What's In A Vase?
One of the perks of decorating your house today is all of the DIY projects you're able to find on sites like Pinterest, Instagram, or any Buzzfeed article. Not only do DIYs look trendy and hip, they're also money savers for the poor, struggling, Brooklynite like myself, and most of my 20-something year old friends.
Surprisingly, for this Valentine's I was given 3 dozen roses delivered to my apartment by a secret admirer. I'm not making this up. There was no card and the flower shop did not have a name of who sent them. 25 roses of various colors: white, red, yellow, and my favorite color - orange. My admirer knows your girl pretty well. The flowers though came in a large, unattractive vase that made it an awkward addition to my apartment decor. I wanted to keep the flowers because they made the apartment smell fresh, but needed to find a way to separate them into smaller arrangements.
The first item I was able to find was a small spice rack that has been sitting in my kitchen cupboards since I moved to New York 7 years ago. I took it from my cousin's garage sale one summer thinking I could fill the tubes up with wonderful spices I would use to make delicious meals - but sadly it moved from Vermont to the Bronx, to Brooklyn, and sat collecting dust. Alas, inspiration had sprung and I removed all 16 corks, filled each tube up about halfway with water. My mom always taught me that to care for roses you must always make a diagonal cut in the stem (it is able to soak up the water easier), and add a teaspoon of sugar to the water as well - with that done I began my first arrangement.
Not only did my make-shift vase turn out to be very hipster, but it was a cute little touch. The arrangement was shorter as well, and fit perfectly as a center piece on my kitchen table - and not to toot my own horn but I'm pretty please with myself for tying in the kitchen element of the spice rack. Go me!
With 25 roses and only using 5 on the spice rack vase I had to come up with a few more ideas for vases. I really wanted to tie in other elements of the apartment so that there was an overall theme. When I first began decorating #22BrooklynBungalow I wanted to embrace my old school Vermont-hippie style, with the so-called new school "hipster" vibes that are happening in Brooklyn. Growing up my grandmother always made homemade jam in mason jars - families spent afternoons making olives, pickles, cherries and more, always storing them in mason jars. After moving to Brooklyn - and away from my old, generic roommates - I bought 3 cases of mason jars to use as my regular drinking glasses. Since then, friends have given me mason jar shot glasses, a redneck wine glass (shaped like a mason jar), and even stolen a few mason jars from restaurants as gifts for me.
So, yes, the obvious choice for my second DIY vase was to use mason jars. Even though the jars I used were very small I wanted to keep some of the height of the original flowers and greenery. What better way to compliment the jars than a homemade vase using a giant wine glass a girl friend gave me for my birthday last year. Wine, mason jars, food - all VERY important aspects to the Bungalow.
Finally, a majority of the flowers had been separated and I was able to space them throughout the apartment. I had only a few flowers left and glanced around my apartment trying to find one last object that would be used as a flower vase. It eventually came to me.
Before my current roommate moved in I was living with a friend from home who loved arts and crafts. On weekends she would disappear for a few hours and head off to Michael's (her favorite store), or wander around the neighborhood looking for arts & crafts stores. One weekend she came back with 4 tall bottles with cork tops - 2 blue and 2 white.
"I wasn't sure what we could use these for but I figured I'd get them anyway!" was her reasoning. Thankfully she had left them and the 2 white bottles sat in the back of the cupboard just waiting to be used. Being able to keep all the stems, but just having to cut off a few lower leaves, I squeezed the last few roses and leafy greens into the tall bottles and framed them on either side of my television. I felt accomplished and like a creative genius! Yes, they were just flowers in unconventional vases, but I was able to simply reuse items in my home in order to add a cost-effective and personal touch.
Keep checking "Tiny Little Box" to see more decorative tips for #22BrooklynBungalow.