How To Make: “Junk Vessels”

Kids go back to school here this week, but we are always looking for fun projects to do together! How about plastic trash vases? Hollie Velton-Lattrell was surprised by how many plastic containers her family was going through during quarantine. So, she started looking for a creative way to up-cycle them.
Hollie Velton Lattrells Junk Vessels

It looks like remote learning is here to stay. Which means keeping the kids (and all other roommates) busy is high on our work to-to lists. These plastic trash vases clean out your recycling bin and kill time!

Now that Hollie Velton-Lattrell is working from home, she was surprised by how many plastic containers her family was going through. So, she started looking for a creative way to up-cycle the trash and keep her kids busy in the process.

Velten-Lattrell runs a creative design studio and her husband is an animator, so creativity and crafts come naturally. Their solutions to container problem: “junk vessels.”  Combining assorted trash, masking tape and papier-mâché, her and her husband, and two young children have made dozens of vases. The vases are then painted and brilliantly decorated.

Though the paper and tape vases won’t hold water, they can hold dried flowers, pens, straws etc. They will also look great as statement pieces and make fun gifts

Here are the few easy steps to make “junk vessels.”

  1. Find your pieces of “junk.” Go through your garbage are recycling to find plastic or cardboard containers to be the main shapes of your vase. Tissue boxes, cans, oatmeal containers are good options. You can also combine multiple items, like taping two plastic cups together.
  2. Find the neck. Attaching things like toilet paper or paper towel rolls can help mimic the traditional shape of a vase.  Painter’s or masking tape work well to attach the extra pieces. Hot glue works too.
  3. Elaborate. Cut out cardboard handles or glue on knobs or flaps to jazz your vase up.
  4. Collect the paper part of papier-mâché. Rip pieces of newspaper into long strips. You’ll probably need a lot more strips of paper than you think.
  5. Make the glue. You can make papier-mâché with any type of liquid glue. Mod podge works great if you have it. Mix together two-parts glue to one-part water.
  6. Cover the strips in the glue, mixture and wipe off the excess glue between your fingers.
  7. Go to town layering the strips of gluey paper on your plastic vessel. You want at least two full layers of papier-mâché.
  8. Let dry
  9. Decorate to your hearts content!

Have you done any up-cycling during quarantine? If so, we want to see it!


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