Old vases, after flowers die, are shoved in a cabinet or simply thrown away but they can be made into some beautiful home decor pieces. Clear vases, in particular, make for beautiful pieces with a little embellishing. Take a large, clear vase and cover the bottom with aquarium rocks or marbles. Fill with water and place a beta or goldfish into the vase. To add even more beauty to the arrangement place a leafy plant into the water and let it float on top. Many plants will live for a long time in just water. Purchase a plant and remove it from the dirt. Rinse the roots well and place in water. Change the water, for the fish, when water becomes cloudy. Really large vases, particularly ones with a fluted top, are best for this craft.
Vases with large openings are great for holding all sorts of implements. Take an ordinary vase of any color and cut a piece of lace to wrap around it. Netting or fabric works well too. Tie a pretty ribbon around it and set it in the kitchen for holding cooking utensils. Make a shorter one for your desk to hold pencils and pencils. You can do different themes for different rooms, too. Cover the vase in tiny wooden or ceramic apples for a kitchen or bitty dolphins for a bathroom.
A short vase, with a large opening, is perfect for holding bathroom items. Cover the outside with seashells, netting, lace or even a hand towel. Place hairbrushes and combs in the vase or use it for holding toothpaste and toothbrushes. Or, cover the vase in beads to match your bathroom by simply hot gluing the beads to the outside of the vase.
Take a large, clear glass vase to a glass shop and have them cut off the bottom. Purchase a light assembly kit at a hardware store and make a lamp from the vase. Or, just have them drill a hole at the bottom of one side and fill the vase with a strand of small clear Christmas lights. Feed the lights through the opening until all the lights are inside of the vase. Cover the top with a lace circle, tied with ribbon and you have a very unique lamp.
Redecorate vases and give to friends and family as a gift. Use glitter glue to outline the perimeter of the vase opening. Squeeze out generously and allow glitter glue to drip down the sides. Or, instead of glitter glue, use metallic squeeze paints like pewter or brass. This technique is a wonderful way to save a broken vase from the trash. By using plenty of thick paint, such as squeezable fabric paint, the raw edges of the glass are covered and the broken vase becomes a uniquely-shaped vase instead.
Use any color or shape vase to make an antique-looking heirloom. Tear small pieces of masking tape into various sizes and shapes then stick them on the vase. Try to make each piece unique in shape and size rather than tear pieces equally. When the entire vase is covered with tape pieces use a brush to apply brown furniture stain. When dry spray with clear-coat lacquer. The vase will look old and crackled when finished.
Use a short, narrow vase to make a quick Christmas tree. Paint the vase a Christmas color or wrap it in Christmas fabric. Put in the pine boughs of different lengths and arrange in a tree shape. Spray with “snow” if desired. Hang ornaments and tinsel on the tree. You can also use craft wire as branches and hang small ceramic or stuffed Santa’s, reindeer and candies from the branches. Or, use craft wire to shape tree branches and hang dollar bills on the wires to give to a graduate.
Something similar is done by filling the vase full of craft wire pieces of different lengths. Bend the top end of the wires over, about an inch, then once again. This makes a paper clip-type of holder for photos. Simply slide the pictures into place on the wires for a cute photo arrangement. Use some of the wires to hold mini signs, made of craft foam and fine tip markers. The signs can hold the name of the person whose picture it’s near or can hold cute sayings. There’s lots of other things you can do with this craft to make each one unique. Glue small lady bugs or butterflies onto some of the wire pieces, insert silk reeds and flowers amongst the photo wires, or even place candy cane sticks amongst the photos.
Make a sand art arrangement in a clear vase of any size. Colored sand and glitters can be found at any craft store. Use wooden craft sticks to make designs in a tall vase. Not much artistic ability? Print out a piece of paper with pictures of animals, a beach, your kids, or whatever you wish. Place the paper inside the vase so the pictures can be seen from the outside. Use the vase to hold any number of things, depending on the size and shape. For a child’s art table, use the vase to hold crayons and markers. For an adult’s craft table use to hold craft sticks, beads or other items.
Make a flower arrangement inside of a clear vase. Start by squirting glue down into the vase. Turn the vase from side to side to spread the glue around on the bottom. Drop in Spanish moss or raffia and use a long wooden craft stick to press into the glue. Squirt glue into certain places, on top of the moss, then drop in pebbles or wood chips. Use the craft stick to scoot them into place and allow to dry. Use silk reeds and flowers to make the arrangement inside the vase. First place some flower pieces, without their stems, here and there around the pebbles and wood. Then place a drop of hot glue onto the end of flowers with stems to hold them in place and rise above the original flowers. Now use taller reeds and floral pieces to rise even taller inside the vase. Continue doing this until some of the reeds and flowers appear to be growing out of the top of the vase.
A squat glass vase with a large opening is the perfect beginning to making a tart burner. Use sturdy but pliable wire to make a peak-and-valley shape with three or four points. It’s very important that the peaks be exactly the same size. Place point side up and align the inside of the vase with the wire arrangement. The wire should hug the inside walls of the vase and rise up above the vase at least four inches. Place a tea light or votive candle inside the vase with the wire surrounding it. Purchase a small, shallow glass dish to set on top of the wire peaks above the vase. The dish should be bowl-shaped and only slightly larger in circumference than the wire arrangement. The dish holds candle tarts or scented oil. As the candle inside the vase burns the oil or wax heats up and scents the room. Never allow tart burners to burn for more than a couple hours.
There are lots of other things you can do with old vases no matter what shape or size. Have a look around a nearby craft store and see what ideas you can come up with to decorate your spare vases. We all have them – but now there’s no shame.