Need ideas for cheap small bud vases
May 15, 2019 11:19 AM   Subscribe

I have a small budget to provide flowers for a retirement party at work. I have $100 to work with and I’m hoping to provide small bud vases on each of about 17-18 cocktail tables as well as one larger arrangement.

I’m not picky about the flowers and will probably just go to Trader Joe’s the night before and grab whatever looks interesting for about $70 worth of flowers. I have a couple of vases that would work for larger arrangements but am looking for some ideas for cheap small bud vases – so about 18 small receptacles – that I can provide for under $30 from within my overall budget.
Ideally, these tiny vases would serve some other function once no longer needed for flowers since I don’t think my office needs 18 tiny bud vases just hanging around. I’d also be fine making something disposable (could I hollow out oranges? Fashion something out of coated cardboard?) as long as I can stay within the $30 bud vase budget.
I’ll check at the Dollar store and see if they have anything to use but also have all the standard big boxes and Amazon at my disposal.
posted by otherwordlyglow to Shopping (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do you or anybody you know drink kombucha? Brew Dr. Kombucha has cute little brown bottles. If I lived nearby I could give you about 18 right now!
posted by nathaole at 11:23 AM on May 15

Anywhere that has lots of cheap glassware - as in drinking glasses - would likely do the job. Juice glasses, especially if you can find the skinny ones, make perfect bud vases. Also some votive glasses will work well - try Michael's to see what they've got, also check over near the glittery-type craft supplies as they periodically have cheapo plastic jars in various sizes.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:25 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]

If you think it'd be nice for them to not all match, you can usually find tons of glassware at thrift stores.
posted by Illuminated Clocks at 11:30 AM on May 15 [10 favorites]

How about small glass mixing / prep bowls? They have the added advantage that you can fill them with water and do floating arrangements which use far fewer flowers and can take a lot less time.
posted by Middlemarch at 11:32 AM on May 15

Alternatively there must be someone in your group who has a box of jam jars you could borrow?
posted by Middlemarch at 11:33 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]

I use Kerr small jam jars as bud vases at my house--when they're not in use as vases I use them to take food to work or to keep pantry staples in. I buy mine at my local hardware store in the canning section, but depending on where you live you can also find some in thrift stores.
posted by stellaluna at 11:34 AM on May 15 [2 favorites]

Test tubes are cheap.

To make them stand up, you could:
- make stands out of cheap bolts from the hardware store
- Drill holes into lumber scraps
- bake some polymer clay around them as a base

Also check craigslist for people trying to get rid of (or rent out) wedding decor. This tends to be a pricier option b/c everrryone wants a piece of that wedding-industrial-complex money, but worth a shot. I'd say something like what you wrote above: "my budget is $30 and I need 18 bud vases for a one-day event."
posted by homodachi at 11:34 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]

Thrift stores always have tons of small vases or other receptacles that could work, for less than a dollar apiece, if they don't need to match.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 11:39 AM on May 15

This bud vase is $2 at Target. Slightly over your $30 budget for 18, but close.
posted by homodachi at 11:44 AM on May 15

Here are 24 glass bottles meant for hot sauce that seem like a good size, about $10 on Amazon. Hard to think of a good way to reuse them, though.
posted by Kriesa at 11:46 AM on May 15 [2 favorites]

Ikea. Drinking glasses.
Or Vase
posted by sciencegeek at 11:46 AM on May 15

You can usually find milk glass bud vases at thrift stores for $1-2 dollars. They all look great together since they are the same material and general style, but have their own designs. It may take some time and travel to find enough, but they are pretty common. A friend collected 50 of them for her wedding.
posted by Miko at 11:48 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]

Go to a dollar store
posted by Clustercuss at 11:53 AM on May 15

Encourage folks to bring the vases home if they so desire, so as to help not keep 18 items at the office that you don't need. (or since it's wedding season, these would probably get snapped up by someone planning a wedding or summer event).
posted by hydra77 at 12:10 PM on May 15

What about maybe doing small potted flowers instead? Would the new retiree be into accepting them as a gift for their home - or you could do something random like whoever has a sticker under their cake plate gets a plant. I'm pretty sure you can get begonias, pansies, etc. for around $5 at Home Depot/Lowes. A roll of tulle and a roll of ribbon from Michael's or Party City (Dollar Store?) and you're good.
posted by dancinglamb at 1:28 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]

Trader Joe's in my area is currently carrying tiny potted flowering plants in colorful little planters--$2 apiece. Last year I got a half dozen for my kitchen windowsill and they lasted forever. At my TJ's these little plants are near checkouts, not in the flower section. Ask the clerks if they have extras in back.
posted by Elsie at 3:27 PM on May 15

posted by SemiSalt at 10:23 AM on May 16

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