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DIY Faux Ceramic Vase Thrift Store Makeover

I am aware that I compare prices all the time on the blog, with a busy life I would love nothing more than to shop and drop decor and often skip the DIY. Unfortunately if your like me and your tastes are much more expensive than you bank account is full you have to pick and choose where to splurge. Todays $10 DIY vase makeover is one of those situations.

A local store here I love to shop and swoon at had some gorgeous wood vases, and they are spectacular. My mantel was giving me the elbow to buy them, but when I called and one of the two vases was $190 I groaned. I wish to the bottom of my toes that I could afford that vase, but the savings certainly motivated me to go searching at Goodwill and check out Pinterest for ideas for a vase thrift store upcycle. And I want a wine jug or three lol for Fall, so off I went.

I wasn’t able to find a clear wine jug but I did find three different vases with wonderful shapes.

Three different thrift store vases a large blue, a medium green, and a small red vase.

Sam @ Raggedy Bits | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Google + | Twitter

Leanna @ Pretty DIY Home | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Google + | Twitter

Welcome back to Waste Not Wednesday! For those who have been following along for a while, you’ll know Waste Not Wednesday as a linky party. But Sam and I have decided to change things up a bit. Each Wednesday we will be bringing you fun projects not only from us but some of our favourite bloggers. This week’s theme is thrift store upcycle!

If your not sure about what type of DIY vase makeover you want to create, make sure to check the end of my post after Sam’s, I have added several other gorgeous vase ideas for you, I am excited to try my hand at a couple of them for this Fall.

How to Make a Faux Ceramic Vase Using Paint

You can use whatever latex paint you have on hand, but I wanted particular colours so I bought acrylic paints. Michael’s was low on paints so I could not stick with all the same brands. The Black vase is painted in Folk Art Wrought Iron, the Brown vase is Americana Coffee Bean and the Cream Vase is painted in Americana Natural Buff.

Three bottles of acrylic paint and a box of baking soda

Mixing the Paint with Baking Soda

I mixed my paint with baking soda, some blog suggested equal amounts of paint to soda. The more baking soda the thicker the paint, the thicker the finish, and the harder to do. I did it with different mixes, and my favorite was 2 oz (small bottle) to 2 tsp of baking soda. You don’t need to be super accurate, I just put as much paint as I could get out of the bottle and then adding 2 level teaspoons of baking soda, then stirred it well. Between coats I covered the paint, and it thickened even more. Make sure to cover the mixed paint when not in use.


I almost forgot to add this step to the tutorial, good grief that would have so bad. Make sure your vases are very clean, I put mine in the dishwasher, and then sand them with 120 grit paper just to scuff them up. Use whatever paper you have handy, just make sure to scruff up the surface to remove shine, and help the paint adhere.

Painting the Vases

I suggest painting the outside of the vases first. For the patterned areas I painted horizontally first. Then I placed the vase bottoms up on my work surface. I painted the smooth sections of each vase starting from the edge of the vertical paint and worked my way upwards until I reached the rim.

A thrift store vase being painted with a mixture of paint and baking soda. The vase has arrows on it showing the direction of the paint strokes

After I had the vase painted I doubled checked for missed spots, or globs and left the first coat to dry for a full hour.

After it was dry, I repeated with a second coat. The thicker brown paint lifted off in small areas, so I repeated with a tiny dab just to cover it. I left them to dry for overnight before flipping over and doing the insides.

Painting the inside of a thrift store vase in dark brown.

I did this little green vase first and did the inside first, so I had to let it dry before placing it facedown. Do the outside first all the coats, and then do the insides, it work both ways but doing the outside first is quicker.

Small Farmhouse Wooden Beads for the Vase

I am so happy with how the vases turned out especially the large black one. I decided to dress it up the large black vase a little bit with a simple farmhouse wooden bead string with a loop to hold it in place.

To make one you will need 24″ of twine, small beads (dollar store), and some fine wire.

Take one end of the twine and wrap it with the wire, then pinch it in place to hold the twine in place. String with 9 wooden beads.

Stringing beads onto twine using a wire. There are five wooden beads on the wire and an arrow showing where to pinch the wire to hold the twine.

Once you have the 9 beads on the twine, fold the twine in half, push your beads down to the halfway fold.

Fold the beads over to form a loop and then twist. Remove the wire and then wrap it again, but this time do it around both sides of the twine. The rest of the string will have two strings of twine going through.

Steps to making a small farmhouse vase with arrows pointing out where the twist should be and how it goes from a single thread to two threads.

Continue stringing the beads until its the length you like for your vase. Push all the beads together as tightly as possible and tie a simple knot at the end. Make sure the knot is large enough to secure the beads. Trim off and hang around your vase.

You can see how the farmhouse beads breaks up the black against my white wall.

A large black faux ceramic diy vase in black with a wooden string of farmhouse beads with a loop hanging around the vase.  There is a small diy faux ceramic cream vase sitting beside it.

Here are the three vases on my mantel. I love all the earth colours, and the fine texture of the painted finish.

Three different DIY faux ceramic vases on a mantel. One vase is black, one is brown, and one is cream coloured. The black vase is the largest with a wooden farmhouse string of beads and has branches of greenery. They are all sitting beside a round mirror with metal frame.

Here is my friend Sam’s Upcycled Thrifted Wooden Plate, its so bright and cheerful for this time of year.

A white wooden plate covered in transfer lavendar flowers. An easy farmhouse upcycle for home decor

Upcycled Thrifted Wooden Plate from Sam at Raggedy Bits

Some Great Vase Upcycles with Tutorials

Two large mud painted vases in dark brown and beige.

DIY Mud Painted Pottery | The Navage Patch

This painted ceramic vase makeover is so gorgeous in crime with the touches of metallic gold.

Feminine painted ceramic vase makeover.

Knock Off Painted Ceramic Bloom Vase | Bless’er House

A large black and grey upcycled pottery vase holding a bouquet of orange and green leaves.

DIY Pottery Vase | Boxwood and Spruce

A modern cream cereamic looking vase upcycled using paint.

DIY Trash to Terracotta Vase | Bridgette Sheri

An earthen tone vase makeover in browns and blacks holding a bouquet of all white flowers.

DIY Dimensional Aged Pottery | Nadine Stay

A collection of three faux ceramic painted vased in cream, black and dark brown textured ceramic. The largest vase is black with a DIY farmhouse wooden bead string around it, and its filled with green leaf branches.


  1. Whooooa, $190 is a BIT steep. OMW that’s about what we pay on our home installment every month and we don’t stay in a teeny, tine house either,

    Great job on the makeover. Those colours are so lovely together,

    1. Yowsa, your prices are nothing like Canadas are. Everything here is so expensive. Our hydro alone is more than that. lol. AND you have all that amazing warm weather. Sigh.

  2. So many great ideas here!!! I love how you made your faux ceramic vases!! Such a great way to breath some life into thrifted items!

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