Time In A Bottle

Make This Delightful Suncatcher!

I’m delighted that it’s tag sale time again!

Along with the new growth in the garden, the Little League parades and the additional hours of daylight, comes that weekend past-time that I cherish. A friend of mine who lives in the south asked once “What kind of tags do you guys sell in New England?” Tag Sale, Garage Sale, Moving Sale or Estate Sale; call it what you may but it means the same thing….someone is cleaning out.

Perhaps it’s the thrill of the hunt that gives me that adrenaline rush when I see a sign that says Tag Sale, Boston Post Road, 9 - 3 or perhaps I’m hoping to find the next hidden gem to be featured on the Antique Road Show. Maybe it’s just a chance to get inside an old house that has stood the test of time for hundreds of years. A fireplace in the kitchen, a well loved garden that’s been the recipient of years of raking and planting, a loom built into a two hundred year old attic; I love these things!

An estate sale often gives us the chance to step back into time just for a moment. I like to think that I can help preserve history by purchasing something that, at one time, meant so much to someone. I don’t however, usually buy paper items. If I stumble upon a book like the one I found recently, Rachel Carson’s The Sea Around Us, I won’t pass it by. Letters, maps, books…that’s not really what I’m looking for. It’s the glass that I love.

Have you ever gone digging for old bottles? I used to dig in old foundations hoping to find the bottle that was intact; the one that had escaped the ravages of time. When I found it, I would dump the dirt out and hold it up to the light looking for some sign of approximate age.

If it was colored glass, that was even better! Blue glass was often used in old medicine bottles. It’s a gorgeous cobalt blue that makes a wonderful home to a forsythia sprig. At a former home, I found an old glass milk bottle when digging for a new garden. That bottle always had a home on my windowsill as a tribute to the former occupant. I don’t recommend digging without permission!

You can very often find a box lot of old bottles at a tag sale; make sure they’re not broken. Look for unusual sizes and shapes as well as pretty glass colors. The glass bottle that was such an important part of our everyday life has been replaced by it’s plastic counterpart. There’s a certain mystical quality about glass. The transparent shine and sparkle is a window to imagination.

Combined with an old glass flower frog, old bottles make wonderful sun catchers. They glisten in the sun and tinkle in the wind! It’s the perfect time of year to make one.


3 or 4 small glass bottles (washed)

1 glass stopper (optional)

1 glass flower frog

Fishing line (heavy enough to hang the bottles from)

Copper wire (thin, comes on a roll at the hardware store)

Beads (all colors, shapes and sizes)

The copper wire will become the hanger. Begin by wrapping three pieces of wire through the flower frog. Twist them together and make a loop at the top to hang the sun catcher from. Cut a piece of fishing line approximately fifteen inches in length and knot it around the neck of one of the bottles. String the line with beads in a random manner. Repeat this for all of the bottles you are going to use. If you’re using a glass stopper, repeat the process but attach it to the center of the flower frog. Tie the bottles to the frog at evenly spaced intervals around the edge. Carefully hang in a safe location where the sun with catch it! You may put a bit of water in each bottle with a flower bud but this requires more occasional cleaning! You can hang them in the garden, but a heavy wind may break the bottles. Makes a beautiful and peaceful gift!



Erin Ethier May 16, 2011 at 02:23 AM
this is adorable! i'd definitely stick a few flower buds in mine too!
Pem McNerney May 16, 2011 at 10:31 AM
If you end up making one, we'd love to see how it looks! Take a pic and share it, if you want to!


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