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Bottle Tops: Our quick bar makeover, with printable liquor bottle labels

We’re still getting the house together and the dining room is still a nightmare but our little bar? It’s coming along. Because priorities.

Knuckle Salad's quick bar bottle makeover, with printable stopper labels!

What we call a bar is actually just a little cabinet in the corner of the dining room. On it sits a six-bottle liquor dispenser (like this one available on Amazon) that we value very highly. It holds all our bottles up for convenient access, dispenses tidy 1.5-oz pours, and looks cool. I don’t know what else we could ask from it, given its purpose and price tag. I mean, no, it doesn’t mow the lawn or do the dishes. Unless you mean the lawn of your sobriety, or the dishes of your own potential clumsiness. I don’t know what I’m saying.

Anyway, larger bottles, while economically superior to their smaller, higher-price-per-ounce counterparts, don’t fit on the liquor carousel. For a long time, this has been the one and only complication. We tried buying and refilling the recently-depleted bottles on the carousel, but sometimes they weren’t the same brand, and we had ethical reservations about that when it came to guests. Even if the brand we’d replaced it with was better than what it said on the label, it felt dishonest. So we decided to take the label out of the equation altogether.

Printable liquor labels for cheap IKEA bottles

These cute Korken bottles from Ikea are $4 apiece, and they fit SO PERFECTLY on our carousel. They hold a bit more than a fifth (1 liter vs. 750ml), so we don’t have to store our bigger bottles quite as long—a standard 1.75-liter handle is empty after refilling a liter bottle twice, whereas refilling a 750ml bottle always left us with a little bit in there—but too much to just, you know, hurry up and finish, because it’s liquor and not cake batter. So after we invested in half a dozen Korkens and funneled ’em full of booze, I designed a set of tiny labels (at John’s suggestion) to fit on the little stoppers. Now the bar looks charming and organized, and seems to dominate the room less than when the bottles were mismatched and the logos were gigantic. We are pleased.

Downloadable labels made to fit the stoppers on IKEA's Korken bottles

What I didn’t fully expect is just how much I would prefer the new look. It used to look a lot like this, which I actually really liked at the time:

But now it looks like this, which is cute and solves problems. So it’s basically my role model now.

Knuckle Salad's quick bar bottle makeover, with printable stopper labels!

Except for the part where it’s out of bourbon. I don’t aspire to that. Sometimes your heroes let you down.

With or without a carousel, if your bottles are out in plain view and you’d like them to look nice, I wholeheartedly recommend the Korken solution. You’ll need some labels, and unless you’re of a mind to make up your own (you crafty thing), you are welcome to download mine. Salud!

Downloadable labels made to fit the stoppers on IKEA's Korken bottles
Download free printable liquor bottle labels (PDF)

Kristina Ackerman

Kristina Ackerman is a busy freelance web designer, living and DIYing with her fella and their little fella in a cute old house in Atlanta, GA, USA.