How to Upcycle Any Thrift Store Vase Into a Ceramic-Looking Masterpiece

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"Why buy a pretty ceramic vase when you can make one yourself using a thrifted glass container, paint, and a little baking soda? Here's how to use the technique to transform your pieces."

The next time you walk through your favorite thrift store, you’ll be looking at the vase section a lot differently. One of the most popular DIYs of the moment is learning how to paint a glass vase to make it look ceramic, and all it takes is a couple dollars and under 10 minutes of your time.

Tina Le, a DIY pro on YouTube, tried the thrift flip for herself and the outcome is jaw-dropping. “The pieces I found are things you see at the thrift store all the time,” she said in a video. “You can find items you like the shape of, and you can always update the color to make them a little more stylish and fit in with your decor.”

During her trip, she found a big glass vase and flask. But there’s also no need to shop: You can use things you already have around the house. In her case, that was a glass candle container that she removed the wax from. After you have your picks, get excited—it’s time to make some magic.

Learning how to paint a glass vase is simple, and baking soda is what gives it a ceramic-looking texture. To make baking soda paint, simply mix your acrylic paint of choice with baking soda. “You can add in as much as you want depending on how thick you want your paint to be,” she says. “But a good rule of thumb is to mix in a 3:1 ratio of baking soda to paint.”

First, mix the paint and baking soda combo until it’s smooth. Then either paint your entire vase the same color, or have some fun with different designs. You can even give your “ceramic” a more aged look by rubbing cinnamon around the vase. “You can also use other ingredients found in your kitchen, such as nutmeg, coffee,” she says. “Or you can go outside and use some dirt.” (Thanks, Mother Nature!)

After you’re done with your project, you’ll have created an expensive-looking home decor item from something that might have ended up in a landfill. Cute and great for the planet? Yeah, it doesn’t get better than that.

Curious about a zero waste lifestyle? Want to know what the “circular economy” really means? Subscribe to Brightly’s top-rated podcast, Good Together. Every 30-minute episode features daily, actionable tips to help you live your life more sustainably.

Why buy a pretty ceramic vase when you can make one yourself using a thrifted glass container, paint, and a little baking soda? Here's how to use the technique to transform your pieces.

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