Craft time - wine bottle revamp

I'm not sure if you're aware but we drink a fair bit of wine in our household.  We love to have people over and crack open a bottle or two, or just take a quiet moment at the end of the day and catch up over a glass.  It helps that I also blog about wine too.  Anyway I can't always bear to throw away the bottles.  Particularly the ones with interesting colours or shapes.  I've been saving a few for a while and been thinking about trying some different crafts to reuse them.  Today is my first attempt - at both recycling a glass bottle and at gold leafing.  

Step one - choose your bottle and clean it thoroughly.  I love the Rockford Basket Press Shiraz bottles.  I love the shape and the colour of the glass - beautiful amber.  It goes perfectly with all the wood in our home.

Step 2 - Paint the glass with the gold leaf primer.  This step is quite quick, but you need to leave it for at least 1-2 hours to rest before you can go any further.  Overnight is also fine.  If you only want to apply leaf to small parts of the bottle tape up the areas you don't want to cover first.

Step 3 - was pretty fiddly and I don't have any photos.  Basically you carefully apply the thin sheets of gold, silver or copper leaf to the glass, using a dry soft brush to brush away the excess.  The thing is - this stuff gets everywhere.  It sticks to you, your table, your beagles nose if it sniffs it.  It comes with the recommendation to wear cotton gloves.  Through trial and error I concur with this recommendation.

Step 4 - wasn't very good to photograph so I didn't. Basically you use apply a clear sealer to seal the leaf work and allow it to last a little longer.  Give it a few hours to dry and your ready to use.

I don't think the sealer is strong enough to keep the leaf from flaking if you were to wash it vigorously so only try this on objects that you'll be using decoratively.  Oh and as you can see from my handiwork it's a bit of a challenge to do completely straight lines on a bottle with painters tape.  I don't mind that it's rough - I like the imperfection.  I also used some contrasting gold and copper leaf on 2 of the bottles. 

An there you have it - my first recycled bottle craft.  I've started a pinterest board to collect more ideas.  Send me any interesting links you have.