Centerpiece Vase With Rub-On Design

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Today’s project uses rub-on transfers and a clear glass vase to create a fun, simple decorative piece. Perfect for centerpieces, a wish bowl, toasting flutes, or even votives this is a quick ‘n’ easy project ANYONE can do. Don’t think you’re crafty? No problem! The rub-ons provide all of the creativity. All you do is … rub.

What you need:


  • Clean glass vase with a smooth surface.
  • Glass cleaner, paper towel
  • Rub-on transfers (available at scrapbooking shop and craft stores.)
  • Scisscors
  • Rub-on tool. (Most rub-on sheets come with a little popsicle stick to do the transfers with…that’s perfect.)

How to:

1. Clean the outside of the glass with the glass cleaner. Dry the glass completely. Rub-ons don’t work well when there are body oils or dirt on the surface.

2. From a sheet of rub-ons, cut out the design you want to transfer to the glass.

3. Place the cut design, face (sticky-side) down on the glass.

4. With one hand, hold the transfer paper in place. With the other hand, use the transfer tool (popsicle stick) to rub the back of the design. Firmly pressing down as you rub will transfer the design to the glass. Sometimes it takes several passes to get the transfer to stick. Don’t worry. That’s normal.

5. As you rub an area, pick up the edges of the paper just a little bit. You’ll be able to see where the transfer isn’t sticking. Just go back and rub, rub, rub. When you’re done pressing the design onto the glass, carefully pull back the paper liner. Ta da! Now you have a beautiful vase for a centerpiece.


  • Rub-ons are available in hundreds (thousands?!) of different designs.
  • Most are available in black or white but many manufacturers also have them in full color. Cool, right?
  • The bummer is that most packages have only 1 sheet per package with several different designs/motifs per page. If you need to have all matchy-matchy vases, you’ll need to buy several packages of rub-ons and that can get spendy.
  • The package used in this project, from Tinkering Ink, cost $6.99 at my local scrapbook store. Not outrageous, but definitely something to consider when you’re budgeting.
  • Rub-ons can be used on paper, metal, class, tile, wood … nearly any smooth surface. And they work on any color surface, too.

Resources: Rub-on designers to check out…. Doodlebug (Great alphabets, pretty colors) Basic Grey (Awesome designs, sophisticated patterns) Bo Bunny (Fun, whimsical, trendy) Cosmo Cricket (Great sentiments) Fancy Pants Designs (Great colors, fun designs) Foof-a-la by Autumn Leaves Hambly Screen Prints (Trendy, hip, fun) My favorite online places to buy rub-ons: Two Peas In A Bucket Lifetime Moments


  1. What a fun project! I’ve always wanted to do some kind of work with personalizing glass but etching seemed a little scary. This, on the other hand look approachable and fun! Thanks for sharing.

  2. I am new to stenciling and have stenciled a beautiful Rooster on a glass decanter. I want to use the decanter and thus wash it from time to time but I am afraid the stenciled Rooster will come off if I should wash it/scrub it over time. Is there a spray or paint protectant I can use to protect all my various stencils on glass, etc.? I would appreciate any information!

  3. I am interested in trying this project. I was wondering how the rub ons hold up in water if you were to put them on a glass. Do I need to buy some type of sealer for the stickers? Help please!

  4. Can you please tell me the brand/supplier of the leafy vine rub-on that is featured on the vase in the photo at the top? Thanks!

    1. Emily, it was by Tinkering Ink. This project is nearly 4 years old so I’m doubtful this particular rub-on is still available. UPDATE: It looks like Tinkering Ink went out of business a while ago.

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