Dollar Store DIY Decor: Wood Dowel Vases.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

*clap clap* alrighty, new segment on the ol’ blog today:  Dollar Store DIY Decor!  A little outside the box thinking, reimagining supplies, a smattering of inspiration, and you’ve got yourself some spiffy home decor on the cheap, without looking cheap. 

Decor can be, gah, so damn expensive, amiright?!  What if...what if a quick pop by your neighborhood dollar store could result in some spiffy looks for less?

It’s possible!  It’s true!

As we know, decorating specifically is not necessarily my niche per se and I often don’t remember to drop by the dollar store as it's not on my regular routes.  Too, truthfully, I walk in there and my imagination gets dropped at the door for some odd reason, my brain farts. 

This time, this visit was purpose-driven as I was looking for ways to dress up our freshly redone laundry room which I will get to sharing here in very very very short order.  Omg, I'm agog over the difference seeing the before photo from this old post, ha, wow.  Wow.

But right...

Lemme be honest (ah boy here we go...).  Buying decor solely for decor’s sake is not something I advocate nor encourage.  For me, and what I think makes for richer design, is if it resonates, has some meaning or purpose or individual significance or it's a love-it-gotta-have-it.  Otherwise, it may strike me (personally) as seen-it-saw-it, soulless clutter.  

Oy, yeah, that’s a statement.  

Don’t get me wrong.  Surely decor for decor's sake can look attractive, it obviously photographs well, obviously there are stores built around selling decor.  Doesn’t mean it’s always artful or right for you.  But, it's not for me to judge.  You do you, absolutely.

Frankly, heh, I abhor dusting.  More things equals more dusting.  And I have a dust allergy.  

Ok, but true fact, interiors can wither without decor.

So I made some vases!  Well, ok, I bought vases and other supplies and dressed them up.  And you can too.  Super easy fifteen minute decor.  Probably not even fifteen.

My supplies:
  • glass vase
  • 12" long wood dowels
  • wood skewers
  • double stick mounting tape
  • sanding block
Yeah, that's it.  So like eh seven bucks for one DIY Scandinavian hygge boho "in" maybe mid-century-ish style vase.  The pride in making your own nifty decor though?  Priceless.

Ok, so key with the vase is to look for straight sides, that's the easiest.

vase dowels and skewers
Here we go:  supplies.  Yes, just regular skewers you'd cook up some kebabs with.
And sure, you can pick up dowels of any thickness, size, and length at your local home improvement store then trim them to size or, buy a big pack online.*

All righty, so measure your vase.  If you have a fabric tape measure,* use that or use a piece of string to get the circumference then measure the length of the string.  In my case, it was about eleven inches.  Measure the height.  I've got nine inches.

measuring for vase circumference
Pull the string around then measure and you've got the circumference!  Sweet.

lay out for quantity needed
Before I trimmed, I laid out the dowels and skewers so I wasn't cutting more than I needed to.
Trim your dowels down to your desired height which can be the height of the vase, it can be shorter than the height so some glass is showing, alternate heights, angled, ya know, get clever.  I went with the height of the vase even all the way around for demonstration purposes.

Now, my first go-around, I was successful using my miter saw to trim the dowels and skewers.  Only once though; the other times I shattered and shot bits clear around the basement.  SooOo, I'd advise using a hand saw and miter box.*  And safety goggles.*

Next up, unfurl the double-stick mounting tape and lightly stick in on the vase, cutting where the ends meet.  Peel the tape off and cut it down the long-way middle, just to be thrifty.  Or, if your tape is narrow, use two pieces.

Stick a piece around near the top then the other around near the bottom.  Peel the paper/plastic up.  Good luck.  That's the hardest part of this whole DIY actually.

The double-stick mounting tape?*  Yeah, that wasn't a dollar store buy.  I'd heard about this T-Rex brand* and wanted to check it out.  And daaaammmnnn, does it stick, whooo.  Thumbs way up, a product that does what it says.

Rawr, super tough tape!  I was positively impressed.
Righty-o, sand any edges that may be fuzzy or splintery with your sanding block* or some sandpaper and then just start sticking your dowels and skewers onto the tape.  Make sure you're lined up straight and keep stickin'.  

Tape, check.  Dowel and skewer, check.  
If you're lucky, you'll end up even with the dowels to skewers but if not, eh, no biggie, just spin that part to the unseen side.

On a roll, just keep going.  By the way, peel the paper/plastic off the double stick tape as you go to avoid gunk getting stuck to it.
And voila!  Some Dollar Store DIY Decor!

finished vases
Oh so decorative of me, huh?
Now, you can leave the wood bare, seal it if you'd like, paint it, spray paint it, tape off and do a painted design, stain the wood....oodles of finishing options!

And then, if you want, what did my sci-fi loving husband call my faux flower faux flowers, ah Tribbles, pick up some faux fur pom poms,* some florist stem wire,* and some of that creepy weird floral frog foam* to stab the wire into.  Fun, right?!  Dust grabbers, yeah, but modern, different, and wackadoodle fun.

faux fur pom pom flower supplies
Heh, Tribble flowers ahead.
Major fun time bonus here -- on top of photos, this is my very first ever craft video!  Iiiiiii know!  A big huge special thanks to Lindsay Jones for his awesome original music.


Fun, right?  Heh, here, let's do it in time-lapse too because why not...


hahaha, I'm silly.

Ok, now get out there and make some cool stuff!

finished vases display

*The big pack of dowels link, fabric tape measures, hand saws with miter boxes, safety goggles, double-stick mounting tape, T-Rex brand tapes, sanding blocks, faux fur pom poms, stem wire, and floral frog foam are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.

4 comments

  1. BRILLIANT! A well done, high-end look and completely doable. I might have bought this at Anthropologie or Ballard or Amanda Lindroth.
    Thank you!

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    1. Thank you!! Wow, thank you for such the compliments, I’m so flattered!

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  2. Watched the video. Even easier than I imagined--that tape was great. I am doing this, pronto.
    Subscribed to your blog, love the projects and the way you describe them. You express things the way I think...what a find this was. :D

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    1. Oh you’ve totally made my day! I’m so thrilled you’re here and signed up and we’re on the same plane and for your kind words! Do be sure to send photos of your finished ones, I’d love to see! Thanks so much and looking forward to seeing you around these parts!

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