Friday, February 21, 2014

Cheap DIY Vases with Big Impact

I am very particular, which meant I did a lot of DIY for my wedding even though I am not an intentionally crafty person. One of my favorite projects from the wedding was the glitter vase. This project is perfect for any event where you need a lot of vases without spending a ton of money. Mercury glass adds up, y'all. So if you are hosting a bridal or baby shower, princess themed birthday party, or even an anniversary party you should definitely consider glittering some vases. Or you can use this project as inspiration for Christmas, New Year's Eve, Easter, Halloween, etc. And remember, glitter is always appropriate for the occasion regardless of what others may tell you. Special thanks goes to my mother who figured out most of the logistics for completing this project. She is very thorough in her planning.

looking at my flower choices at the local florist shop

I bought all the larger vases at the dollar tree, for a dollar each (of course), and the smaller vases at Michaels, which were $1.17 each. Mom mixed two shades of Martha Stewart glitter (amethyst and sapphire) to get the shade of purple we wanted. Make sure you use 50% off coupons if you buy the glitter from Michaels! This project also require rubbing alcohol, mod podge, a sponge brush, and some patience. As you can see in the picture below, it is best to have a large work space covered in newspaper (so you can easily clean up the glitter mess). Mom and I did not want to contaminate our mod podge with glitter, so we poured it into old tea cups as we went.

A note about dollar tree shopping: you can order bulk quantities of dollar tree merchandise on the website and have it shipped for free to your local store. Each item is still $1. We never needed to do this for my wedding vases because my store had plenty in stock, but it is always a good option when planning larger scale projects.

mod podge gets glittery fast
Before you get started, you have to rub the vases down with rubbing alcohol. We found that the mod podge didn't stick as well if we did not do this first step. Once they are dry, you can get to glittering! If you want full glitter coverage like on my vases, you do not want to mix the glitter into the mod podge before brushing it on. Instead, what you do is paint the top half of the vase with mod podge. Then hold the vase over a paper plate (to catch the loose glitter) and then pour your glitter directly onto the wet glue, rotating and pouring until the section is totally covered. As you can see in my picture below, you want to leave some unglittered mod podge in this step. The reason for this is that when you paint your second swath of mod podge, you dont want to mess up the beautifully poured glitter with brush marks.


Continue the steps above until you have totally covered the outside of the vase in modpodge and glitter. Once you are done with that part, you need to grab another paper plate (very important that it is a separate plate) and gently bang the vase onto that plate. This will get rid of the excess glitter that will otherwise fall all over your house. You want to do this on a separate plate because you will get traces of mod podge on the plate and you don't want to glue up your main glitter catching plate. All of the glitter that falls off can be reused on another vase. Save your glitter, people!

In the back left corner of the picture above, you can see an already glittered vase drying. I let my vases dry overnight and then gently knocked off more excess glitter. Occasionally there would be glitterless splotches, but those are very easy to fix. Just paint more mod podge and pour more glitter on the bare spots. This project is not like painting nails; you can go over your work without it being obvious that you only did a sporadic second coat.

I don't remember how many vases I did in total, but it was over 100. What I do know is that the whole process was not unpleasant. I would set up my laptop to play an episode of Poirot (love those mysteries) and get about 25 vases done in that hour. To sum up the numbers, it takes about an hour of your time plus $40 pre-tax to get 25 vases done which averages to $1.60 per vase. That glitter goes farther than 25 vases, so the more you do the more you spread the money out.


The great thing about glittering is that it hides a lot of imperfections. The ridged vase above is from the dollar tree and is particularly ugly in its original state. The dollar tree vases are not known for perfectly smooth surfaces and often they have visible seams in the glass. None of these issue were visible after coating them with a thick coat of glitter. Glitter is magical.


It is important to consider the rest of your decor scheme when using lots of glitter. You don't want everything competing for your guests' attention. I chose to go with primarily white flowers with a variety of textures for a relaxed garden feel, however there were some purples and blush pinks tossed into the mix.

Photography by Justin DeMutiis