Paint Swirl Vases

April 24, 2012

Hello all, thanks for all the nice compliments on the courtyard project!  I’m going a little crazy this week coordinating all the details for our big weekend over at our Alma House charity project which starts on Friday.  There are three rooms to tackle and so much to do!  It may get a little bit slow around here this week, but I’ll have a lot of exciting things to reveal next week.

I was going through some pics yesterday and completely forgot to post this super simple DIY project.  I got asked by a few about those blue vases on the mantel so I’ll show you just how easy it was to make them.

paint swirl vases on mantel


It involves two things:  a glass vessel and some craft paint.  I ended up with a few very cool decorative vases for the mantel or placing around the house for a dose of color.

diy paint swirl vases


The vases were inspired by a kid craft project- my daughter’s Girl Scout troop made some paint swirl ornaments before the Christmas break and the idea stuck with me.  It was so unbelievably easy, it simply requires the combination of several craft paints swirled around inside of a glass vessel.



I started with some simple vases found at a craft store – look for the more sculptural ones, then stop over in the paint aisle and choose a few colors of acrylic craft paint.

craft paint


Start by adding a few drops of one color and then adding one more on top.  Begin slowly swirling it around the glass vase, adding a few drops more at a time.  You want it to go slow, that’s what ensures it will cling to the sides.  You’ll be tempted but don’t add any water at first or the paint will be too thin and won’t stick to the glass.

get paint moving


However, if you find your particular craft paint is way too thick and simply won’t move no matter what, add 1 or 2 drops of water to the bottle of craft paint and shake well.  Then try again.  Twist and turn the vessel to coax the paint towards the top.

swirl paint


Completely drain the vase of all the leftover paint, using a paper towel.

drain paint on paper towel


Make sure you fully drain them and then lay them down on their side to dry for 24 to 48 hours so the paint doesn’t drip back down with gravity.

lay on side to dry


If you don’t mind the random nature of the paint, you’re left with some inexpensive colorful accents to place around the home.  You can’t use them for fresh flowers, but branches work (be careful not to scratch the paint!) or use them to add a pop of color to your bookcase or vignette.

blue paint swirl vases on mantel


The stripes on the littlest one come from starting the paint at the top instead of the bottom.  I can see them in all sorts of fun colors or even pure white with gold metallic paint swirled all around.  Crazy easy right?

Regarding the Alma House charity project, we’re running very low on funds to pull it all together, so if you can manage it, any donation through PayPal regardless of amount will help, it’s for such a worthy cause! You can submit a donation here (or click on the button in the sidebar!)



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