custom mini milk bottle

Custom Mini Milk Bottles

Binnybeans is independent.  Fiercely independent.  She will put on her tricorn hat and wage a war of independence against any red coat who tries to stifle her.

I want her to be independent.  I mean, isn’t that the point of parenting?  To raise your kids into adults who don’t need you to care for their every need?  It’s kind of funny; my job as a parent is to make myself obsolete.  Planned obsolescence isn’t a product of modern times; it’s been there since the dawn of time practically.

Anyway, to foster her independence, I try to make things as easy as possible for her to do.  There are things she desperately wants to do but just can’t yet.  For example, she’s still not coordinated or strong enough to pour milk from a full gallon jug.  But she still wants to get herself a drink at meal time.  So I had to find a way to make milk more pourable for her.

I was at the Dollar Store looking for things for my mimosa bar (the link is still coming, I promise!), and I saw these little milk bottles.  The caps had holes in them for straws, but I knew it was something I could work with.  I could make this into something she could use.  The selection at the Dollar Store varies, so these bottles will probably not be in stock in the future, but look around and be creative.  All you need is a bottle of some sort and a lid.  Think about vases, travel mugs, olive oil cruets… use your imagination.

Do the printing firstI dabble in hand lettering, so I decided to make a label myself.  You could always design one on the computer if you’re technologically inclined.  But I wanted to hand letter it.  I wanted to mix printing and script, so I started with printing.  You can design the script around the printing; the printing has to be consistent.  I printed the word MILK on a piece of lined paper.

Next, I added the script.  I wanted to have the script integrated with the printing in some way, so I connected the serif (little line) on the L to the script of the M.  I also connected the n to the top of the L.  Don’t worry if it’s not perfect.  This is not final.  Also, feel free to play around with it.  If you don’t like the way it looks, re-do it.

trim the paperNow that the design is done, trim the excess paper.  Determine how far off the bottom you want the design and leave that much paper on the bottom.  If the bottle curves, make sure you trim the paper so it stops before the curve.  If the paper goes into the curve, it’ll get cone-shaped and you won’t be able to trace it well.

trace the hand lettering onto the glassTrace the design onto the bottle.  Due to the thickness of the glass, it may look weird to trace it.  I closed one eye to avoid the weirdness caused by having depth perception.  Now trace.  Again, this doesn’t have to be perfect.  Once you are done tracing, go through and “clean it up.”  Darken light spots, add depth and thickness, straighten weird squiggles, etc.

Remove the paper and voila!  The bottle is done!  Since the cap that came with my bottle has a hole in it, I wanted to fill it in.  Holes = air = milk goes bad.  If your bottle can’t be closed so that it’s more or less airtight, you’ll want to close it up.  Hot glue is your friend.  I set the lid upside-down on a cookie sheet I sprayed with cooking spray.  Fill in the hole and let it cool.  Air tight!  This lid cannot be dishwasher-washed now; the hot water of the dishwasher can wreck the hot glue.

Fill the bottle with milk for your Mini!  I keep it in the door on an easily accessible shelf so she can get herself a glass of milk now.  Also, in the morning, she can get herself a bowl of cereal.  Which comes in handy when her brother wakes up swimming in his own poop from an explosive overnight diaper.  Or when she wakes up a half hour before everyone else.  Yeah, she woke up early, made herself some breakfast and turned on PBS Kids.

Told you she was independent.  I’d better not buy myself a red coat.