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I am so excited to share this project with you because it is like a BOGO! A recipe and a craft that go together. This simple, elegant, etched bottle of rosemary white wine vinegar is perfect for so many occasions like gift giving or using as a favor for a dinner party. It is personalized, inexpensive and yields impressive results. It’s even a perfect treat for the healthy eaters in your life since it is a low cal, fat free way to add lots of flavor to dressings and marinades. You can make just one for yourself or a batch of them pretty quickly. See the full tutorial here.
Prep is important!
First let’s start by prepping our bottles. You can save and recycle/upcycle glass bottles you may have around the house. Just make sure they are pretty, have a good fitting cap and the appropriate size. My bottles were 12 ounces but if you don’t have any suitable bottles here is a great, affordable option that is almost identical to mine from Amazon. (Perfect timing for the obligatory affiliate statement – This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more and it provides a steady supply kitty treats- Lol! Read my full disclosure policy here https://kimsdiytribe.com/privacy-disclosure/ )
Labels don’t have to be laborious…
After you have your bottles selected you may need to remove the labels. This process can be made MUCH easier with a product called Goo Gone. Rubbing alcohol and/or Acetone may also be helpful but do not mix any chemical products as they may cause dangerous chemical reactions. Saturate your labels with the Goo Gone and let sit for about 10 minutes, then scrape up a corner or edge of the label and begin peeling it off the bottle. Wash in hot, soapy water.
Time to make some stencils
Let’s create our stencils. I used my Cricut cutting machine and some vinyl. Be sure to use your least favorite or cheapest vinyl for this project since we will ultimately be tearing it away. Of course if you don’t own a cutting machine you could hand cut your stencil. Just for all you wonderful readers I have included 2 free different leaf sprig SVG’s! They are located in the free files for subscribers page here. (You need to subscribe below so that I can send you an email that contains the password needed to gain access to my resource library.)
See how to use my free files below
Here’s a quick video tutorial on how to access my free files and use SVG’s with your Cricut. (While you’re there, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you’ll be the first to know when I add new videos) I get a TON of free fonts from https://www.dafont.com/ . They have so many great choices it will make you a font addict! It’s a good idea to make two stencils your first time, until you get a feel for how it is going to work. That way you have a spare if you mess one up. (If you are using a different cutting machine you will use whatever program or interface they use to load files but most of the steps are essentially the same.)
We aren’t in the “weeds” yet! Lol
Cut your stencil into a manageable size and weed it. Weeding refers to the process of removing the bits of vinyl you don’t want in your finished image. I use a Cricut weeding tool now but I started with a pointy manicure tool I had laying around.
Transfer your stencil
Apply transfer tape to the weeded stencil and burnish with the Cricut tool or an old gift card. Use the transfer tape to lift your stencil and apply it to the clean glass bottle. Burnish the stencil/transfer tape combo onto the glass bottle being careful to get it even and centered without bubbles or creases. If you get bubbles or creases start again with the extra stencil you made above. I used one piece of transfer tape for all 12 bottles I made in this batch! Remove the transfer tape slowly and carefully. Check to make sure all the edges of your image are stuck down well.
Are you itching to etch?
Shake the bottle of Armor Etch well and apply a thick coat to the stencil using a foam brush/applicator. It is a good idea to wear gloves. (Now I know why my mom always said, “Do as I say not as I do”. Lol) The etching cream should not be anywhere but inside the stencil lines. If you get a bit somewhere you shouldn’t, immediately clean it up with a dampened paper towel. Then, be sure to wash your hands with soap and water just to be sure there is none of the product on your skin. Allow etching cream to cure for an hour or longer. Carefully wash off under running water with soap and a bit of scrubbing.
Sanitize! Says this germ-o-phobe teacher
Time to sterilize the bottles. I placed all the open bottles and caps in a large pot of room temperature water and brought to a low boil for three minutes. Occasionally some glass breaks under high heat so use caution. None of mine gave me any problem. As your bottles cool, start making your herb vinegar.
Let’s make the white wine vinegar
I washed and rinsed the same pot I used for sterilizing. The following recipe made enough vinegar to fill 14 twelve ounce bottles so adjust it according to the amount you need. I poured two bottles of Trader Joe’s Chardonnay into my clean pot with one gallon of white vinegar. (Have you seen this hilarious wine parody?) Feel free to use any type of vinegar you like, it doesn’t have to be white. Next, I then added about 12 sprigs of fresh rosemary from my herb garden but you could add any fresh or dried herbs you like. Juniper berries and mustard seeds (1 heaping Tbsp. of each) were added next along with about 12 whole cloves of peeled garlic and a teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
Be brave, experiment
You can have fun and be creative with this recipe. It does not have to be exactly like mine. You can add or delete flavors to customize it to your own taste. Bring your mixture to a simmer for 20 minutes, being careful not to boil. Turn off the heat, cover and allow to cool. While my white wine vinegar was cooling, I placed a long sprig of fresh, rinsed rosemary in each bottle with a few more juniper berries, mustard seeds and a bit of red pepper flakes.
Don’t miss this step
We are now ready to fill the bottles. I strained my white wine vinegar mixture into a clean pitcher to make pouring easy. For instance, this step went lightning fast thanks to the pitcher. Keep in mind, as it simmers some of the spices like rosemary become mushy. And you don’t want the garlic to become overpowering as it sits and ages with time. Therefore…don’t skip the straining!
Presentation is everything so I finished off each bottle by making a faux wax seal to cover the cap.
We want our bottles to look pretty and polished. Use the free printable below to print or laser engrave the recipe tags to go along with each bottle. It gives your recipient an idea of how to use the vinegar. Tie one to each bottle using your favorite twine or ribbon. Tucking an extra sprig of rosemary in your knot with the tag is a nice touch as well.
If you are ready to take the plunge and invest in a laser (My MOST FAVORITE power tool EVER!) Then use my code https://glowforge.us/f/AEUPYKSP to save $500 off a pro, $250 off a plus and $100 off a basic and help me as well.
This vinegar can be used or substituted in any recipe that uses vinegar. Think of all the marinades and salad dressings you or your friends can make!
This Stuff Lasts…
The vinegar will last for about a year unopened, but should be refrigerated once opened and will last for 6-12 mos. Discard if it becomes cloudy. Once the vinegar is gone they are left with a beautiful bottle that can be reused or displayed in a multitude of ways.
Show me your creations!
I can’t wait to see or hear about what creative twists you put on this project so please comment below or tag pics of your projects with #kimsdiytribe on Instagram or post them directly to my Facebook group.