Last summer I was on the hunt for oversize, giant brandy snifters, both of my grandmothers would use them as "rose-bowls" and float a single cut rose in them. I looked at flea markets, thrift stores, garage sales and then finally resorted to eBay. While I was perusing eBay, I stumbled upon a listing for an underwater vase. I’d never even heard of an underwater vase. I decided to bid on it and won it for 5 bucks. That same weekend, we ventured over to the East Bay to the Alameda Flea Market, and through serendipity I found two more underwater vases from two different vendors. I guess I never noticed underwater vases before, or I just didn’t know what they were used for.
The underwater vase looks like a big, clear glass bowling ball with a flat lid and comes in various sizes.
The lid has a built in frog that holds the flower stems in place. The lids can be plastic, metal (almost like a mayonnaise jar lid), or rubber. The frogs can be metal spikes or simple rubber holes. After you attach the flower to the frog, you carefully place it into the water filled glass globe and screw the lid on. My first try at placing a flower in the underwater vase was a disaster. After I flipped the vase onto its flat lid, the flowers became detached and floated to the top. I also didn’t fill the water to the brim and a large air pocket rose to the top. After some practice, I became an expert at underwater flower arranging, without any air bubbles or detached flowers. I used these underwater vases at a couple of dinner parties and people are always fascinated by the simplicity of a flower submerged under water in a glass globe. It’s very surreal and reminds me of a giant snow globe. Over time, the flower doesn’t discolor that much either, it just fades a little. I left one arrangement for 3 weeks and it still looked good, and the water wasn’t even sour when I opened the lid— I guess because it airtight. After I got bored with the novelty of the water, I began using the vases to display other things. Here’s some examples of what you can use them for—besides just as an underwater vase.
I like to put just leaves in them, without any flowers at all. I think the autumn leaves look really striking.
Seashells look beautiful in the underwater vase too. I bet you have a jar of seashells stashed away, this is a great way to display them.
It's also a great way to store all the buttons and memorabilia on your dresser! Keep your eyes peeled and maybe you’ll spot one at your local thrift store or flea market—or maybe we’ll be bidding against each other on eBay!