Upcycling Glass Containers

April 18, 2022
Upcycling Glass Containers

Breathe life into an old glass container, making a useful piece of art, through the process of upcycling! Upcycling is the process of using an object that would otherwise be recycled or tossed and giving it a new life as something else that often has greater value than the original. Upcycling can reduce landfill waste and create one-of-a-kind items. Sand carving is a great way to upcycle glass containers like bottles and jars. It is a unique solution that can take a plain drink bottle and elevate it to the status of a fine art piece that anyone would be happy to have in their home.

Take this avocado vase for example, what better way to reflect the idea of Spring and growth than to also have a plant starting life in an upcycled vase? Not only is it mindful of the need for environmental awareness, it is a decorative piece of living art. While the growing tree may not produce fruit for years, or edible fruit at all, it is a green, growing, treat for the eyes. Create your own upcycled masterpiece!

etched glass vase with avocado plant that is sandcarved

etched upcycled glass bottle with avocado print

upcycled avocado sandcarved bottle


To create this welcoming home for a growing tree, and great gift idea, the following supplies will be needed:

Glass bottle with a wide mouth (in this example a Frappuccino bottle has been used)
Artwork (Created with Adobe Illustrator and printed on AccuBlack Film)
Exposure Unit
photoresist film (4 mil R Series film was used)
Wire Wheel
Squeegee
Sandcarver (the CrystalBlast Elite model was used)

Any good project begins with a good idea and a strong understanding of the skill level available. This project is intended for an advanced skill set, due to the full wrap, however a simpler version could easily be created. For an even more advanced version, the stage carving or color fill techniques could be employed as well.

The basic process is the same for all skill levels. Choose and print your artwork. Start with quality vector artwork for the best result. Using your printed artwork, expose, washout, and dry your photoresist mask. Apply the mask to the substrate using a combination of firm pressure and the use of the squeegee. Mask off any portion of the substrate that you do not want to sandblast. Use the wire wheel on the area to be sandcarved to remove air bubbles and promote adhesion to the substrate. Have a blast! Remove the masking material and clean the finished product.


Avocado upcycled sandblasted vase

Hands-on Sandcarving with IKONICS Imaging

IKONICS Imaging is represented at a variety of shows and events throughout the year in which we do hands-on sandcarving demonstrations and training. If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of sandcarving, please contact our support team today. We are always here to help and guide you so that you can have sandcarving success! Call (800) 643-1037 or email us any time.

sandblasted-flower-vase-odd-shape
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