Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mixed Media Bottle of Hope

As a member of the polymer clay community, I participate in an activity called "The Bottle Of Hope".  The Bottles of Hope project was started in 1999 by a very special person, Diane Gregoire, who is a cancer survivor and polymer clay artist. Diane found a way to use her special talents as an artist to cheer up the lives of cancer patients going through the ordeal of chemotherapy.   Polymer clay is used to decoratively cover small glass medicine bottles that are then given to cancer patients as a symbol of hope. 

At 4" tall, the bottles I am using are a little larger than the normal BOH (2"-3" medicine bottles).  The extra area should allow me to create some interesting pieces to donate. 
As you can see I covered the bottom with a thin layer of polymer clay and textured it with a mesh bag (I spare no expense when designing!).  A thin multi-colored strip separates the areas and gives a subtle touch of color. 
The hearts are created from a polymer clay cane called The Stroppel Cane".  Slices of random canes are layered on thin sheets of clay, cut & stacked, reduced, and then cut into slices to use. 
No 2 canes EVER turn out the same and that is one of the things I love about random, yet so striking!

Now back to the bottle.  Polymer clay needs to be baked (275 degrees in your home oven) to harden/cure the clay.  It can be baked multiple times during a project with no ill effects.  With that in mind, I baked the bottle (as shown above) before applying the top layer of clay.  This will allow me to handle the bottle without distorting any of the clay design. 

"Love can hope where reason would despair", a rubber stamp from Sin City Stamps ( fit the bottle perfectly!  I tamped the rubber stamp with a Faber Castell black Gelatos ( and stamped it on a strip of pearl Premo!Sculpey polymer clay. 
I have to admit it took a few tries to get the pressure and color right, but the results were wonderful.  After cutting around the stamped image I carefully applied it to the bottle. 

Additional strips of clay were wrapped (in layers) until the bottle was covered to the top.  A bit of bling is always good, so a few heat sets crystals added a finishing touch.

Now time for the topper.  I received 2 fabulous scroll pieces in the "New Year's Chipboard Book" (Sin City Stamps).  I tested them in the bottle and immediately thought of a Lalique Art Glass piece I saw on the Antiques Roadshow.   I used the Pan Pastel Artist Pastels (thanks again to Frog Dog studio) to color both sides of the chipboard...perfect!!
 A stopper would be needed to hold the chipboard in place.  I cut a circle of polymer clay (a little larger than the opening) and placed it on top.  With a slit cut into the top I was able to slide both colored scrolls into place and bake.  After cooling a bit of glue may be necessary on the underside of the stopper.

I hope you have enjoyed this creation.  It was created with love for a friend whose mom has been diagnosed for a 3rd time :-(  It will come with wishes and prayers for a full recovery.

If you wish to participate in the Bottles of hope project follow this link for details  I recycle many small bottles for this project.  I have also found small bottles in bulk at (search small bottles or medicine bottle or nail polish bottles :-)



  1. Your project is wonderful, Linda, and I can tell it was made with love.

  2. I really love the clay idea, thanks for sharing!


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