Friday, February 4, 2011

Texturized Vase Tutorial

I wish I could take credit for this awesome idea, but I can't. I found it here. And thought it looked so cool, I had to try it!

I'm sure you all know what very big, important day is right around the corner. My birthday! Okay, that too, but I was really going for Valentine's day. So rather than make a sensible vase that can be used year round, I made a cute V-Day one! It was a bit time consuming, but pretty easy.

Vase (dollar store)
Hot glue (on hand)
Tissue Paper (on hand)
Mod Podge (on hand)
Acrylic Paint (borrowed from sister)
Clear Spray Paint (on hand)

This project cost me a grand total of $1. Awesome! Want to know how to make it? ... I'll just assume that's a yes :-)

First, pick a design. I knew I wanted to make it Valentines-y, but I didn't just want hearts. That's so predictable, and I pride myself on thinking outside of the box. Or... vase. After extensive google image searches, I settled on a picture of two swans kissing, making that little heart between them.

Next, print out the image (I printed it in several sizes so I could figure out how big I wanted those swans to be!), then tape it to the INSIDE of the vase.

Then, on the OUTSIDE of the vase, trace the image with hot glue. It doesn't have to be perfect (and actually looks better if it has some flaws, in my opinion!), but if you make a major oops, you can always cut off some of the hot glue using an exacto knife. It comes off the glass pretty easy.

Ignore the gross yellow-ish color of the glue on the right - it was a bit old. Still works just fine though!

One thing that was a little tricky with this step was figuring out where exactly to outline. I closed one of my eyes during this process to make it a bit easier.

While your hot glue is drying, you can prep for the next step. Take some tissue paper (you'll only need about half a sheet, depending on the size of your vase) and wad it up into a ball. Lots of wrinkles will give you lots of texture! Lay it out flat, then tear it into small squares roughly 3" by 3".

Perfection is NOT necessary here. This whole project is all about bringing out the flaws, so leave your inner perfectionist in a different room when making this vase!

After your glue is all dry and your tissue paper is in wrinkly squares, it's time to bust out the Mod Podge. Brush the Mod Podge directly onto the vase, then lay a piece of tissue paper on top, and pat it on with your fingertip. You might get some Mod Podge on your finger, just use another finger or keep a moist washcloth nearby and wipe it off.

When you're Mod Podging the tissue paper around the design, be sure to get into all the little creases and crevices. That will give it more texture! If you accidentally tear the tissue paper, no worries, just put more tissue paper on top. I did that plenty of times, and it still turned out cute!

Give the tissue paper PLENTY of time to dry. I did the next step the next day to make sure it was completely dry. If it's still at all moist, when you go to paint it will tear the tissue paper and cause all sorts of problems!

Once it's dry, bust out that paint! For my vase, I did a very light pink for the base, then a dark red-maroon for the outer accent color. I forgot to take a picture of the vase when it was pink, but just imagine the image above in pink. Or the image below without the red. You're all smart, I'm sure you'll get it :-)

After the base color dries, get your other color ready. This is the part I was most worried about, but it turned out okay. Get some paint on your brush, but get as much of the paint out of the brush as you can. You want it just barely moist. Then gently brush a bit of the accent color on. If you accidentally get a huge spot of the accent color, just brush over it with the base color, let it dry, and try again. It's very forgiving, just don't give up if you mess up.
Once that is dry, cover the whole vase with clear spray paint to seal it, and voila! You're done! I also tied a little ribbon around mine, but that's totally optional.

I hope you guys like the vase, let me know if you try it out! I think I want to make one for St. Patrick's Day. How cute would it be to have a light green background with a dark green shamrock? Really this could be adapted for any holiday, or you could do a shape like a fleur-de-lis and leave it up year-round!

Leave me a comment if you plan to try this or if you have any questions!

I'm linking this project up here:



  1. That turned out great! I like your choice of colors much better than the original.

  2. That's so cute! Yaaay, crafts! :D

  3. That is really cute! And i think yours looks much better than the original. We don't use vases much in our house, but i will keep this idea in mind for inexpensive gifts where the effort matters more than the price tag!

  4. Aww, that is an adorable idea! :) It turned out really nice!

  5. What an awesome idea! That's pretty cool!

  6. Hi... I read your post and I want to say that it is very good and informative.
    I like it and I appreciate you for your effort.
    Thanks for sharing informative post..
    Wholesale stone handbag