Madigan made… a long, wired, glass vase with a clay tray.
Have you ever heard of a heritage plant? I have a crown of thorns bush that, in a way, has been in my family for many decades. The original plant came from my grandmother’s family. She has given family members many cuttings from the plant over the years.
The crown of thorns is a spiky succulent. You might not have realized it, but I showed you my piece of it during my deck makeover (circled in white):
The little shrub loves being out on the deck all spring/summer and I bring it inside for the winter. The problem is that some years it barely survives indoors until spring. I think that is because we don’t have a super sunny room in our home. NOT the fact that you do…. ahem… need to water it, too! :D
My crown of thorns plant was struggling to survive this winter and it was getting a little big, too. I figured that I’d lop off a bunch of branches to root in water. Then I could start fresh with smaller plants in the spring.
The problem is… the vases filled with the cuttings did not look very pretty or cohesive on our kitchen windowsill. I wanted to find an inexpensive way to display the pretty branches.
So, I found glass containers and floral wire at the dollar store and I needed a way to connect them all in a long line. I looked for something sturdy to hold the glasses together along the bottom as a tray or something.
Why not make my own tray with clay? I’ve always wanted to work with clay. My mom is a hobby potter and it is fun to see her pottery creations. And I found out with this project that manipulating clay is harder than it looks.
Want to make your own set of vases for your kitchen window?
How to make a long vase display for your windowsill:
Step One: Gather your supplies.
- air dry clay (about 1/3 of a 1 kg package)
- glass containers (i.e. large sugar/spice containers from the dollar store)
- ribbon or tape
- floral wire
- spray paint
Step Two: Roll out your clay.
Use something cylindrical to roll out your clay in an even layer (my clay was about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick). I did not want to use my good rolling pin, so I tried a brayer, a spray paint can and a paint stick to roll out my clay! Classy, right? Notice how wrinkly my clay looks? Yeah, I’m calling that ‘character’! :D
Step Three: Shape your clay tray.
Line up your vases in a straight line and press them all down into the clay to make a shallow indentation for each one. Use a piece of ribbon or tape as a general guide to create an even line guide to trim around the perimeter of the glasses with a blade or knife. Store any leftover clay in an air tight bag.
Step Four: Allow the clay to dry.
There is no need to bake air-dry clay (which is why that product appealed to me in the first place). The directions on the package warned that the clay material would take at least 24 hours to dry. My tray took 48+ hours to fully cure. I had to flip it over to get air to the bottom after one day and the shape did not lie completely flat at that point. I think that is why the center of my tray became weak. (I ended up getting a hairline crack down the middle. Next time I would probably used a cookie rack to dry the clay and let air circulate all the way around it and I would not need to move it.)
Step Five: Paint your tray. (optional)
The clay did not dry into a bright white color like I hoped it would. So I coated it with some glossy white spray paint.
Step Six: Create a wire frame.
I used 2 packages of pink floral wire to create a very rough looking basket around the clay tray and glassware. I just cut and wrapped pieces of wire until they looked right.
The wire frame wasn’t perfect or very sturdy, but it did the job!
Step Seven: Add vases and fill with greens or flowers.
I moved my thorny cuttings into my new set of vases. I love the way they look in the window and filter the light. The colors are very springy and the plant offers a nice green view out our window when the trees beyond are not filled in yet.
This vase display did not turn out as polished or elegant as I hoped it would. The white clay is a bit rough and the wire frame around the vases is uneven.
It is not perfect, but I think that is what makes this vase set charming, right?
The cuttings are slowly growing roots and I’m guessing they will be ready to plant in pots by the spring. But I’m kinda liking how these vases look now. I’m not sure I want to plant the branches outside! We will see!
I’m sharing this post with:
Tatertots and Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, Addicted 2 Decorating