Monday, April 27, 2015

Tender Tendrils Upcycled Vase Tutorial

This is my new favorite project.  A flower vase completely upcycled from trash, featuring a built-in collar of springy tendrils.  Please to check it out!

The tendrils are not only decorative - they also serve as a kind of flower frog.  They cluster together to help your flower stems stay where you put 'em.  Here they are in closeup:

What's it made of, you ask?  An empty plastic milk bottle.  That's right, it went from this:

To this!

Here, my dears, is the very interesting DIY.

Find a bottle and cut away the neck.  You can use most any opaque plastic bottle; doesn't have to be milk.

Make a diagonal cut, from the top opening to about 1/3 of the way down (or whichever spot makes sense for the silhouette of your bottle).  Because of the bottle's round shape, the diagonal cut will actually be more of a spiral.

Parallel to the first cut, make a whole bunch more, going all the way around.  The more cuts you make, the skinnier your tendrils will be.

Grab one of the cut strips and wind it tightly around a skewer.  Then release and - lookee there!  The plastic will hold the curl!

Now, this doesn't seem to work on clear water bottles, at least not the ones I've tried, so stick with opaque plastics and you should be good.  (Side note: this is the same method I used on one of my most popular posts, the uber statement jewel Ring On Fire.)


Okay, back to the vase.  Keep going until all the strips are curled.  This takes a little patience, because all those corkscrewy little things tend to get in each others' way.  If you have to say a bad word, go right ahead.

The final result: wowsers!

At this point, your vase is essentially done.  Use as-is, or decorate in whatever way might float your boat.

To make my color-blocked tendrils, I masked off the bottom section and simply spray painted the curlicues.  It took a hot minute, and the effect just delighted the heck out of me.

Other ideas: gold tendrils above a matte black base?  Polkadots or stripes on the white section?  Hand paint the tendrils in multiple colors?  I can imagine all kinds of fabulous versions.

So who thinks they might give this a whirl?  And how would you paint yours?

Oh, wait!  Before I go - let's not forget the rest of the bottle.  Trying to be eco-conscious here, ya know.  So what can be done with the neck and the lid?

Well!  In case you missed it, I made something totally and utterly adorable with those - I think you'll be surprised.  CLICK HERE to pop over and see.

Thanks for coming by, you guys.




  1. Turn it upside down and it's a curly octopus!

  2. Your imagination and eco-friendly projects never cease to amaze me! If I had ten thumbs, they'd all be up. Love it!

  3. BRILLIANT!! I love this upcycle Mich and am pinning it, sharing it and going to give it a whirl myself with my girls!!!

  4. What a great reuse of a plastic bottle & it looks super cute too!

  5. Curious, what spray paint did you use for the top of the bottle?

    1. Hi, J! Oops, I'm in LA and the paint is in Tucson. I know it is Valspar, got it at Lowes. But I can't remember if it's gloss or satin - I think it's the gloss finish.


  6. What a darling idea! Thanks for sharing it at Talk of the Town! Pinned it on the party board -