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A Marriage Made in the Recycling Bin: DIY Valentine Vase and Button Buds

A Marriage Made in the Recycling Bin: DIY Valentine Vase and Button Buds

Is your home feeling the love? Rethink the roses and forget the flowers–the environment and your home will love you back with these two DIY Valentine’s Day projects.

Unless you are giving organic flowers, conventionally grown flowers can be an environmental hazard. Most cut flowers are grown in South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. They can be heavily sprayed with pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and even DDT. These chemicals pose problems for workers and florists who work with cut flowers. Add the transporting time and the greenhouse gases emitted; flowers may not be so lovely.

I remember the milkman delivering milk to my home when I was a kid (OK, now I’ve really dated myself). Lately, I’ve been buying milk in reusable glass bottles at the health food store. The empty glass bottles have been looking lonely sitting in the recycling bin waiting for a new purpose. Stacked next to the bottles is a pile of discarded garden and flower catalogs. I’m learning to repurpose and love what I have, so I married the two. Love was in the air and the culmination of the ceremony was this Valentine Vase and Button Bouquet.

Glass Milk Bottle Vase:

What you need:
Glass milk bottle
Magazines, catalogs, newspaper, etc.
Mod Podge
1″ Paint brush

What to do:
1. Clean out the bottle.

2. Cut pictures from the sources.

3. With the Mod Podge (serves as a glue and a sealant) and paintbrush, paint the back of the desired pictures, arrange and glue like a collage around the bottle.

4. When you have covered the bottle, with Mod Podge, paint over the collage. It will paint on white and dry clear.

Button Buds. Inspired by TheRipeRadish at Etsy.

What you need:

Buttons–buttons in different sizes with multi-holes. For each flower, the top button or bead can be a shank button or bead.
Wire–floral or jewelry wire

What to do:

1. Cut a piece of wire to the desired size.

2. Bend the wire about 1/3 of the way from the top.

3. To stack the buttons, thread a small shank button (or bead) and push it up to the bend.

4. Then thread through one hole of the two or four holes of the buttons with the longer end of wire. Thread in the short end through another hole. Push up to top. Continue in the same manner with the largest button last.

5. Twist the short end of the wire around the long end of the wire.

6. Arrange your no-guilt Button Bud bouquet.

Read more: Crafts & Design, EcoNesting, Green Home Decor, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, Valentine's Day, , , , , ,

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Ronnie Citron-Fink

Ronnie Citron-Fink is a writer, editor and educator. She has written hundreds of articles about sustainable living, the environment, design, and family life for websites, books and magazines. Ronnie is the creator of Econesting, and the managing editor of Moms Clean Air Force. Ronnie was named one of the Top Ten Living Green Experts by Yahoo. Ronnie lives in New York with her family.


+ add your own
9:00PM PST on Jan 20, 2013

Thanks for this

2:39PM PST on Jan 20, 2013

This is a valentine.... really? Oh dear.

1:31AM PST on Jan 20, 2013

Great idea!

5:01PM PST on Jan 19, 2013


6:59AM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

I love the idea...I have TONS of buttons. I wish there were more pictures with the instructions...going to give it a shot! Thanks!!

12:40PM PST on Jan 30, 2010


11:39PM PDT on Jun 18, 2009

mega kabin

4:43AM PST on Feb 23, 2009

The picture is not displaying for me but I like the idea of dedoupage on a bottle. In my craft active some of the children wrapped coloured wool and string around jamjars to use as pencil holders and vases. When they were varnished they looked good. Homemade but funky!

3:14PM PST on Feb 15, 2009

Hi All,
I am fine with you guys not liking this project. Actually, the picture is pitiful and really does not do any justice to the project. That said, maybe it’s a dud. Carla, thanks for your sentiment. I agree there are better ways to give constructive comments. Michelle is also right, I didn’t lose any sleep over it. Please stay tuned, I have a more “mature” DIY project for next week that I hope you all enjoy.

12:48PM PST on Feb 15, 2009

Ah, lighten up, Carla. If you publish something (which means "make it public") then you ought to be able to live with comments, good and bad. I'm sure Ronnie didn't lose any sleep over this. And generally her ideas are pretty cool, I (and a few others) just think this one's a dud. Happens to the best of us.

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