It seems these days that mercury glass is the go-to choice for wedding décor. From flower vases to candle votive holders, mercury glass can complement or complete any wedding theme from rustic to vintage to romantic.
However, with popularity comes a price. Buying mercury glass wholesale online or in-store can cost a pretty penny, anywhere from $20 to $50 a vase and $3 to $5 a candle votive holder. Not to mention, finding multiple mercury glass vases of the same style can be tricky – websites typically only stock a certain amount, or you have to drive to multiple stores just to get the amount that you need. Who has time for that in the weeks leading up to their wedding?
The good news is with some creativity, practice and patience, you can make your own mercury glass vases and candle holders without blowing your budget or sacrificing the vision for your wedding! Depending on how many glass pieces that you plan to paint, this project easily can be accomplished with only spending $20 to $50.
Here is a list of supplies that you’ll need, all of which can be found at your local hardware store, craft store, thrift store and dollar store, and big-name stores, such as Target or Wal-Mart, or you may already have some of these items stored in your home.
All tutorial images via 17 Apart
- Krylon Looking Glass Mirror-Like Spray Paint – approximately $10
- White vinegar
- Spray bottle
- Paper towels or a soft rag
- Newspaper or cardboard
- Glass pieces (vases, candle holders, etc.) of your choice – these can be clear or colored depending on the look of your wedding. You can find a wide selection of glass pieces at the dollar store, Michael’s and Hobby Lobby, and even the thrift store. These can range in price anywhere from $.50 to $5 each.
1. Wash and completely dry all the glass pieces that you plan to paint.
2. In the spray bottle, create a mix of half water and half white vinegar – try 1/4 cup of each as you always can make more later if you need it. Shake the mixture well.
3. In a well-ventilated area, lay out the newspaper or cardboard, and stand your glass piece upside down.
4. Make sure the nozzle of the spray bottle is on a mist setting, not spray or jet. Stand at a reasonable distance, and begin to lightly and slowly spray the piece of glass all over. You want the water to bead up, not run down the glass – this may take some trial and error.
5. Immediately follow-up with a thin coat of the Krylon Looking Glass spray paint, and lightly coat the entire outside of the vase. Note: Even though the directions on the spray paint bottle say to spray the inside of the glass, you only want to spray the outside for this project since you plan to use the vases, i.e., water for flowers, candles, etc.
6. After 30 seconds to a minute, lightly blot the glass with paper towel or a soft rag. This will give the glass the copycat distressed look like real mercury glass. You even can use a circular wiping motion and press harder in some spots to remove some paint altogether for more of a rustic, cracked look.
7. Repeat steps 4-6 at least three to four times or until you reach the desired look of the glass.
Ta-dah! Now you have your own custom pieces of mercury glass without breaking the bank, and you add a personal touch to the décor since you can look around the room and know that you handmade all those glass pieces.
You even can opt to send family members and guests home with the vases of flowers if you don’t have a need for several pieces of mercury glass after the wedding – guests will enjoy receiving the memento and can enjoy your labor of love for years to come.
If you decide to DIY mercury glass for your wedding day, we’d love to see your photos! Tag us on Instagram @weddingpartyapp and on Twitter @wedding.
Karly Anderson is a born and raised Midwest girl currently residing outside Milwaukee, Wis. Her blog, Miss in the Midwest, chronicles her take on beauty, life and style in the Heartland. Catch up with Karly on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter