How to Love a Dandelion: DIY Thimble Vases for the Fridge

My little folk have the most wonderful habit of presenting me with handpicked flowers. The downside is that most of these gifts are far too small for traditional vases. Dandelions, buttercups, and bits of alyssum. Cherry blossoms, clover, and small sprigs of lilac. Beautiful... and tiny.

How shall a mother display these pretty tokens? There are the tradition options: 

  • Float them in a glass of water...
  • Set them on the counter until they wilt (5 minutes later)... or, my personal and oft-used favorite...
  • Tape them to the fridge. 

Yet none of those options seemed to preserve the flowers well or truly honor the gift. So I made a tiny little vase for the fridge. And then we made some more for the grandmas.

I loved this project. I loved picking out the pretty thimbles from a small Etsy shop. I loved the simplicity, low-skill level, and short supply list. And I loved the pretty finished product that serves a real need.

What you need to make a Thimble Vase:

THIMBLE

Any thimble will do. You can use an old aluminum one from your sewing kit or shop antiques on eBay. The only requirements are that it is small and light enough to stick to your fridge with a strong magnet... and that it must look pretty upside down. Unless you don't care. Then I don't care either. :)

I found these for a reasonable price per piece on Etsy by searching "porcelain thimble." There are so many sweet options.

MAGNET

This must be tiny but tough. I recommend these neodymium magnets that are small but mighty. As long as your adhesive is strong enough these magnets will hold your thimble. 

GLUE

This must be tough. I recommend E6000 but feel free to use your favorite. All the best are stinky and toxic but you only need a tiny bit. Not kid friendly. 

MARKER

This is for making a tiny dot in the place you wish to glue the magnet. It won't be seen by anyone.

Directions:

1. Turn your thimble upside down (like a vase) and decide which side will be visible from the fridge. The magnet will be glued on the other side.

2. Use the marker to make a dot on the "wrong" side where you want the magnet to be. You may want to take both magnet and thimble to the fridge to fiddle and gage this.

3. Squeeze a dollop of glue on the dot.

4. Press the magnet in.

5. Hold the vase in your hand until the glue is partially set. (I kept trying to set it down too early and my magnet would slide around.)

6. Find a secure place to set the little vase to let the glue cure. I recommend 24 hours (or follow the directions on the glue packaging). High humidity requires longer curing time.

And that's it. 

A lovely way to package these is to use an old flip top ring/jewelry box. Many of these are covered metal and the vase will stick in place. If yours isn't metal, use some cotton to protect the vase, close it up, and tie it with some jute and a dried flower. (I actually did that but have no pics with which to prove it.)

Enjoy!

Posted on July 3, 2014 and filed under Beauty, DIY, Home.