There’s no better way to remember a gift of fresh flowers than to make the vase a permanent part of your home décor. Don’t abandon it in a cabinet with five others just like it. With a plan and a few supplies from the craft store, you can decorate it to complement and enrich your decorating style. Your only investment is time.

Craft supplies are underlined and widely available in craft stores.

Tuscan VaseTuscan

“Crackling” is a popular technique when you’re going for that sun-weathered, antique finish. It involves two colors of latex paint, and Weather Crackle Effect spray, which makes the surface paint break up, revealing the paint color underneath. Crackling turns a run-of-the-mill glass vase into a Tuscan crock. Use two shades in the same family for a subtle effect; contrasting colors like dark yellow and gray create a more bold statement. Stay within the typical Tuscan shades of smoky greens, brick reds and golden yellows. Topped with sunflowers, the whole look just shouts Italian Villa!

Keep in mind that thicker coats of the Weather Crackle Effect create larger cracks in the paint, while thinner coats create thinner cracks. Practice first on a glass surface like an old mirror because it can be tough to gauge how much the paint you buy will crack.

Etched VaseRomantic

Looking for some beautiful reminders of a more delicate age? No laser or diamond drills needed. Now, creating a frosted or etched look is easy with plastic stencils and a chemical such as Armour Etch™ Glass etching cream. (Paper stencils are not effective.) While the process is easy, the etching cream can burn so be sure to wear gloves.

Attach the stencils with masking tape but consider using spray adhesive as well so that all air bubbles are gone. Apply the etching cream liberally with the brush provided and follow etching cream directions for time to wait before removing.

Slowly remove the stencil and wash the vase immediately in hot soapy water to remove excess etching cream. The design appears on the plate. Grouping three vases with complementary shapes and etchings make a delicate room accent, particularly if the vases stand against a darker colored wall.

Mountain Lodge

Fancy etchings? Mountain men and women need rugged vases filled with the natural resources that will get them through the harsh winter! Luckily, nature provides mountain dwellers with lots of free décor to use in spare glass vases. Combine vases in different shapes and fill each with one of:

  • Pinecones
  • Dried feed cornPine Cones
  • Acorns
  • Walnuts
  • River rock
  • Seed pods
  • Branches of colorful leaves
  • Speckled birds’ eggs (craft store variety hardier than natural versions).

Have the perfect spot for just one piece? Stand-alone floral arrangements can conform to mountain lodge style décor as well. Fill the glass vase with river rocks and work in stems of silk burgundy dahlias or white chrysanthemums for a lovely top. Fill with pine cones and adorn with long-needled evergreen branches. Cattails worked into a river rock base complement tall vases perfectly.


Shape, color, texture. Clean lines. Smooth surfaces. All of these can be accomplished with left-over glass vases in the contemporary home. Glass paints are now available in every color, opaque and transparent, glossy and frosted. Air dry paint is perfect for a decorative piece and bake-on paints, mostly used for wine glasses and reusable pitchers, render your vase dishwasher safe. Use a sponge, rag or other unusual applicator to create an interesting pattern on the surface.

Glass paint markers make it easy to copy a stencil in the unique patterns contemporary decorators appreciate. Simply download these stencil patterns from the internet, and then size it to fit the inside of the empty vase. Tape stencil on the inside of the glass and trace from the outside. Use glass paint markers in colors that match or coordinate with your fabrics. Always store glass paint markers horizontally so they last longer.

While jewelers and beaders use the most metal, there’s no stopping the contemporary decorator from updating the plain glass vase with a coil of decorative wire. Simply start at the open end, holding about six extra inches of wire to the inside of the vase. Wrap in a loose or tight pattern. Use a glass and bead adhesive to secure the wire.

Easy Embellishments Personalize the Average Vase

The next florist delivery now has two reasons to cause excitement: the fresh floral gift and the potential for personalizing the remaining vase once the blooms have faded. The craft supplies mentioned above are widely available and generally cost under ten dollars. If faces and houses can get make-overs, the ho-hum glass vase can too. Express your talent and style by creating a new piece that brings a dark corner or bland coffee table to stylish life.