Decorating the venue for your wedding doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. With a few simple pieces and a bit of imagination, you can create fancy items for your big day that look as if you ordered them from a high-end catalog. Here are four craft ideas for turning plain glass vases into cute wedding decorations.

Message Centers

With a little bit of chalkboard paint, you can make your table centerpieces do double duty as decorative items and conversation starters. Use painter's tape to section off the glass vases in any pattern you desire (e.g. three horizontal blocks) and then paint the exposed areas with chalkboard paint. Wait to dry and then use regular chalk to write messages to your guests on the vases.

Alternatively, you can leave chalk and erasers inside the vases (or nearby on the table) to encourage your guests to use them to leave you messages or play simple games, such as tic-tac-toe. This decor idea is an excellent way to get your guests interacting with each other and having fun.

Fairy Lights

If your wedding or reception is being held at night, one way to safely add sources of illumination to the area is to insert string lights into clear glass vases and place them strategically. This simple decoration can add an aura of magic and romance to the event since the lights will often look like tiny fireflies or luminescent stars in the darkness.

You can increase the cuteness factor by painting the jars with transparent colored paint or use colored lights that match your other wedding decor. Be sure to purchase battery-powered lights to give yourself more placement flexibility and only activate them when they're needed to save battery life. Lastly, fill the bottom of the jar with glitter to hide the battery pack and add an additional pizzazz to the decoration.

Treat Jars

Glass vases come in a variety of sizes, and some are even small enough to use as treat jars. Not only is this an eco-friendlier option than using paper or plastic bags, but the vases can also serve as guest gifts. Just fill the vases with an assortment of treats and fun items, wrap a ribbon around the middle, and add a decorative name tag. If you have assigned seating at your reception, use this item in place of name cards to identify where guests should sit; otherwise, set them out on the table for guests to take as they please.

Alternatively, if you don't want to give away food, the nice about using glass vases is you can fill them with anything you deem appropriate. For instance, you can place handmade soaps and lotions, garden seeds, handkerchiefs, tiny cocktail mixes, or any other small items you prefer. You can even put succulents inside the vase, but be sure to use a clear one so the plant can get plenty of sunlight. If you're stuck for ideas, do a search online for inspiration.

Use as Intended

Of course, you can always use the vases for their intended purpose; filling them with either real or silk flowers and placing them around the venue for your guests to enjoy. There are a lot of unique things you can do with your flower arrangements to make them extra special, so don't feel you have to settle for using the vases as is.

For instance, you can glue twigs to the vase to give it a rustic look, which is great for weddings that take place near wooded areas or in the countryside. Wrapping the base in paper cutouts and securing them with ribbon is another inexpensive way to add flair to an otherwise plain vase.

For more ideas for using vases to decorate your wedding or to get a good price on a bulk purchase, contact a retailer that allows you to buy decorative colorful glass vases online.