Hand-Painted Fabric Vases

For a truly one-of-a-kind touch at your wedding, consider adding flower arrangements to these DIY vessels. New York-based event producer, designer, author, and Martha Stewart Weddings contributor David Stark shows you how.


The Inspiration

These containers are perfect for a table centerpiece or for a special entry moment. To create them, we started with the beautiful photo below, which we found online and used as our jumping-off point for the how-to, pulling in colors from the image to establish our palette. You can follow our inspiration or look to the world around you for your own—what painting, pattern, rug, or photo sparks your interest? Even if the image is not great, if you love the colors, go for it! 

Photo by Karina Manarin

The Tools

  • Gesso
  • Muslin
  • Various paintbrushes
  • Paint
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Vases (straight-sided vessels are best)
  • Roll of brown paper
  • Double-stick tape
  • Flowers


1. Paint a thin layer of gesso on the muslin. The gesso accomplishes three things: It allows the fabric to be stiff around the vase, it makes the fabric easier to paint your pattern on because the paint bleeds less, and it ensures that the fabric does not fray when you cut it.


2. Once the gesso is dry, paint a simple pattern. Be loose; you can’t make a mistake. Have fun with it!


3. Make several patterns—change the colors (based on your palette), scale, and strokes to vary your design. Experiment and play!


4. Trace each side of your vase onto a piece of paper, adding a 1/2 inch for each side and 1 1/2 inches for the top and bottom. Cut out to make a pattern for your fabric, then cut the fabric using the template.


5. Sew the four pieces of fabric together and iron the seams flat. Add a strip of double-stick tape to the top and bottom of the vase. Turn the fabric sleeve right side out, slip over the vase (making sure it is snug all over), and adhere it with the double-stick tape. Trim the excess fabric from the top and bottom.

Sew and Attach Fabric to Vase

6. Add flowers.

Find More DIY Wedding Centerpiece Ideas
About the Author

David Stark

David Stark is a renowned New York-based event producer, designer, and five-time author, as well as president and creative director of David Stark Design and Production, a full-service event design and planning firm. David and his team are celebrated for the inventive, imaginative weddings they create globally for a wide range of high-wattage celebrity, society, and fashion clientele...


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