Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tutorial: Hand sanitizer bottles

If you know me then you know that I'm a little bit of a germ freak. I'm not too  bad though. I just like to bathe with anti-bacterial soaps/body washes and use lots of soap while doing the dishes and I go through a lot of hand sanitizer. It seemed like I was always digging around in my purse for my bottle of hand sanitizer. The picture in my previous post seemed to be the answer to my problems. Purell makes what they call "Jelly wraps" which can be attached to car keys, purses, backpacks etc. They just are not available in Cebu and I really wanted a way to find my bottle of hand sanitizer quick when I really needed it. (like when my silly son puts his hands on the floor in a public restroom to stoop down and take a peek at the unsuspecting lady in the next stall :O) So I took a good look at the design and after a little brain storming my plan looked like this:

  1. Find some way to permanently attach some kind of thick thread/string to the bottle so that it would not slide off during refilling
  2. Tie something to the end of the string that can attach to a bag but still be removable to go from bag to bag

Hey, I said after a LITTLE brain storming. :)

I went shopping to see what kind of bottles were  available and I found one that has a little lip lower than where the lid screws on....

  So now I can tie my string around here and not worry about it slipping off when I need to refill.  

As I was thinking things through in my mind, I realized that I  could take this a step further and PAINT my bottle to personalize it and make it even cuter! So i took the stickers off and used WD40 to make sure I got all the sticky off. 

After cleaning the bottle up I took some very fine sandpaper and sanded the area I was going to paint. I only wanted to do the front and back panels but if you want to paint the whole thing then sand the whole thing. You really need to sand it to help the paint stick better. If you don't, I fear, even with a protective spray on it, the paint will easily come off where you have painted.

First coat of paint after sanding
I used acrylic paints for my bottles. I am not going to pretend to be a great artist or to give you any advice on painting except don't be afraid to try whatever you think up. I tried doing a camouflage print on one of these and it turned out ugly as all get out and I just grabbed a knife and scraped the paint off. It took a while but I was able to try again and got a much better result.

Here's what I painted for myself...

It was inspired by my favorite painting "Starry Night" by Vincent Van Gogh. I love how it turned out!

After I finished painting, I put masking tape on the lid and sent my hubby outside with a bottle of clear acrylic spray paint. I had attached a string to the lid when I taped so we could hang it up to dry. I had Clint spray mine 3 times just to be safe, but one or two coats might work too. I'd rather be safe than sorry with hand painted things. If you just want a pretty bottle in your purse then you can stop here, but if you are like me and wanted something that can hang outside your purse read on.

So I figured my best bet for fixing this up to hang outside  my purse was going to involve digging up my old friendship bracelet making skills.

What you need:
  • 3 strands of embroidery floss (Like for cross stitching. DMC or Anchor brand) in a color/colors that compliment your painted bottle - 20 inches for each strand.
  • A little key chain caribiner
  • A small metal ring that fits through the caribiner

20 inches of 3 strands. You need longer string if you use 4 or more strands.

 Then take your threads and wrap them around the bottle neck in the groove leaving equal amounts of thread on either side because you will be weaving with the excess thread. Make a double knot to secure.
I tried to take pictures showing how to do the weaving but many of them did not turn out well and I found a link to show you pretty simply how to do it so I'm putting the link here and you can take a look at it.

I did want to add a little tip here. When you make your knots around the first string (ex. yellow on farthest on the left) you will need to make the knots up close to the big knot securing the strings to the bottle. When you do the second string (yellow closer to the right) you will need to let the knots set a bit lower. It will naturally set a bit lower bit don't give into the temptation to push it all the way up to the top because if you do, your weave will twist as you are working on it. Let the knots rest in a diagonal line because that's the way it's supposed to be.

You don't need to weave a very long strand but it depends on the size of your caribiner. The smallest one I could find was two inches long so my weave was about the same length. But if you would like one longer than that then just make sure to add a few inches more thread.

Before you tie your knot at the end divide the 6 ends to 3 and 3 and slip a small metal ring onto one half. Then make your final double knot.

Then slip your caribiner onto the metal ring. Now you can clip your beautiful creation anywhere.


If you cannot find a bottle with a lip to tie the strings around then you should just put them at the base of the lid where it screws on (make sure the lid is on securely before making your intial double knot) and just take extra care to not let it slip off while you refill in the future.

I have had mine on my bag for a couple of weeks now and I have not had any scratching off of the paint or chipping so it looks like the painting idea was a success. (I was worried my hard work painting would still scrape off even after 3 coats of paint) I hope you guys feel inspired to give this a try. It was fun to do. I've made several and plan to make more for gifts for people.

So there you have it. I hope my first tutorial was easy enough to understand. I'm happy to share this idea with you all and I hope someone benefits from it. Let me know if you have any questions and if you decide to make it, please let me know how it worked out for you.



  1. What a great idea!!! Great job with the painting!

  2. Thanks Vanessa! I enjoyed doing it and am so happy with how they turned out.