Wednesday, December 4, 2013

DIY: Silver Washer Vases

I've got a really neat little craft project for you today. I still have about 40 vases left over from my wedding centerpieces, and in looking for some way to decorate them, I came up with an idea - metal washers.  I have seen vases decorated with pennies before, but since I will mostly be using silver metals in my decor, I wanted to use something that wasn't copper.  In brainstorming different ideas on what I could use, I thought of both nickels and dimes, keeping in the money theme, but figured that would cost too much, literally.  So, the last idea that I came up with was metal washers from the hardware aisle.

Now, before you head out to the hardware store, do some research on the size of washers that are offered.  You will want to make sure that your washers fit perfectly on all sides of your vase.  Since my vase is square, I measured the width and height of the sides and then was able to determine that my 3"x3" vase could use six #10 washers for both the width and height, since each washer is about a half inch, bringing me to the dimensions of my vase.  If your vase is cylindrical, measure the circumference and the height and then you can do some simple calculations to figure out how many #10 washers (or any other size that you choose) you will need.  If your vase has some shape to it that isn't consistent, I suggest that you go smaller with the size of the washers, rather than larger, as it will be easier to fit more on in tricky spaces and they will lay flat on your vase.  

For adhesive, you have your choice of products.  You could use a really durable glue to secure them onto your vase, but just be aware that some glues do not work well with glass.  For this project, I used silicone adhesive, which is waterproof - important for a flower vase, and dries very quickly.  

So, to start, gather up your supplies. You'll want your adhesive, your clean and dry vase, your washers, and then not pictured below are a chopstick and a small paint brush that you will likely throw away when this project is finished. Chances are, your adhesive will not wash out of the bristles very easily, so use one that you don't really care about, or buy a little cheap one from the dollar store. 

Once you have prepped your workspace, get to work by adding the adhesive of your choice to the back side of the washer.  To make this easier and keep my fingers clean, I threaded the washer onto a chopstick, and it slid about 1/3 down the stick.  From that point, I used my little paint brush and painted the back of the washer (the flattest side) with the silicone adhesive. 

Once the washer was painted with the silicone, I flipped the chopstick over, and placed it where I wanted the washer to be. Just tapping on the front side of the washer with the handle of the paint brush made it slide off of the chopstick and onto the glass vase. From that point, all I had to do was gently push it to where I wanted it to be and then press down with one end of the chopstick to secure it in place.  The washer below is a little gummy with some extra adhesive, but it will come right off with a paper towel if you catch it when it's still wet.

And then you just repeat that. A million times. But in all reality, I used 36 washers per side of my vase, which means that I used 144 washers.  Close to a million, right?

Anyway, when you're done placing all the washers on the vase, let your adhesive dry and then you're good to go!  A plain vase just became something really, really cute!

I figured it was acceptable to use some of the leftover bamboo favors from our wedding to put in this revamped vase that was also from our wedding.  I am really looking forward to making more of these, since I have so many vases leftover. I think they are so cute, and are the perfect punch of modern decor for my home.

And, if you have some extra vases lying around in your home, you could very easily and inexpensively do this as a gift! The holidays are coming up quickly, and what's better than a homemade gift, right?!

What else could you use for vamping up an ordinary vase?

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