Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Painted Vases. Super Cheap, Big Impact

Love them.

I made 52 vases for the teacher appreciation banquet.
They were a huge hit and since I didn't have a ton invested in them,
 I could easily say, take the vases with you!! They made for great door prizes!

So how did I make them?

Well, it wasn't hard and you might even say it would be fun if you weren't making 50 at a time and on a very short schedule.  The most important tip that I can give you is do this WAY ahead of when you need them.  I painted on Thursday, let them drain three separate times and then finally turned them back over Friday morning and they dried until Monday afternoon.  But still there was wet paint in the bottom of the vase.
Oh well.
  1. Collect cheap glass vases.  I gathered up the used vases that I could find and then went to the dollar store and purchased another 25.  Rinse and dry.
  2. Gather up all the remnant craft acrylic paint from around the house.  I used all I had and then purchased some cheapo acrylic from the craft section at Walmart.  I bought a variety of paints, but only the cheap ones. 
  3. Clean off a section where you want to work. Put down something to protect the surface and you are ready to begin.
  4. Now, I knew that this was to be a big impact, not archival type project, so I didn't use any surface conditioner or anything fancy.  If I wanted these to last forever, I would either get the surface conditioner that you put in acrylics or buy glass enamel paints. 
  5. Choose a paint and squirt/dribble some paint on the side of the container and let it run down into the vase.  Swirl it around. If you want multiple colors, add the other colors and swirl.  Do not wait until one coat has set. Do all colors at one time.
  6. Once the container is coated, let it sit with the paint pooling in the bottom of the vase for a minute or so, then turn it upside down and let the paint run out.  I place one vase on top of the other as to not waste paint.  You will be shocked at how much paint will run out.  If you place it on a board/paper towel, you will have a big puddle of paint to reuse (or toss).
  7. After the vase sits for about 15 minutes upside down, turn it back over and fill in any areas that you don't like. Give the vase a while to set up, maybe an hour or two.. maybe overnight.. if you are running out of time, 15 minutes... Then turn it upside down AGAIN!  Yes, I'm lucky that I have a drying cabinet!! Don't know where I would have stored them all otherwise!
  8. Finally, turn the vases back up and leave them alone. For a long time!  Notice that I purposely left spots of the vase clear.  I like the "artsy" look of it! 

And just in case in all my wordiness you forgot what the vases looked like with a flower in it below are more samples.  My last tip... don't put water in the vase until the paint has had time to cure.  In fact, I wouldn't suggest EVER putting water in it unless you use appropriate paint.  For last night, we just dropped clear solo cups down into the vases that had large enough openings. We didn't use water though! The event was pretty short so I didn't worry about the flowers wilting prior to the end of the evening.

And now, finally, enjoy.

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