Recycled Glass and Tiny Bouquets

One of the selling points for our town house was a large gas burning fire place in the family room. It creates such warmth to the room, even in the scorching Atlanta summer time.

With this being our first home, and certainly our first fireplace, I had to learn how to style the mantle to match our family room decor. When we first moved in, I had a mix of random accent pieces, but they just didn’t feel right. The largest focal piece of the mantle today is an antique window pane I found in college and I wanted to continue to highlight that.

Flashback … During a recent visit to Austin, TX, our friends introduced us to Topo Chico mineral water. Not being a huge sparkling water fan, Topo Chico offers a refreshing, but crisp bite. Arriving back in Atlanta, we have popped into many Super Mercados in search of this delicious treat. For Travis’ birthday, I brought home sevenĀ bottles. And, did I mention, Topo Chico bottles are a beautiful green glass. So, it was no surprise I kept every last one for a future project.

Present day … I knew just the place for the Topo Chico bottles! I would use them as vases of greenery to adorn our mantle – a timeless arrangement.

First, after guzzling every last drop of Mexican mineral water, I had to prepare the bottles for removing the labels. I used a combination of warm, soapy water, razor bladesĀ and a paste made of vegetable oil and baking soda to loosen the labels.


After the bottles soaked for about 30 minutes, I took a razor blade to remove as much of the labels as I could but the pesky sticky residue always remains. That’s where the paste comes in which consists of equal parts baking soda and vegetable oil.


To apply the paste, I rubbed a liberal amount onto each bottle and let sit for about 10 minutes.


Then, after rubbing each bottle clean, I used a razor blade once more to remove any further residue or label. Don’t get me wrong, there is no easy or quick way to remove labels, but the process is totally worth it.


Next, I headed to Michael’s for some faux greenery, because, let’s be honest, any other live option wouldn’t last a couple of days in the Dockins household!

The bottles are about eight inches tall, and with nine and a half foot ceilings, we had room to add height to the arrangements. I chose a mixture of fern, eucalyptus, and pussy willow.


I evenly dispersed the greenery amongst the bottles for a symetrical look.


There were a few fern leaves left over. I cut individual leaves off and tucked them into the bottom of each bottle, placing the arrangement on top.

I removed all the mismatched knick knacks from the mantle and replaced them with our new recycled arrangements.



The green of the glass and foliage adds a subdued pop of color to our crips white walls, mantel, faux orchid, and vintage window.

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