DIY & Crafts

DIY wedding: How to make a mercury glass centrepiece

DIY wedding: How to make a mercury glass centrepiece

Author: Canadian Living

DIY & Crafts

DIY wedding: How to make a mercury glass centrepiece

Crafty commitment
24 to 48 hours for the vases. 30 minutes per floral arrangement.

Quick craft for trusted friends to make
On the big day, hand off the floral arranging to a few trusted helpers while you're off being a blissful, beautiful bride.

• Glass vase, 5 in. by 5 in. by 5 in.
• Glass cleaner and paper towels
• Silver leaf sizing (sizing is glue made specifically for silver leaf)
• Silver leaf sheets
• Soft foam brushes
• Krylon Looking Glass Mirror-Like Paint
• Water
• 5 to 6 protea flowers
• 2 dozen pink Veronica flowers
• Heavy-duty floral cutters or garden shears

Take a look at a larger image of the finished faux mercury glass and protea centrepiece.


1. Clean the inside of the glass vase with glass cleaner and a paper towel. Let the vase dry completely.

2. Once you have a clean, dry vase, apply a thin layer of silver leaf sizing to the inner walls of the vase and let the sizing dry until the "tacky" stage according to the manufacturer's directions.

3. Hold a sheet of silver leaf parallel to the inner wall of the vase and press it gently onto the tacky surface. Use a clean, dry foam brush to press the silver leaf into the corners and flatten down pieces that may be sticking up. The silver leaf should be breaking apart at this stage; that's normal and what you want to be seeing. You don't want smooth, perfect surfaces here.

4. Allow the silver leaf to dry, usually overnight.

5. The next step is to apply layers of the spray mirror paint over the top of the silver leaf on the inside of the vase. This finishes off the vase, giving it a full-coverage coating of silver that will make it look like mercury glass. For this project, it took 6 full coats of the spray paint to get the coverage I wanted. It's important to let each coat dry before adding the next; otherwise you'll end up with weird streaks.

6. After the coats of paint are dry, you may then add your water and protea to the vase. Protea have very thick, woody stems, so you'll need to have a good pair of floral cutters or garden shears on hand to give them a proper trim. Add in sprigs of pink Veronica to fill in any large gaps between protea.

Take a look at the illustrated instructions for the faux mercury glass centrepiece.

Page 1 of 2 -- Find designer's styling tips to finish your glass centrepiece on page 2
Tips and hints
• Any size or shape of vase can be used for this project. Vases with curves or indentations are harder to do but they can be done, and they look gorgeous.

• Not into protea? No problem! Any bright, bold flower will do, really. I like lilies, spiky mums, billy balls (Craspedia), or nearly any tropical flower, as well as succulents, for modern alternatives.

• Please do the spray painting outside in an area with plenty of ventilation!

• One can of spray covers 2 small vases. Save those craft store coupons and stock up on the silver paint when you can get it at a discount.

• The centrepiece looks great set on a mirror with votive candles surrounding it.

Fit your style
Instead of protea, use beautiful white peonies for a winter wedding or deep red roses for a gorgeous fairy-tale wedding.

Price Breakdown
Your Cost
Vase $8
Foam brushes $5
Silver sizing $6
Silver leaf sheets $7
Krylon Looking Glass Mirror-Like Paint $12
Protea (6 stems) $35
Pink Veronica $8

Store Cost
Florists will charge $75 to $125 for a similar centrepiece.

For another great DIY wedding craft, learn how to make a beautiful bridesmaid sash.

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Plan the most beautiful wedding you can imagine with expert tips and helpful advice from our special wedding planning guide. 

Excerpted from The DIY Bride: An Affair to Remember, copyright 2012 by Khris Cochran. Used by permission of Taunton Press.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.

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DIY & Crafts

DIY wedding: How to make a mercury glass centrepiece