Tuesday, July 12, 2011

tutorial: recycling old floral shop vases

If you're like me, you just can't throw away those clear glass vases that come with any floral shop bouquet. It's a perfectly good vase that might come in handy someday, right? But then you're stuck with a dilemma: they're functional, but they sure aren't the prettiest looking thing. And since they're not that flashy or pretty, they get tucked away, hidden in the back of a cabinet, and then you basically forget they even exist until you get another bouquet and yet another floral shop vase to add to your collection. Recently, I ordered Sundance Catalog's sunflower bouquet to add some everlasting cheer to my work office and home. The recycled metal and wood flowers are so happy and cheerful, but then I needed a vase I was equally happy about to display them in. Given the recycled nature of the flowers, it only seemed appropriate to recycle one of my many old floral shop vases. While part of me likes the look of the clear glass vase (so modern and industrial!), I found that it receded too much into the background when I placed the vase in the room. The answer? My trusty friend, spraypaint.

Want to transform your old floral shop vases using spraypaint, too? Follow these steps:

1. Clean your vase with glass cleaner and wipe dry.

2. Apply a thin coat of primer.

3. After the primer is dry, check for rough spots and sand them smooth (I used 220 grit sandpaper). This is an important step if you want a smooth, professional looking finished product.

4. Apply your chosen color of spraypaint! Be sure to hold the can 8-10 inches away from your vase, and work in thin coats. Thin coats are important, because if you just blast your object with tons of spraypaint it will start to run and form drip lines that show up when it dries (I learned this the hard way when I spraypainted an old lamp base!). For this project, I used two coats. If you see imperfections you missed when sanding your project at the primer stage, this is your chance to sand it down again and then finish off your project with a final coat of spraypaint.

5. Voila! Enjoy your finished product!

The best part is that you can easily obtain a vase in the exact color you desire, and so inexpensively. I can't imagine how long it would have taken me to find a vase this color, and don't even want to think about what one would have cost me. Enjoy!


  1. That's really cool, I love the blue one!

  2. Lovely! thanks for the tute.. I love the color you chose for the vase..

  3. I was wondering how you painted the inside of the vase to match...then I realized it's glass!! Ha ha.

    Really a great project; the blue is gorgeous. Thanks for the tutorial.