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I Broke It

While we could have easily spent mucho, mucho dinero at the Vintage Bazaar on Sunday, we actually managed to spend less than $20. Here’s how it broke down (and whoa, major pun just thrown in, too): a $10 vase, a $1 record, and an $8 pie. The pie was worth every cent, thank you.

When we got home, we flipped the tube on for the soothing sounds of football on a Sunday, then as Scott likes to say, we puttered around the home. I wrapped up shop orders, edited photos from the day, started laundry… (man, do I know how to detour a story). Scott got right to work, scrubbing down our new vase.

And somewhere in between the drying time and me trying to work cautiously around it, I @*!$ broke it. It toppled, accusations flew, and there went our happy Sunday! Mother trucker.

Of course during the exchange of swear words and berating myself, I continued to make matters worse. As I pointed to the cracked base, the @*!$ pieces fell out. Magic fingers, I tell you.

In my frenzy, I Googled like a mad woman, and I found this article. It recommends using clear epoxy, and throughout my manic bursts of crazy, Scott rifled through his tool bag, found an unopened tube of just what we needed, and we got right to work. Now, I’ve no idea why I’m so afraid of this stuff (well, horrid art school memories come to mind), so I let my better half take the reigns while I practiced normal breathing.

A thin layer really seemed to do the trick, but as we pushed every cracked piece back into place, the article also suggested nail polish remover as a good cleaning agent. The excess gunk was wiped up with swabs and cotton balls; easy enough.

But due to the nutty shape of our vase, there was no way to really put enough pressure on each piece. Since all sanity was lost at this point, we reasoned with this method, which included an empty jug filled with water balanced atop a plank of spare wood. We used a cutting board (why, I don’t know) layered with parchment paper so that the epoxy wouldn’t stick to anything.

Although the epoxy sets in two hours, I didn’t want to cause further harm – I waited until the next morning before I even touched it again. Since it’s lost all hope of holding water ever again, it’ll have an eternal life of containing dried billy buttons. And that’s okay.

Yes, the cracks are still visible; we lost too many fine, chipped pieces. But yes, turning the crack away from view works really well. I can’t tell. Can you?

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  • Jane @ The Borrowed Abode9.20.11 - 8:29 AM

    Oh man! That is such a bummer about the vase, but I’m so glad you were able to rescue it. There’s a few times I’ve done something similar but I didn’t know about epoxy so I never saved them.ReplyCancel

  • Cait @ Hernando House9.20.11 - 9:14 AM

    I hate it when stuff like that happens! But it’s super cute with billy buttons, and turning the cracked side away worked like a charm!ReplyCancel

  • I hate when something breaks. It’s my OCD. I had a small box I bought on our honeymoon and that broke (well, Ben let Vincent hold it and Vincent threw it on the floor). I was able to piece the cover back together okay, but the actual box was beyond repair, though I did try. Of course, the small pieces didn’t work well. Do you remember the episode of the Brady Bunch when the boys broke the mom’s vase? They pieced it together and it looked great, but it didn’t hold water. Just a random thought. At lease you were able to piece it back together. What if you used Bondo (for cars) to fill the cracks and then spray paint it? Just another random thought.ReplyCancel

  • Danielle9.20.11 - 11:27 AM
  • courtneyoutloud9.20.11 - 11:33 AM

    Well that puts a bee in your bonnet. That blows. Reminds me of when me and The Partner transported a beautiful black volcanic vase from Mexico back to the states. Got it all the way home before I dropped the bag with the vase….broke my heart and the vase.ReplyCancel

  • Patricia9.20.11 - 11:48 AM

    Still, you did a great job! And you got the right solution by putting the crack away from view. Beautiful vase!ReplyCancel

  • Tonya9.20.11 - 12:47 PM

    Ahh I have a vase that shape with some design on it and I know how sad I would be if it broke. Glad you can still use it though. What are those cool yellow flowers you have in the vase?ReplyCancel

  • Kate9.20.11 - 12:58 PM

    I would have been so mad at myself for that! It’s a great vase though, I’m glad you were able to semi-save it!ReplyCancel

    • Kim9.20.11 - 1:54 PM

      Ha, glad you all understand! Courtney, I’m still laughing at your phrase, “bee in your bonnet”! Yes, yes it was quite the bee.

      Tonya, those flowers are Craspedia, but they’re nicknamed billy balls (or buttons). They dry beautifully.ReplyCancel

  • aleksandra9.20.11 - 3:10 PM

    I was about to say– where did you put the cracks??? Genius!ReplyCancel

  • Felicity9.20.11 - 6:42 PM

    It’s the only saying, “what the eye can’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over”. :)ReplyCancel

  • Sarah9.21.11 - 10:45 AM


    The vase was from my booth, cushionchicago. I a) can’t believe it broke (Murphy’s Law) and b) what a heartfelt and great job you did repairing it! It’s good karma that it was at least salvageable, i.e. didn’t break in a million pieces.

    I love seeing the photos of it in situ. Enjoy it — in all its repaired glory.

    And thanks for posting the other nice shots of my booth, too. Really well-done photos on everything.


  • Kim9.21.11 - 12:58 PM

    Oh, Sarah, how embarrassing! It’s such a beautiful vase – cracks and all! Thank goodness it split mostly on the bottom, so it really is out of sight.

    You had a lovely booth!ReplyCancel

  • Chris Newald11.14.11 - 11:12 AM

    Epoxy is pretty much second to duct tape at our house… sometimes even first. With a little guy who moves fast enough to create his own sonic-boom we’re always in need of gluing things together. It even comes in handy during crafts or to give the things he brings home from school a bit of that “lasting touch”. Glad you were able to save the vase!ReplyCancel

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