DIY Decor

DIY APOTHECARY MATCHSTICK BOTTLE

DIY Apothecary Match Bottle // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Sometime last year, I saw these adorable reclaimed apothecary matchstick bottles (I even ended up featuring them on our 2013 holiday gift guide here). I initially thought they would be neat hostess gifts – especially for the holidays – but now that the holidays are behind us, I thought they’d be great to have here and there around the house readily available for my candle-loving self. The only thing is that they always seem to be out of stock. So, feeling the need for an adorable reclaimed apothecary matchstick bottle in my life, like now, I decided to DIY my own version. Let me just go ahead and tell you, this is one of the simplest DIY projects ever.

DIY Apothecary Match Bottle // 7thhouseontheleft.com

I started out with a small glass bottle that I found at Hobby Lobby for $2 (it came with a metal string/hook around the top but it easily came off). I took the cork top out, turned the bottle upside down and placed a nice big blob of glass etching cream on the bottom. Be careful not to add too much – what I have in the photo above is the absolute maximum (I was too busy focusing the camera to pay attention to what I was doing). If you add too much it will drip over the edges and etch drip marks on the side of the bottle.

DIY Apothecary Match Bottle // 7thhouseontheleft.com

I let it set (on a paper towel just in case) for about 2 hours – which is a lot longer than the directions on the bottle tell you to do, but I just wanted to make sure it was deeply etched enough to strike a match. When time was up, I rinsed off the etching cream in the kitchen sink (followed by a good cleaning of the sink just in case) and cleaned the bottle with a bit of dish detergent to make sure all of the cream was gone.

DIY Apothecary Match Bottle // 7thhouseontheleft.com

The cream made the surface really cloudy looking – but not rough. Nevertheless, it was rough enough to be able to strike a match and worked perfectly. If you try out this project and for some reason the glass isn’t rough enough, just add another blob of etching cream and wait another 20-30 minutes. Update: I made another one today and decided to leave the etching cream on all day long (about 12 hours) and it turned out to be much more rough than the other bottles – which makes the match light a little better.

Bonus tip! If you don’t want to mess with the etching cream, another option would be to cut a small circle of low-grit sand paper and glue it to the bottom of the bottle. It’s not as pretty and seamless looking, but it does make lighting the matches extremely easy, and it makes the whole project just that much simpler.

DIY Apothecary Match Bottle // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Put the cork back in, add some strike anywhere matches and you’re done – that’s it! Now, a note about the strike anywhere matches: they are extremely hard to find – at least around Richmond anyway. Greg and I checked five stores looking for strike anywhere matches (Lowe’s, Target, Martin’s, Food Lion, and REI) and we couldn’t find them anywhere. We ended up buying 3 boxes on eBay for about $6 (they also have them on Amazon). So, if you’re having trouble finding them in your neck of the woods, try the World Wide Web.

DIY Apothecary Match Bottle // 7thhouseontheleft.com

You can get fancy and easily add a design or monogram to the side of the bottle using an adhesive stencil (which are available at most craft stores) or making your own stencil with painter’s tape, but I just decided to keep this one clean and simple. Add a little tag with some baker’s twine, and these would make for great party/wedding favors.

DIY Apothecary Match Bottle // 7thhouseontheleft.com

I loved how nicely the first one turned out that I ended up making three of these for around the house (one for my office, one for the master bedroom and one for the kitchen – the places we burn candles pretty much everyday). I’m also going back to Hobby Lobby later this week to pick up two more (one for the living room and one for the guest room). Like I said earlier, this is the easiest little DIY project ever, so I just can’t get enough.

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19 Comments

  • Reply
    Katja @ Shift Ctrl Art
    February 17, 2014 at 11:11 am

    I totally love this project. Very clever with the etching at the bottom. Love that the matches are green. It looks terrific!!!

  • Reply
    Ceci Bean
    February 17, 2014 at 11:11 am

    I’m surprised this worked, actually! I have one of the ones you linked to (made by an Oakland, CA artist– holla!) and it is definitely etched with a tool, not the cream.

    • Reply
      Ashley
      February 17, 2014 at 11:20 am

      Yeah, that’s what I figured from other photos I’ve seen of them but luckily this option works pretty well as an alternative – I had my doubts at first, haha. Ooo, and now I see the large version is back in stock, yay!

  • Reply
    Reagan
    February 17, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Love this little project! I just sent the link to my sister who’s getting married in the Fall.

  • Reply
    Emily
    February 17, 2014 at 11:30 am

    So cute! I know you can only see a tiny bit of it, but what color is your nail polish in the top photo? I’ve been looking for a similar nude color and haven’t found a perfect shade yet. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      February 17, 2014 at 11:33 am

      Haha! It’s Neo Whimsical by Essie. It’s one of my favorite colors!

  • Reply
    Sara M
    February 17, 2014 at 11:31 am

    SO clever I love it! I’m not much of a craft person but this is something I can do LOL

  • Reply
    Katie
    February 17, 2014 at 11:48 am

    So happy to see you revisit these! I almost bought one just last week (after months of waiting, the large size was actually available) but at the last minute I got pre-buyer’s remorse. $23 for matches! Seriously?! I was just about to start looking for pieces to DIY my own. I love that this is lower cost and the etching cream is a great idea. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Elaine
    February 17, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Contact paper or adhesive shelf liner paper works better than the painters tape for a stencil. The papers tape doesn’t adhere as well to the glass, particularly after the etching cream gets involved. Crisper edges!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      February 17, 2014 at 2:59 pm

      Good to know! Thanks so much for the tip : )

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Brave New Home
    February 17, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Very cute idea—they turned out great! These are the best kinda DIYs, when you make something you were willing to buy.

  • Reply
    caroline [the diy nurse]
    February 17, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    It’s so tiny and adorable!

  • Reply
    Kelly C
    February 17, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    I love that you made this as a DYI! I also looked for these as a Christmas gift idea after your post…now I could do this instead. Perfect! Thanks for sharing

  • Reply
    Rona
    February 18, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    So cute and simple! I do have a few of these little bottles laying around. Will have to try this out.

  • Reply
    Julie
    March 14, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    I love that idea!! I always hated to have matches around because of the box that was terrible! I will use that idea for sure to get matches close by my candles in the house! Thanks!!

  • Reply
    Mandy
    May 13, 2014 at 10:04 am

    Hello from the UK!

    I absolutely love this, I’ve seen them on the internet but you just can’t get them anywhere in the UK! So here goes, I will make my own!!!….hopefully it will look as great as yours!!!

  • Reply
    Sam
    August 21, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Hey Ashley,

    I would really like to know where you got that bottle. I need like 600. I would really appreciate the help. Thanks.

    • Reply
      Ashley
      August 25, 2014 at 10:04 am

      I bought them at Hobby Lobby. I’d be sure to check Amazon as well. Hope you find them!

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