A French bottle project inspired by the free tutorials & transfers offered by The Graphics Fairy

This post offers inspiration and links to resources for a French Bottle project. Use clearance items, or recycled bottles & vases from around the house, and transform them into something chic and French-inspired. Transfers are from The Graphics Fairy and the tutorial from Boroughfare Home.

How to Bring Out The Chic in Clearance Items

A few years ago I picked up some gold bottles from amongst the Christmas clearance at Michaels.  I got them for dirt cheap – something like 65 cents a piece.  Initially I used the bottles for a surprise James Bond themed birthday party for my son.  The gold bottles looked great in that setting but when I got them back home they didn’t exactly fit my color palette.  For a while they sat, inconspicuously, in a glass cabinet. Now they became guinea pigs for my continuing experimentation with transfer techniques.

The Graphics Fairy really fueled my passion for transferring. You can find hundreds of beautiful antique-themed graphics for your projects. She offers a free library, or for a small fee you can have unlimited access to everything she has to offer. I grabbed these beautiful French designs that you see on the French bottles for free. Just to be clear, this is an unsponsored, unsolicited, endorsement of Graphics Fairy. She doesn’t even know I exist. I just love her stuff.

So, head over to her site and see what you can find that would suit your project. Here is my project, transforming new gold bottles from Christmas clearance into old, antique-looking French bottles:

The Beginning of a New Life

First, I coated the gold bottles with Rust-oleum Aged Gray chalk paint, kind of as a primer.  Then two coats of Rust-oleum White Linen chalk paint (both found by the quart at Home Depot).  The chalk paint dries quickly, so this process doesn’t take long.

And Now For Some Personality

After the bottles dried thoroughly, I printed the french label designs (from The Graphics Fairy) onto wax paper and rubbed them onto the bottles. There were a few different label designs per sheet so I had a nice variety to use. If you are unfamiliar with transferring techniques, visit the Graphic Fairy tutorials. She gives several different methods for transferring.

The results were exactly what I imagined. The French bottles looked so pretty I could hardly wait for them to dry before arranging them on my dining room table with some lavender. And to think that I didn’t like these bottles before.

Any Old Bottle Will Do

Finally, I finished the bottles with a coat of antique wax, being very careful not to smear the French transfer with the brush. After the wax had cured I stepped back and admired the completed transformation. So easy, so charming, so perfect.

Now don’t feel like you have to go out and purchase something new for this project. This technique could be applied to any bottles/vases/pots you have around the house, jam bottles, pickles bottles, canning jars, old vases, any of these would work for this purpose. Just be sure that whatever you pick doesn’t have any markings that will show through the chalk paint. And, don’t be afraid to experiment. Graphics Fairy has so many different designs to choose from.

If you want more ideas for French-Inspired projects be sure to visit our tutorials for:

French Pots for Home and Garden

French Seed Packets

As for these French bottles, what a simple, cheap project with a lot of impact.  I purchased an antique tray to hold the bottles and I move them around the house and fill them with decor that fits the season. They’re so charming and they inspire me to create more beautiful things. I have gotten a lot of mileage out of some kitschy Christmas clearance. Thanks to Graphics Fairy for inspiring me to create a very treasured addition to my home decor. xo Jayme