Introduction: Mailing Tube Vases

About: About the Owner: Following a career in broadcasting with ABC Radio and event management, Nicole developed an interest in the hand-made when at home with her children. She discovered the pleasure of making so…

Do you have lots of vases that are white or glass? They’re perfect for a colourful bunch of flowers. But, sometimes a splash of pattern or colour is what’s needed to create a decorative display on a sideboard or table WITHOUT flowers.

Here’s a way to create a vase arrangement which looks good without lots of flowers. You can also use these cylinder vases to cover any old jar or container. What’s better is that we made these from postal mailing tubes and leftover bits of wallpaper, so we’re re-using easy to find materials. Try getting wallpaper samples or remainders from your paint or hardware store, and mix and match some. This tutorial idea is from Lynn Pavey. Here’s her tip: “The design part is important. Plan carefully and spend time pondering the possibilities. Only two cylinders can have a base (each end of the tube). Think about your heights so they are in good proportion to each other and also where the designs on the wallpaper will sit on your vase. You don’t want to cut off on of the most attractive sections!”.

Step 1:

Materials you will need

Old or new mailing tubes/cylindersWe made three ‘vases’ from one tube, approx. 9cm diameterWallpaper samples (to fit preferred length of vase)HacksawRulerScissorsCraft glue or indoor PVC glue (e.g Aquadhere).BrushMetallic tape (we used copper 50 mm & aluminium 18mm).All materials were available from a hardware store, wallpaper was bought from a specialist paint and wallpaper store. Metallic tapes from Tapes Online.

Step 2: Measure and Cut Cardboard Tube

Mark along the length of the mailing tube your preferred length/height for each vase. We created three – 8cm, 21cm, 35cm. Only two will have the plastic inserts to use as a base for the vase. Using the hacksaw, score all the way around making a shallow channel, this helps keep your cut straight as you saw through the cardboard. Turn the tube as you cut.

Step 3: Measure and Cut Wallpaper

Measure and cut the wallpaper pieces to fit each individual tube. Allow at least 2cm extra along the longest side as overlap when wrapping around the tube. Add an extra 5 – 7cm extra in length for pasting the paper on the inside of the vase.

Step 4: Brush on Glue

Take the first tube with a plastic base insert. Brush the glue to the entire tube surface. Gaps will cause a bubble, so check glue coverage is even.

Step 5: Attach Wallpaper

Position wallpaper over glue aligning it with the bottom of the tube. Smooth down the paper right around the surface to avoid air pockets.

Step 6: Cut Slits in Paper Ends

At the other end of the tube there will be the 5-7cm of wallpaper overhang. Make 8 cuts at regular intervals from the edge of the paper to rim of the tube. Coat the inside top of the tube with glue and fold down the paper flaps inside.

Step 7: Adhere Metallic Trim

Repeat the same steps with the other tube and other paper. The vase can be left plain, or can add a metallic trim. For the trim, measure the circumference with a tape measure (3.14 x 9.5 cm diameter, approx. 30cm). Cut metallic tape to circumference measurement plus 2.5cm. Crumple really well in your fist, uncurl and flatten out. Peel off backing and stick to the outer edge of tube, allow 8mm showing on the outer rim, the remainder is smoothed over the edge and adhered to the inside of the tube.

Step 8: Finished Metallic Trim

Metallic trim can be used at base, if using tube without plastic insert.

Step 9: Tube With Plastic Base

To use as a vase, place a jar with water on the table, place the hollow tube over the top. Or if using a tube with a plastic base (as shown here), place the jar inside the tube, then add water and fill with branches, or display flowers.

Step 10: Display Your Flowers

Here we’ve used tufts of orange tissue paper on a branch for effect. The smaller squat vase could be used as a candle holder.