Here’s a fused bottle glass project that you may not have considered. These house numbers are made with fused recycled bottles and Armstrong’s Float Fire frit. This is a relatively easy project, grab a cup of coffee and follow along.
My friend Mary Young and her husband Todd belong to a wine club and asked me it I could make some very visible house numbers for them out of recycled wine bottles. The final project turned out so well, I thought I’d share.
Step 1 – Select the bottles
Step 2 – Fuse the bottles flat
Using my standard recycled glass fusing schedule, I flattened six different bottles.
Step 3 – Choose the best bottles
Step 4 – Make your number stencils
Since it seemed unlikely that I would be able to find stencils in the exact size I needed I decided to make my own. This was a one of a kind project, so I’m not really concerned with the durability of the stencils. I found a nice rounded font and enlarged it until each number was about 6″ tall, one number per page.
Cut the number out carefully with a razor knife.
This step is done using a scrapbook product called embossing ink. It’s a sticky pink goo that is designed to grab embossing powder until you can heat set it. I’m using it to adhere frit, it works great and it an excellent trick to keep on hand. Since I’m covering a large area, I load up the stamp pad with ink and use the pad itself as the stamp.
For numbers with floating centers (6 and 0 for example), use a tiny piece of rolled painters tape to hold the center in place while you apply the ink.
Step 6 – Add the Float Fire
Float Fire is a variable COE product that can be used with window glass and bottle glass. It is a little expensive, but it goes a long way, and if you are using it on glass that you’ve collected for free, it can be a great investment.
Step 7 – Repeat for all the other numbers.
After all of your numbers are finished, re-fire the bottles using a slumping schedule. Using a lower temperature will help keep the surface of the bottles glossy and the numbers slightly raised for great visibility.
Step 8 – Mount the bottles on the backing
For this project I used a piece of 1″ x 4″ pine painted black. I used outdoor clear silicone to glue the bottles to the board. The owner lives in a very windy area, so we made sure that enough of the board showed between the bottles that it could be securely anchored to the wall (visible in the first picture). For less windy areas, I would attach two D ring hangers at the top of the board behind the first and last bottle.
Step 9 – Stick it on a house – preferably one that has the same house number
Pretty groovy! This project could also be done with beer bottles for a smaller finished sign.