Upcycled Milk Bottle Top Memory Charms Art

Over the past few weeks I have been working on this project using the plastic tops from empty milk bottles.

It took me a while to finish this project because not only did it take time to collect the tops themselves, I also had to allow for a lot of drying time and artistic ponderings as I was unsure where my journey with the tops would take me!

Yesterday I finally finished the project and took my final photos so I could blog about it! I took a lot of pictures of this project as I created it so I could share the step by step process with you.


The very first thing I did was take a stretched canvas square and flipped it over so that I could work on the reverse side.

I used perfect paper paste by plaid scraped onto the wooden frame with a palette knife as I envisioned a wavy textured frame. You could use modelling paste instead.

I then squirted glue on the actual canvas and then stuck down the plastic milk bottle tops randomly until there was no room for anymore.

At this point this is what the frame looked like:


Once all the texture paste and glue had dried properly; this took a few days, I applied a layer of white gesso:


At this point I then decided I wanted a darker framed art so once the white gesso had dried I applied a layer of black gesso over the top:


Close up:


Next I cut out some random circle shapes from torn out book pages and glued them into the centre of each bottle top. This is what it looked like at this step:


Close up:


For my next steps I painted the textured frame, I used deep turquoise and dark green acrylic paint. When the paint was dry I used my fingertips to brush on shimmering green interference medium onto all the raised ridges to give it a mother of pearl like shine.

I decided the book paper circles weren’t the right shade and looked too stark, so I added a wash of watered down cream acrylic paint to each of the circles to add warmth.

I also used my fingers to apply a gold acrylic paint highlight on the edge of the milk bottle tops to give it a nice framed finish.

Picture of what it looked like at this point:


It was almost finished!

I debated what to put in the framed bottle tops, initially I was going to put a letter in each circle and spell out a quote or something. I plan to actually do that with the next one I make.

In the end I decided to fill the circles with charms and trinkets which mean something to me. For example I put the tag in there from our first dogs collar, shells from the beach, pennies we had stretched with the gizmo on holiday and other memories.

I used glossy accents to embed the charms and trinkets because not only does it dry clear, it is also permanent and will protect the bits inside the resin.

Here are the photos of the finished project, the resin isn’t properly cured and dried when I took the pictures because impatiently I wanted to blog about it 🙂 (it has since dried clear)





I really enjoyed making this and I’m still collecting tops for my next bottle top frame!


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