DIY: Earthenware Vases

By Kate Riley August 10, 2020

August is that lovely month of transition where we’re enjoying those last days of summer but feeling the slow arrival of autumn. I was inspired to create some vases in a pale palette for my future fall mantel or table.

I had some florist vases tucked away in a box in a cabinet that I wasn’t using, the ones you donate to (or buy from) thrift stores. I wanted to reinvent them with an old world matte finish so I wondered if I could fake the finish and texture of earthenware with just paint and a surprising ingredient: flour from my pantry. Well, it worked.


To recreate you’ll need: glass vases or hurricanes, spray primer, craft paint (a few colors plus white), a few inexpensive chip brushes, all purpose flour, disposable cups, small stir sticks for mixing.

The first step is to prime the glass. It’s been my experience that if you add paint to slippery glass without priming it first, it will easily scratch off. Better to use a spray primer that’s designed to adhere to glass to give your project a base layer. :)


I used two glass vases and two hurricanes I had in storage and added a little ceramic pitcher too. Once the primer was dry I was ready to paint them. I bought five different earth tone paint colors ranging from olive green to gray to taupe so they would all start with a different base color.

One the primer is dry, time to paint! Mix 1 oz. of craft paint with 1 tablespoon of flour and mix them together in a disposable cup. Cheap chip brushes are perfect for this project. You want imperfection and rougher texture and these cheaper brushes will give you that. Apply the paint/flour mixture in broad horizontal strokes to create the first layer of base color. Don’t worry about small clumps of flour or noticeable brush strokes, that’s what gives the vases character. Paint an inch or two inside the vase as well.

Once the first layer dries, create more texture with more layers. For the second and third layers, I added 1 teaspoon of flour to 1 teaspoon of white craft paint, then added about ½ teaspoon of the base color, so that the second and third layers were lighter and drier versions of the base color of each vase.

Keep the paint more dry than wet, and use the bristles of the brush in a vertical motion to create more texture and lighter layers of color.


Continue with the same drybrushing method to make a third (or even fourth) layer of brushstrokes on the vases, the more texture the better!

The matte finish that results looks and feels so cool.

And that’s the simple technique for turning basic cheap florist/thrift store vases…

… into earthenware lookalikes for your fall tables, consoles, and mantels.



Weekend Reading 8.8.2020

By Kate Riley August 8, 2020

Last night I took a sunset cruise with a few girlfriends on a friend’s boat. It was our way of celebrating the last official weekend of summer since our schools start up next week and we will be up at early morning again to make sure the digital learning is going smoothly.

Even though our schedule will be more regimented, I’ll still be enjoying our gorgeous weather. I take a jog or walk everyday around my neighborhood and it’s become a ritual I look forward to so much. It helps clear my head and I love chatting it up with neighbors. Just those bits of conversation help me feel connected.

I finished a great DIY decorating project last week. Although I had planned to share it yesterday, the day got away from me, so I’ll post about it on Monday. It’s my favorite kind of project: cheap and chic! It’s perfect for fall, you’ll love it!

I’d love to escape to the rooftop deck at the Surfrider in Malibu.

Minimalist & modern: this very cool barn turned studio conversion.

This rowhouse in Palma de Mallorca was renovated with Scandinavian elements.

21 different wood ceiling styles.

A candid interview with Paul McCartney after 60 years on stage.

Hey there cheese lovers, these are nine of the healthiest options.

If you’re looking to spice up your potatoes, poultry, or veggies, this sauce is amazing.

Ten scenic road trips across the United States.

The decline in urban living and the “death of the city”.

Lately on Instagram (@centsationalstyle)