How to make a clever crackle vase for dried florals

Summon your inner artisan and have a go at this fun project from Georgie Malyon that involves arranging dried flowers and painting a vase using a clever antiquing technique.

This project is a perfect mindful activity for a winter’s day. As well as selecting and arranging flora, you can get out your paintbrushes and have fun experimenting with colour when you decorate the vases. For this project I’ve embraced a romantic 1970s bohemian vibe that harks back to that era’s love of pottery, velvet and dried flowers – all in a blur of burgundy, mustard, brown and terracotta. Use preserved dried flowers and foliage if you want a semi-permanent display. They’re available from many florists, and there’s a wonderful range of colours and textures to tickle your floral fancy.

AN assortment of dried flowers and gold, brown and orange painted pots.
IMAGE VIA REUBEN LOOI

Colours that harmonise

When using repetition in an arrangement, as I have here with three vases, colour is key to achieving a consistent look and mood. Choose tones that sing together and go for a range of contrasting textures. I used spiky yellow echinops, papery eucalyptus leaves dyed burgundy, dipped fluffy bunny tails, and feathery brown ming fern.

Georgie placing dried flora in an orange painted vase
IMAGE VIA REUBEN LOOI

Mix it up

The beauty of this arrangement is that it follows an easy, quick formula. Simply fill each of your vases with a different type of preserved flora. But rules are also made to be broken – it’s good to challenge the eye with an element of the unexpected, which is why I’ve filled one of my vases with two kinds of plant material: the echinops and the eucalyptus.

Georgie placing a mixture of dried flroa in a vase
IMAGE VIA REUBEN LOOI

Measure for measure

Remember to think about scale when choosing your plant matter and vase. Ideally, you want the vase to be no larger than one-third of the height of your plant matter. And small dogs should be at least half the height!

A pug sitting next to a painted brown vase with dried flowers in it on an orange table cloth
IMAGE VIA REUBEN LOOI

Paint your own crackle vase

You will need:
  • Vases
  • Resene MacGyver paintbrush Resene dropcloth
  • Your choice of contrasting Resene testpot colours (we used Resene Pirate Gold, Resene Vesuvius, Resene Chelsea Gem, Resene Whiskey Sour, Resene Lightning Yellow and Resene Ayers Rock)
  • Resene FX Crackle
  • Protective gloves
  • Protective mask
  • Safety glasses
A flatlay of vases, paint, paintbrush, goggles, mask, gloves
IMAGE VIA REUBEN LOOI
Instructions

1 Using your Resene MacGyver brush, paint your vases with your chosen Resene testpot colour (B). This will be the colour you see through the cracks.

Painting a grey vase orange
IMAGE VIA REUBEN LOOI

2 Wait for your base colour to dry (C), then brush on one layer of Resene FX Crackle (D). Wait
at least two hours before moving on to the next step.

3 After the two hours is up, brush on the final layer of your chosen contrasting Resene testpot colour (E).

layering on a yellow paint over the orange
IMAGE VIA REUBEN LOOI

4 Allow your vase to dry (F) and wait for the Resene FX Crackle to work its antique magic effect. The Resene FX Crackle will cause the topcoat to crack so you can see your base colour.

finished crackle vases
IMAGE VIA REUBEN LOOI

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