I love sharing how to make wonderful crafts that can brighten up your home.
Glass-on-Glass Mosaics: Upcycle Used Bottles Into Stained Glass Bottle Art
Decorating glass jars and bottles is a fun, easy craft that's made even more enjoyable when using stained glass cobbles and glass beads for embellishment. Even the simplest glass mosaic project is prized for its breathtaking visual appeal. I have been crafting with stained glass for over 20 years, and I still feel spellbound by the beauty and awe it inspires.
The projects I want to share with you have been carefully selected not only for their eye-popping beauty but also for the ease and simplicity of crafting them. If you have a stash of glass bottles, vases, and jars, think about upcycling them into these appealing treasures. If not, have fun finding a trove of glass containers in all shapes and sizes for some cool crafting.
Working With Glass Cobbles
One of the greatest pleasures of crafting with stained glass cobbles is that they have softly rounded edges for easy handling. They are manufactured from recycled glass cullet in the USA.
How to Get Started Decorating Glass Jars, Bottles, and Vases
You need just a few items to get started:
- Stained glass cobbles
- A glass container
- Glass beads (optional)
- Glass adhesive
- A wood skewer or toothpick
Tips for Preparing Your Work Area and Supplies
- Set up a work area where there is good ventilation. The adhesive is very strong-scented, so I prefer to have a fan circulating the air while I craft. "Cobble" on a covered work surface; newspaper works fine.
- I use an old rag to cradle my glass container, keeping it stable while I am gluing.
- I also like to put my adhesive standing upright in an old jar or glass so that the glue is readily available as I craft.
- Please note that the height, shape, and size of your bottle will determine the amount of stained glass cobbles needed to complete the project, as well as the spacing between the glass pieces.
- Spread your glass cobbles out either on the tabletop or on a white paper plate so that you can easily view the different sizes and shapes of the pieces.
- If you are using a flat-faced glass container, you can lay out your glass directly onto the surface, then glue on each piece. However, most vessels are curved, so you should have an idea of your design before you start gluing.
Stained Glass Ocean Breeze Bottle
This glass vase measures seven inches in height. It took three ounces of crystal-clear mini-cobblets and approximately one ounce of mixed blue beads to complete.
Learn more about how I created this bottle below.
How to Mark Your Design and "Cobble" It
Most of the finished glass jars shown in these photos were "cobbled" freehanded. The "Ocean Breeze Vase" shown above was cobbled in three sections with a band of blue glass beads between each glass mosaic.
To get equal-sized sections, I first measured the section of the vase where I was going to cobble, then divided it by three. I then took three 1/8" wide rubber bands and placed them on the vase where I wanted to place the glass beads. I then proceeded to glue on my mini-cobblets, let them dry, took off the bands, and glued on the beads to finish the vase. It was a very simple craft that produced a beautiful finished piece.
Choosing Your Cobbles
There are three size selections of stained glass cobbles:
- Cobbs (the big guys)
Applying Your Cobbles
- Mini-Cobblets: In the ocean vase shown above, the little clear mini-cobblets were used. To apply them to the vase, I smeared a small amount of adhesive directly onto the vase, then I sprinkled the mini-cobblets on top of the glue, pushing them in place in a single layer while making sure they were in contact with the glue. This process is repeated until the glass mosaic is complete.
- Cobbles, the mid-sized pieces, can be applied using the same glue application then individually placed to adhere. Another technique is to use the wood skewer to smear glue to each piece, then place to adhere; this allows you more control over the spacing between cobbles.
- Cobbs, the big guys, should be individually smeared with adhesive and then placed.
It's all really easy!
Mini Mosaic Flower Vase
This little 5-sided bottle measures a whopping 3 1/2" tall. It's one of those projects that you make one, then a couple more because they are so easy and quick to make, and maybe a couple more. I love using them lined up on my kitchen windowsill and I have also used them as a table centerpiece set out on a mirror for added color reflection. A friend of mine likes to use one on a nightstand in the guest bedroom as a little way of saying "So glad that you are here." Sweet!
Almost forgot! This little guy took 2 1/2 ounces of Mixed Color Glass pieces to cover three of the five sides.
Glass Bottle Mosaic Tower
This old bottle was a fun find. 16" tall, it reminds me of a tower, thus its name! I used mixed gold cobbs (the big guys) and spaced the pieces far enough away from each other to give it a more dramatic look. I used about seven to eight ounces of glass. It is really an eye-catcher, a great decorator piece.
Butterfly Mosaic Bottle
This sweet 5" tall bottle is so captivating and makes a treasured gift. Filled with bath salts, bubble bath or hand lotion it can be given to even the grumpiest family member and it will put a smile on their face.
Only the bottle front was cobbled so it takes very little time and very little glass. I used half of a package of mixed blue cobbles and a little less than that of mixed green cobbles for a total of 2 1/2 ounces. I added a four glass butterflies and a few glass e-beads, with a raffia bow tied around the bottle neck. A craft project you will be "crazy about".
Bead Art Basics
I always put glass beads on last after I have finished my cobbling. This can be the most "cross-eyed" part of the project; those little tiny beads love to go flying in all directions, so I have discovered that the easiest way for me to adhere them to the bottle (in the place where I want them to stay put), is by using the pointed end of a wood skewer or toothpick. I first use the skewer to lay down a drop of glue on the the spot where the bead is to go, then I take the still sticky skewer, pick up the bead, and then place it.
Now I have to admit most of the time no matter how careful I try to be I get glued! I find glue on my hands, behind my ears, you name it and I probably have been "glued" there as well! I can't tell you how it happens, it just does! Gremlins I think.
Seashell Diffuser Bottle
Aren't scented diffuser bottles wonderful?
I just love the ones I have but I hate to throw the old glass bottles away when the oil has lost its scent. So I have gone on a personal campaign to up-cycle them.
I embellish them with cobbles and just replace the oil and reeds.
This one is a 4 1/2" tall bottle decorated with a 2 1/2 ounce package of mixed blue stained glass cobbles with a few green cobbles leftover from another project, a few seashells and glass beads (it is cobbled just on the front side).
And what a charmer it turned out to be!
More About Stained Glass Cobbles
Stained glass cobbles are small pieces of Cathedral Art Glass manufactured by Optimum Art Glass in the USA. Each piece has been softly rounded for safe handling, making crafting with them a breeze. Cobbles are available in three sizes; mini-cobblets, cobbles, and cobbs (the big guys) and come in a variety of gorgeous transparent colors.
They are made from recycled bottles and plate glass, so when you choose "cobbles," you are crafting "green." There are numerous craft applications for them, so be sure to check out my other lenses for more craft ideas and project templates.
Below you can see the three sizes of stained glass cobbles as a reference for your crafting needs. They can be purchased online at Amazo. See all of the beautiful colors of glass available!
Stained Glass Mini-Cobblets
Cute little tiny pieces of glass great for a quick fill in of space or in a more detailed design. I have a friend that used them in her table top Zen garden, turned out quite captivating.
Stained Glass Cobbles
This is the most widely used size, great for mosaics of all types. Can also be used in jewelry, stepping stones, and body piercing (just kidding).
Stained Glass Cobbs
Cobbs are perfect for filling in large areas of mosaics, they also work beautifully in stepping stones and can be made into gorgeous jewelry pendants. Another fun use is in crafting wind chimes.
Stained Glass Oil Lamp
This is a little round bottle that is 4 1/2" tall.
Three sections were cobbled using a 2 1/2 ounce package of mixed color cobbles.
Light blue craft wire was wrapped around the bottle neck, then two wire-wrapped cobbles were attached to the wire wrap and hung from the three "uncobbled" sections.
The bottle was topped with a polymer clay ball embedded with an oil lamp wick holder and wick.
For a bit more information on how to make the oil lamp bottle top see below.
Oil Lamp Crafting Basics
When making your own oil lamp, be sure to choose a bottle that can't tip over easily. Use only sturdy flat-bottomed bottles, and please keep it away from children and big wagging tails on dogs.
- To make the ball, use polymer clay in a color of your choice. Knead the clay to make it soft and pliable, then form it into a ball that will cover the opening of the bottle top.
- Using a toothpick, form a hole in the ball big enough to house the oil wick holder.
- After fitting the wick holder, you will probably have to reshape the ball, making sure the wick holder is snug in the clay.
- Following the manufacturer's directions, bake the polymer clay ball in an oven with the wick holder encased.
- Once cool, insert the wick into the ball, fill your bottle with the suggested lamp oil, and place the wick and ball on top of the bottle.
Flower Garden Oil Lamp
This four-inch-tall triangular oil lamp bottle is another fun way to craft way into the night. With this project, you will have a little light to look forward to. Only the front of this bottle was cobbled with 2 1/2 ounces of mixed colors stained glass cobbles, four yellow glass flower beads, and a few glass e-beads. Cute, isn't it?
For instructions on making it into an oil lamp, see "Oil Lamp Crafting Basics" above.
Little Clear Vase
This little three-inch-high container was a garage sale find, and I really didn't know what to do with it. So a few crystal clear cobbles were adhered, and "that's all folks." It is just "cute as a bug's ear" and so easy a big bug could do it if he had thumbs.
Please leave your comments - Thank you so much for visiting
Anastasia9vincent@gmail.com on December 12, 2016:
First time I have commented outside of face book I'm new tocomputer been an artist for ever just about to open an etsy store. OK so I really liked your ideas some similar to my own some different. I expect you know this already here goes. It is super easy to make your own "cobbles" take s colored bottle and cut it up with wire nippers (yes ware gloves and goggles) I do mine in the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket try to cutt bottle so pieces are flatter then when you have 2or3 bottlesvsllbin small pieces put them all in a rock tumbler with medium grit run for about 6to8hours I reclaim my grit sobeach time I run it it takes a little longerbsbout 5times then its shot and I need more grit. When time is up pour all thru a strainer rinse grit into a bucket and then rinse your glass a lot outside. Do not let grit in to your house drain it will clog it up like forever. After a while the grit in bucket sinks you can pour off water and use again. O .k it would be fun to hear back from you(like a note in a bottle) thanks again for sharing your ideas Anastasia vincent
kavalonthatsme on June 04, 2013:
HELLO! I enjoyed your lens, I found your lens, because I was searching for something a little similar, thank you for your inspiration - you really rock!!!
Cynthia Haltom from Diamondhead on May 11, 2013:
I am always amazed by the projects you can do with glass. What an excellent way to recycle glass bottles. I can't wait to get started on my own projects.
anonymous on May 08, 2013:
I just love all these glass decorating bottles, so many beautiful ideas. I keep a few color bottles around the house and just add a rose, but after seeing this, I am going to decorate them all. Thank you!
about-pomeranian on March 22, 2013:
EmmaCooper LM on March 05, 2013:
I'm all for crafts using recycled materials :)
anonymous on March 05, 2013:
What a beautiful way to decorate and use glass bottles. I love the flower garden oil lamp. Wonderful lens!
WomanAtWork21 on March 05, 2013:
That is lovely! So creative!!
XpectMore on March 05, 2013:
What an amazing idea for the glass jars that we have laying around because they are cool or they mean something but, do not know what to do with. Perfect gift ideas. Nice deco for the home or office. You dear, are extremely crafty and creative. I really enjoyed your lens. This craft will even fit well with St. Patrick's Day coming up.
PinkstonePictures from Miami Beach, FL on March 03, 2013:
oh yes, I can also see this working with sea-glass too
PinkstonePictures from Miami Beach, FL on March 03, 2013:
Beautiful. They look amazing. What a wonderful present these would make
hovirag on March 03, 2013:
so many excellent ideas! wonderrful lense!
nicksanders lm on March 02, 2013:
Wow, some of these are really amazing!
street2linen on March 01, 2013:
Beautiful and great crafting idea!
SakuraH on March 01, 2013:
So beautiful each bottle!!! And the last one with the heart in it, it would be an amazing gift for your loved ones!! Maybe next time I'll give someone a present instead of buying it I'll make a glass mosaic bottle! Thanks for the steps on crafting it <3 <3
mattcrepas on March 01, 2013:
Well I figured out a special gift for the fiancée. Thank you for the information and know-how.
pshinde2109 lm on March 01, 2013:
Alessandro Zamboni from Italy on March 01, 2013:
I like the glass crafts you proposed on this lens, giving not only indication on how to create them from zero, but also telling where to find the pieces! Awesome, two thumbs up!
The-Quirky-Banana on March 01, 2013:
And congrats on the Purple Star and Lens of the Day! :D
The-Quirky-Banana on March 01, 2013:
Great Photos here! Stained Glass makes for beautiful pieces! :)
anonymous on March 01, 2013:
Such beautiful work. I love the Message in a Bottle, too. I always thought about stained glass for windows, but the bottles make it a perfect way to have it all over your home. Thank you for sharing your ideas.
FRANCOEUR on February 28, 2013:
Such a wonderful lens! I have so many discarded bottles.....Now i know how to use them.Thank you.
Gardenerman on February 28, 2013:
Great lens. Love how easy it is to make such beautiful works of art!
RestlessKnights on February 28, 2013:
Very nice stuff!
toronto-wedding on February 28, 2013:
No words............It's simply awesome.........great..........superb..........excellent.........I love your work of art.
anonymous on February 28, 2013:
Very nice post and images, i like it
CarrieLee2 on February 25, 2013:
Rita - Absolutely Breathtaking! And some wonderful ideas for complementing the main idea of this lens!
OH DEAR, now you have introduced me to yet ANOTHER absolutely beautiful hobby (I blame this lens totally) that I likely will never have time to do, but which now I feel I NEED to do. Thank you much for the beauty above, and you definitely absolutely deserve the feature lens for this one!
DebW07 on February 25, 2013:
The message in a bottle glass mosaic is beautiful.
anonymous on February 25, 2013:
MooshkaDaisy on February 24, 2013:
It's a very different idea to everything I've seen about mosaics. Great lens, thank you for your work!
anonymous on February 21, 2013:
thank you for shareing i am really impressed with this .....!!!!
anonymous on February 21, 2013:
I have had so many lovely shaped bottles that i just couldn't keep and had to eventually discard. Well now i have found a nice hobby and will keep my newly acquired empty bottles to make pretty pieces like these you have here.
Awesome designs RitaK. I really love them all.
JadaFuego on February 18, 2013:
This is beautiful.......just beautiful......definitely a great gifting, and craft idea...
kellygibson on February 14, 2013:
This is a Great of brightening up bottles.
MariaB LM on February 10, 2013:
Like the picture of the first bottle, will be pinning.
Aibrean82 on February 03, 2013:
I never thought of doing this before, but they are really beautiful! I do like doing crafts although I am a bit clumsy - especially when glue is involved...
ForestsOfTranqu on February 02, 2013:
Oh my gosh, these glass jars are gorgeous! And your lens is awesome!
anonymous on February 02, 2013:
Such a cool craft! *blessed by a squid angel*
TrezNafien on February 01, 2013:
Very pretty! Tasteful and good for window sills I imagine! Thank you for sharing this!
ViJuvenate on January 29, 2013:
Wonderful idea! I wonder how they get the glass bits so smooth... I love this. I have several crafty friends, so I am also pinning this. :o)
GetAcneFree on January 28, 2013:
I love this - beautiful!
Outdoor Gal on January 27, 2013:
Oh so crafty! It's a great way to recycle old bottles and have pretty vases too!
TheHealthCabin on January 27, 2013:
This has inspired me to get creative, many thanks!
imzuddin on January 25, 2013:
Great lens. Never really thought about doing that until now :D
lynnebridges on January 25, 2013:
wow, you have some very pretty bottles featured on this lens... not sure i want to make any of them, but definitely would consider buying for a gift or myself
kaposzta on January 24, 2013:
You are really talented, these bottles are so beautiful! I'll show this lens to my girlfriend, she loves glass decoration :)
contentlove on January 23, 2013:
Extremely beautiful creation!
Loved them all...
kerryhrabstock on January 22, 2013:
Very nice. I'll probably try this out when I get some free time. Beautiful bottles.
alaiamax lm on January 22, 2013:
I super like this lens. The design are perfectly beautiful.
RaintreeAnnie from UK on January 20, 2013:
These are so very beautiful! A really lovely page on stained mosaic glass bottle crafts. Angel Blessings :)
I-Like-Books on January 18, 2013:
Very beautiful and mesmerizing pieces! I think this is a very nice inside activity that could keep you busy during this long cold winter :)
anonymous on January 17, 2013:
This is so beautiful..I should try this at home!
NewUsedCarsSacramento on January 15, 2013:
Beautiful pieces of work.
DecoratingMom411 on January 13, 2013:
Beautiful glass crafts. You are very talented.
PenguinGirl111 on January 13, 2013:
So pretty! And these would make a lovely gift! I may try making some for Xmas next year.
saswat-das-501 on January 12, 2013:
very good lens!
Liz Mackay from United Kingdom on January 12, 2013:
Lovely stuff. Blessed.
SheilaMilne from Kent, UK on January 12, 2013:
You make it looks so easy!
LotusLandry from Southern California on January 11, 2013:
I am a user of E6000. This project is a cousin of my cherished-collage-pins lens.
cassyspratt on January 09, 2013:
These are all so wonderful looking!
darciefrench lm on January 08, 2013:
Such beautiful decorating ideas here, I had to return to look again as these gorgeous vases and refresh the blessing
InternetMarkete on January 06, 2013:
Wow these are gorgeous!
anonymous on January 06, 2013:
You are very good at this. Great lens.
Helene-Malmsio on January 06, 2013:
What a delightful and simple craft with stained glass mosaics.... I will definitely have to give this a try. Congratulations on a beautiful and very useful crafting lens.
dawnrepurposes on January 05, 2013:
I love your lens! I have collected bottles for years! Your lens gave me a reason to keep collecting and fresh ideas with what to do with them! Love it!
Eighteen18 on January 05, 2013:
chinaholiday on January 04, 2013:
Masterdevin123 on January 03, 2013:
Great lens!! And a great rainy day activity too! Visit my lens to see some more great rainy day activities...
Carolan Ross from St. Louis, MO on January 03, 2013:
Just a wonderful upcycling idea, love these mosaic bottle craft ideas. I wonder where you get the oil and reeds for making diffusers from your own crafted bottles???
clouda9 lm on January 03, 2013:
Gorgeous! Thanks for inspiring the creative side of my brain. :) Congrats for being one of Squidoo's favorite lenses of 2012! (http://hq.squidoo.com/lensmaster-spotlight/more-of...
montanatravel52 on January 03, 2013:
Beautiful ideas... got some of my creative juices flowing:) They look fun, thanks for sharing great ideas!
hongrosaonline101 on January 03, 2013:
it takes time to done the thing but it's beatiful
pamlen on January 03, 2013:
These are so lovely, very fantastic lense!
ArtzeeChris LM on January 03, 2013:
Wow these are just beautiful! I love this idea and they would make such wonderful gifts. I could see making a vase like this putting some flowers in it and giving to my kids teachers for teacher appreciation week. I had never heard of glass cobbles before they just so cool. I'm guessing you could probably use sea glass in the same way if you wanted to. Thanks so much for putting together such a great lens on this.
azamkhan760 on January 03, 2013:
wow nice creations
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PuttinUpWithSuzy on January 02, 2013:
Beautiful! I LOVE the sea vase and also the butterfly one. (I'm partial to butterflies.) I have some of this glue that I bought for another project. I have some glass jars/containers that I can use. I've got tons of beads and I'm sure some are glass. Gonna have to get some cobbles though. This would make lovely Mother's Day gifts. Or any gift.
Frederiksocial LM on January 02, 2013:
I love your lens.. Very beautiful pictures you post here! I'll keep your lens in the back of my head :-)
kerilovesadeal on January 01, 2013:
Ohhhoooooooooooooo. So pretty. Thank you for sharing. I know a couple of ladies that would love to get one of these for flowers or bath salts. Adding to my crafting "to-do list". Hehe. :D (I want one or two or three myself. ;D)
arsib65 on January 01, 2013:
Wow... neat lens! Would like to try to make a mosaic bottle. They're beautiful!
Lacy from Chenault on January 01, 2013:
I love putting pretty colored vases in front of my windows for a nice stained glass effect. E-6000 here I COME!
JJMagee on January 01, 2013:
These are really beautiful!
Laura Hofman from Naperville, IL on January 01, 2013:
Wow! You have inspired me! Lovely ideas and your beautiful creations make excellent gifts. I can't wait to try my hand at this craft. Thank you!
WinWriter on January 01, 2013:
I want to try this. You've given me inspiration. *Blessed *
AllThingsPotter on January 01, 2013:
This is a great idea!
dawnsnewbeginning on December 31, 2012:
GreenerDays on December 31, 2012:
Really beautiful creations. I live near the ocean, and now have some wonderful ideas to do with the sea glass we find on the beach!
DLeighAlexander on December 30, 2012:
Beautiful decorations! angel blessed :)
juicefy on December 30, 2012:
creative bottle~~~I like it~~thanks for sharing.
Celticep from North Wales, UK on December 29, 2012:
Beautiful creations, must try this idea some time!
shahed4u2 on December 29, 2012:
monarch13 on December 28, 2012:
Back to tell you what a great lens this is!
ayden010 on December 28, 2012:
Wow, the message in the bottle is my favorite! great lense :)
aleighrea on December 28, 2012:
I am always treasure hunting for bottles and vases. Now I have even more ways to use them. Great ideas! Thanks for sharing!
Moe Wood from Eastern Ontario on December 27, 2012:
Beautiful and it looks like something I could do!
imagelist lm on December 27, 2012:
great lens...thanks for the info
kimark421 on December 27, 2012:
Wow! Really cool. Thanks for the great lens!
greentiger11 on December 27, 2012:
The wife would really appreciate this lens. Gotta share this with her! Great lens!
Bobbing4Apples on December 27, 2012:
I LOVE these. What a fabulous idea. The butterfly mosaic is gorgeous. I have got to try it! Nice job on this lens!
anonymous on December 27, 2012:
Wow - I am inspired to get creative! Thanks for this lens