Love the look of ceramic decor but hate the price tag that goes with them? With a few dollar store vases, a bit of spray primer and some drywall compound, you can turn anything into designer home decor for a fraction of the price.
I have been looking for vases or ceramic pieces in varying heights to add some interest to a bookshelf I recently built (I’ll be showing it off soon!)
I couldn’t find anything that I liked, that came in a set of 3, and was within my limited budget until I stopped at the dollar store…
I *think these are little vases, although you could probably use them for candles as well? At $2 each and in two different heights I knew these would work perfectly for what I was looking for.
I ran the dollar store vases through the dishwasher to remove any dust, dirt, and oils, then took them out to the garage for a light coating of spray primer.
This might seem like a tedious step, but you NEED primer if you want your drywall compound to adhere to the glass at all, so don’t skip it!
The vases already look like they are ceramic with the primer alone and I could have added a second coat to fill in any thin areas and stopped here.
Alternatively, I could have added a coat or two of spray chalk paint to give the same pottery look I was going for – but I wanted texture. These are pretty, but just too close to the original glass look for me. I wanted them roughed up a bit so they looked more aged and rustic.
I smeared drywall compound all over the vases and let them dry overnight.
For a more stippled effect tap your finger tips all over the wet drywall compound. For a smoother look, use a putty knife to smooth out the majority of the ridges and ripples. Bring in a fork to create ripples and stripes, use the back of a wet spoon to create soft indents – anything you can imagine, you can do!
These ceramic vases held a bit too much movement for me, so I gently sanded them down with 120grit sandpaper. Do more, do less – whatever floats your boat.
I haven’t decided if I’ll smooth these out further so I haven’t added a top coat of sealer just yet. It will be important to add some kind of top coat; whether it be a spray on polyurethane (which will yellow it slightly) or a matte spray paint, so that the putty doesn’t chip off over time.
I’m pretty please with how these turned out though:
Perfect sizing for my little table and I love that I was able to create a trio for next-to-nothing (I already had the primer and drywall compound on hand).
I could rub a bit of mud in like I did with my pottery/ceramic planter to make them look more aged.
For now I like the rough texture and clean white against the warm wood of the table.
Studio McGee on a dollar store budget! My favourite kind of project!
Now go to your dollar store and see what bowls, boxes, vases or candle holders you can makeover with this technique.
Check out these Amazon (affiliate) links for more options and ideas:
Have a great one!