10 everyday items that make a great vase

10 everyday items that you can repurpose to make a great vase

I don’t know about you but I have quite a few vases of different shapes and sizes that I store in a cupboard in our dining room. I counted them the other day and have 14 which seems like quite a lot to me. But it hasn’t always been this way. We’ve been married for over 30 years; that’s plenty of time to amass a vase collection, right? When we first set up our own home I don’t think vases was very high on our list of priorities of household essentials. We had one large square glass vase (they were all the range in the early 90’s!) as a wedding present which actually only broke a couple of years ago, so it serves us well. Any time I was given flowers I just improvised with containers that came to hand.

I was putting away a couple of vases after my birthday and had a look at my collection. I noticed that in fact only 7 of my vase collection are actually purpose made vases; a mix of gifts, some inherited from my mum and nan or picked up at charity shops over the years. The rest are upcycled from other objects that have found their way into the vase cupboard and never escaped!

It got me thinking about all the everyday objects that are perfect for upcycling and repurposing as a vase.

Jam jar or mason jar vases

This has to be the most obvious quick and easy upcycled vase idea. A clean empty food jar is practically begging to be reused for something isn’t it? Glass food jars come in all sorts of shapes and sizes making them really versatile. You can just bung a bunch of flowers in a old glass jar just as is of course, all it needs is a good wash, but you could give your jar a bit of a craft upgrade so it earns a permanent place in your vase collection. These ideas are good for giving flowers too. What could be a nicer hostess gift than flowers already in a vase? - inexpensive for you and zero fuss for them.

Reed Diffuser Bottles

Once your reed diffuser has run out of scented oil you have 2 choices; refill it with diffuser oil or give the glass bottle a really good wash and turn it into a pretty mini vase. Hot dishwater is usually enough to remove and sticky labels and be sure to wash and rinse the bottle well so no oil is remaining in case that upsets your flowers. If they have a nice pattern or shape they make lovely little bud vases.

Repurpose an old decanter

I don’t know about you but a decanter is not a well used item in my life these days. I’m not a big wine or spirits drinker but when I do I’m certainly not decanting it first! This glass decanter belonged to my mother in law but you can pick them up in charity shops, car boot and yard sales pretty cheaply. This one has a bonus, the stopper is hollow so it makes the sweetest little mini vase or a great place to root a spider plant. When our kids were little they would often pick a daisy or dandelion from the garden or roadside and give it to me as a present. I had to keep them of course so a teeny tiny vase like this was very useful. It’s also great for rooting a baby spider plant as you can see!

You can use a glass decanter like this just as it is or even give it a coat of spray paint for a really different look.

Kitchen Storage Jar Vases

This vase was a very sorry looking kitchen storage jar with a broken lid when I found it in my mother in law’s garage a few years ago. The makeover was not difficult, read all about how I gave it a new life as a pretty vase here: Kitchen Storage Jar Repurposed as a Vase.

Manuela from A Cultivated Nest used an empty apple juice container as a vase, it looks so expensive. And this one only needed a wash and the labels removed!

I originally decorated this old spaghetti jar to use with a candle as a garden lantern but it does double duty as a vase too!

Upcycle an empty perfume bottle

Brittany from A Bit of Bees Knees has a lovely idea to upcycle a special perfume bottle using a Dremel Hand tool. You can buy glass bottle cutting gadgets which I imagine would work too.

Use a Pretty Bottle or Drinks Can as a Vase

An empty bottle or can with a pretty label or nice shape makes a lovely little vase. So many drink brands have really beautiful labels these days. If you think about all that effort that the designers have put in it’s nice to keep the bottles and enjoy them for a little longer!

This mini bottle with the gingham fabric was part of an old crafting experiment when I shared the easy and hard way to do something.

These cans and bottles reused as vases by Marianne from Songbird are so pretty it is practically the law that you reuse them for something, right?

This old wooden box was turned into a floral centerpiece by painting it and then filling it with old bottles and jars. This is SUCH an easy way to arrange flowers - good for those of us with limited flower arranging skills. Read all about this upcycling project here: Wooden Centerpiece

A selection of plain bottles of different shapes and sizes can look amazing clustered together as Marianne from Songbird shows us with this beautiful mantel arrangement.

Using a Jug or Mug as a Vase

No fuss needed for this idea, just pop your flowers in a jug or mug - job done!

This pretty little jug is one I bought at a craft fair as a second. It has a couple of tiny chips on the spout and handle so I don’t use it for food but it makes a perfect little vase.

Personally I don’t think I would use a jug or mug for food or drink again after using it for flowers, I keep this idea for old china that has a little chip or mark. However if you are happy that a trip through the dishwasher is sufficient to make them sterile and clean enough then there is no judgement here!

Upcycled Food Tins/Cans as Vases

Upcycling empty food tins or cans as vases is a very popular idea all across the internet (I’m looking at you Pinterest!)

If you want to reuse empty food cans please do be careful as you handle them. There can often be a really sharp edge around the top and slicing your finger is surprisingly easy to do (been there done that!) so just take care.

Tins will eventually rust of course, but if you keep the inside of your cans clean and dry whilst they are not in use they should last a good long while.

Believe it or not, this jute vase from Gail at Purple Hues and Me has an old food can hidden in there somewhere! What an impressive transformation!

Light Bulb Vase

Dannyelle from Life is a Party has some really good tips on how to turn an old lightbulb into a vase. Normally I just see this idea on pinterest but with no real explanation of how to actually do it!

We have some plastic light bulb effect outdoor solar lights in our garden, they weren’t very expensive so I’m not expecting them to last forever. When they do stop working as lights I will be turning them into cute vases for sure.

Probiotic Yogurt Shot Bottle Vases

Claire from Pillar Box Blue upcycled probiotic yogurt shot bottles with a paper napkin and decoupage technique, they look so impactful all together.

This cluster of yogurt drink bottles with a removable fabric “belt” is a pretty idea from It’s a Cover Up.

These yogurt drink bottles were easy to turn into pretty bud vases with pressed flowers.

So there you have it, 10 everyday items that you can use as a vase. Now you just need to treat yourself to a bunch next time you are shopping, pick some flowers from the garden or drop a lot of hints to your loved ones that you’d love some fresh flowers to brighten up your home.


I’ll be sharing these ideas at some of these link ups