Bottle Banks

Whilst I was on honeymoon in Skye I came across a rather lovely cloudy apple and rhubarb drink by Franklin & Sons Ltd.    I’d never heard of them before but have since discovered they make all sorts of wonderful drinks like Sicilian lemonade with elderflower and juniper, or wild strawberry with Scottish raspberry and black pepper.  We were in Portree at the time, at the wonderful Cafe Arriba.  As well as the drink being just what I needed on a scorching hot day, the bottles were really decorative – so I decided to bring two of them home (I did ask first just in case!)  They’ve been stood on my dressing table since July just waiting for me to work out what to do with them but I just couldn’t make my mind up.  The only thing I knew for certain was that I didn’t want to cover them as I wanted the gorgeous embossed lettering to be visible.  So, I decided to go for the simple approach – always a good first option – and turn the bottles into mini bottle banks for saving all those 5ps that seem to hide at the bottom of your purse.  I had 2 bottles so the obvious thing was to make one for each of my 2 grandsons, Noah and Reuben.

I started out by unscrewing the tops and cutting off the metal rings left on the bottle neck.  I then soaked the bottles to remove the labels and popped them in the oven on a very low heat for half an hour just to dry them out thoroughly.


Next I dug out my stash of jewellery making bits and bobs that I’ve accumulated over the years as I needed wire and beads.  Some of the wire had gone rusty so I had to get rid of that, but I found a lovely coil of memory wire just perfect for the job.

Using my pliers I snipped off 2 pieces that were long enough to hang loosely around the neck of the bottle with a bit left over (about 5cm) that I could bend to make a catch.


Then came the fun part!  Both of my grandsons love sea creatures and I managed to find some suitable charms in one of the jam jars.  I also found some lovely ‘sea’ coloured beads and set about threading them through the wire, experimenting with different arrangements of charms and beads until I was happy with how it looked.

Once I was happy with the result, it was simply a case of bending over the two ends of the wire so that I could link them together to stop the beads falling off.  Once popped over the bottle neck gravity works its magic so there’s no need to put any kind of stopper on either end of the beads.


I’m so pleased to have found a purpose for these lovely bottles now.

I’m hoping that as they fill up, the embossed lettering will show up more clearly too, although I think that may take a while!