|Found here. Originally from here.|
A little bit of googling turned up handy tutorials on how to wrap bottles with jute. Some tutorials called for using a hot glue gun, which I don't own (and quite frankly, I can't imagine that getting hot glue on your fingers is all that pleasant). Luckily, I found some tutorials, like this one, which claimed that you could achieve the same results using plain old Elmer's glue.
The first step was to obtain some empty wine and beer bottles. I asked D to help me out with this step. I literally told him, "I need you to drink beer for my project." He was happy to oblige! Once I had a few bottles collected, I needed to remove the labels. Soaking the bottles in hot water makes this step much easier than trying to scrape dry labels off the bottles.
|Bottles soaking in hot water in the kitchen sink.|
Some labels came off rather easily, while others required a little scrubbing. On one wine bottle, I wasn't able to get all of the glue off, but it was fine by me, since I was going to cover it with jute anyway. After all the labels were off, and the bottles no longer smelled like alcohol, I let them dry overnight.
|Bottles drying overnight.|
Once the bottles were prepped, I gathered my supplies. I figured I would start with a beer bottle because it was smaller, and if I screwed up, I'd still have plenty more extra beer bottles to play with. I also bought Elmer's glue and a roll of jute (which I found in the jewelry and beading aisle at an arts and crafts store). I used a paper bag to contain my mess and not ruin the dining table.
I started wrapping my beer bottle from the bottom just because I figured any mistakes would be less obvious there than on the top. I did not glue any jute underneath the bottle. These photos had to be taken with my phone because I don't happen to have three hands (one to hold the bottle, one to hold the SLR camera, and one to take the photo).
|I started wrapping the bottle from the bottom.|
The basic steps of the process involved putting a little bit of glue on the circumference of the bottle, placing jute over the glue, and holding that part down for some time to make sure that it set enough for me to move on to the next section. The beginning part was hard because the jute kept trying to slide off the bottom of the bottle, so I had to hold it in place longer than the subsequent sections. The rest of the bottle was mostly straightforward, except when the bottle started narrowing. In that section, the jute kept sliding up the bottle to the narrower part, and I had to allow for a longer setting time again.
|Glue and wrap. Glue and wrap. Rinse, repeat.|
To wrap one beer bottle in jute took me about an hour. Granted, I was being paranoid and made sure that every piece of jute was glued to the bottle. I probably could have gotten away with gluing every other turn around the bottle, but since this was supposed to be a gift, I didn't want to take any chances. After an hour of sniffing glue, I had gotten quite light-headed. But it was totally worth it because the beer bottle vase turned out great!
|The beer bottle vase is complete!|
Inspired by my initial success, I was eager to proceed with the rest of the bottles. I happened to have some yellow yarn sitting around from another project, so I figured I could try wrapping one beer bottle with that, just to mix things up a bit. For some reason, though, this particular yarn was refusing to stick to the bottle. It would just slide off, no matter how much glue I would dump on it. I suspected that the yarn may have been too narrow, and so I bought a multicolored blue/green yarn that was wider. It worked out much better.
|The yarn on the left is wider and flatter than the yarn on the right.|
I made a few more beer bottle vases and one wine bottle vase. The wine bottle vase took two hours to make, and of course I was trying to finish it up the day before Christmas Eve! Luckily, it all worked out.
|The wine and beer bottle vases, all done!|