Miniature Bud Vase
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A few weeks back, my parents had a Friday off, so Cory and I spent the day with them in downtown Overland Park, a new area for us, wandering through a gorgeous art gallery, a boutique-style resale shop, and several stores with fair-trade wares and the creations of local artists. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it for an afternoon of browsing and tasty food! I love shopping new and unique stores, even if I don’t end up making a single purchase, and on this particular adventure, these ceramic bud vases kept catching my eye. Made by a KC artist, they were quirky and fun—different sized and shaped vases set atop a rectangular base. In one shop, they even came with beautiful hand-crafted paper flowers. Unfortunately, I never found one with a combination of colors I really loved, but I filed the idea of a bud vase away and figured I’d find one eventually.
Fast forward a bit to when Cory and I visited the West Bottoms for our first foray into the ever-popular First Fridays events, where I was blown-away by the sheer number and style of boutiques, thrift stores, antique shops, and outdoor sales. Seriously, it was stunning; we walked through those massive, multi-level warehouses, filled to the brim on every story, for over 5 hours, breaking only briefly for Blip coffees and delicious food truck tacos, yet we made it through maybe half the open shops. If you’ve never experienced First Fridays in the West Bottoms, it should definitely be on your list of KC explorations! We came away with several project ideas, and I found these miniature glass vases that I simply had to have. They’re so tiny and adorable! To the utter bewilderment of the cashiers at the Pink Daisy, I purchased 16 of these little guys (I mean, I’ll figure out what to do with them all eventually, right? And they were only 25 cents each… I couldn’t resist!).
Shortly thereafter, we stumbled upon Scraps KC, this amazing, funky treasure trove of random creative objects—everything from cardboard and scrapbook papers to fabric scraps and bottlecaps. They take donations of everyday objects that oftentimes would otherwise end up in landfills and redistribute them to schools or sell them to the public with a mission to improve the environment, foster creativity and upcycling, and provide hope to the homeless. It’s a neat space with a great mission, and you should totally check them out! While there, I picked up a couple half-full Behr metallic paints and 4 rectangular backsplash tiles (they looked quartzy to me)… all for $2. Freakin’ awesome! We’ll be back for sure.
Now I knew the first project for my tiny vases: a mini bud-vase decor piece, inspired by the ones I’d seen weeks earlier! I was hoping the metallic paints I’d scored would stick to glass, but alas, no dice. Instead, I picked up a gold spray paint and used a spray primer designed for all surfaces (a glass/ceramic one would be perfect too!) to give the sprayed glass a little extra toughness. Without the primer, the spray paint tends to scratch off without too much effort.
As you may know, I’ve been working on decorating my studio, starting with one of the big empty walls that’s now filled by a ceramic tile photo display of happy lilies! This mini bud vase makes a perfect addition to a fairly bare spot on the nearby ladder bookshelf, where a pretty acrylic box with a gold lid and a quartz handle—an amazing handmade Christmas gift from my bestie—sits a few shelves up. It took me years to embrace gold (I’ve been a staunch silver girl for years), in both jewelry and decor, but I finally have and tend towards using gold elements most often with whites and pinks, a perfect complement to the colors already in my studio.
The project itself is super simple; you’ll need:
- Miniature glass vials/vases (or larger-whatever makes you happy)
- A tile base for your vases
- Rust-Oleum Universal Bonding Primer (for all-surfaces or, probably even more ideally, for glass/ceramics)
- Spray Paint
- Super glue or E6000 Adhesive (I have a tube of this stuff that I use for oh so many projects)
- Flowers, real or fake
- Painters Tape
Need some equipment for the project?
Start by washing and drying your glass; then tape the tops of the vases (if you’d like) and the top of the tile. I highly recommend priming the vases first before spray painting, but the sides of the tile don’t need the primer. Once your primer and colors have dried (I only needed one coat of each, but they took a while to dry since I did this outside in the blazing heat and cloying humidity of a July afternoon in Missouri… brilliant, right?), remove the tape, and glue your vases to the tile. If you’re using the E6000, remember it’s super effective but equally noxious, so glue outside or in a ventilated area, ideally with a mask!
Now cut your flowers and enjoy your bud vase! I went the fake flower route because real flowers last mere seconds in our home before the cats attack and eat them, only to throw them up later —like on the bed in the middle of the night (and ALWAYS on my side! What’s up with that?!). Also, some flowers can truly make our fur babies sick, so we just stick to fake flowers, which (most of the time, at least), the cats view as unworthy of their attention. Now I’ve got a bit more color on my bookshelf and a few more cheerful flowers!
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