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The Gifted Artist: DIY Art in a Bottle Sets

A lot of us who live here in New England are already dreaming of warmer climates. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of people who love the cold, and the snow, and the seemingly endless gray skies. However, this week’s DIY gift is for those lucky enough to get away in the winter months to visit distant, balmy shores.

Messages in a bottle go back hundreds of years; creating a work of art instead of a letter is a tiny twist on this time-honored tradition. If you know someone who is about to embark on an adventure near a waterway, this gift idea is a fun way for them to create and share a piece of art.

Encourage them to sketch a scene where they cast off their bottle, create something inspired by their locale, or make something signature to their style. On the reverse side of their art, they can jot down their preferred contact info for someone who finds their art-in-a-bottle, identifying info such as the coordinates where it was cast off, or any message they’d like to send with their art.

This idea is easy to customize in order to make something unique to your gift recipient.

Suggested Supplies:

A Glass Bottle

A Natural Cork


Art Materials: Make them Plein Air friendly. Easily portable supplies may include a fine line pen, some mini bottles of ink and a brush, watercolor pencils, a compact watercolor pan set, squeeze brushes, or pencils.

We suggest using materials that can be broken down in case your bottle doesn’t make it intact to its final destination. Glass breaks down to become sea glass, and paper disintegrates. Natural materials like wood and cork will break down over time, as well.

More on this idea: Walking the National Stationary Show in NYC this year was an inspiring breath of fresh air. Although Stationary is not our typical market, there is no better place to keep a tab on trends. From pillows to baby clothes, games and books to, well, stationary, this show has nifty gifties galore. One of the themes that I saw pop up in just about every niche was travel. Whether there were map designs or boat designs wanderlust is in the zeitgeist.

Once again, I have to thank our ultra-talented Diana Waldon for creating the video for this post using some samples we had collected for developing a similar set at our parent company, Chartpak.

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Nathan Adrian
Nathan Adrian
Jan 24, 2023

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