I’m always looking for unique pieces to style side tables, mantles, or open shelving. Whenever I stop into thrift stores (Goodwill!) I’m looking for pieces with unique shapes that are in style right now. Even if I hate the colors or the patterns, I know that as long as I have a good base I can transform it to fit my home décor.
What to Look For
Your first step before even stepping into the store to pick out your vase is to understand what shapes to look for. This takes a little bit of research to understand what stores are selling right now and what other designers are using. Fortunately I’ve rounded up some examples of shapes that are perfect for this, so you don’t have to!
Some of the similarities are a little more obvious when you put them all together; they’re bulbous shape, size of the mouth, handles or no handles. As you can see there are variations within these that make it much easier to find something comparable while you are out thrift shopping. You just have to look past the colors and patterns in the store and you can turn something thrifted (mine are always less than $10) to look like something that might cost $300.
- Earthyn Vase, $330
- Azura Jar, $220
- 8″ x 7″ Weathered Jug Vase Brown, $20
- Brizo Large White Vase, $199
- Aged Terra Cotta Vase, $188
- Burke Handcrafted Ceramic Vase, $149
- Round Clay Vase $285
- Extra Large Artisan Vase, $139
- Joshua Vase, $99
- Ravine Black Ceramic Jug, $54
- Deco Terracotta Handled Vase, $56
- Aged Ceramic Vase, Peach, $118
Where to Look
My favorite places to look for affordable decor are always second hand, but there are some options for new as well!
Goodwill – This is always my favorite place to look. I find it has the most unique items and its a little bit like a treasure hunt digging for the best looking items. They also have the most affordable pricing. For this post I bought my ceramic vase from Goodwill for $4.99!
2nd Ave Thrift – I just discovered this thrift store in my area and it is fantastic! It’s comparable to Goodwill, but a bit larger. Across all the stores, items are organized by type so if you know what you’re looking for you can head straight to that aisle. It feels much more like a typical retail store in that they try to streamline the shopping process.
Flea Markets – Check out your local flea markets! There are plenty of people who do the work to go thrift shopping and collecting items to bring to events just like this. Think of it like a curated thrift store, but its supporting local sellers.
Facebook Marketplace – This has become the online resale staple app as of late. No longer do we have to wonder who that anonymous Craiglist seller is. You can review sellers and buyers, see their profile, and communicate all through the Facebook interface.
Buy Nothing Groups – If you haven’t joined a local Buy Nothing Group on Facebook you may be missing out on some exciting finds! Buy Nothing Groups are local Facebook communities where people post photos of items they are trying to give away. The range of items is vast from shampoo to furniture, but if you keep notifications on and skim the posts you may be able to score some nice home decor for free!
Dollar Stores – Although not literally a dollar, most dollar stores are selling new home decor items for cheap. They will most likely be basic, but if the idea of purchasing used items is unappealing, you can always check there. Dollar General is my favorite for trending home decor finds.
Once you’ve found the pot – congratulations! That’s the hard part. If you followed me on Instagram you will know that I found my perfect vase and then promptly smashed it in the trunk of my car. I saved all the pieces and superglued it back together. Hopefully you will skip this step, but just know if you do add this – it will only add more character!
Next decide what base color you want. I picked a flat black decorative paint by Rustoleum.
First do any prep work based on the finish of your pot. If its shiny or glossy, you may need a primer or you may want to use sandpaper to roughen the surface up so your paint can adhere to it better.
Mix your baking soda with the paint. I usually mix about 50/50 of each so the consistency is slightly thicker than the paint itself. You don’t want any clumps but it should feel like a fine sandpaper after its all dried.
Once its fully dried, find some mud from your backyard. My preferred type of dirt for this type of project is a clay soil, which means its has smaller particles and will stick to the surface a bit easier. With clay soil you will have to add a bit of water to make it easier to spread. Coat your entire vase with the mud and wait for it to dry.
Once it’s dry take a wet rag and start removing some of that soil. I removed most of it, leaving the bits that fell in the cracks of the vase. Let it dry again and review. It took me about 3 iterations until I got the look I was looking for. Take a dry cloth or even your hand and gently wipe around the vase to get rid of any loose particles that may be stuck on there. Once you are happy with it that’s all you have to do! I’m so excited to try this with a lamp next!