homemade mercury glass pieces on mantel

Lately I’ve been daydreaming about the mercury glass accessories that seem to be all the rage these days. I’ve fallen in love with a few pieces, but I just can’t justify spending any money on breakable objects with a crazy toddler on the loose around here. Aren’t these lovely, though?

mercury glass planters and vases
mercury glass votive holders
(both photos above from West Elm)
mercury glass lamp base
I’m pretty sure that I actually NEED this lamp.
But like I said, I’m not about to purchase breakables, so I set out to try to recreate the look myself. I have to preface this tutorial by saying that I used a shiny silver metallic paint that I had on-hand for my faux mercury glass, and I really like the look of the more brushed finish; however, if you want a super shiny mirrored finish you can use Krylon Looking Glass Mirror-Like Spray Paint to achieve that look using these same steps.
mercury glass candle holders and small vases
I used items that I already had hiding out in my cupboards – a couple of assorted clear glass votive holders and a square glass vase that was leftover from my sister’s wedding (thanks, Kari!).
supplies for making diy mercury glass
Start with these basic supplies: your glassware, metallic spray paint and a spray bottle that will spray in a fine mist.
homemade mercury glass tutorial
Mist the inside of your glass with water, and spray it with the silver paint while the water is still wet.
mercury glass inspired vase
I found that I really liked the way it looked when I sprayed water, then silver paint, and then a bit of water again. Continue to add layers of water and silver paint until you get the desired look. If you want your “mercury glass” to look shiny, you can stop at this point (like I did for my votive holders) or proceed to the next step for more of an aged finish…
mercury glass vase and gold and black paints
Dark mercury glass has a bit of a gold-black finish, so I mixed a drop or two of black paint to a few tablespoons of metallic gold paint and lightly dabbed the mixture inside of my vase to fill in the blank spaces.
edges of mercury glass painted and faux rust stains added to vase
These pictures make it look a lot blacker that it really is, but for some reason the camera just isn’t capturing the gold very well (perhaps because my camera is thisclose to death, and half of these photos were actually taken with my phone!).
pretty diy vase with orchid flowers
mercury glass craft items together on shelf
You can see the difference between the aged look on the vase and the shinier look of the votive holders. I’m still not sure which one I like best, but I like the variety when they’re all together.
pretty faux mercury glass pieces
Quick and easy way to add a little shine to your mantle…if you’re like me, you probably already have the supplies just laying around. So what are you waiting for!?
vases and sign on mantel
This is what it looks like with the flash on, but really I just wanted to show off my cute new sign that I made last night too 😉

signature from Heidi, at Happiness is Homemade

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  1. This same technique can be used on the outside of the object and it looks just as good. As a matter of fact, i preferred painting the exterior of large apothecary jars because i was using them in my bathroom to store large hair clips, and i was afraid that the near constant scraping of hard plastic on the inside of the jars would scratch the paint off. When it comes to crafts, there is probably no wrong way to do it🙂

  2. Kina, I used vases that had a wider opening so I really didn’t have an issue with it getting on the outside (any that did I was able to quickly wipe right off with a wet paper towel). I have heard that you can coat the outside of the glass with Vaseline or something similar to keep the overspray off of the glass…just be careful because that will make it VERY slippery as well!

  3. I’ve had my looking glass spray for a while but I’m not sure how to spray the glass without getting it misting the outside of it to, got any pointers for me?

    I’m in love with your aged vase look btw!


  4. I’ve had my looking glass spray for a while but I’m not sure how to spray the glass without getting it misting the outside of it to, got any pointers for me?

    I’m in love with your aged vase look btw!


    1. Use painter’s tape on the outside of the vase/votive to prevent any water spray or paint getting on that area.

  5. I think EVERYONE needs that lamp!

    I love this article as I am a little addicted to candle holder, namely jars and hurricane lamps. I can’t wait to get started on a project like this! Thanks for the info.

    1. I just got the Looking Glass mirrored spray paint in the mail today, so I’m going to try a different technique tomorrow for super shiny pieces…if it doesn’t rain! 🙂