Brush jars made with love

My cousin and her husband gave me some vases from their wedding reception. Their wedding and the whole week leading up to it was filled with awesome time with family and memories I will cherish forever. That sounds wicked cheesy but I mean it, I had such a blast with both our and the grooms family.

 

I decided as brush jars the vases would have a functional use and be prominently featured in our home.  The only concern I had was how to keep the cute burlap, lace and ribbon vases (DIY’d by the bride) looking great?

My answer was that this would be a great time to try something I had been eyeing in the craft store for a while:

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This particular one has intrigued me with the first line on the back label. "Use on all surfaces. Indoor/outdoor. Top rack dishwasher safe. Waterbased. Non-toxic. Dries hard, no tack."

There are very specific instructions on the best way to use this multi-surface product. Had I been constructing these from bare glass I would (maybe) have followed them. As it was I was dealing with fabric and embellishments already attached so decided to do all with one extra generous coat instead of the many thin coats with 1-2 hours between that are recommended. I used a soft brush and loaded them up.

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Gooey!
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I taped off outside of the decorations on the mason jar vase. If I were to do this over I would have taped off under the lace of the other vases as well.

The next step was to fill them with small stones. I did this for two reasons. The fill inside the bases makes the brushes stand up independently as opposed to leaning against each other causing the bristles to become misshapen.  The second reason is to give the brush jars some ballast. This makes them hard to tip over when filled with long top heavy brushes or when bumped by the clumsy artist herself.

There are many things that can be used as vase filler. I went with stones because I loved rock collecting as a child. Learning about the different minerals and how different types of rocks were formed was something I could read about and never tire of it.  I found some mixed stone embellishments for sale online during a wicked sale so I went for it.

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Did I mention they were on sale?
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I was surprised by how pretty they were. I actually went through and picked out my favorites so I can use them in jewelry later.

I worried that because of my blatant disregard for instructions they might dry cloudy or not completely. I was very impressed with how clear the decoupage dried. Other than a few places on the bare glass where brush strokes are visible you cannot even tell they have been treated with anything without touching them.

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I chose to fill the mason jar vase with green stones because I like the contrast between them and the dark burlap.
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The lace and ribbons are stiff and only slightly glossy. Other wise they look identical to the day they were given to me.
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The decoupage will hopefully keep them waterproof and stain resistant for years to come. I will have to tell you in a few years how they hold up. They are now certainty more durable than they would have been if left untreated.
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My brush station. The mason jar lives directly on the desk because it is the perfect size to house what ever brushes I'm currently working with.
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