Every night without fail, when my hubby takes EeeeeDeeeee Riley Pipsquick III for a wee walk he’ll bring me a flower from the garden. Depending on the season, it could be a rose, an African Lily, jasmine, or an exquisite little flower from the Wandering Jew. When the pickings are few, he’ll bring me a twig 😀 Most of the time, I’ll add my gifts to my potpourri bowl, but the stately African Lily (agapanthus) deserved something special. Something unique that makes you look twice. Maybe something like this upcycled cardboard vase?

This simple step by step tutorial will show you how to make an unusual cardboard vase for real flowers and use charcoal ash to add texture. The easy-to-follow craft tutorial can be adapted for any vase style.

Don’t you just love the way it seems to be dripping or creeping over the edge?   

This simple step by step tutorial will show you how to make an unusual cardboard vase for real flowers and use charcoal ash to add texture. The easy-to-follow craft tutorial can be adapted for any vase style.

And then there’s all that gorgeous charcoal ash texture 😀

A close up of the charcoal ash texture on the cardboard vase

Isn’t it lovely? There’s so much texture and interest happening right there.

This simple step by step tutorial will show you how to make an unusual cardboard vase for real flowers and use charcoal ash to add texture. The easy-to-follow craft tutorial can be adapted for any vase style.

No one believes me when I tell them it’s formed from cardboard. I made the vase late last year and I’ve been so keen to share it with you all but had to wait for this month’s IBC “Cardboard Creations” challenge.

This simple step by step tutorial will show you how to make an unusual cardboard vase for real flowers and use charcoal ash to add texture. The easy-to-follow craft tutorial can be adapted for any vase style.

Right, before we get to the upcycled cardboard vase tutorial, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post! And keep an eye out for the rest of the beautiful cardboard creations that my IBC friends made towards the end of the post. They are sooooo cool.

What you need

To make the upcyled cardboard vase

  • Sturdy cardboard box
  • Large plate to use as a template
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Masking tape
  • Newspaper
  • Texture paste (get the homemaderecipe here)
  • Mod podge or PVA craft glue
  • Straight empty plastic bottle. I used our guinea pig’s old water bottle, but a soda bottle will work too.

What you need to make an unusual cardboard vase that will hold real flowers

For the charcoal texture

  • Matt mod podge
  • White craft paint
  • Cooled ash from a charcoal fire

A close up of the hard lumpy bits in the charcoal ash

How to make a upcycled cardboard vase

Clean, dry, and sand the empty bottle.

Sand the plastic bottle to provide grip for the glue step

Using the empty bottle as a guide, find a plate that’s at least 10 cm wider than the bottle is tall. We’ll be using the plate to draw and cut out 6-8 large cardboard circles.

Use a large plate as a template to draw circles

Cut the cardboard circles in half.

Cut the cardboard circles in half

Place the empty bottle on the straight edge of the half-circle and measure the length. Cut the bottom of one of the half circles using the measurement as a guide.

Glue the half circles around the bottle

The cardboard half circle and flat-bottomed half-circle (shown above) will be used as master templates to cut spines for the cardboard vase. Make 12 roughly equal spaced marks on the top of the bottle and glue on one of the flat-bottomed half circles to the side.

Make equally spaced marks around the plastic bottle

Place the bottle on the edge of a table and glue a full half-circle to the opposite side.

Glue the half circles around the bottle

Continue gluing the other cardboard half circles and flat-bottomed half circles around the bottle using the marks as a guide. The flat-bottomed half-circle spines will go on the side that rests on the table, while the full half-circle spines will be glued to the side that melts or hangs over the edge. If you don’t want to make a cardboard vase that creeps over the edge, flatten one end of all the half-moon shapes and use them to create the spines.

Glue the half circles around the bottle

The more spines you add, the easier it will be to shape the floating cardboard vase later. In hindsight, I wish I’d added more. For the spines that kinda sit half on and half off the table, just trim them to fit.

Glue the half circles around the bottle

Once all the spines have been glued down, place a piece of cardboard under the bottle and trace around the edges to create a bottom for the cardboard vase.

Glue the bottom on. Cut a small circle for the top and glue it down.

Add a small cardboard circle at the top

Forming the cardboard vase

To form the cardboard vase, start by sticking masking tape between the spines.

Add masking tape between the spines

Cover the entire cardboard vase, top, sides, and bottom with masking tape.

A WIP close up of the cardboard vase overhang

Mod podge 2 – 3 layers of torn newspaper strips over the masking tape to strengthen the form.

Mod podge newspaper over the cardboard vase

Wait for the mod podge to dry completely before giving the whole thing a light sanding and then apply a layer of homemade texture paste. Add more layers of texture paste until you’re happy with the form. Leave each layer to dry completely between coats.

Mix up a batch of homemade texture paste and apply all over the vase

Paint the cardboard vase grey in preparation for the next step.

Paint the vase grey

I probably could have skipped the step, but I wasn’t sure if my ash texture paste would work and if it would provide adequate coverage.

Adding gorgeous charcoal ash texture

Now for the fun bit. Getting dirty and adding some gorgeous charcoal ash texture. Just make sure the ash has cooled down completely before you use it.

Use cold charcoal ash to make the texture paste

Don’t worry if there are hard lumps in the ash, it adds to the final look.

A close up of the hard lumpy bits in the charcoal ash

Mix up a batch of homemade texture paste using 1 tablespoon of white acrylic paint, 1 tablespoon of mod podge, and about 2/3 of a cup of cold ash from a charcoal fire. Here in South Africa, we love our braai’s so there is always a batch of charcoal ash for me to play with 😉

Making the cold charcoal ash texture paste

The consistency should be firm as shown below. Add more ash if yours is too runny and more mod podge if it’s dry and lumpy.

The charcoal ash texture paste consistency

Using your hands spread the paste all over the vase. Random is good.

Apply the charcoal ash texture paste with your hands

Wait for the paste to dry a little before using steel wool to lightly scour the surface.

Use a pot scourer to "sand" the cardboard vase

The steel wool removes any large unburnt charcoal bits and creates a gorgeous pitted effect.

While the paste is still slightly wet, grab a handful of dry ash and spread it all over. The damp texture paste absorbs the ash and gives the vase a slightly mottled effect. Feel free to experiment and play around.

Use cold charcoal ash to make the texture paste

Once you are happy seal the vase with 2- 3 coats of clear matt spray paint.

This simple step by step tutorial will show you how to make an unusual cardboard vase for real flowers and use charcoal ash to add texture. The easy-to-follow craft tutorial can be adapted for any vase style. #Craft #ACraftyMix #HomeDecor

Perch the vase with charcoal ash detail on a mantle or bookshelf and watch everyone do a double-take when you tell them it’s made from cardboard. Pop an African Lily or two inside for a wow statement.

A gorgeous white African Lily (Agapanthus) close up

Is that flower just beautiful? Our white aggies flower profusely from September all the way through to April.

A gorgeous white Agapanthus (African Lily) close up

Because there’s a bottle hidden on the inside of the vase, you could add any flowers you want to.

This simple step by step tutorial will show you how to make an unusual cardboard vase for real flowers and use charcoal ash to add texture. The easy-to-follow craft tutorial can be adapted for any vase style.

My bottle only had a small opening so it’s perfect for showing off one beautiful bloom and leaf.

Isn’t that coal ash texture beautiful?

What do you think? Would you make a cardboard vase for a special bloom?

This simple step by step tutorial will show you how to make an unusual cardboard vase for real flowers and use charcoal ash to add texture. The easy-to-follow craft tutorial can be adapted for any vase style.

If you like the idea of making an upcycled cardboard vase with a charcoal texture, don’t forget to pin it for later.

This simple step by step tutorial will show you how to make an unusual cardboard vase for real flowers and use charcoal ash to add texture. The easy-to-follow craft tutorial can be adapted for any vase style. #Craft #ACraftyMix #HomeDecor

Sharing is caring

This simple step by step tutorial will show you how to make an unusual cardboard vase for real flowers and use charcoal ash to add texture. The easy-to-follow craft tutorial can be adapted for any vase style. #Craft #ACraftyMix #HomeDecor

Want to see more unexpected creations made from cardboard?

IBC Cardboard Creation Challenge

  1. These cute little carrots made by Kippi at Home can be hung just about any where.
  2. Marie from Interior Frugalista decided to celebrate Spring with these gorgeous napkin rings.
  3. The uber talented Anita made a bust that looks nothing like it’s humble cardboard beginnings.
  4. This lamp got a retro makeover with a little help from Sara at Birdz of a Feather.
  5. Melting cardboard vase by yours truly

Oh BTW, if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered. Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us make more amazing crafts to share with you 😉

SAI Premium Corrugated Small Kraft Moving Box 10x7x5 Inches (5 Pack) Cardboard Packaging Shipping Boxes Mailers Supplies for Gifts
Ranger Texture Paste, 3.9 fl oz
Gorilla Dual Temp Mini Hot Glue Gun Kit with 30 Hot Glue Sticks

And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then maybe these beauties will appeal.

Sale Small Vase Handmade Home Decoration Ceramic Vase for Shelf, Living, Room, Table , Bookshelf Home Decor Gift, Modern Elegant Ceramic Vase (Small 4 Inch High, White)
Gaby's Collection Ceramic Vase Set of 2 with Matching Hemp Rope Coasters - Black and White Vases for Decor - Rustic Flower Vase for Home Decor - Small Decorative Vases for Flowers for Living Room
Signature Design by Ashley Jayden 3 Piece Textured Ceramic Vase Set, White Stone Finish

And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.

Made with love by a Crafty Mix