate the sustainability of this printer because it will never run out of ink or toner as it doesn't need 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. The printer and labels are available on Amazon and very affordable. Munbyn carries lots of colored thermal labels  that can add a special, custom touch to your projects. You can use this label maker for jars to update or create new storage for any space in your home.

Tips when making jar labels:
  • 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, because the ink from an ink jet printer will run when you add the coffee stain to it (best tip is to save labels to a 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 custom printables from my Resource Library! 

For this project, I've created a sheet that contains 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!

The best way to grunge up those bright and shiny labels and make them look vintage and old is to stain them. You can use tea or coffee, but here is my favorite recipe.

Coffee grunge stain recipe

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.

Believe it or not, you can use this stain on almost anything to add age! Fabrics, paper, painted projects and more! See how I used coffee stain to create the cutest Primitive Farmhouse Sunflowers.

labels with coffee stain

Once the coffee stain was completely dry, I cut out the designs leaving a small border, peeled off the sticker backing and carefully attached the labels to my glass bottles.

coffee stained vintage labels

How to make 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, to achieve the perfect rusty lids!

  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 of fake rust you add 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 can't believe how good these vintage style apothecary bottles look now! With just a little stuff from my pantry, and the vintage style labels, these jars have a whole new OLD life!

upcycled glass jars with vintage labels and rusted lids

You could use these pieces purely for decoration, use them as vases, or make a set and use them to store dried pantry staples like coffee beans, dried beans, oats, etc. Pick up a few mason jars from Goodwill and turn them into pantry storage!

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

Love vintage style? Check out these projects:

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


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

  2. How can I get your vintage labels so I can print them? Yes I am subscribed

    1. I'll send you the link. Please add your email address here.


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