Acute How-To: DIY Glass-Tinting

All the thrift stores I go to {and I am sure all the thrift stores all over the country} are filled with inexpensive glass bottles, jars, and vases.  The sheer abundance of all this glassware makes it cheap – and a little boring.

In order to “dress up” some basic cheap-o vases, I decided to do a little glass-tinting project. This project is super easy and inexpensive.  And the end result is pretty vintage looking tinted glass.


  • food coloring
  • water
  • Mod Podge – the gloss kind {can be found at any craft store}
  • Small bowls or cups for mixing the food coloring/water
  • newspaper or old paper bags to cover your work surface
  • wax paper
  • metal sheet pan
  • clear glass jars, vases, etc
  • plastic spoon or bamboo skewers for stirring
  • old plastic container or bucket

Step One:

Mix a few tablespoons  of food coloring with a splash of water {no more than a teaspoon of water}.  The more food coloring you use, the darker the tint.  I made the mistake of using just a little food coloring on some of my bottles and the tinting didn’t work very well.

Step Two:

Pour a tablespoon of mod podge + a bowl of food coloring/water mixture into a bottle and stir together with the plastic spoon or bamboo skewers {most of my vases were long and thin and these skewers worked the best}.

Next, turn the bottle around so that the insides are all coated.  It helps to flip the bottle on its side and turn it over and over in your hands.

Note: when you turn the bottle over, some of the mod podge/food coloring will drip out, so this is where your bucket or plastic container will come in handy.  Hold the bottle over it and spin it in your hands.  The mixture will all get caught in one place, which will make cleanup easy.  Also, since mod podge is glue, I wouldn’t do this over your sink.

Step Three:

Set your oven on warm {about 250 degrees} and line a sheet tray with waxed paper.  Place the tray in the oven and set your glasses on it {upside down}.  Bake the glasses upside down for about 15 minutes, then carefully flip them right side up and continue to bake for another 20-30 minutes.

During the baking process the glue will dry and you will be left with a pretty tinted glass.

These glasses are not food safe, however they do make pretty flower vases or jars to hold miscellaneous bits and pieces.

8 thoughts on “Acute How-To: DIY Glass-Tinting

  1. These are so pretty! And the process doesn’t sound too difficult at all. Thanks for sharing this tutorial. One question: you point out that the tinted vases aren’t food safe…but are they, by chance, water resistant? Or are they best used for fake flowers and the like?

    1. Thanks Erin! Honestly, I don’t know how they will do over time with water in them….so far they look great. But, I assume they could fade after several uses with water, which is fine by me. I can always re-do this :).

  2. I have several inexpensive clear glass vases in my cupboard. If they were tinted, I would display them. So, I’m going to try this. Thank you for sharing.

  3. FYI – my cousin and I did this – they turned out great – especially after a little practice, but not so great with water. I went to wash one and the color came off. So if you are decorating for a party or event and don’t mind doing again, no biggie, otherwise just use dry or fake flowers :-)

  4. We’ve all had it happen; a truck kicks up a stone or a construction vehicle drops a loose rock sending it full speed directly for your windshield leaving a star or bull’s-eye crack in your previously perfect glass. Now you have three options. One, you can decline to do anything about the new damage to your vehicle, two, you can use a DIY Glass Repair Kit, or three, you can spend a lot of time, money, and aggravation to replace the entire windshield.

  5. I have a small heavy frosted glass lamp shade. I want to tint it a light green. Can I use the same technique used for the bottles? Or is there another technique for frosted glass?

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