Photo Friday: DIY Milk Bottle Props

by Shawnda on April 20, 2012

in DIY,Photography & Props

DIY Milk Bottle Photography Prop

Raise your hand if you, too, could easily go broke buying pretty things to use for food styling or as photography props for your blog?

Don’t be shy.

It’s an expense that can easily get out of control… and probably land me in divorce court pretty quickly. We mostly take the second-hand route, but when you have a specific item that you’re looking for, you might get stuck looking for a long time. You’ve got a couple of choices: shell out the cash, make your own [fill-in-the-blank], or keep waiting.

Take these cute little milk bottles, for instance.

I’ve been hoping to get lucky and just stumble on a couple at my favorite Goodwill (my teenage self just died) but no one seems to have, or be parting with, cute little milk bottles. I know I could purchase them online, but shipping costs for just a couple of bottles or having to buy them in large volume has kept them planted them firmly in the “I’ll just wait” category.

I got tired of waiting.

DIY Milk Bottle Photography Prop

A while back, I pinned a cute idea from a baby shower to convert Frappuccino bottles into milk bottles.

And for quite a bit less than the cost of a single bottle purchased online, I made 4 milk bottles. Besides the frap bottles, I already had everything else on-hand. The total cost of my project?

Less than $6!

DIY Milk Bottle Photography Prop

Materials Needed
Empty 9.5 oz Starbuck’s Frappuccino bottle, rinsed and dried (I picked up a 4 pack)
Alcohol
Cotton balls
Goo-Gone (or your favorite sticky gunk remover)
Paper Towel

DIY Milk Bottle Photography Prop

I used the alcohol and cotton balls to remove the screen printed date/lot number from the bottles. You’ll need to put some pressure behind it and scrub pretty hard for ~10-15 seconds or so.

DIY Milk Bottle Photography Prop

And then maybe 5 seconds more.

DIY Milk Bottle Photography Prop

Remove the labels and spray Goo Gone onto the sticky gunk left behind (or dab it on with a paper towel if your bottle isn’t the spray bottle variety… we, um, go through a lot of Goo Gone). Scrub the adhesive off and wash the bottles with soap and warm water to remove the Goo Gone.

DIY Milk Bottle Photography Prop

Fill with milk and a cute paper straw (Amazon!) and then shoot!

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Emily April 20, 2012 at 12:18 am

I just hit my hand to my forehead so hard I almost knocked myself out. DUH! Frappaccino bottles!! GENIUS!

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2 Krissy@DaintyChef April 20, 2012 at 4:41 am

They are such a great pop, aren’t they? I don’t think I removed the date from mine so thanks for the alcohol tip!

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3 Krissy@DaintyChef April 20, 2012 at 4:41 am

*prop

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4 Mara @ What's For Dinner? April 20, 2012 at 5:25 am

Now I have to make some cookies so I can use these… genius! Thank you!

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5 Shannon April 20, 2012 at 5:56 am

I love this tutorial! Such a great idea!

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6 Claire April 20, 2012 at 6:38 am

Thanks for sharing your great idea with us! :-)

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7 Amy's Cooking Adventures April 20, 2012 at 7:22 am

Genius! Picking up some Starbucks (yay) next time I’m at the store – thank you for sharing!!!

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8 Kristy April 20, 2012 at 7:25 am

While I don’t use props on our blog, I do have a glass fixation, and love how creative and inexpensive these are! Go you!

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9 Jill C April 20, 2012 at 8:13 am

love this idea!!! never occured to me that the labels could come off!

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10 Krystal @ {Mrs. Regueiro's Plate} April 20, 2012 at 9:30 am

OMG!!!!!!! You’re so clever, great substitute on the milk bottle! Although, I still love shopping at the Goodwill to find those unique and odd kitchenware.

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11 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking April 20, 2012 at 11:09 am

Yet another brilliant photography idea from a talented blogger I admire so much! This is a lovely tip. I’ll be eyeing those Starbucks bottles a bit differently now!

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12 Michelle @ Brown Eyed Baker April 20, 2012 at 11:14 am

Wow, I’m totally amazed! You’re so creative and resourceful. My head is way too inside the box ;-)

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13 Kelsey April 20, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Oh my goodness. Put this one under “Why didn’t I think of that?” Guess who’s drinking a bottled frappucino this weekend?

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14 Laura April 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Love! Jon laughs and me, and calls me a hoarder when I save them. Who’s laughing now? Mwhahaha.

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15 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel April 20, 2012 at 2:21 pm

I remember seeing a tutorial for this months back and forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder. Now if only I drank that stuff… maybe it’s worth the cost to just pour out? :)

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16 Jennifer April 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Cute picture! I haven’t even thought about using them for drinking milk, but I have used them for gifts and such. Just thought I’d tell you…when I cleaned mine, I only used soap and water and a little scrubby brush. I just peeled the label off under hot running water, then used my scrub brush (the flat kind with the abrasive pad on it) and cleaned off the rest of the goo. And the numbers came off in seconds with very little effort by doing the same thing. Didn’t need anything besides good old soap and water and mine were sparkling clean! That might be a little quicker than the alcohol and goo gone!

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17 Joanne April 20, 2012 at 6:57 pm

MAJORLY genius idea! I’ve need seen milk bottles like that in stores for anything less than a small fortune…or at least certainly more than a frappuccino. NICE.

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18 Annie April 20, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Love this idea! Thanks for sharing it. I’ve been unwilling to drop the cash for the bottles online as well, not to mention that I don’t really need 30 of them :)

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19 angela king April 21, 2012 at 9:00 am

i may have a problem if i knew those were frappuccino bottles from the top pic…right? super cute idea! tfs. :)

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20 Krissy's Creations April 21, 2012 at 10:24 am

Genius idea! Love it! Now I want to drop everything I’m doing and make these bottles.

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21 dena April 21, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Genius … pure genius! Thank you for sharing!

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22 Sara {Home is Where the Cookies Are} April 22, 2012 at 7:45 am

Gah! I love this! And I love when you post how-to’s like this! Adorable – thank you so much. I think my kids would love to have these around just for fun too!

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23 Nikki April 23, 2012 at 1:11 pm

I did this last fall… got a $4 off coupon for the 12 pack at Costco, so it was $10 for 12 bottles. I was able to remove the date stamp with just a light rub of the Goo Gone, though. :) I made them for my sister’s Milkaholic themed baby shower, then decided I didn’t want to pack them in my suitcase, so didn’t use them, except for a couple of food photos for the blog. Now, they are in storage until we buy our new house this year and move again! Wishing I had left at least a couple out! :)

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24 Nikki April 23, 2012 at 1:14 pm

(Another tip I got from a neighbor recently, and what I’m doing right now: Buying/saving/cleaning out Blackburn preserves jars for drink glasses. They are mason jars with a handle on them! Super cute!)

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25 Jessica April 23, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Thank you for sharing this! I have been searching high and low for these bottles. Shipping them to Canada is crazy expensive so this solves my dilemma!

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26 Erin April 26, 2012 at 10:33 am

I used these for my daughter’s 2nd birthday party last year. Thank you Costco for selling them by the case! I used a magic eraser to get the date stamp and whatever sticky residue was left after soaking them in hot soapy and peeling the stickers off. They worked like a charm!

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27 tina @ mylifeasamrs April 30, 2012 at 8:05 am

you. are. a. genius. Making these this weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!

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28 Kelly May 1, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Great idea I love it. And just imagine all the ways you could dress them up with ribbon or paint. How fun!

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29 Emily June 1, 2012 at 10:11 am

THIS.IS.GENIUS!! To say I’ve been searching the internet wistfully would be putting it mildly. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU!

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30 ruhama June 20, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Saw this on Pinterest (and maybe you’ve already seen it, too) and thought of you:
http://www.thecakeblog.com/2011/06/milkaholic-milk-bottles.html

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31 Christina December 8, 2013 at 4:11 am

Instead of goo gone try using a hair dryer to loosen up the adhesive they should peel right off :-)

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32 Crystal December 26, 2013 at 8:57 pm

Just stumbled on this from Pinterest. I made some of these a few weeks ago. The Goo Gone will actually take the date stamp and lot number off without using the alcohol.

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33 Tricia June 16, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Fingernail polish remover takes off screen printing/date with just a few easy swipes.

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