Did you know Teacher Appreciation Week is the first week of May?
If you did know that, you are probably:
- A) A teacher
- B) The Room Mother in charge of presents for your child’s teachers
When I told my husband back in September that my son’s pre-school teacher asked me to be the Room Mother, he looked a little surprised.
“You?” he asked. “Really?”
I was a little surprised too. You see, I’m usually more Hot Mess Mom than Super-Organized Mom, but this whole Room Mother gig has not been too bad. I helped out with getting the kids dressed in their costumes for the Christmas program. (Our class played the manger animals. Picture a bunch of 4-year-olds dressed like donkeys and sheep. Super cute!)
My other Official Room Mother Duty was to pick up some vases at the $1 discount store for Teacher Appreciation Week gifts. Our school has a fun tradition where each child hands a teacher a flower as they enter the classroom. By the end of the morning, the teachers have a nice bouquet to take home and enjoy.
Because I am a Super-Creative Mom, I decided to make our vases pretty using Unicorn Spit, the new non-toxic rainbow gel stain we sell at our shop, All Things New Again in Leesburg, VA and right here in our online store.
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Here’s my tutorial on how to transform $1 discount store vases into beautiful Teacher Appreciation Week gifts using Unicorn Spit.
(Hey, hey… pay attention, class. These will also make awesome Mother’s Day gifts!)
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I started with these ordinary vases I purchased for $1 each.
I washed the vases and applied a thin coat of Mod Podge around the outside of each vase. You can also use chalk-type paint for this step. You just need to apply something that the Unicorn Spit will adhere to or else you risk it sliding right off the glass.
Mod Podge dries clear. When applied over clear glass like these vases, the Unicorn Spit will look more translucent when you seal it, almost like stained glass. If you use chalk-type paint, the Unicorn Spit colors will be brighter and more vibrant, but you lose the see-through effect. It’s a trade off. I like both looks.
Once the Mod Podge dried, it was time to have fun.
On two of the vases, I squirted different colors of Unicorn Spit all over and in all crazy directions. It is important to make the colors overlap every which way. If you squirt in straight lines, the colors won’t blend together as nicely in the next step.
SPIT TIP: Don’t overthink this. Just squirt!
Here’s what the first step looks like on a clay flower pot I did with the same technique. (Sorry! I forgot to photograph this step on the vases.)
SPIT TIP: Sometimes Unicorn Spit is thick. Give your design a few sprays of water before applying the plastic to thin it out and help it to spread around better.
Then take your hand and smoosh it all around to blend the colors. Run your hand over the plastic to smooth out the Unicorn Spit and spread it all over the vase.
Carefully remove the plastic to reveal your design. This is my favorite part of the process—The Big Reveal!
If you don’t like the look you just created, no worries. You can add more colors and smoosh it again. You can wad up the plastic and dab it in spots like sponge painting. You can even smooth out the Unicorn Spit with your fingers.
SPIT TIP: If you really, really hate your design, just spray it with water, wash it off and start over. No big deal.
There is no right way or wrong way to do this. Just keep playing around with it until it looks beautiful TO YOU!
Here’s my finished flower pot:
And here are my vases. This is how they looked before I sealed them. The two vases in the middle were created using the plastic wrap technique described above. The two vases on either end were created using the Finger Painting Technique I described in an earlier tutorial and video.
You can learn about Finger Painting Unicorn Spit here. (And watch the video.)
When you love how your vase looks, set it aside to dry. The longer you can wait, the better your final product will be. Because the Unicorn Spit can get very thick in spots, I like to let mine air-dry overnight.
You might get cool crackles in parts of your design. That’s OK. I don’t know what causes it or how to control it, but I’m always happy when the crackles appear because it adds more texture and visual interest to my project.
When the Unicorn Spit is completely dry, seal with an OIL-BASED sealer.
THIS IS IMPORTANT! Your sealer MUST be OIL-BASED!
Your colors will run together and your awesome design will get all muddy and ugly.
Because these are flower vases intended to hold water, I used MinWax Helmsman Spar Urethane. It provides protection from water so I thought it would be better than regular polyurethane to protect my cool “spit job.”
When that poly hits the glass, stand back because—BOOM!—those colors will pop!
Special thank you to all of the teachers out there who work so hard and do so many things for the children we love!
Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! <3
We are the only shop in the Northern Virginia/metro DC area offering an Introduction to Unicorn Spit class where you learn—and practice—how to create a variety of wonderfully colorful looks with this awesome sauce called Unicorn Spit. Find all the details on our class here.
We also sell Unicorn Spit in our online store. Here’s the link again.