Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Make It For Mom: Faux Antique Perfume Bottles

I adore displays of antique cut-crystal perfume bottles.  My mom has had some on her dresser since before I popped out of the womb, and they are still there, beguiling me whenever I go home for a visit.  (Ahem.  If they were antiques back then, they are now positively Jurassic.)

Today I whipped up some faux antique perfume bottles.

Made from...did you guess?

Mismatched salt-n-pepper shakers, found at thrift stores and yard sales.

You could make a mini-collection for your mom, using just a few beads and an easy jewelry technique.  Wanna DIY?  Let's begin!

To make the stopper, choose two pretty beads, one of which is wider than the neck of your bottle.  You also need a piece of craft wire and a few small transparent beads.

Make a little loop on one end of the wire.  Then thread on the beads, like so:

Trim the wire end and bend it over sideways.  Finish with another little loop, and that's the stopper!

Those clear beads fit inside the bottle, to balance the weight of the decorative beads above.

To embellish with a loop of complementary beads or crystals: just thread some more beads on wire, twist the ends together and trim off the extra bits.


Caveat: these are meant to be ornamental; I'm not sure I would actually fill them with perfume, since the stoppers are not secure.

 Here are a couple of fun variations:

The shaker on the left (which has a wide mouth) is topped with another salt shaker, flipped upside-down.   For the one on the right, did you spot what I used as the large stopper bead?

A vintage glass drawer knob.  That's double the vintage, baby!

Of course, I realize this is a gift for a certain kind of mom: girly, tschochke-loving, a little old fashioned.  I have four beautiful ladies on my Mother's Day gift list, and this idea is perfect for one (maybe two) of them.

And by the way - since you'll now be on the lookout for these little shakers anyway, here are two more amazingly simple,  fun upcycling ideas for how to use them:

Make A Shabby Chic Salt Shaker Necklace

Make Crystal Ornaments From Vintage Salt Shakers

Happy hunting and have fun!


  1. I love these!! You are so darn clever! I would have never thought of this, but....I'm feeling a knock off in my future girl...probably not in time for mothers day though!

  2. Very pretty and clever. Now I'll have something else to add to the list to be on the lookout for at garage sales.

  3. I love these. My mom actually doesn't wear a lot of perfume though and my MIL is allergic to it...I am planning on making her (my mom) this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diDga0Avg9k and maybe one for me too. She likes hydrangeas so I was going to put them on hers.

    1. Hey Mich, were those beads sea opal or seal opal O.o ;)

  4. This is fantastic....My mom loves collecting perfume bottles, I get her pretty samplers whenever I can, but never thought of doing up a bottle and maybe even making my own perfume to fill it. I have to find some bottles now

  5. I have several of grandma's salt and pepper shakers, I rarely use salt and frequently use perfume. Solution!

  6. Quels adorables petits! That's your french lesson for today. :) Moms everywhere would swoon over these I have no doubt!

    Everything is working fine over here comment-wise btw. I see no signs of those crazy Googly machinations... I think I've solved my problem too. Thanks again for looking-out for me. My hero!

  7. love this idea! I keep seeing those darn shakers and wondering what they could be repurposed as - score!!

  8. Genius. I'm forever seeing shakers and thinking what could they be. Now I know!

  9. These are just the sweetest little treasures. Leave it to you to come up with something so clever.

  10. They are so pretty!! They so look like those perfume bottles used by the Royals in fairy tales. I bet little girls would love to have a bottle or two of these too!

  11. Just popped over from Diane's "Emotion" post! She had such nice things to say about your blog I had to visit! AND I love it! And i love this idea! We collect art glass perfume bottles but now I can not rest until I make a couple of these to add!!!

    So nice to find you!

  12. OMG these are stunning..awesome.. at the step 6, we can also make a pair of earring with the same technique.. just add a earring hook..with these beautiful peal beads.. waoo.you are so smart :)

  13. I know what I'll be looking for at my next visit to the thrift store.

    So creative!

  14. Very, very lovely! Can't wait till my next visit to our thrift shop!

  15. I love those old shakers - I bet they will love them too...

  16. This give me an idea...you are always so inspiring! Watch out, what I'll make for Mother's day! Love PC