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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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12 Days of Holiday Crafts, Day 11: Christmas Story Vases

 (Maggie Bullock)
(Maggie Bullock)

This project comes from a friend of mine, who made several of these simple vases to give to friends this season. I think the project is great, even if it does mean tearing apart books. I actually love using old, falling apart books for craft projects—décor that you can read is extra great.

You will need:

  • simple, inexpensive clear glass vases
  • decoupage glue
  • a sponge brush
  • a book of Christmas stories (A Christmas Carol, The Gift of the Magi, The Little Match Girl, The Silver Skates…there are many to choose from)
  • Twine or jute
  • hot glue (optional)

Make sure the vases are clean and dry before beginning. Take apart the book and find passages that make you smile or remind you of the story (or not, this work is completely optional, but it is nice to have some signs that the story relates to the holiday). Torn edges are better for this project than cut edges; they give the vase character. Strips should be about 1” to 1 ½” in width.

Brush decoupage glue on the back side of the paper strips and place them one at a time on the glass. Try to stay away from the direct center, the jar will be more appealing it the strips of paper are just above or below center. Add enough to circle the vase and add a light layer of glue over the paper. Allow the vase to dry, then add a length of twine or jute around the center of the paper strips. Tie in a knot, and trim the ends. If you need to, add a dot of hot glue so the twine stays in place.

Because there’s no paper or glue inside the vase, it can be used for flowers, but do be careful when rinsing or washing it. Another option is to add a votive candle to the vase. When the candle is lit, the light will shine softly through the paper.


Artist and crafter Maggie Wolcott writes about craft events in and around Spokane, as well as her own adventures in creating and repurposing. Her DwellWellNW posts include project and decorating ideas, recipes, reviews of events, and interviews with local artists. Maggie spends her days as an English professor, and when she’s not grading papers, she can generally be found with a paintbrush or scissors in hand. She can be reached at