While my current workspace is full of books, tools, fabric, etc. and other fun things, I always like having flowers or plants nearby. So a couple days ago I thought I’d revisit an inexpensive DIY project from when I was a graduate student living in (expensive) London a couple years ago.
To give my standard graduate dorm room a bit of character, I whipped up this flower vase with stencilled cozy made from a water bottle rescued from the recycling bin. After a trip to the Columbia Road Flower Market, my workspace definitely looked more inviting.
Here’s the instructions.
Workspace Decor: Stencilled Flower Vase From Recycled Materials
- empty water bottle (any size will do)
- scrap fabric
- sponge brush/paintbrush
- thread + needle
- permanent marker
- clear adhesive paper
- Exacto knife (optional)
1. Take an empty water bottle. Determine how high you want your vase to be. Use a permanent market to draw a line around the top of the bottle.
2. Cut off the top of the bottle along the line you just drew. Use scissors or an Exacto knife. Trim if necessary.
3. Cut a piece of scrap fabric that will fit around your bottle. Trim its width if necessary, keeping in mind the size of your stencil.
4. Create a stencil for the cozy/cover: draw an image using a permanent marker on clear adhesive paper. Cut out the negative (make sure you save any parts cut on the inside). Here I drew some buildings and cut out the little window parts as well.
5. Adhere your stencil to the fabric.
6. Using a spongebrush, dab at your stencil with your paint of choice. Make sure you get all the nooks and crannies of the stencil.
7. Wait for the stencil to dry (use a hair dryer to speed things up). Pull off the adhesive to reveal your image. Do any touch-ups using a paintbrush.
8. Fold over 3/4″ at top of your fabric and iron it down. Repeat for the bottom of your fabric.
9. Sew the ends of your fabric together. Add stitching embellishments (I stitched in clouds using blue thread and added a dashed sewing line at the top of the cover/cozy using black thread).
10. Pull cover/cozy over the water bottle.
11. Pop your flowers in and it’s ready to go! The vase currently sits on top of my desk.
Also, below is another source of inspiration. Orca Design presents the Façade Vase, which encourages you to recycle a water bottle into a vase, using their thick wool cozy.