Simple DIY: How to Tint Bottles and Jars

Here is one of my favorite, SIMPLE Craft/Decor tips… How to Tint Bottles and Jars with Mod Podge, Water, and Food Coloring. My sweet hubby started his new job today after having a month off. Although his time off was some of the best days EVER for our family, without a doubt he was ready to jump back into the “real” world!  Why!?!? Here’s one reason: his sweet wife sent him on errands like this…

Tint Bottles and Jars

‘Honey, would you mind going to this address to pick up a box on a random front porch, a Freecycle pick up?!’

Usually, he rolls with it, but picking up a box of used beer bottles totally weirded him out!  A cycle through the dishwasher and a bit of goop be gone for the labels and I was ready to craft!

You can use any jar for this tutorial!  Mason jars used to come in all kinds of pretty colors: blue, green, and amber – I love that I can duplicate this look real easily!

Microwave 3 Tablespoons of water for 30 seconds, then add a lot of gel food color and dissolved FULLY.  Next, add 1/2 cup of modpodge to the blended food coloring. And again, mix REALLY well.  At this point, you can add more color for a more vibrant color, just be sure that you mix it really well If there are any air bubbles wait for them to subside before pouring into the bottle.  The color on your bottle will be reflective once dry and not seem as deep as when it is in your measuring cup!  I used a whole LOT of color as you can see below.  {I think the gel food color tubes work BEST.}

Mix the mod podge solution with a regular spoon or knife.  The beauty of working with water soluble glue is that clean up is a breeze!  {Big B was a huge help with this project and he stayed totally clean!}  Pour some of the mod podge into your bottle….swirl it around to cover the entire glass on the inside…then pour the excess back into your mod podge mixture.

Start with your lightest color, then deepen your color with progressive bottles so that you can have varied shades of blue bottles.

Put a piece of aluminum foil on a plate then cover with several paper towels and allow the bottles to drain for a five minutes.</>

I wanted a contrast color, too so I added yellow mod podge to one of my bottles.

After the bottles drain on the counter upside-down for like, 5 minutes,I set it on the counter, upright and wait about 5 more minutes, allowing the extra paint that did not drip out to settle on the bottom.  Jars and bottles with a flat edge along the bottom will work the best for this technique.  The bottom of my bottles have a little excess modpodge.  If you try to tilt the jar again and pour it out, you’ll end up with streaks along the sides of the bottle.  For me it wasn’t a big deal…but I added a pic so you can see if it’s something that would work for you.  Here’s a pic so you can see what I mean…

Place them in the oven on a low rack, being careful not to tilt them while moving them. Set the oven to it’s lowest temperature and place the jars on a low rack in the oven.  I set my oven to 170 degrees and left them in the oven for 20+ minutes, until dry—transparent. (Make sure the excess on the bottom has fully dried, too, before tilting the bottle).  Use a hot pad when you remove the bottles, they will be hot!

Remove from the oven and cool.  Remove the gummy texture from the top of the bottles.  If you prefer a darker color, do it again in the same jar…just be sure to cool the bottle first.  If you need to use the bottles/jar for something new, soak the jar overnight with a few drops of dish soap and lots of hot water.  The longer you let it soak, the easier it will be to clean.

And here they are complete…not perfect…but totally adorable! I LOVE these bottles inside my newly painted crate!  Next Post: where I’m placing this cute crate with bottles!

Click here to see where this beauty will go in my house! 

UPDATE to How to Tint Bottles and Jars: Waterproof Option- “I was going to suggest to readers that process, I do the exact same process except paint the outside with the mod podge mix, I have done all colors and I have them sitting in my bay windows, they are beautiful and I can use as flower vases if I so choose or add water for other uses, the heat from the sun does not seem to bother them either. So go ahead paint the outside and follow Aimee’s directions, you will be pleased with your results!!!”  ~Shay Potter

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  1. I’ve never seen this method for tinting bottles before- this is great! All stuff I have- except for the bottles. I’ll have to be on the look-out! Super cute!

  2. Love these! 🙂

  3. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous, Aimee! Can’t wait to see where this lovely DIY ends up 🙂

    Claire @ alittlesomethinginthemeantime.blogspot.com

  4. I just did this yesterday 🙂 🙂

    • Anonymous says:


  5. Really great tip. I am going to pin this!

  6. Thanks for your sweet notes friends!! It’s so fun to recycle old jars and bottles!!! Ashleigh, I’m excited to see yours soon, too! XO, Aimee

    • kayte says:

      i Want to Color glass leaf shaped shades to a hanging lamp, would This work For That? Will the heat from the blubs hurt the color?

      • I’m not sure, it depends how warm the glass would get?! If it seems warm to touch, it may not work sadly. XO, Aimee

  7. What a clever idea. gonna try this.

  8. Just today I posted about my love of colored bottles and needless to say I can’t wait to try this.

  9. This is SO cool! I have got to give it a try. Love how pretty they turned out!

  10. They look great. Thanks for sharing how to do it.

  11. So pretty…and so easy! Love it!


  12. Awesome idea! I’m pinning this one! Thanks for the tutorial 🙂

  13. Shabby chic Sandy says:

    Those are really pretty! Love the colors!

  14. Love this! I am trying to come up with CHEAP centerpieces (for WHEN the big wedding day happens) and this is a perfect idea.

  15. love this- seems very do-able. I’m wondering though, will the tint chip- like if I use a tinted jar for a pencil cup?

    • Laura, I think it may over time….but it’s actually a pretty hard surface…probably depends on who is dumping/pulling from the pencil cup.

      There is also a mod podge variety that s considered ‘hard coat’ …this variety you can sand. I might consider using the same tutorial, but switching for the alternative mod podge for more heavy usage. XO, Aimee

  16. Unique, artistic, skillfully done! I’ll share this idea with my family. Thanks!

  17. Love them! Thanks for the great tutorial!

  18. This is the COOLEST tutorial, ever! I’ve not seen anything like this before. How creative! I am going to try this soon, because I have so many empty wine bottles in the kitchen that I’ve been wondering how to use… LOVE LOVE LOVE this! Would really like for you to share it with my readers at my linky party!


  19. This. is. brilliant! I had no idea this was possible and already have all the supplies! And I’m in love with your crate too! Hope you will join my Destination: Inspiration linky party!



  20. Thank you, thank you, thank you! This post could not have come at a better time. I just bought some bottles to color for my daughter’s rainbow party next weekend. Yay!

  21. Those are so pretty! Thanks for the tutorial! 🙂

  22. WOW!!!! That is too awesome!!!! Now I know what to do with all those beer bottles I pick up on my road when I walk!!! Thanks so much for this amazing tutorial- can’t wait to try it!! Pinning for sure. 🙂

  23. Can’t wait to try it out! They look fabulous!

  24. Susan @ Oh My! Creative says:

    Beautiful colors…thanks, learned something new!

  25. Amy says:

    Hey there! I love this project. They turned out so super great. I saw that you linked up at Blue Cricket and just had to come over and see the post for myself. Great job…keep up the good work, I love coming over to your blog.

    Amy {aprons & ambition}

  26. oh wow, i’ve been looking for a way to do this! thanks SO much for this tutorial! they look great!

  27. How cleaver is this. I love it and would love if you showed it off on my link party.



  28. I love this! I wonder how red would look? I just may have to get some food coloring and make some red and yellow ones for my kitchen area. Cool with a yellow sunflower in a red one on my breakfast table. Hum . . . And then for the dining room . . . who can say!

  29. Thanks Aimee!
    I really needed this!
    I love bottles and jars…

  30. I plan to feature this! Great job, beautiful final product and excellent instruction. bythewayjenngray.blogspot.com

  31. Jen @ Jens Favorite Cookies says:

    I can’t believe how cute these are! I definitely have to try this! I can think of about 15 ways to use them.

  32. Those are so cute!!! I have always wondered if there was a way to do this! It looks so easy!
    I currently have a link party going and would love for you to share this and anything else you would like!


  33. Love this idea! Great tutorial – I love colored bottles, so I’ll definitely be giving this a try.

    Please consider sharing this on Thingamajig Thursday going on now… http://radcrafter.com/2012/04/thingamajig-thursday-21/


  34. These came out great Aimee! I never knew it was so simple! Love it!

  35. Anonymous says:

    I love this! and hoping to try it!

  36. I love your tinted bottles! And turqoise totally is my color! Lovely! Liz

  37. this is a great tutorial i cant wait to try it i would love for you to come and link up at http://www.twiggstudios.com/2012/04/sunday-show-off-linky-party_21.html


  38. Where Women Blog says:

    Aimee, this would be an awesome post to share on WhereWomenBlog.com 😉

    The Where Women Blog Team

  39. Julie says:

    I am inviting you to come and be part of my blog hop:

  40. Awesome tutorial!!! Thank you so very much for sharing 🙂 I have so many glass vases & definitely must give these a shot 🙂

  41. Love this idea, I’m putting a link to this on the ranch’s FB page.

  42. Oops, FB wouldn’t let me do it since it found something “spammy”, sorry.

  43. LOVE this project! I will be featuring it tomorrow. Thanks for linking up

  44. What a smart idea… seems your ready for Spring Party.

    You rock, girl.

    Happy TTT,

  45. Very, very, very cute! Thanks so much for sharing how you made the bottles such great colors. These would be great decorations at a party. I saw your post over at “Cowgirl Up Party” and “Nifty Thrifty Tuesday”.

  46. Chrissy + Nate says:

    This is fantastic!

  47. Natural-Nesters says:

    This is so great! I love it! I keep all of my wine bottles to do fun projects with, and this just gives me more ideas!! I can’t wait to try this!

    I would love for you to stop by and link this up!

  48. That’d be REAL CUTE, but to be on the safe side, I’d probably use a battery operated…they sell them at lots of stores, even the Dollar Store. That would be SUPER FUN Stacey!! XO, Aimee

  49. I know I have commented on this before, but I just wanted to let you know I am featuring your awesome glass tinting tutorial at the link party today! Wahoo!!


  50. Anonymous says:

    Love this! You should invest in a cheap baby bottle holder to place your bottles on to dry. It would keep the tips from messing up, just a top. =D

  51. melissa m. says:

    I’m definitely going to try this.. I’m wondering though, in the beginning you said 3xs as much MP as water – am I adding food coloring to just the MP or I add water to the MP to thin it out *then add the food coloring? Thanks! (jaydensmomma126@aol.com)

  52. Lil Miss Red T-Shirt says:

    Oh, I like these! And they look easy enough to make… this might be my next craft attempt. 🙂

  53. Carrie @ My Favorite Finds says:

    I just linked up to Gingersnap Crafts and saw you were featured. Congrats! I hope you’ll join me for the blog swap I’m cohosting :).

  54. Anonymous says:

    i have a colelction of clear vases and i was just thinking of that and then i read ur post! Great minds think alike 🙂

  55. No Jessica…they can’t be washed! MP isn’t waterproof. Bummer, right! I totally wish they were, too! Glad they turned out great! XO, Aimee

  56. Anonymous says:

    hi, when i tried to clean out the bottles they turned white? I’m not sure why they would do that. do you have any suggestions?

  57. Thanks for sharing these tips!

  58. Tracy, you’ll want to turn it over before too long so the excess has a chance to get to the bottom, it’s fine down there. On mine, there is about a 1/8 inch of a dark bottom, but once it’s dry it just looks like a shadow. Has your jar dried now?!? Let me know if I can help. XO, Aimee

  59. Anonymous says:

    with doing the color on the outside, i was planning on doing this with bottles to make as tiki torches attatched to my fence outdoors. do you think you could use some kind of sealer on the bottle after coloring them to make them waterproof/make the color stay on?

    • You can definitely brush it on the outside!!! This will look great! As for something to seal it, I haven’t tried that…but I imagine it’d work! Definitely let me know!!! I’m so excited to hear about your project!

      XO, Aimee

  60. Louise says:

    You *could* however use a sponge and tint the *outside* with the mod podge, then you could fill it with water. 😉

    • Emily A says:

      Has anyone done used a sponge and tinted the “outside” with the mod podge??? I was thinking of doing this to some wine bottles and cutting off the bottoms for a nice decorative piece at my wedding on my tables. I was just wondering if anyone has done this before that is all???

      • Shay Potter says:

        Yes, I was going to suggest to readers that process, I do the exact same process except paint the outside with the mod podge mix, I have done all colors and I have them sitting in my bay windows, they are beautiful and I can use as flower vases if I so choose or add water for other uses, the heat from the sun does not seem to bother them either. So go ahead paint the outside and follow Aimee’s directions, You will be pleased with your results!!!

  61. Anonymous says:

    This also works with elmer’s glue and food coloring. I ran out of food coloring, so I used a dab of acrylic paint–which also worked–so long as you don’t overdo it on the paint.

  62. I’m visiting today through Layla’s Summer Mantel Link Party!

    What a cool idea for “recycling” glasses – I love it! I will have to try it! I’m addicted to collecting jars and glasses, because I know that *one day* I will use them! 🙂

  63. Anonymous says:

    i will have to try this, and put christmas lights inside. im looking for a different and colorful way to light my back yard for parties..

  64. Catalina says:

    I live in Colombia, South America and we don’t have the Mod Podge here. We have lots of stuff but I can’t find what stands for Mod Podge. Is it like glue? Could you please tell me a little about it so I can figure out what to buy in order to tint the jars!!


    • It’s pretty much elmer’s glue with water! Try a 50:50 ratio. Hope that helps!!! Xo, Aimee

  65. jeanine mcdonald says:

    Too cool, Aimee! Pinned it for later!

  66. Linda Crews says:

    Even though you can’t use these as traditional vases for fresh flowers, you could add dry or silks and have a lovely display.

  67. Susette says:

    Wondered about using it to put hand soap in. Want to do this to a Ball Jar with a lid and put a pump through the lid. As I understand, it would be best to do this on the outside of the jar. Just understanding. Thanks!

    • Since little wet hands would be touching it, I’m not so sure!?!? It doesn’t take long to do these if you want to give it a try!?!? My first thought is…I’m a little apprehensive about it working. XO, Aimee

  68. Vicky says:

    I have been looking for tinted red glass wine bottles for my bottle tree and am having no luck or they are too expensive. Do you think I could tint clear bottles to put on the tree and would they stay tinted being outside. Thank you.

    • I would give it a try and then maybe coat the finished product with a spray polyurethane?! Let me know how that works…sadly, you won’t be able to remove the modpodge once you go this route. Good luck girl!!! Sounds cool! XO, Aimee

  69. Lalie says:

    Hi !
    Thats a really nice post, and i tried it today. My bottles are drying right now. But i have a question !
    As it is, I have lots of the mixture left and it bothers me to throw it away in case i want to do some more later.
    Do you keep the left overs ? If so, how do you store it ? I was thinking about putting it in a glass screw up jar but I don’t know haw it’s going to handle …

    • Thanks of stopping by and for your sweet note! I have held onto it for a day or two…exactly the way you explained! XO, Aimee

  70. Maite says:

    Hi there

    This is awesome! Cant wait to try to tint some pickle jars I have been saving for a fun project… I want to make jar lanterns for my wedding and give them a little bit of colour is just what I wanted, but I have a question. If I put candles inside, do you think the colour would stand the heat and stay pretty like yours?? Would appreciate your comments thanks from New Zealand 🙂

  71. Carol Hogendyk says:

    Just curious, could you use acrylic paint (water based) to mix with the mod podge?
    I am a Ceramics teacher and wondered if the pain would mix as well as the fell.
    You can email me direct, if you choose.

  72. Patty says:

    You can providing you tint the outside not the inside…

  73. Sonja says:

    There are so many bottles to collect. Once can even go online to craigslist and see if any bottles are available in the FREE section.

  74. Juliep says:

    Has anyone tried this to the outside? Does it come off when handled?

  75. What a neat idea and so easy to do. Thanks for sharing.

  76. Sara says:

    SO gorgeous!! Hope you can link this up at my trendy tuesday party!! http://www.sweetlittlegals.com/2013/03/trendy-tuesday-26.html

  77. Renee says:

    Tried this just now and the “paint” is separating inside the bottles as they dry and leaving big blank spaces. I followed your recipe exactly. What did I do wrong?

  78. Joanna says:

    hi, I need a bit of help- I tried to dyed my jars but they keep burning- I mean instead of staying colored I choose they become dark brown- just like I baked them for to long- but I didn’t. I tried changing temp in my oven but still the same… I’m definitely doing something wrong but don’t know what :/ I looked on other websites, trying different method- nothing…This is seriously annoying coz everybody saying how easy this is but for some strange reason not to me 🙁
    The way I do:
    mixing mod podge with water and food coloring( tried gel and liquid)
    poring in – keep them upside down so any excess with drip back to my dish,
    setting my oven on 170C on fan.
    aluminium and wax paper on baking tray- first put them upside down for 3min then flip them up and leave them for 30-40min.
    after around 15min they become dark burn brown. After 40min they are burn!
    Where I did wrong? HELP!

    • Hmmm…that’s a bummer! I wonder if you’ve ever calibrated your oven!?!? Sounds like it’s cooking too fast because the temp is warmer than 170!?! Just my guess!?!?

    • Elisey says:

      I agree with Aimee, it sounds like your oven is too hot. Perhaps because your setting it to 170 C (which is 338 F) not 170 F. (Dang Celcius vs Farenheit!) Hope that helps!

  79. I LOVE This! They look so fresh and cute in the wooden crate!

  80. Melissa says:

    I was thinking of painting the outside of my bottles so I can use them as vases but before I do so what should i use to paint them with? do you recommend sponge or paint brush? and also when cooking in the oven would you recommend putting them on parchment paper so that it doesn’t drip all over your oven? any tips for this process would be great thanks! so excited to try it out!

  81. So cute, Aimee! Great tutorial too! I’ve included a link back in today’s Fun in the Sun highlights. Thanks so much for linking up and participating! 🙂

  82. Jenni says:

    I tried to do this tonight and when using mason jars there were streaks where the top of the jar angles. Any ideas on how to eliminate this? Thanks…otherwise turned out great!

  83. Monica says:

    Love it! Thank you for share.

  84. Connie says:

    I’ve read through a few of your blogs and would love to receive them as soon as you post them. Maybe I’m missing where to sign up, if you offer that could you contact me?

  85. Cory says:

    Why does it need to be baked? I would like to do this with plastic jars for my sons play kitchen but obviously those can’t be baked

  86. Lorie says:

    Can these tinted bottles be used outside for glass garden sculptures?

  87. Looking to do this to make a wine tree. Do you think these will last in the weather?

    • Mod Podge is similar to Elmer’s glue so I’m not sure it would last in the weather. XO, Aimee

  88. Inga says:

    Just tried this using German Mod Podge (which is called Art Potch or Serviettenkleber here).
    The first time that I tried, it did not work at all, as all the color ran out of the bottle while it was bottom up.
    The second time I did not add water and the color stayed in the bottles. So if somebody has similiar problems, just try it without adding water!

  89. This is great. I think about how much money I spent on buying bottles that look like this. Thanks for the great idea!

  90. Diana says:

    Good day to you all…..love this idea but can you use the vase with water in it for flowers after??? Tks thinking of wedding center pieces for the guess tables.

    • Hi Diana! They’d have to be dried or artificial flowers bc these are not durable with water. Happy wedding planning!!! XO, Aimee

  91. If you choose the waterproof option,could you not spray it with a spray polyurethane once it’s dried to achieve waterproofing inside and out?

  92. Hilary says:

    With coloring these bottles would I be able to still put lights in them?

  93. Casey says:

    I was wondering if these are washable? Or will the tint wash out?

  94. ekp says:

    I love this idea! I have some mason jar cups that I was wondering if I do this, is it dishwasher safe and non-toxic to drink from the cup after it is tinted?

  95. Mahima says:

    Heyy I collect bottles and I’m totally stunned by this beautiful tinting technique of yours. My concern is that waterr based glue and the food gel colour might not be available here. Is there a substitute ? Or could you give me the exact names of the materials so that I can look them up online.

    • Elmers glue with water to make it a little more runny should work!!! XO, Aimee

  96. Hi, Aimee ~ These look great! And I swear just the other day I was on Pinterest and saw some beautiful tinted bottles and thought, “I need to figure out how to do this.” And here you are with a helpful, detailed tutorial. I love when things happen that way! Thanks for sharing!

  97. Livi says:

    I tried this once before and I didn’t really fancy the end product, but the thing is, I LOVED how the bottles looked before I put them in the oven. How do you think it would work if I just left the bottles out to dry and skipped the heating up step?

  98. Dolores says:

    Colors are very translucent. Any suggestion on the modpodge to water ratio that might make it a bit more opague?


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