Look, we love a fancy vase. But if you’re not actually living the cottagecore life, cut flowers cost enough without having to house them in something special, too (and don’t get us started on the storage ish). Paper sleeves solve these problems and more; slip one over any old vessel—from a mason jar to a cut-off plastic water bottle—to turn it into a stunning setting for your stems. Wallpaper samples or scraps are the main material in this DIY, making it nearly waterproof and especially budget-friendly. Some companies even give them away; we got ours from Spoonflower ($6 for a 1′ x 2′ piece of wallpaper, which makes one medium-size sleeve). If you don’t have a sewing machine to make your own, opt for one of our hand-picked buys. Either way, you’ll have a gorgeous fake on your hands that folds up flat when it’s not in use. –Laurie Henzel and Lisa Butterworth
Cutting mat or cardboard
1. Use newspaper to make a template. Decide what shape you want your vase sleeve to be, then draw it onto a piece of newspaper using pencil and a ruler. Make sure the shape is tall enough to cover your vessel and wide enough to easily slip over its circumference. The width of your sleeve should be about twice the diameter of your vessel plus an inch. (Our smaller sleeve is about 7″ x 10″, and the bigger one is 12″ x 12″; both cover vessels with a 3″ diameter.) Cut out two identical versions of the shape. Tape or staple the left and right-side edges together (not the top or bottom), and slip it over your vessel to make sure it fits.
2. Once you’re happy with the size and shape of your template, trace the shape onto the wrong side of your wallpaper sample. For a more exact design, measure the lines of your template, then draw them onto the back of your wallpaper. Cut out two identical pieces using an X-ACTO blade on a cutting mat or piece of cardboard. (Wallpaper with a busy pattern is much more forgiving than one that’s bold and graphic when it comes to placement of the design.)
3. Place the two pieces wrong-sides facing and use painters’ tape to hold the top and bottom edges together. Sew along the left and right sides of your sleeve, ¼” from the edge, using thread in a complementary color. Snip the thread, tie each end in a knot to secure, and trim tails or tuck them inside your sleeve.
4. Slip sleeve over your vessel.
Don’t feel like stitching? Just buy one of these paper sheaths and slide it over a regular water glass or bottle to elevate your flower-arrangement game.−Callie Watts
(From top:) Paper Vase in Toile de Jouy, $15.84, maisomparis.etsy.com; Paper Vase Riviera Arch, €19.50, octaevo.com; Paper Vase Set, $29.99 for set of 3, eyetravellab.etsy.com; Paper Vase Cover of Johannes Vermeer’s “The Milkmaid” from the Rijks Museum, €19.95, boutiquesdemusees.fr; Coral Paper Vase from the Craftsman Collection, €19.50, octaevo.com.
Header photo by Karen Pearson (Flowers courtesy of Athabold )
This article originally appeared in BUST’s Summer 2022 print edition. Subscribe today!