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How to Make Your Own Message in a Bottle Invitations

Sealing a “to whom it may concern” message inside a glass bottle—and casting it out in the ocean for the waves to carry to some caring stranger on a distant shore—is an old-fashioned but romantic concept.

If you’re about to have a wedding or Valentine’s Day party, why not send out message in a bottle invitations to your guests? Each bottled invite can even look like it was retrieved from the sea!

message in a bottle

Step 1. Prepare old fashioned glass bottles.

You can buy small glass bottles at any junkyard, flea market, interior furnishings-store, or gift shop. But for classy, authentic-looking message in a bottle invitations, do your best to find cheap colored turn-of-the-century glass bottles. If the bottles don’t look weathered enough, dunk them in sand and water for a day or two, before cleaning them and drying them out under the sun.

Step 2. Find the best parchment paper for the invite itself.

Message in a bottle invitations require old-fashioned parchment paper that can be rolled up neatly and tightly to fit comfortably into the bottle. And unless you have the time, talent, and the token pens to do old-fashioned calligraphy, your chosen parchment paper must be durable enough to pass through an inkjet or laser printer.

Step 3. Find and assemble the rest of your materials.

To complete the look of your message in a bottle invitations, you will also need cork stoppers, lace or ribbons, and beach sand. You may also want to include tiny seashells, coral, or pieces of beach glass. For extra romanticism, you can include a small incense or fragrance stick. If you have old-fashioned letter-sealing wax and a matching seal-stamp, include this in your list of materials.

Don’t forget to include scissors, twine, and glue, to help attach ribbons or outer labels. You may also need something to help roll each parchment invite tightly, like a thin chopstick or kebab stick.

Step 4. Create the bottled invitations.

Print (or write) out your invitations onto the parchment paper, and cut them down to the right size. Then roll each one up. You may try rolling the parchment around the thin stick, then pulling out the stick, to keep the resulting “scroll” neat and evenly-rolled. You can also loosely tie a bit of twine around each roll to keep it from unraveling.

One by one, carefully pour in the sand, seashells, coral, and pieces of beach glass into each bottle. Let each element settle down carefully at the bottom of each bottle. Drop in the parchment invite and the incense stick, if included.

Attach the cork stopper to each bottle. Tie lace or ribbons around each bottle’s neck, and use glue or sealing wax to keep the ribbon from unraveling or moving around.

Cut out the parchment outer labels and punch a small hole on one side. Write the name of your guest on each one. Thread twine through the hole, and tie it around the bottle’s neck.

Voila! You now have perfect message in a bottle invitations.

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