DIY Japanese Fishing Floats (from Thrift Store Glass)

DIY Japanese Fishing Floats (from Thrift Store Glass)

What happens when you first publish a blog post in July of 2014, only to find out a few years later that the craft product you used is no longer made and off the market? Well, this happens: republishing the project and tutorial entirely, starting over from start to finish…and re-making my 2014 DIY Japanese Fishing Floats, but with a new (and improved) paint product AND far more blogging expertise under my <tool> belt.

You don’t mind, right? I mean, chances are, you never even SAW this 4-year-old project of mine. But it’s a GOOD project (in my not-so-humble opinion), easy to make and with pretty results. But I felt bad that the craft paint I originally used was nowhere to be found. And thanks to this more recent project of mine, I knew exactly which currently-available product would be a excellent replacement.

So, let’s get right to it: Japanese Fishing Floats. You know what I’m talking about, right? Colorful glass orbs covered in knotted fishing net? Real, authentic glass floats range in size and can be cost-prohibitively expensive. So, way back when I first started my blog, I made my own version…and I’ve done it again, starting with several clear glass fish bowl vases from the thrift store. This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.

Collecting clear glass fish bowls and vases at the thrift store to upcycle into DIY Japanese fishing floats by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

I’d say these were excellent fishing float contenders…

To give my glass bowls some rich, gorgeous color, I used a couple of shades of stained glass spray paint.

Using stained glass spray paint by Krylon to give thrift store clear glass bowls the look of glass fishing floats by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

MUCH easier to use than the product I originally used in 2014…

This stuff is easy to use, but takes several light coats to achieve rich color. Worth the effort, though, because look how gorgeous they look! (And, it’s really not that much effort- light coats dry very quickly).

Using stained glass spray paint by Krylon to give thrift store clear glass bowls the look of glass fishing floats by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

GORGEOUS!

Now comes the more tedious, but oddly satisfying, part- creating the knotted fishing net around the bowls! You could, I suppose, cut up existing fishing net (there are craft versions like this one). But, I wanted to do it on my own, using household cotton twine from the hardware store.

Using cotton twine to tie fishing net around DIY Japanese fishing floats from thrift store glass bowls and vases by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

I’m ready for the challenge!

Here’s how I made my DIY Japanese fishing floats…beware, there will be LOADS of photos to show all the steps. But I promise you, once you get the hang of it (and it really is easy), you’ll be a fishing net knotting champion.

Ok, first, cut a long length of twine (several feet long) and fold it in half, so that you have a loop end and a double-tail end. This is your “anchor”.

Learn how to tie fishing net with cotton twine to upcycle thrift store glass bowls and vases into DIY Japanese Fishing Floats by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Let’s do this!

Then, cut more long lengths of twine, fold them in half, and loop them around your anchor like this:

Learn how to tie fishing net with cotton twine to upcycle thrift store glass bowls and vases into DIY Japanese Fishing Floats by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Do this 7 or 8 more times until you have a nice row of them…

Using cotton twine to tie knotted fishing net around DIY Japanese Fishing Floats from repurposed thrift store glass bowls by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Now, pull the anchor tail through the anchor loop, eventually pulling tight so that your strings resemble a flower or a sea star. Make sure you don’t pull your row of 7 or 8 tails through the loop- keep them on the inside!Using cotton twine to tie knotted fishing net around DIY Japanese Fishing Floats from repurposed thrift store glass bowls by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Using cotton twine to tie knotted fishing net around DIY Japanese Fishing Floats from repurposed thrift store glass bowls by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Ok- you’re ready to start knotting your fishing net around your Japanese fishing floats!. First, place the “anchor flower” in the center of the bottom of your vase, and hot glue it in place so that it is nice and flat.

Creating knotted fishing net with cotton twine on upcycled thrift store glass bowls turned into DIY Japanese Fishing Floats by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

NOW, let’s turn this into fishing net…

To knot the fishing net, take one tail each from two consecutive knots, knotting them around each other the way you’d tie off a balloon. Creating knotted fishing net with cotton twine on upcycled thrift store glass bowls turned into DIY Japanese Fishing Floats by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Do that all the way around your vase, and then do it again with neighbor knot tails. This forms the diamond pattern of fishing nets!

Creating knotted fishing net with cotton twine on upcycled thrift store glass bowls turned into DIY Japanese Fishing Floats by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

“Neighbor Knots”- that’s all you need to remember.

Very much like macramé, maybe? Anyway, the number of knotted “rows” will depend on the size of your glass vase or bowl, but you’ll eventually end up with this.

Tying and knotting cotton twine into fishing net for upcycled DIY Japanese Fishing Floats for coastal decor by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

YAY!! I DID IT!

Carefully add a drop of hot glue under each knot and then trim off the excess tails.

Tying and knotting cotton twine into fishing net for upcycled DIY Japanese Fishing Floats for coastal decor by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Finishing up the process…

To cover up the little tails, I then wound a long length of twine around the neck of my vase several times over, carefully hot gluing the ends down flat and neat. Ta-da! Doesn’t that look great?? Just like Japanese fishing floats you see in antiques stores or home décor stores.

How to upcycle thrift store glass bowls and vases into DIY Japanese Fishing Floats by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Ready for an LED tealight….

Now, I will say you can alternatively wrap your anchor loop around the top of your vase, as I did with the tall turquoise one and the larger green one. It’ll all depend on the vases you end up with!

How to upcycle thrift store glass bowls and vases into DIY Japanese Fishing Floats by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Hello, gorgeous…

Either way, though, you’ll end up with gorgeous DIY Japanese fishing floats in whichever stained glass spray paint colors your choose. I just ADORE how they turned out.

Upcycled thrift store glass bowls and vases into DIY fishing floats with hand knotted fishing net by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

I love them!

Like I mentioned before, I found the knotting exercise to be oddly satisfying, they way embroidery is satisfying…but there may be easier work-arounds, like cutting up decorative nets.

I hope you don’t mind that I republished this- especially if you’ve been a long time friend and remember this original project post from four years ago. I just felt like it deserved a reboot once the product became obsolete!

And if you’re looking for more upcycled coastal décor project ideas, please check out my entire collection here before you go!

Craft on!

S

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PIN ME!Upcycled thrift store glass bowls and vases into DIY fishing floats with hand knotted fishing net by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Comments

  1. Nice. I managed to buy some real floats at an estate sale. They didn’t come with the netting over them.

  2. Love this! I am planning on trying this as I love the finished product!

  3. Super great idea! I love the color too! Super fun. They would also make cute little vases. They would look just perfect with fun flowers. 🙂 I am pinning this to my DIY for 2014 board!

  4. How crafty and a great tutorial on how to do a mock fish net around the glass. Thanks for sharing on Merry Monday. Pinned.

  5. This is such a cute craft! I love it!

    -Lara

  6. Well, I didn’t know you in 2014, so I appreciate this!! THANK YOU! I absolutely love your blog!

  7. Hope Smitherman says:

    I have a jar on my table (that I received as a gift) that is this style. I’ve been studying the netting for ages trying to figure out the best way to do it myself. You’ve solved that for me! Thanks for the tutorial!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says:

      You are so very welcome, Hope!! Let me know how it goes for you- it’s not as intimidating as it might appear, I promise!

  8. I do remember this project, but how could we possibly mind that you republished this? It’s better than ever, so THANK YOU 🙂 I’ve always wanted to try my hand at fish net and never got around to figuring it out so you’ve saved me so much time – lol! I can think of so many other applications!

  9. Thanks for the shout-out and feature!! I grabbed a button. 🙂

Trackbacks

  1. […] am in L-O-V-E with these “DIY Japanese Fishing Floats” from Sadie Seasongoods. […]

  2. […] DIY Japanese fishing float vases by Sadie Seasongoods […]

  3. […] last but not least, the glass fishing floats in the inspiration photo! You might actually recognize those as a blog post I recently re-published– they’re easy to make using thrifted glass bowls and vases. So…right in line with […]

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