There's something so beautifully organic and lovely about birch wood. The peeling layers of mottled whites, browns and grays make it a perfect accessory that brings the outdoors in. After seeing some rather lovely yet outrageously expensive vases in stores, I knew I wanted to try to recreate my own at home. With some drinking glasses from the thrift store, scrapbook paper and a few art supplies, I made mine for around $2 each. That's something to really celebrate.
- Cylindrical container
- birch wood scrapbook paper
- modge podge or decoupage glue
- craft paint (tan, white, black)
I looked for glasses that had straight sides so that the shape would be easily covered by paper and would mimic the look of a section of wood. The birch scrapbook paper was found at a local craft store. First I laid down my glass on the paper and measured so that I had a long strip that would wrap around the entire glass, with a slight overlap at the meeting edge. Using Modge Podge, I painted a section, stuck on the paper and then worked around the glass until it was completely adhered. As I was wrapping and gluing, I learned quickly to make sure and work out most of air bubbles and creases that would form under the paper. It doesn't need to look perfect - the beauty of nature is in its lovely flaws.
Once the paper was securely on the vase, I knew it needed something extra to take it from looking like flat paper to real looking wood. Using common spackling (the putty stuff used to patch holes in walls), I lightly smudged some on the surface of the paper. After allowing it to dry for about 15 minutes, it was time to add some color and dimension. The surface of birch wood is mottled with some soft horizontal lines in tans, grays and white. I just played with the color using craft paint, mostly adding to the areas of the spackling so that they blended in with the rest of the paper. It only took a few minutes of randomly painting for it to begin to have the look of real wood. So exciting!
This is how it looked right after applying the spackling.
In the photo above, the glass on the left side had been painted and the one on the right only had the spackling. You can see how the paint added some much need life to the "wood."
At this point, you are free to add flowers or filling of your choice. I decided that I loved the look of a simple succulent in the the container so I added some soil and a plant (mine are actually fake!). I love how they add a classy touch to my bookcase or table. These would be fantastic grouped together on a tabletop or as part of a place setting for an event such as a wedding. Larger vases could be covered to hold bigger plants or bouquets. The options are limitless!