Have you got the bottle to transform your home? (Picture: Patricia Rodi/Metro.co.uk)
Is it possible to struggle with the crippling cost of living while trying to be more sustainable AND have a stylish home?
Step forward interiors guru and champion of low-cost, conscious living, Patricia Rodi, who is cleaning humble food jars and bottles and transforming them into beautiful budget-friendly homewares.
‘Glass is highly durable and very much in vogue in interiors right now,’ says Patricia.
‘It’s the perfect material to help us ditch single-use plastics – then reuse and upcycle the things we already have to create super-stylish and affordable accessories for our homes.’
Here are Patricia’s top glass hacks…
‘This Is Glass’ is a British Glass campaign to celebrate the UN’s Year Of Glass.
Make your own candlesticks
It’s all about being imaginative with what you’ve got (Picture: Patricia Rodi)
Taper candles are huge in interiors right now but don’t fork out on often expensive glass candlesticks when you can make your own cool centrepiece.
‘There are some beautiful gin bottles in the supermarkets that are way too pretty for the recycling bin,’ says Patricia, pictured. ‘The thick glass bottoms create a cool illusion when lit with a flickering candle.’
She continues: ‘Search charity shops and car boot sales for vintage candlesticks – remove the silver or brass candle holder part and pop it into the neck of the bottle.
‘The combination of metal and glass looks very cool – plus a room full of candlelight is romantic and can cut your energy bills.’
Customise your coffee jar
The daily grind (Picture: Patricia Rodi)
Impress your guests with a customised, super-stylish coffee jar.
Patricia says: ‘I found an old French coffee grinder at an antiques fair and literally glued it on to the lid of a recycled storage jar. It’s so cute and looks great on the shelf in my kitchen, as well as keeping my coffee fresh.
‘As it’s more aesthetic than practical, the grinder doesn’t have to fit perfectly (or work!) so use any jar of roughly the same size. Check eBay, Facebook Marketplace, car boot sales and charity shops for old coffee grinders.’
Capture a mood in a jar (Picture: Patricia Rodi)
Create home-made festoons for your garden party or summer wedding.
‘Make some magic by stringing solar-powered fairy lights around a washing line,’ explains Patricia.
‘At regular intervals bunch a handful of the lights into small glass food jars or bottles and screw the lid back on (not too tightly). This will also work down the centre of a table to add some sparkle.’
Use old jars for spices
Jar up your spices (Picture: Patricia Rodi)
Want to add a sophisticated spin to your larder cupboard?
‘Dried goods like rice, nuts, pasta, herbs and colourful spices look fabulous in glass jars,’ Patricia says.
‘For a more rustic look, the jars don’t have to match – labels will give mismatched jars a unified look (I use brown tags tied with string.)
‘For matching jars, find a shape and size you like and shop the range until you have enough for all your dried goods.’
Cleaning used jars and bottles
To remove labels, fill the sink with hot water, add two squirts of washing-up liquid and half a cup of white vinegar.
- Submerge jars and bottles and soak for half an hour;
- Remove jars – labels should peel off easily;
- For any sticky residue, mix equal parts cooking oil and baking soda, rub on to the glue and scrub with a cloth or brush;
- For stubborn smells such as pickles or curry paste, add a shot of hot water and baking soda into the jar, pop the lid on and shake for a few minutes to eliminate any odour.
Make a mini terrarium
An indoor garden (Picture: Patricia Rodi)
Bring the outside in with a mini terrarium – a great one to do with the kids over the summer holidays.
Patricia explains: ‘Place a thick layer of small pebbles at the bottom of a large glass jar, then add a layer of moss. Cover with a thick helping of potting soil to halfway up your jar.
‘Add plants – succulents work well in a terrarium – then cover the surface with a layer of decorative rocks or branches and let your mini garden grow.’
Glass bottles as soap dispensers
Soap up (Picture: Patricia Rodi)
A refillable glass bottle puts a stylish spin on the disposable plastic soap dispenser, will cost pennies and keeps waste to a minimum.
Patricia recommends finding glass bottles in shapes you love and buying cork stoppers in a hardware shop or online.
She continues: ‘Make up hand soap using Castile soap which contains no harsh chemicals, additives or colourants.
‘Depending on the size of your bottle, mix well in a bowl a ratio of 100ml of Castile soap with 1ml of your favourite essential oil to add natural fragrance, then funnel into the bottle.’
Turn old bottles into vases and plant pots
Bottled plants (Picture: Patricia Rodi)
After the expense of a refurb or decorating, you often don’t have the cash to buy the little extras needed to finish off the room.
‘Leftover paint will transform jars and bottles into charming vases and plant pots to complement your colour schemes,’ says Patricia.
‘Dip the glass in the tin – hang until the drips fall off, pop it on to on a piece of cardboard and leave to dry for 12 hours.
‘No leftover paint? Use tester pots and roll for a more textured surface.’
Re-fill your wine bottles
Don’t go to the bottle bank yet (Picture: Patricia Rodi)
Wine bottles shouldn’t just have one life, says Patricia: ‘Save money by swilling and refilling them from wine boxes. That’s what they do in Sweden.
‘The bag keeps the wine fresh so you only use as much as you need and it’s much more cost-effective and eco-friendly than buying lots of bottles.
‘Remove the labels and differentiate the wines with a piece of colour co-ordinated string around the neck of each bottle. Dinner party guests will love it – it’s a very Scandi way to entertain.
‘You can also use old wine bottles as water carafes.’
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