DIY: Personalized Birthday Vase

One of my dear friends celebrated her 30th birthday yesterday.  On Saturday night, her husband threw a surprise party for her and a few of us girls worked ahead of time to add some special decorations to the table.  Since the gathering was at a restaurant, we needed to limit our decorations to the table.  The final idea consisted of 3 flower arrangements and 4 framed black & white photographs of the guest of honor.

The centerpiece was this flower arrangement:

It was inspired by this post I saw on The Chase Gang blog.  I loved the simple look of the decorative band with the year on it and the pop of the red flowers.  Here's how I recreated the look (click on any image to see it larger):

I started by designing the year tag.  My scalloped circle punch is 1.5 inches so it set the size for all the pieces.  Using Photoshop, I created a new page sized at 2 inches by 2 inches, 300dpi and placed guidelines at 1 inch horizontal & vertical to mark the center.  Using the elliptical shape tool, I placed a 1.375" red circle in the center.

Next I added a new layer and repeated the elliptical shape.  This time filling the circle black and sizing it down to 1.25". 

Now that I had both circles, I needed to add the dotted outline.  To do this, I created another new layer and this time added a 1.125" elliptical path.  Then selected the brush tool.  In the brushes palette, I chose to use a 9px brush with spacing at 200%.

Next, in the Paths palette, I click the button for "Stroke path with brush."  This automatically placed all those nice dots precisely around the tag. 

Then I added the number '30' in Edwardian Script font, centered it in the circle and printed the image out on photo paper.

Finally, I flipped my scalloped punch upside down and place the printed image in it right side up.  This way I could see that the two were aligned as I punched out the design.

For the decorative band, I couldn't find any patterned papers in my stash that were "just right."  Instead I grabbed a sheet of 12" solid black cardstock and cut a strip out that was 1.25" in height.  I set it out onto a piece of scrap paper, pulled out a swirl stamp and white stamp ink then randomly stamped the swirls all over the paper.

Once the stamp ink was dry, I wrapped the band around the vase for a "test" fit.  I lightly marked in pencil where the overlapping end hit the strip.  Removed the band.  Added adhesive to secure it into a circle and set it aside to let it firm up.  A short time later I attached the year tag using adhesive foam squares and slid the band back onto the vase.  Another friend added flowers and ta-da - a beautiful, personalized decoration & gift.

Supplies: glass vase; black cardstock; Autumn Leaves acrylic stamps - Rhonna Farrer's swirls v1; Stampin' Up! white craft ink; adhesive; photo paper; EK Success scalloped circle punch; Edwardian Script font.


  1. i love this Sarah.. can i post this in a forum? My sketch world tips..

  2. Very cute! How sweet! Thanks for info too!

  3. This turned out really well, Sarah. I'm sure she was really pleased with your decorations.


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