Thrift Store Makeovers for Flower Vases

Thrift Store Makeovers for Flower Vases

There are very few absolutes in this world. But this one is for certain: all thrift stores have an abundant supply of flower vases in stock. The amount of clear glass vases that end up at thrift stores is astounding. Which, of course, means that these vessels are (usually) quite cheap and are ripe for repurposing. So, I’ve gathered all sorts of ideas for painting and embellishing vases to inspire you before your next thrift store run.

Cloisonné-Style Makeovers

Cloisonne vase for thrift home decor

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Can you even tell that these exotic vases started as clear glass vases from a thrift store? They’re the kind you would get with a small bouquet from the florist or even a hospital gift shop. But a globally-influenced paint job gives them such an exotic look, like you brought one home from an overseas trip.

Highlighting Pressed Glass

boho vase with terracotta paint

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Pressed glass vases are about as common as it gets when it comes to thrift store glass. And while they’re perfectly fine in their naked state, the right paint can really make those pressed patterns pop! In this case, a special kind of paint from the craft store turns plain pressed glass into modern boho pottery.

Cane-Wrapped Flower Vases

flower vases wrapped in cane

Image credit: My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia.

Believe it or not, but pressed cane has made quite the comeback recently. But not just as furniture seats or table-tops. Cane is popping up in wreaths, frames, and yes- flower vases. This thrift store flip idea is so easy to make– all you need is a roll (or sheet) of cane and some glass jars or vases from the thrift store.

DIY Milk Glass

flower frog vase from a cheese shaker

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Here’s the thing about upcycled flower vases- some of them don’t start out as vases at all. In fact, these versions started out as clear glass cheese shakers on a thrift store shelf! They got a faux-milk glass makeover and the shaker top now plays the part of a built-in flower frog.

Tinted and Transferred

mid-century modern vase from a glass bottle

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

While this liquor bottle started out clear, colorless, and plain, it certainly isn’t now. It’s been tinted to a healthy shade of cobalt blue and a transfer decal was added for a mid-century modern touch. Such a great way to extend the life of a whiskey or wine bottle that was destined for the recycle bin.

Decoupage on Flower Vases

decoupage glass vase with fabric

Image credit: Pillar Box Blue.

This urn-style vase certainly didn’t start out looking this remarkable. But thanks to the right fabric and some careful decoupage, it got the makeover of a lifetime. And since most of us aren’t that skilled with a paintbrush, fabric decoupage is an easy way to add glamour and detail to even the plainest of vases.

Bohemian Touches

diy boho decor

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Adding charms to bottles (or vases) give them a whimsical, artsy look, especially if the charms look like old coins. But these aren’t coins at all! These bottle charms are actually made from vintage metal buttons which are very easy (and inexpensive) to procure.

Boutique Store Hack

diy stoneware vase from a thrift store find

Image credit: My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

High-end home decor stores are filled with decorative elements that are sometimes easy to replicate using a thrift store item. And that’s exactly how this “stoneware” vase came to be. Inspired by a trendy mall store, you’d never know that this flower vase was plain and clear originally.

Coastal Style Bottles and Vases

coastal collection of bottles

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Wine bottles are ideal for incorporating into your home decor- after they get a makeover, of course. And if you enjoy coastal decor, then transforming your empty bottles of rosé into these beachy bottle vases might really appeal. You can change the color with specialty paints and add some nautical netting- either the DIY kind or pre-knotted.

Modern Flower Vases

modern painted wine bottles

Image credit: Petticoat Junktion.

Color block paint makeovers on clear glass vases is a great way to repurpose them into modern decor. Especially when metallic gold paint like this is used. The secret to this kind of makeover, however, is those crisp clean lines- aren’t they gorgeous now?

Painting Flower Vases with…Coffee Grounds?

an artisan vase that was made from a clear glass vase

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

What was once a clear glass vase now looks like old stoneware or pottery thanks to paint and…coffee grounds! Quite the unlikely craft supply, I know, but such a fun way to “weather” and age your painted projects like this.

Sea Glass Paint

Sea glass decor with Krylon sea glass spray paint

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Sea glass bottle vases look like they’ve rolled along the ocean floor for decades, maybe longer! But you can fake the look beautifully with some spray paint and wine bottles (or other bottles/vases) from your recycling bin and the thrift store.

Chinoiserie Vases

decoupage on glass with paper napkins

Image credit: Our Crafty Mom.

When it comes to home decor, the classic blue-and-white motif on Asian-style vases and urns is timeless. And you can fake the look with a thrift store vase and some paper napkins, believe it or not. Talk about a world class makeover!

Faux Terracotta Clay

spray painting glass vases with terracotta spray paint

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Thanks to faux finish paints like this terracotta spray paint, you can transform clear glass flower vases in any number of ways. And these glass bottles look like clay vessels now– but they started out clear and plain. Makeovers like this will definitely keep them out of the recycle bin or donation pile, that’s for sure.

Crated Demijohn Vase

Making a demijohn vase with empty wine bottles or a class carboy for French Country decor

Photo source: Sadie Seasongoods.

A staple of French country decor, crated demijohns are highly sought after antiques. But you can make a smaller version for  your tabletop with a wine bottle like this! The wood comes from a craft store, which makes it easy to find and work with for moderately-skilled DIYers.

Hydrodip on Flower Vases

hydrodip painting on clear glass

Image credit: My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia.

If you’ve never heard the word “hydrodip” before, well now you have and now you’ll want to try it! It’s the DIY technique of getting beautiful swirls of color like this on glass vases and bottles. Think of it like paint pouring or tie-dye, but on any kind of clear glass vessel. And definitely a craft project that your older kids might want to try with you.

Painting on the Inside

Spring decor with old milk bottles

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Not all vase upcycles happen on the outside of the glass. Sometimes, the paint goes on the inside, as was the case with these milk bottle vases. It’s a fun alternative to painting the exterior, and capitalizes on the glass’s glossy exterior.

Color-Shifting Paint

color changing spray paint to use on clear glass

Image credit: Salvaged Living.

There are so many amazing spray paints out there that are perfect for painting flower vases and other clear glass. And this one even has a color-shifting look for extra interest and curiosity.

Milk Glass Vases

st. patrick's day decorations with vintage milk glass

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Milk glass is timeless- and interestingly enough, quite in vogue again. And while I’d never think about painting my own collection, I would entertain the notion of temporary embellishments. Which is exactly what I did for St. Patrick’s Day this year- but think of all the other seasonal and holiday opportunities with this idea…

Makeover Ideas for Flower Vases

clear glass vases at a thrift store

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

I’d say you are now armed with all sorts of upcycle ideas for flower vases and clear glass moving forward- wouldn’t you? There is SO MUCH of it at thrift stores- and quite possibly in the back of your own cabinets and cupboards. But think of it as a blank canvas for any number of makeover possibilities- perhaps like some of these that I just showed you…

Craft on!


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craft ideas for clear glass flower vases

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.

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