DIY Faux Bois Vases

By Kate Riley November 21, 2011

I’m not sure it’s readily apparent around here but I have big thing for faux bois. Truth be told I didn’t really know the fancy term for wood lookalike decorative objects until a couple years ago when faux bois starting showing up here and there and all around the design-osphere. I had to recall my long ago lessons from high school French to decipher faux bois meant ‘false wood’.

I’m pretty much obsessed with any decorative object that looks like bark, especially if it’s white, so I thought to myself why not make some faux bois vases for the holidays. For this project, I worked with two products I’ve combined in the past: glass and silicone.  Remember these dessert stands?  I still have them. I learned with that project that silicone and glass bond really tightly together.  For Like Ever.  In Hollywood terms, like Paul and Joanne and unlike Kim and Chris.

I used the same combination of products to create these fun ceramic look vases, but this time I used the silicone to create the bark like look. They turned out pretty cool.

diy faux bois vases cg


To recreate a similar version, you’ll need four things:  a glass cylinder vase, DAP household silicone sealant, frosted spray paint; and white spray paint or primer.   faux bois vase supplies

To begin, make sure your glass is free from any debris then free form your bark like design with the silicone.  Use a cotton swab to clean up or correct any areas you want to redo.  If you’re hesitant to make it up as you go, search for ‘faux bois’ images and you’ll come up with various sources of inspiration.  The more imperfect your design, the more natural your “bark” will look in the end, so go for it.  Imperfect is what you want.

Some asked why silicone and not hot glue for this project?  A tube of silicone with a tip is easier to control, but more importantly, it adheres more permanently to glass. Hot glue will come off glass if pulled at or if it gets wet, but silicone will not.       faux bois step 1

Free form your design around the entire vase with the silicone, then allow it to cure for a full 24 hours. That’s the hard part, the waiting, but you must wait for that silicone to fully solidify.

After 24 hours, your vase is ready to be painted. Turn it upside down on a tarp and coat with 2 coats of quick dry frosted spray paint*. Once it’s dry, apply 2-3 light coats of white spray primer or paint.  Keep your spray application light to avoid drips and allow to fully dry between coats.

faux bois step 2

*I’ve tried primer directly on glass before and with some (like Zinsser primer) it works okay, but I’ve found through experiments that a coat of frosted glass spray paint (which is designed specifically for glass) works best as your first layer for greater durability. After a coat of frosted glass spray paint you can choose any spray paint on top of that (brown or white). I chose primer instead of white spray paint only because it has a flat finish, but you could use satin or gloss spray paint and it should work just fine.

That’s all it takes to turn a basic glass cylinder into a faux bois ceramic look vase.

white faux bois vases fall

These bark like vases look great with any kind of blooms, from your spring tulips to your summer wildflowers, to branches or evergreens in winter.

winter white faux bois vases cg

faux bois vases cg

   Lovely for a mantel or centerpiece in any season!

A couple of extra giveaways are coming up this week, plus a few of my ideas for great gifts, be back soon !




  1. are amazing…thank you so much for the inspiration.I am so doing this…NOW..I cant wait!!!

  2. I also have a thing for faux bois. Thanks for the diy, it will breath new life to some old vases that where bound for the thrift store. But do it free hand!… I’m not as confident and talented as you, so I plan to “cheat” : I’ll place the faux bois inspiration image you suggested inside the vase to guide me. I hope they’ll turn out as nice as yours.

    • HI Laree, great question, yes hot glue will work okay, but it can be pulled off of glass, especially if it gets wet, whereas silicone will stay put!

  3. Love this!!! I wonder what they would look like with a brown gel stain rubbed over them or blackish brown to give them a birch bark or aspen look? Maybe a different pattern for that!!! Or a hot pink gel stain, etc for a ultra modern look.

  4. Very cool! Do you have a trick for getting the silicone out in a nice smooth line? I have a really hard time squeezing it out of the tube, usually ends up coming out in globs.

    • Hey Sheila, I just used constant pressure to keep it in a smooth line, but you can use Q-tips to clean up any globs or strangeness that occurs, it wipes away easity!

  5. All of the woodwork in our living room and lower/upper hall has been faux bois’d. Although it’s actually the colour of wood (it’s attempting to be quarter sawn oak, actually). Oooh the things that were all the rage in Victorian times…

  6. I love these and think I can actually do this. Love the white. I think you can do anything well.

  7. Fantastic!! I’m totally doing this as I was just looking at glass vases I have last night thinking “These are so boring.” Love this!

  8. Truly nifty…but what I like best are the possibilities…any design could turn a glass jat with a lid into a one-of-a kind piece of “pottery” – how neat is that? Thanks ever so much for your inspiration today (and all the other days, too!).

  9. Thanks for sharing this awesome idea. You are brilliant!…And thanks, also, for explaining what “faux bois” means. Maybe it’s a French term I’ll remember!:)

  10. I also loved that unpainted look! I was thinking (scary, I know) that if you put the silicone on and frost the glass, then pull the silicone off, that it would look great too — like an inverse of your unpainted look — for us Midwesterners who don’t have a lot of white in our houses!

  11. What a great project! I’m going digging in the garage tomorrow. I have all of the stuff just need to find it (we moved after 19 years in our old house) so, haven’t found everything yet. I have to get to it. Blessings

  12. YES YES YES! Love it. I am impressed with your faux bois skills. I wanted to do some art freehand and got frustrated trying to figure out a pattern that looked natural. Your vases look like something straight from West Elm.


  13. This is one of those, “Why didn’t I think of that?” moments. So perfect, and easy to alter for different times of the year! Love, love, love! Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. Instead of free handing the bark you could just print out a bark print picture, stick it in the glass vase and trace over it with the silicone.

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