Emily Winters: Aspen-Inspired Home Decor

There’s something about the change in seasons in the northeastern United States that brings me back to a different point in life. I have memories of exploring my parents rural, wooded property and lingering in amongst hundreds of Aspen trees that glistened gold and shook loudly in the breeze. I’m learning a lot about Aspen varieties as I write this post, one thing being that these Quaking Aspens are the among the most widely distributed tree in all of the USA, extending from the Mexico border all the way up to Canada so maybe dozens, or hundreds, or thousands of you have similar experiences enjoying this particular piece of wilderness, but more so than a lesson in dendrology (I’m sure you’re wondering whereabouts I’m going with this) the trees are plentiful with inspiration.

And with that said, I reinterpreted a little bit of it for my own home in the form of a simple DIY vase.

Make a DIY white-barked vase.

Keep on reading to see how I created this special new piece of decor for my own home.

Whether you’re more familiar with white birch or aspen or any other type of white-barked tree in your native region of North America, you’ll appreciate the contrast between the white exposed bark and the dark brown and black scars. These trees carry a distinctive fashion. And sure, there are many ways to reinterpret this bark texture, but these are the materials I chose to work with:

  • One glass vase (two are shown, but I ended up working with the taller, more tree-like of the vases that was <$5 at the craft store)
  • Assorted spraypaint (I spent $10 on three colors, an almond brown and dark brown, and a plain satin white)
  • Assorted rubberbands (A pack of 100 was <$2)

Make a DIY Aspen Tree Vase

I started by spray painting the plain glass vase with the two shades of brown because I wanted a little of each color to represent the scarred bark.

Spray paint the glass vase with underlaying colors.

When the spray paint was completely dry, I began wrapping the vase with rubberbands, overlapping them in an interpretive way, keeping in mind that the covered areas would remain brown on the finished vase.

Once dried, wrap the painted vase in assorted rubber bands.

Over the rubberbands, I spray painted the satin white. To cover the browns evenly without drips, I had to apply about three light coats.

Spray paint over the rubberbands with white (or whatever color tree bark inspires you!)

When it had dried completely (I left it alone for a whole day to cure) I carefully removed the rubber bands. I didn’t have much trouble stretching them off, but it would be easy to snip them too in case you’re worried about damaging the overlaying spray paint.

The finished piece is really pretty. There are some areas where the lines aren’t perfectly clean, as you can see in this close-up photo, but from afar it looks great. An interpretive little vision that can transition from fall into winter.

The finished DIY tree trunk vase.

I like it filled with some branches too, in this case, curly willow branches that I harvested from my parents yard.

Aspen-inspired vase filled with curly willow branches.

Are you making anything especially autumnal to celebrate the change in seasons?

Catching the home improvement bug at an early age, Emily Winters is a now a devoted DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects she covers on her blog Merrypad range from painting a wall to building a deck, so it’s only natural she landed at DIYNetwork.com. You can follow Emily on twitter at @merrypad and like her on facebook at facebook.com/merrypad.

9 Responses

  1. kim hornsey says:

    I have collected lots of different kinds of shells off the beach washed them off and left them to dry and then sprayed them with a clear lacquer and then layered them in a glass jar or bowl along with small pieces of drift wood and crab claws, I think they look lovely and will be making more.

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  6. jtenedero0 says:

    I also start creating my own DIY home decor using fabrics and start creating a curtains through the use of sewing machine and start putting it on my bedroom.


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  8. Moodyvega says:

    Looks nicer with the colored rubberbands…

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About Emily Fazio 


I caught the home improvement bug at an early age, and now I'm a full-time DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects I cover on my blog Merrypad range ...

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