Mother’s Day DIY vase from a PVC pipe

Mother's Day DIY vase from a PVC pipeEverybody has a mom, even Man Podger David. No, he wasn’t brought down on a crafty alien spaceship, though sometimes his projects are out of this world! That was a horrible joke, by the way. David’s decoupage gift for Mother’s Day is a DIY vase collection made out of PVC pipe, so even though my joke was bad, it was completely true. Here’s how he did it.
I’m getting a lot of requests for Mother’s Day themed items at my Etsy store. So I had Mother’s Day on the brain when I visited Home Depot recently. I found myself, as I often do, in front of all the PVC piping thinking “there must be something I can make out of this!” There are so many great shapes and sizes and it’s all so affordable, but I’ve never been able to come up with anything. And it suddenly dawned on me that I could use the various pipes to make vases. And then I thought, why not decoupage the pipes in old photos and make a fun, nostalgic centerpiece for a Mom’s Day celebration? For a total cost of about $12.


  • PVC pipes of various widths
  • PVC caps to fit the pipes
  • PVC Pipe cement
  • Outdoor Mod Podge
  • Wooden Base (mine is from Michaels)
  • Glue (I used E-6000)
  • Laser copies of old photos
  • Foam Brush (not pictured)
  • Forstner Bit and drill (optional)

1) I cut the PVC pipes into various lengths – just eyeballing what I thought was good. I used a miter saw, but any saw will cut through the plastic.

Apply the Seal2) Next up (following the manufacturer’s instructions) I used the PVC cement to glue the caps to the pipes and set them aside to dry.

3) I then gathered and scanned some old family photos. I resized each photo to fit a specific pipe – I needed it to be tall enough and wide enough to wrap around its designated pipe. I also played a little bit with the tint of each picture to provide some contrast.

4) I printed the photos out onto plain paper using a laser printer. The laser is key – I knew I was going to soak the images in water and inkjet ink will run. Kinkos or Staples can make a laser copy for you if you need.

Soak the Image5) I dropped the image in some water and, while it soaked, I coated the outside of the PVC pipe with Outdoor Mod Podge. I then removed the image from the water and gently ran my fingers down it to remove excess water and then applied it to the pipe using my fingers to smooth out bubbles etc. I decoupaged to seal where the ends of the paper overlapped. I did that for each pipe and then set them aside to dry.

Optional Drill6) This next step is totally optional. I used two Forstner bits to drill holes in the wood base. If you don’t have a drill press you can skip this.

7) I gave the photo-tubes a sealing coat of Outdoor Mod Podge and, when that was dry trimmed away any excess paper from the tops and bottoms.

Apply Glue8) Next I glued the tubes to the base using E-6000. (NOTE: If you didn’t drill the holes in step 6 then just glue the pipes directly to the base. I checked and it will work – my suggestion is that you cluster the pipes closer together so they touch each other to provide a little extra stability.) After everything has had time to fully dry (24 hours) fill the pipes with water and insert your flowers.

Mother's Day DIY vase from a PVC pipeSome further thoughts 1) I think next time I will paint the tops of the PVC pipes for a more finished look. 2) It occurred to me that this could become a very adaptable thing. If you used a thicker base and drilled deeper holes you could skip gluing the tubes in place and just let the base hold them. Then you could then decoupage other tubes with colorful graphics or fabric or what have you and, when you wanted to, swap out the tubes to suit your mood. I hope you enjoy my DIY vases.

Mother's Day DIY vase from a PVC pipeDon’t forget to visit me at my blogEtsy, or on Facebook!

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  1. Anonymous says

    why do you dip the paper you’re going to decoupage in water first? are you supposed to do that when modpodging paper in general??

    also, nice job!!

  2. TanyaMac says

    that is soooo inventive! i love this idea and the finished result looks fantastic 😉

  3. says

    Excellent question.
    I do it with all my Mod Podge projects as it mostly eliminates any of the bubbling or wrinkling that can sometimes happen.
    In this particular project I thought it was key as I needed the paper to wrap very smoothly around the pipe and dipping it in water made that a lot easier.
    It is not absolutely necessary – just a suggestion based on my experiences. If you want to use that method for other projects just test the paper you’re using in advance to make sure it will hold up. Hope that helps.
    David (the ManPodger)

  4. Julie says

    Would this work with an inkjet if it was not soaked in water and instead had a couple layers of Mod Podge over it. I dont have easy access to laser printers. I love this idea.

  5. Anonymous says

    Love this idea! Can I use clear glass bud vases from the Dollar Store to make these?

  6. says

    Hey Julie,
    You could totally skip the soaking part – it’s just a suggestion to make life easier.
    Some ink jet ink will run when the Mod Podge hits it and some wont so be sure to do a test first.
    If your ink runs you can buy a spray sealer which should solve the problem (Michael’s carries sealers- usually in the art supplies aisle – artists use them to seal their drawings after they are done.
    Hope that helps.

  7. Lendyloo says

    I’m thinking of maybe using this for a class reunion table
    decoration! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Claire @ a little something in the meantime . . . says

    Wow, what a cool idea! The hardware store is just full of so many unexpected decor projects :)

    Linking up from I Heart Naptime.

  9. Anonymous says

    Can I use glossy mod podge instead of the outdoor mod podge? Please guide me on the pvc caps. Where did you find them. I have been all over the place and the caps fit over the pipe and have a curved bottom. Did you use a plug? If so, where did you find them? Thanks. I am so excited to make these for a graduation party!

  10. says

    You can use the glossy mod podge if you’d like. I purchased all the PVC at Home Depot. The plugs/caps were in the same section and an associate should be able to help you find the right match. Another alternative is to use cylindrical glass vases that you can sometimes find at the dollar store.
    Hope that helps.

  11. Anonymous says

    Love this idea! They would make great centerpieces for many events from weddings to reunions. Thanks for the great idea!

  12. Ryan Donovan says

    That’s very resourceful of you David. I have leftover pipes from my renovation last week and I’ll really try to do this for my aunt. I’m also planning to do business with this, I’ll probably search for pvc pipe suppliers to get discounts.

  13. says

    Hey! I blog about tips for displaying printed instagram photos. I often look around to find cool and different ways to display photos so I can blog about it. The idea that you have got here is awesome, thank you for sharing and thank you for the inspiration!

  14. Danielle says

    These are amazing!! I really want to make them! I have been trying to think of some different crafts to do and this is perfect! I was wondering if you have tried it with colored photos as well?


  1. […] Then use your imagination, or better if that's as crap as mine is, go on the internet for ideas. This one is, I think, genius. If you want to go for that wow factor, and have some PVC piping left lying about from the last plumbing job, then give the idea pictured above a go. You can find instructions here. […]

  2. […] You could also make a lovely vase. These ones, for example, are made of PVC pipes. To make something similar you’ll also need PVC pipes along with PVC caps, PVC pipe cement, mod podge, a wooden base, glue, laser copies of old photos, a foam brush and a drill. Cut the pipes and glue the caps using cement. Scan the photos and print them onto plain paper using a laser printer. Drop the images in water and coat the outside of the pipe with mod podge. Apply the image to the pipe and seal everything with mod podge. Then you can attach the vases to the wooden base.{found on modpodgerocksblog}. […]

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