Design & Remodeling

Entertaining Made Lovely: Nell Hills-inspired Glass Centerpieces

Recently while perusing Nell Hills for some decorating inspiration, I spotted some beautiful, brightly colored grouped vases. I fell in love and set out to recreate this look for myself.

I headed to River Market Antique Mall, where I found three interesting clear glass bottles at a great price, and then headed home to start my project. Then I decided that I wanted to create two different vase groupings with two totally different looks and shapes. So I searched the house for some glass jars that I had on hand—those turned out to be a pasta sauce jar, pickle jar and a couple of other interestingly shaped jars.

I washed and dried all of the vases and jars. (TIP: Washing alone didn’t completely remove the residue that the labels left behind. Some cooking oil and a sponge scrubber does a good job removing this residue.)

All I needed to get started on my project was some enamel paint made especially for glass. I already had two small jars of turquoise paint on hand, but I suggest heading over to Creative-Coldsnow in Westport if you are in need of some good quality and affordable enamel paint of your own. A little goes a long way—you won’t need more than two small jars of the paint.


The painting process was surprisingly quick and easy. All you have to do is pour some of the enamel paint into the jar and slowly twirl it around until the entire insides are fully coated. Once coated, dump the remaing paint into the next jar until you have painted the insides of every jar. Then all that you have left to do is let the paint dry, which takes about two days. (TIP: I didn’t wear gloves, and after the first few minutes into the process, I immediately regretted it as my hands were completely stained. I used the cooking oil to remove the paint, but gloves would have been easier!)


I was so pleased with the results that I decided to make a dining table centerpiece out of one of the groupings. All I needed was a table runner and some flowers that coordinated with the vases. Once again, I had flowers and some pretty fabric on hand (I suggest visiting Urban Arts and Crafts in Briarcliff Village if you are in the need of some fun fabrics).

I took my fabric and cut a long table runner the length of the table with a little overhang on each side. Then I quickly hemmed the edges with some iron-on hemming tape that can be found at any craft store. I placed some pink flowers into my vases (Oh PS, I’m loving the turquoise-and-hot-pink color combination right now) and voilà! My centerpiece was complete.

I used the bight colored plates, silverwear and napkin rings from my last DIY blog post to dress the table even more. I now have the perfect excuse to throw a dinner party!




 Audrey Kuether is the creative force behind Oh So Lovely, a Kansas City-based graphic design, photography and event planning company. She specializes in wedding design, photography and styling and planning. She lends her entertaining expertise every month for KC Magazine‘s Web-only “Entertaining Made Lovely” blog.