Awhile back I bought several terra-cotta wine chillers at Hobby Lobby for about a dollar each. However since then they’ve sat on a shelf with nothing for me to use them for. Then I thought “hey, why don’t I paint one?” and this easy distressed patriotic vase was born. It’s simple and fast, the perfect decoration for the upcoming patriotic holidays.
The sad part is that if you put water into something made of terra-cotta, it will sweat. It won’t be too noticeable or crazy but it might cause the paint to chip off. You really need to seal this project with a clear sealant and if you’re going to use it as a vase for live plants, place a clear jar inside to hold the water. However you should be able to safely use it as a planter.
I plan on putting it on my mantle with a ton of fake sunflowers until after the 4th of July.
First gather your supplies. You need a terra-cotta wine chiller or similar terra cotta vessel. Next you’ll need red, white and blue paint, painting tape, paper towels, a sanding block and a paint brush for touch ups.
Start by pouring a little white paint directly onto the terra cotta wine chiller and use your paper towel to rub it into the terra cotta.
It looks messy and I should know because I’m a pro at messy. However the paint absorbs quickly into the clay so you have to work fast. Once all the paint was absorbed, I rubbed it a few more times to give it a little shine. This step goes very quickly.
I did not tape off the top edge of the vase but later I wish I had. You might want to take a minute to do this.
Next when you have the white part finished with a slightly distressed aged look, tape off the lower edge of the rim and paint it blue. I roughly combined blue and white paint and spread it on with a paper towel again until I had the imperfect look I was going for.
When the blue area was dry (it takes a minute at most) I taped it off and also added lines of painter’s tape down the vase. If you’re a perfectionist, you can measure and make sure all the lines are equal. I’m not a perfectionist so I’ll just let you guess what my method of operation was.
I put red paint directly onto a paper towel and pulled it down the vase to get a streaky distressed look. I kept rubbing it in and adding color until I had the look I wanted all the way around the vase.
Now you can pull off the tape and reveal your paper towel paint job. The picture on the left shows you what it looked like when I first removed the tape.
Here’s a confession: at first I hated it. Plus my four year old came to see what I was working on and got very excited that I was making something for the circus.
So I did what any crafter in a predicament would do and got out the handy dandy sanding block.
After a few passes with the sanding block I was in love.
What was once glaring imperfections on the paint lines and a little bit of a circus theme had turned into the perfectly charming distressed vase that’s begging to hold sunflowers.
It’s a fun project that can be done in any color. Use red, white, and blue for patriotic holiday crafts or use black, white, and yellow for a classic look.
The good news is that it’s really hard to mess it up as long as you have your trusty sanding block by your side.
Also don’t forget to check out How to Make a Flag T-shirt Using To-Go Boxes.
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