by Tammy Taylor~
Most of the decor in our home is rustic country themed. Although I’m not a minimalist, I really enjoy our living space to be simple and uncluttered, uncomplicated. And since most of my actions are done with the environment in mind, I love to use items for more than one purpose. Y’all know my battle cry: “Use Whatcha Got!”
One day RancherMan & I enjoyed a little exploring time in an area on our property where previous homesteaders took their ‘trash’ decades ago. I love to catch a little glimpse into the past when I see what those homesteaders long ago discarded. Several glass jars and a few household items have withstood the ravages of time. I found some intact canning jars and of course I’ll never use them for food preservation. But I love bringing parts of those past lives into our home. Come see how I used them!
First I washed the canning jars well to remove decades of grime. Then I placed a label on the bottom of each jar that says “For Storage Only”. That will assure I’ll never accidentally use them for canning. But there is still much use for those old jars. I’ll use some of these jars to store buttons or other items.
But I love the canning jar theme in my kitchen too. I made a pourable sugar jar out of one of my own repurposed canning jars and I love it. I also made a shaker container for my baking soda using one of my own repurposed jars and a Parmesan cheese top. These things carry on my theme of home preservation in my kitchen. So why not use one of these old rediscovered jars to make an adorable country flower vase?
Aside from the jars we also found some old zinc rings. I love the patina of these old rings. I cleaned them up a bit and then went to work making my flower vase.
We had a small piece of hardware cloth in the shop. I’ve seen these canning jar vases made with chicken wire as well but this hardware cloth worked great. I liked that the squares were a little smaller so it will hold my flower stems a little more securely.
So using a pair of cutting pliers we trimmed the hardware cloth to fit snugly inside the ring. Because it was so snug it even bowed up slightly in the center of the ring, I love that. Even more security for my flower stems, especially the taller ones that I’d be placing in the center.
My mom loved my vase so much that I decided to make one for her birthday. I didn’t have any other zinc rings from our property so I started searching antique stores for them. But alas, I couldn’t locate any. I did find some old zinc lids that were missing the ceramic piece beneath them. They were just a lightweight domed zinc lid. I bought one and brought it home, asking once again for RancherMan’s help.
He took a hole saw and fit it so it would cut the entire center out of the lid, leaving only the ring. He’s aware that these saws are not intended to cut metal but it did get the job done. He was careful to wear safety glasses and gloves. (I don’t know that I’d recommend using tools for purposes other than those intended, but I’m sharing what we did.) Then he used very heavy sandpaper mounted on a block to smooth the edge of the cut surface.
We then repeated the steps for the hardware cloth that I used for my own vase. The hardware cloth fit snugly into the zinc ring we’d made.
I used a little raffia to make a cute country ribbon and BOOM! When I presented it to her I went around the pasture and picked the most beautiful flowers / stems I could find. It made for a nice presentation and was a very well-received gift. Mom loved it!
Proof once again that gifts don’t have to be expensive to touch someone’s heart. She’s constantly using this vase in her kitchen window to hold wildflowers. It brings her much joy, and isn’t that what we always hope for when we give a gift?