September 22, 2014

DIY: Mercury Glass Vase

jars2There is always something in my yard that I can find to put in a vase.  Even in the dead of winter, I put plain (or spray painted) tree branches in a vase.

I like to find reasons surprise a friend with a vase of something on their door step…maybe a thank you,  happy birthday, welcome to the neighborhood, or an “I’m thinking aboutcha”.

I save glass jars so that I always have “vases” on hand that I can dress up with some ribbon and have ready for my next ding-dong-ditch-vase-leave-behind.

This truly cool mercury glass DIY transformed my empty jars into something a little more.  This was easy and high impact.  Maj!


– empty spray bottle

– white vinegar and water

– glass jars or vases or any glass container (glass jars with writing or etching on them are really neat – think Smuckers)

– Krylon “looking glass” spray

– rubber gloves, paper towels, newspaper (if you don’t have newspaper, then cut the sides of an empty trash bag to make a tarp)


-Mix ¼ cup water with ¼ cup white vinegar and put in spray bottle.

-Place all glass pieces upside down on newspapers.  (do this in the middle of the yard as far away from your house as possible so you don’t get the paint on your cars, on the driveway, on your white garage door, etc. – not that any of this has ever happened to me)

-Lightly mist the glass with the vinegar solution. You want little drops of water.  Don’t get crazy – it’s not supposed to be running down the glass.

-Immediately spray a very thin coat of paint, Krylon Looking Glass, lightly coating the entire outside of the glass. (I did not have that kind of paint and couldn’t find it at Lowe’s or Walmart or Michael’s, my 3 least favorite stores in America, so I gave up. Maybe try Hobby Lobby or Joann’s or Amazon?  We had some Krylon Original Chrome spray paint in our garage cabinet so I went with that.)

-Wait 1 minute.  (you know, 60 seconds…or so)

-You are ready to “blot”.   The purpose of this is to “remove” some of the vinegar so that you have some markings that look like mercury glass.  You will want to “press” in some places.  You will want to use a slight “press” and “twist” motion in other places. Vary your technique and also do it very lightly in some places and heavier in others.  You can’t mess this up.  It used to be a pickle jar for crying out loud.

-Wait 30 seconds to 1 minute.

-Repeat 2 times. (or 3 or 4 if you mess up or if you are having so much fun and don’t want to stop at 2)
-At some point, remember to turn the piece over to spray around the top of the piece to get the opening of the jar.

Boom.  Mercury glass!

So, in all of my infinite planning wisdom, I started this little project yesterday 20 minutes before we were headed out the door to church.  I figured I had 20 whole minutes of free time, so I wanted to put that extra time to work!  Of course, my 5 year old son wanted to help, which meant a lot of me yelling “stop”, “quit”, “don’t touch that”.

Here I was in the back yard in the blazing sun crouched in the grass in nice clothes and nice shoes, spraying vinegar water and silver paint everywhere. I was SWEATING my butt off in every bodily crease and my lower back cricked up because of the very awkward squatting/bending over.

Fast forward to church.  My lower back was really hurting now.  I looked down and noticed I spray painted the top of one of my black shoes silver.  Classy.  I looked at my son’s brown shoes and the tops of both of his, including the laces, were silver.  Seriously?  Also, I smelled faint whispers of vinegar every time my son moved around.   Gross.

You can file this last paragraph under “D” for dumb@$$.  Don’t be a ding dong like me.

If you want some legit inspiration on this, go to this gal’s page.  She has the process down pat.

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