Turn Your Basic Jars Into Stunning Vases With This Easy Aluminum Foil DIY

Are you snowed in this winter and looking for indoor activities? Crafting is what the festive season is all about — DIY mantel ideas that are ridiculously cozy, for example. Bonus if you can use materials you have on hand (no need to bundle up and drive to the store) or save money making all your gifts instead of buying them. All you need to create a pretty, durable vase ready for the spring blooms awaiting you on the other side of this cold weather is an upcycled glass jar or bottle, craft glue, and a roll of aluminum foil. Slather the outside of your jar with said glue and stick down the foil sheets.

Budget-wise, this DIY project is about as close to free as you can get. Use upcycled food jars, lightly used aluminum foil (even a new roll won't break the bank), and dollar-store craft glue to save your pennies. The decorative possibilities are nearly endless, too. Al-foil bends easily around almost any shape or texture, and you can paint it. Practically, kitchen foil jar vases just make sense. Do you often forget to give your flower vase a much needed clean? Opaque vases hide unsightly limescale, stains, and overdue-for-a-change water. They obscure the obviously fake stems of artificial flowers if you use those instead of fresh ones. Aluminum foil reflects heat and sunlight, keeping the water inside the vase at room temperature or cooler — preferred by florists — and extending the life of your cut flowers.

Gather everything

At a minimum, you need a roll of cooking foil, a glass jar, and glue. Walmart has 75 square foot rolls of Reynolds Wrap Everyday Strength for $4.98. If you prefer a pre-cut option, get a 200-pack of 12-inch sheets of restaurant-quality aluminum foil on Amazon for $15.99. Recycled foil is best for eco-friendly DIYers — try the If You Care 50-square-foot roll for $7.99. You technically can use used foil so long as it can be flattened out and is mostly free from tears. Make sure, of course, that the sheets are lightly used and free of food particles.

Upcycle glass jars and bottles of any size from your pantry. Wash them with warm, soapy water, and once completely dry, use rubbing alcohol to remove sticky or greasy residue. If you must buy some, buying various sizes, like this three-pack of assorted-sized ball jars from Joann for $57.99, gives you options. We recommend either craft glue (that white stuff) or decoupage glue. If you're looking to get a bit fancy with this project, add to this list a glue gun and glue sticks, heavily patterned lace or other textured textiles and stickers, glue-on-able decorative features like ribbons, beads, buttons, and non-toxic acrylic paint. Honestly, the sky's pretty much the limit regarding what you can stick onto your jar once it's securely covered in foil. Tools-wise, all you might need is a pair of scissors.

Get crafting

Scrunch a large sheet of foil in your hands to crimp it, then flatten it out. Cover the outside of your jar or bottle with glue, and smooth on the foil. Trim any overhang. To create even more texture, use decoupage glue to affix lace or embossed fabric — cut to fit the width of the jar — onto the outside. Alternatively, draw patterns —whorls, stripes, and dots — onto the surface of the glass using your glue gun, allowing the glue to harden before continuing. Then, follow the method above to cover the textural elements with foil. You can do the same to the lid, too.

You can also roll tiny pieces of foil into marble-sized balls or twist sheets to make long coils. A glue gun works best to attach the coils or balls to the jar or bottle. Fit them tightly together so that no glass shows. Leave the vase as is for a metallic look, or paint it with acrylic paint in your hue of choice. Wipe back the paint to reveal embossing or surface texture. Use your glue gun to add decorative elements — beautiful glass beads in the space between the foil balls or ribbon around the top and bottom of the jar to obscure hide rough joins. Don't have any glue? The nature of aluminum foil is that it will fit neatly around an object. Pull it tight and secure it around the mouth of the jar or bottle.