Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Voila!  An upcycled night light made using just the top of a small water bottle.  I hand painted
the edges only.  This project cost no more than $2.00.
Hi again, well I was looking at this boring night light I bought at the dollar store. I so needed to give it a new look.  I love flowers so I got busy.  I upcycled a small water bottle into a flower using heavy metal cutters and a candle.  I then painted the edges with gold paint. I popped off the old night light cover and replaced it with the flower.  Voila!  A new upcycled night light.

This makes a great gift and cost no more than $2.00 to get started.  the paint was on sale for .88 cents. This small container of paint could paint many flowers and last a long time. How great is that?

Here is the simple night light I bought for a
dollar.  Boring but functional.
Anyway, I just finished this project last night and I thought I ought to share.  Please feel free to share, or Pin it.  If you have any questions, ask away.  Please, folks click like if you like it.  Till the next time, thank you for allowing me to be of service and many blessings.

Mary Helen

Here I shaped the leaves, then used a soy candle to
shape the flower.  I then painted the edges and let it dry.
So much prettier now, and still functional!  I'm a happy camper.  But I might
add some leaves later.

Friday, May 3, 2013


You can see I used all sorts of colors, like greens, amber, yellows, pinks, red, grey, and
black Adirondack Alcohol Inks.  This I do with my Essential Tremors (ET).  These inks
naturally blend/bleed into one another so it leaves great room for error.  Lucky me,
as my ET has me shaking all day long, but I still love to be creative.  I paint when I can.
I am not sure if the title is quite appropriate for my bouquets,  as the flower alone could withstand time. but not sure about the dried branches.  The branches might break in time but can be replaced with more dried branches, and leafs easily found at your local craft store. If your blessed with access to free twigs and branches, then good for you:)

 I am getting ready for Mother's Day and hope to get some orders.  LOL, hey, I need to find a way to keep this blog, "Recycling Junk Into Art" alive right?  So yes, you can make money off these pretty flowers, and yes they make great gifts.

Another shot of the bouquet and how simple it is to
put together with assorted dried twigs.
These are some of the bouquets I made today.  I am sharing just to give some of you crafters ideas as to what to do with the plastic bottles that you cut, mold, and paint with "our" favorite paints, Adirondack Alcohol Inks.  These inks make my flowers come alive don't you think?  They inks come in packs of three bottles of three beautiful vibrant colors.  These three colors compliment each other which makes it more convenient as you don't have to search and  buy separate paints. What I like about these colors is that you can mix and match (not together) any of their alcohol inks and they still compliment each other. Just a few drops goes a long way. They are transparent and work great on glass, metal or plastic.  I enjoy seeing the finished product on my work whether it is for my recycled plastic bottles, or my glass bottles and vases.   If not, I just add a few more drops of the color I want.  It's all good in the end.  Actually the more ink you use, the more the flower will come out looking like blown glass or stained glass.  The best part of all is that you don't have to be an artist to use these inks to get beautiful effects.

OK, another secret that I recently let out of the bag on one of my other blogs at, www.maryhelentremors.blogspot.com.  I was born with Essential Tremors, aka ET.  I hve a full body tremor which makes it difficult to have a steady hand while I am awake.  Three years ago I had brain surgery where the neurosurgeon implanted a DBS stimulator which help to control most of my tremors. I still tremor, just not as severe.  Anyway, I love to paint and be creative but am unable to do any real detail work that requires a steady hand.  However,  with these paints, tremors can help to an extent.  They leave a lot of room for trial and error.  So I finally found my "happy place".  Thank God.

There are no errors with these inks. Lol.  I have to work with what I have, and I am not going to let some tremors get in the way as long as they are not major.  Today I can paint, perhaps tomorrow I cannot.  I just work with it.  It's what I've been given.

Anyway, back to business.  I've searched high and low, and so far I found a great price for these inks at www.samsclub.com.   The link to purchase these inks is down below for your convenience if you are unable to purchase these Adirondack Alcohol Inks in your area.

Here I used greens, yellows, blues, and grey
Adirondack Alcohol Inks.
I used a glue gun to attach the glitter filled bottle caps to each flower giving it a little sparkle.  I had previously spent one evening putting silicone putty glue  to a few dozen bottle caps.  I found the silicone putty at my local hardware store. Yes, it's what you would use for caulking, but works great here.  Besides, it's a lot cheaper.  While the glue is wet I added glitter.  Wait for it to dry overnight to be safe.  The next morning, I gently flaked off any loose glitter on the bottle cap, and attached a pre-made resin cap and glued the cap to the flower.  I glued the flower to a tall bamboo stick to accommodate the length of my twigs for my bouquet. Voila, I put them together and now I have a simple flower bouquet.  It sort of reminds me of a Japanese floral arrangement.

Here's a close up shot, giving you a better view of how pretty the flowers come out using
just any colors of these inks.  Don't forget these flowers were once, plastic water bottles.
I thought I'd share, because that's what I do right.  If you like this post please feel free to share with me or others your work, or my work for that matter.   I would be so happy to know that someone is actually attempting to recycle plastic bottles into up-cycled art that can beautify your surroundings. So far I have used hundreds of plastic bottles big and small.  From ketchup bottles to peanut butter jars and long as they were plastic, and with some good tin cutters, a candle, and my Adirondack Alcohol Inks,  I was able to make pretty flowers.

Well, thanks for dropping by.  That's about it for now.  Till the next time...stay safe and many blessings.


Mary Helen.

A good shot of the flower painted with the
Adirondack Alcohol Inks.  Trust me, I
am no artist, just a DIY crafter.

Last close up...

Goodnight all.  God Bless you and stay safe!
Mary Helen:)

Monday, April 22, 2013


Hi everyone, as you can tell, I am still making flowers out of plastic bottles and am always looking for ways to present them.  I was browsing across the street at Bed Bath when I saw this simple table place mat.  Immediately, I imagined my plastic flowers around them with lights.  Say no more, that's exactly what I did.

This placemat was sturdy enough to stand on it own.  I mean it's pretty stiff.  I picked the flowers I  wanted for the outer edge.  I had previously cut, molded, and painted the flowers out of small plastic water bottles. Again, I used my favorite Adirondack Alcohol Inks.  Just love the way it stains these flowers.  You can find a link below if you have a problem looking for alcohol inks.

Look at the fantastic colors these Adirondack Alcohol Inks give to the simplest flower.  It looks like stained glass.  It is
permanently stained, just on plastic.  I cut strips of a green bottle and weaved it around the place mat.  Before I weaved it in I heated it so it would twist into a spiral and tried to make the ends look like leaves.
There is a mini light bulb in the middle of each small flower.
 I drilled holes in the middle of the flowers making sure the holes were large enough to fit a small mini string light bulb.  I weaved the lights in place and attached a flower to each bulb using a glue gun.  Careful not to glue the bulb.  I glue the flower to the mat.  That alone does the trick.
Small water bottle flower with a mini tree light
This plastic flower looks like glass.

The flower below I used for the middle is a three layer flower.  It consists of two, two liter soda bottles, and one small water bottle.  The bottom layer represents the bottom leaves.  It is a green bottle, and a small water bottle for the center.  I finished it with a glittered bottle top I made earlier.  I didn't try to capture the glitter look in this shot.  Sorry, but I wanted to show the way the alcohol works here.  Nice, right?

This is the three layered flower as described above.

I have very large panoramic window.  I hung it up with a strong but light hemp cord.

Lights on at dusk!

A bigger view with the lights on.  I could hardly wait till dusk to turn on my lights.
Well, I am a really happy camper with the way my up-cycled bottle mobile sun catcher with lights.  I just had to share.  See, I can work with Essential Tremors (ET).  Well, Lol, I can now since my brain surgery. I hope you like how I recycle and up-cycle bottles in the area.  See, if I alone can be creative so can you.  Really with these inks, they make my flowers look beautiful and I am no artist. Thanks for dropping by and allowing me to be of service.   I am happy to answer any question, and would love to hear from you.  Feel free to share by clicking on one of the links below.  Till the next idea.  Stay safe, and many blessings.


Mary Helen

Sunday, April 21, 2013


Here's a quick and easy flower Sofia my favorite 5 1/2 year old made with my help.  I love her like a granddaughter, and she loves me like a Nana.  I never get to see my own grandchildren, so the Lord sends me little angels like Sofie and her mom.  Anyway, I am always looking for projects we can do together when she comes to visit me.

I will keep this short, as I think the pictures suffice as a tutorial.

Here is a large JACK IN THE BOX  plastic soda cup. that I washed and cut as shown.

I clipped each end to give it a pointy tip.  Actually I don't think it was necessary.
Using a  hot glue gun I glued the first petal in the middle of the bottom of the cup
I continued to glue each petal behind the other one until each petal was glued.

This is what the backside should look like when you are done.

And this is the front side.  All white.  See Jack peeking out.

I quickly stained it with semi home-made alcohol inks.  Tumeric soaked in
alcohol does adhere to plastic with it's staining properties.  I then added 1/2
bottle of Adirondack Alcohol Inks in yellow.
Now it's Little Ms. Sofie's turn.  I did the cutting and gluing.  Sofie got to paint it.  She really got into it watching the alcohol inks bleed.  She was amazed, and felt like a true artist with her gloves and mask on.

Sofie is a busy little bee having so much fun.  And I had fun watching her.
She's so proud if her flower.  I glued this on a stick for her, and she took it home to mommy.  Oh, btw, her mommy is a professional make up artist/model, so Sofie "modeled" the flower automatically as soon as the camera came out.  So cute.
Well, it's late, or early morning, and I have to get some sleep.  Just thought I'd share this cute project we made together. I hope you like this short tutorial.  Please, feel free to share by clicking on a share link at the bottom of the page.Thanks for stopping by, and know YES WE CAN make our world just a little bit brighter.  Especially with all that is going on around.  Anyway, Many Blessings, and goodnight.


Mary Helen

3 Foot Plastic Bottle Flower Arrangements

This is my 3 foot plastic bottle flower arrangements that I have put together using twigs
and a cute glitter butterfly  that I picked up at the dollar store.  So far everyone who
see's it falls in awe.  I am getting ready for Mother's day by making bouquet/arrangements.
Folks, they make great gifts as they are forever flowers.  They will never die and needs no watering.
Furthermore, a very easy way to make some money!
Hi Everyone,

 Just wanted to share what I did with some of the plastic bottles I up-cycled into flowers.  The flowers alone are absolutely stunning.  However, I felt they needed something extra to complete this bouquet.  Baby's breath was too delicate and would be messy.  They would not withstand time like the flower.  Instead, I bought these sturdy twigs at my local craft store.  They were $8.00 for a small bunch.  I was able to use this one bunch of twigs to make three arrangements.  I sure wish I had my old back yard where I had access to all the free twigs I needed.  Oh well, If you are lucky and have access to free twigs, drying and  painting them would make a great addition for your flower arrangements.

Same flower arrangement, just another view reflecting a nice
artistic statement by a large scenic window.

Same arrangement, just showing the clear
glass vase.  I partially filled it withgreen flat glass
marbles.  The marbles hold the flowers
upright and look nice too.
If you are interested in learning how I make these flowers using plastic water, soda, vinegar, peanut butter, and even ketchup bottles, check my first post on this blog  There you will find out how I cut the bottles with scissors, shape the plastic by hand using heat gently from a candle.  I use my favorite permanent Adirondack Alcohol Inks to paint them.  Why Alcohol Inks?  Because I love the way they bleed with other colors just enough to give it that "stained glass/blown glass effect".

 I have essential tremors so when my tremors allow me to work, I paint.  Because I tremor, and it progresses with age, using alcohol inks allows for errors.  When I get ink in the wrong spot, it bleeds and just gives it character.  Lol.  I love it!

 I also use bottle caps that I painted, or stuffed with polymer. I even add glue and glitter to some of the bottle caps.  I finish that by adding a resin cap.  This is really awesome and just adds to the stained glass effect. That's another post coming up soon.

Once you make the bouquet, a nice ribbon wrapped around the stems would also make a great gift.  Don't you think? I think I ran out of ribbon, but those were my attentions.

Note to self:  Add ribbon to supply list.  Check.
Another simple but pretty arrangement.   I noticed they look similar to the flowers above.
I added a few dried filler leaves and curly sticks to this flower arrangement..
  I just want to give you an example of what you can do with these flowers.
See we can beautify this world one bottle at a time.
What makes these flowers stunning besides me shaping each leaf, is the Adirondack Alcohol Inks. They are permanent, and have a shiny transparent color that makes the plastic look like stained glass.  These pictures do not do justice for these flowers.  Trust me.  They are stunning!  I recently traded flowers to my local pharmacy for a good trade.  They were in awe.  So was I.  Not only for the trade.  But the fact that knowing my work is going on display here on Hollywood Boulevard near Vine, in Hollywood, California.  Lots of traffic there so lots of folks get to see it.  The fact that they were pretty enough for the owners to want them to display in their shop is a blessing. This makes me very happy camper.

Below is a link for the Adirondack Alcohol inks. www.samsclub.com.  Like I said before, they are the cheapest anywhere. I use a lot of ink, so I usually shop around looking for the best deal.  If you find a cheaper spot, let me know please.

This is the great link I was telling you about.

Well that's about it, I need to finish up another post about a McDonalds cup.  Yes, I made a flower out of it.  I will post that soon.  It was such a fun project for my favorite 5 1/2 year old friend Sofie. Actually, she's my friends daughter whom I love like my own granddaughter.  Anyway, thank you for visiting and feel free to share, by clicking one of the links below.

Imagine how pretty the world would be if we could see some more pretty tinted flowers, instead of landfills.  If you have any questions, ask away.  Any comments are appreciated too.  And if you do something creative...do tell.  Let me know how and what you did.  After all, sharing is caring right. Till the next...STAY SAFE and Many Blessings.


Mary Helen

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Hi again everyone.  I told you I would be back soon.  Well, I made this 5 foot hanging mobile early February.  I am just now getting ready to post it.  I've been either busy or unable.  Thank God, today I am able.

Today I am sharing with you this mobile I made. I used one top of a two liter soda bottle and nine bottoms of small water bottles.  You can use as many as you like but 5 feet is tall enough for me.  Besides, my cat Cisco would get tangled up.  Funny because he loves to play with it, especially since it is right over an air vent.  It twinkles for him, and taunts him.  But he is kind with it...it's still hanging.

I also used small silver fired glass beads that really sparkle when the light hits it. I bought them online from Fire Mountain Gems.com I strung them on hemp cord.  Trust me that was not an easy task.  (Note to self, try fishing line).  I cut nine pieces of hemp cord, each one approximately 6 inches longer than the previous one to get this spiral effect.  I hung a flower at the end of each cord.

To see how I make these flowers please go to my home page and see my first post here.  Anyway after I molded each flower over a candle, I painted them by hand using my favorite Adirondack Alcohol Inks.   I carefully glued a small but bright LED light at the base, making sure not to glue it closed.  It's a screw on, screw off switch which makes it real easy to turn on or off...if your 6 feet tall.  So far I haven't figured that one out yet.  I need to make one that has a reachable switch.  Especially since I am a whopping 5'2 stretching it.  LOL

Well that's it, I'm done for the evening.  I just had to share.  If you have any  questions or comments. PLEASE feel free to ask away.  I am here to share, and see we can make pretty things out of junk that might have never made a recycle bin.  Don't forget to like or share this whichever way you can.  Together we can help recycle those plastic bottles, and beautify your neighborhood.
Thanks so much for stopping by, and to you I say...many blessings.


Mary Helen

Here is a close up of the top base.  Perhaps I should call it the bottom of a soda bottle.

A close up of the small water bottle bottoms.

Cisco the cat::)