I have had people asking either to buy these little tokens from me or for a tutorial so they can make their own. Well, here’s the tutorial to the best of my ability! And if you rather, just send me a personal message, and we can talk about helping you get your hands on some I’ve made if you are less crafty yourself.
So to make your own little tears bottles, read on! Gather your supplies together before you begin, which may or may not involve purchasing some special things depending on the stock you have in your crafting stash.
Glass Bottles (I like the miniature sizes, like medication vials, best but any size right up to a wine bottle would make a neat gift)
Corks for the bottles (you could do it without corks, I just personally like corks so much)
Something to tie the tags on (I used baker’s twine, but you could use small gauge wire or tiny ribbon or embroidery floss, etc)
Metal Stamping Blanks (of various sizes, and mostly just according to your creative preference)
Metal Stamping Alphabet/Numbers (I used 1/16″ stamps on these mini bottle projects)
Hole Punch Pliers for Sheet Metal
Jump Ring (I used split rings)
Rubbing Alcohol (I have oodles of medical wipes, but you could just put some alcohol on a tissue or something)
For a few thoughts on bottles…
You can buy something like these on Amazon (which are basically the same sizes as the medication vials I have used), or go bigger here maybe, or even do something super schmancy like this… In fact, for bigger sizes, I love these ball shaped bottles, I love these vintage style bottles, tear shaped bottles would be a neat touch, a set of bottles with corks, or even these adorable 5 oz bottles with caps. Pick up bottles or vials at the dollar store or at thrift shops, and keep a stash for when you find yourself needing to give a Tears Bottle as a gift. You may like different sizes, shapes, colors, etc. for different people or different times, don’t limit yourself.
And if you’re like me (I particularly love the itty bitty Tears Bottle styles I’ve made thus far), and you go through lots of medication vials (three shots a day for months at a time can build up a stash if you squirrel them away into your craft stash!), use a flathead screwdriver to pull off the metal and rubber cap on the empty medication vial, then wash the vial and get the label off (with rubbing alcohol, paint thinner, or acetone… and sometimes a good bit of elbow grease). My favorite size vial is what my Pregnyl or PIO came in, but it’s totally just personal preference. Just try whatever you can get your hands on.
Like I said, I really like using little corks, and if you buy bottles they may come with them already.
But if you go the repurposing route like I have done, you may need to carve your own little corks, which is tedious at best. I have a ridiculously oversized stash of all kinds of wine bottle corks, so I just grabbed one, cut it in half, and ended up making a couple little mini corks from it, just whittling with a sharp kitchen knife.
Once you have your bottles and corks, pick out what metal stamping blanks you want to use for each bottle. I have tried various combinations of sizes and types of blanks, and I love the various different looks they give. Design from your heart and go with your gut.
Gather your metal stamps, blanks, hammer, bench block, and masking tape.
Make sure you set your bench block on a sturdy surface, and use a small strip of masking tape to secure your blank to the bench block while you stamp, so nothing moves. Be certain that you use the right letters/numbers in the right order, and orient the stamp the right direction. Place them carefully, because once you hammer, there it is! 🙂
Stamp away! You can see that I have come up with the way I personally prefer the design, with caps and lowercase in certain places, etc. Of course you have to remember that imperfections and variations really make these marvelous and give them their unique appeal. It can also take practice to get your groove, so be gracious with yourself.
PSALM 56:8 ~ tears
Once you have stamped the blanks, unless you bought blanks that already have holes punched in them, this is where you add a hole with your sheet metal hole punch. Depending on the gauge and type of metal blanks, it will be easier or trickier to punch ~ but you can do it!
Put discs together with a jump ring, which process may or may not eat up your fingernails. 🙂
At this point, you want to take your black Sharpie and color in the letters and numbers you’ve stamped. It will look icky and messy. That’s the right way to do it, I promise.
Now you just take a little rubbing alcohol (a prepared wipe, or just dab some on a tissue), and wipe off the excess. Now it’s looking pretty!
Now you can take your baker’s twine, string, floss, ribbon… and tie your stamped tags onto the neck of your bottle in whatever fashion you like best.