Please welcome back Katie with another wedding post from her fab, polka-dot, Pi Day, DIY wedding! You can check out previous posts she’s written for Femme Frugality here.
I’m not sure if it’s become obvious over the last several months, but I’ve got a polka dot addiction—the expensive kind, to boot, because I love Kate Spade and anything the company puts polka dots on. When I had the fairytale moment imagining the grand scene that would play out at our reception, I saw dainty polka dot vases filled with frothy white flowers. I started shopping, though, and the frosted dot vases I found were way too expensive (read: $60-$90 per vase!!!!) to put on 16 tables. So I turned to my dearest friends Google and Pinterest to help spark my inspiration and my patient then fiancé, Brian, to help me complete the task.
Luckily for me, I wasn’t the first person to attempt this endeavor and I found these instructions. Here are a few modifications that we made:
- This is hardly news to anyone, but bears reminding: your local dollar store is your friend! We were able to get vases for a $1 apiece. If you’d like a mismatched look, a thrift store may get you deeper discounts.
- Soak any dollar store vases in water to get the stickers off. Man, were those a pain!
- The bowls are cheap enough that you can buy an extra in case something happens. As a previous scout, I know to be prepared.
- Instead of using painters tape, we used vinyl dots and dot outlines (courtesy of our best man’s company). The vinyl was a bit thicker so we could build up several layers of paint.
- A hair dryer was our best friend to stretch the vinyl dots so they would curve nicely against the shape of the bowl. In any other variation of directions, we didn’t see a way to get the paper sticker dots to mold. Perhaps using smaller dots eliminates this problem.
- We did the dots frosted and the opposite version where the dots weren’t frosted, but the rest of the vase was. While they look pretty, the inverse version requires a lot of tape to mask off the sections in between dots. Looking back, I wouldn’t have spent time on this, but I’ve included it in the cost.
- Clean the glasses with paint thinner and let dry AFTER applying dots. Skin oils make for weird spray patterns.
- Not-so-pro tip: Don’t try to cover the frosted paint with clear gloss. It negates the frosti-ness.
- Wrap the vases in newspaper for storage. They scratch easily since the frosted paints sits on top of the glass, but doesn’t seep in like it would on a porous wood.
- Using less expensive but fuller in season flowers (carnations, peonies) will cut down costs.
- Dying the water with food coloring will help your dots show through. We originally asked our florist for this, but somehow it didn’t happen. Oh well.
Here’s what we spent:
- 16 bowl vases – $17.12
- 2 tall vases for head table – $2.14
- 2 cans frosted spray paint – $8.05
- Vinyls – free, but could be sourced for < $10 with some searching
- Painter’s tape – already had, but < $4 at a big box store if you need to buy
So if this matches your wedding style (or baby shower, wedding shower, etc) and meets your crafting comfort level, for less than $2.30 a piece, you can have Kate Spade-esque vases.
If anyone in the Pittsburgh area is in the market for some polka dot centerpieces or 40-some votives, let me know!
Wedding Photography // Elizabeth Anne Studios | Florist // Flowers by Terry