10-minute kid+parent DIY bud vase
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Make: 5-Minute DIY Kid-Safe Stem Vases

Ah, August! With all the kids already back in school and the summer-like days waning, it has us longing to gather up and surround ourselves with every last bit of the season. Our wood-block stem vases were born out of the desire to bring the last of summer inside while using up some bits & pieces of past crafts I had laying around.

This versatile activity is a perfect afternoon project for kids and a great way to get them engaged with nature after a long day sitting at a desk. As an added bonus, the plastic test tubes make these 100% kid-safe and durable enough for continued use season after season.

barley and birch diy stem vase materials

To make your own DIY stem vases you’ll need:

Note: We prefer to shop locally or use what we have at home, but this list contains a few Amazon affiliate links for reference. As Amazon Associates we make a small commission on qualifying purchases.*

BASIC SUPPLIES:

  • Wooden Blocks or Wood Scraps (I like these wooden blocks)
  • Plastic Test Tubes (I used this kind)
  • Drill
  • Spade Bit (the same diameter as the Test Tube – mine was 5/8″)
  • Fine Sand Paper
  • Flowers, Branches or Other Seasonal Clippings

OPTIONAL SUPPLIES:

  • Paint or wood stain
  • Small paintbrushes

Kid-Safe DIY Stem Vase Instructions:

  1. Prep to drill

    To create our stem vases, we’ll be drilling a hole for a test tube into a wooden block, so make sure you have the block clamped while you drill, or are safely holding the block in place. Don’t forget the protective eyewear!

    barley and birch diy stem vases - drill1

  2. Drill 3/4 of the way through the center of a wooden block

    Drill a hole through the center of your wooden block with a spade bit that’s the same diameter as the test tubes you have (mine had a 5/8″ diameter) – stopping about 3/4 of the way through the block.

    DIY kid-friendly stem vases via barley & birch

    *Check to be sure you’re holding the drill upright so the test tube will sit straight in the block.

  3. Sand

    Using a fine-grain sandpaper, sand around the inside of the drilled hole, and along all the edges of your block.

  4. Paint and decorate

    Once your blocks are drilled and sanded, grab some sponges or paint brushes and let the kids go to town! These can even just be dipped and dried. I used some acrylic paint I had sitting around and wanted to use up, but you can also use stamps, a stain, markers, washi tape, or stickers or letters to decorate – get creative!

    barley and birch diy stem vases - paints

  5. Add test tube

    Let these fully dry, then just pop one of your test tubes in! If the test tube has a little wobble, you can use some candle wax or a dot of glue to hold the tube in place. Voila! These are ready to be filled with a little water and some seasonal snips from the garden – or…anything really!

    DIY kid-friendly stem vases via barley & birch

Half the fun of these is that they can be stacked up, arranged, and rearranged for all different kinds of fun looks – these are really so versatile! Here are a few more ideas:

  • Put a different letter on each side of each block and spell the name of the flowers collected or the season.
  • Cover the blocks with different funny faces and fill the test tube with some “hair” from the garden.
  • Play with different colors and patterns to create fun, ever-changing arrangements.
  • Paint with a magnetic paint for stem vases that can double as picture or noteholders.
  • Use some different sizes and shapes of blocks to create a cityscape of stem vases.
10-minute kid+parent DIY bud vase

For more DIYs like this, check some of our other scrap wood DIYs like this simple Modern Beach Dollhouse, a wooden DIY Play iPad & Laptop, or this incredibly fun DIY Balance Board. Looking for something even easier? Try making a Thingamaboard – the perfect tool for creative play of all kinds!SaveSaveSaveSave

Make 5-Minute DIY kid-safe stem vases | via barley & birch

The sky’s the limit with these! Have a great idea of your own? Share in the comments, and be sure to tag us in pics of your own creations (use @barleyandbirch on Instagram and Facebook!)


*A note about Amazon affiliate links: We strive to use simple, earth-friendly supplies that can be purchased locally whenever we can, but sometimes we find the best universally available options, a rare eco-friendly find, or a niche product only available on Amazon. When included in our supply list, these products are affiliate links, and if you click-through to make a purchase, we receive a small commission that helps us re-order these supplies!

Make 5-Minute DIY kid-safe stem vases | via barley & birch
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About Amanda Eldridge

With a passion for cultivating imagination, Amanda aims to help families discover their creative potential and be inspired to make the world a better place through art, play, adventure, activism, conservancy, and community. When not playing with ideas, designs and projects for barley & birch, Amanda enjoys working as a modern art curator and managing her own small design business.

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