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4 Simple Styling Tricks for Kitchen Counters

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4 simple styling tricks for kitchen counters including a vase made from a tin can and other everyday items that can provide both function and style to your kitchen.

I have a small kitchen and am always on the lookout for easy decorating ideas on how to maximize the small amount of counter space I have without making them look cluttered.

When I saw this decorative kitchen counter arrangement of items on Pinterest, I loved it. The silver vase with glitter accent, the pink roses, the black and white tile backsplash and the stack of cookbooks. Everyday stuff – artfully displayed.

When adding items on top of my kitchen counters, I always have to start by adding functional items first, then if I have room leftover, I can add the pretty.

But this is not the case for one awkward section on my kitchen counter that is in the corner of the L-shaped section that creates the peninsula that divides the kitchen with the dining table area.

Small kitchen styling idea for counters

I call this area of the counter “no-man’s land” as it’s too far of a reach to be usable as a food prep area or to place an appliance like a toaster. It is the one place that I can add pretty and not worry too much about function.

So for Valentine’s Day, I remembered the pink roses in the silver vase and went in search of the photo I pinned so I could create my own version of the pretty kitchen counter vignette.

Simple and fast decorating ideas for styling your kitchen counters using a few simple items you may already own.

I gathered a cutting board, pink and red cookbooks, rainbow roses I bought for Valentine’s Day and I even had a black and white tile that I leaned against the backsplash. I had every item I liked, except the silver vase.

I could have added another low style vase, but I really liked the one in the photo I pinned. I thought since it looked like a tin can with ribs of glitter going around it I could maybe make something similar using a tin can.

Kitchen counter styling ideas. Rainbow roses styled in a diy tin can vase on a kitchen counter.

I always enjoy finding decorative ways to use stuff destined for the trash. Like a tin can.

After some trial and error, I now have a pretty budget friendly silver vase that made using a tin can. I can use at Christmastime also, so it is just not a Valentine decoration. It would even make festive table centerpieces for a wedding or bridal shower.

Kitchen counter styling ideas. Rainbow roses styled in a diy tin can vase on a kitchen counter.

The how-to tutorial showing how I made the silver vase is lower down in this post.

4 Simple Styling Tricks for Kitchen Counters

Try these styling tricks on your kitchen counter. If you have an inspiration photo, look at each item in it that speaks to you and try to recreate it using items you own. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Grouping items together on a kitchen counter makes them look more interesting and less like clutter. When you group items it also helps when you need to clean the counter as you can pick everything up at once.
    • Go through your stash of trays, cutting boards and even unused photo frames. Did you know that when you place a photo frame face up on a counter, it makes a decorative tray? Place your find on your counter.
  • Stacking cookbooks adds height and can act as a pedestal for something pretty you want to feature.
    • Gather a few cookbooks that are similar in size or color. Stack them on one side of the tray, cutting board or frame.
  • Lean something against the backsplash or hang art. Leaning something flat and large will give your arrangement depth and focus.
    • Look for a flat item to lean. A tray, framed art, cutting board, or a rigid placemat are a few items to try. Pick the one that looks the best to your eye and items you have gathered so far.
    • If you don’t have anything large enough, consider hanging it with Picture Hanging Strips as I did when styling this section of my kitchen counter.
  • Choose one or two more items to complete the arrangement.
    • When looking for items to use, try to add items with different heights textures, sheens and colors. Paper, wood, glass, and metal. Rough and shiny. Short and tall. The mix creates interest.
cupcakes under a glass dome cake stand on a kitchen counter.

For my countertop arrangement, I added a vintage glass spooner filled with spreader knives and a domed stand with Valentine cupcakes waiting to be eaten.

Tin can vase on a stack of books on a kitchen counter.

The nice thing about styling kitchen counters is that nothing you artfully arrange has to stay the same. I change my “no-mans land” area seasonally or weekly sometimes.

It is my fun place to make, style, recycle and reuse the decorative items I own that are in storage. I figure, why store and save them if I am not going to enjoy seeing or using them from time to time.

How to Make a Pretty Silver Vase Using a Tin Can

supplies needed:

  • Empty tin can – any size
  • Painter’s tape
  • Spray glue
  • Glitter
  • Foil or cardboard – about a table placemat size

Time needed: 15 minutes.

Repurpose a tin can from your pantry into a pretty silver vase to use on your kitchen counter or as a table centerpiece for a budget wedding.

  1. Remove Label

    Remove label from can. If there is any residual glue or a date printed on the can, use GooGone or Lemon essential oil to remove it.

    Tin can shown with the paper label off next to one that still has the label.

  2. Apply Painter’s Tap

    Use painter’s tape around can to mask off areas that you don’t want glitter. You can apply the tape with even spacing or randomly. Follow the ribs of the can to keep the tape straight.
    TIP: If your painter’s tape is wide, use a craft knife or scissors to cut it in half vertically to create two or more thin strips of tape.

    applying tape to a tin can to create glitter stripes to make a vase.

  3. Spray Glue On

    Take your tape covered tin can outside and spray it with glue evenly all over the can making sure to cover all the exposed silver on the sides of the can.

  4. Sprinkle Glitter Over Can

    Place a piece of foil or cardboard on work surface. Hold tin can over foil and sprinkle on glitter while spray glue is still wet.

    Shake the excess glitter from the can and set aside.

    applying glitter to a tin can to make a pretty vase or centerpiece on a budget

  5. Remove Painter’s Tape


    When glue is dry, about 5 – 10 minutes, carefully remove the tape.

    Fold the foil or cardboard in half so all the excess glitter goes into the fold. This will make it easy to pour the excess glitter back into the container.

  6. Fill with Water and Flowers

    Once glue and glitter are dry you can put your new vase to use.

    how to steps showing how to add stripes of glitter on a tin can to make a pretty vase for a kitchen counter.

How to make a pretty vase for a kitchen counter using a tin can.

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18 Comments

  1. Little details that were mostly overlooked are the flowers. I love how you portray them here and emphasize their looks.

  2. Thank you for sharing these 4 very doable and really simple styling tricks for kitchen counters! I love how minimalist and simple these ideas are! Very thoughtful yet also very insightful!

  3. Hi Linda – Thanks for sharing this information… I have never sealed glitter. I have some Polycrylic spray and will give my vase a coat. It may help us please share new more thought to help others.

  4. Hi Diane: I will try this post but first want to tell you about my Valentine’s Day experience with your sheet of Valentines.

    I cut them out (did for each granddaughter) wrote something different on each one and on one heart I wrote “I love you to pieces” and attached it to a Reese’s peanut butter cup candy. I sealed the envelopes with one of the hearts and mailed them to Austin, Tx.

    Imagine my surprise when my daughter-in-law texted me a picture of the envelopes and the post office was asking $3.25 for each envelope as it was considered a “small parcel package.” LOL.

    I told her to forget it as their postman already delivered. BTW, everyone I told about the hearts and candy loved the idea as did my granddaughters.

    1. Hi Paula – I am glad that your friends and granddaughter’s loved the idea. Sad to hear about the post office asking for extra $$$. That has never happened to me when I send the envelopes. I wonder why in Austin, they asked for more? I will have to do some investigating. I hope even with the glitch, that you had a sweet Valentine’s Day.

  5. I love this!
    I reuse tin cans all the time, if I can put them away before hubby gets them into the recycle bin.
    At Christmastime I make a gift called Tea4Two. I decoupage tin cans with Christmas/wintry napkins, and fill with three different confections (two of each) and add two tea bags. I punch holes in the side of the cans, near the top to add a wire handle that I decorate with ribbon and small jingle bells. So festive. I have also reused tin cans for lanterns.

  6. I actually like yours better! Of course I am partial to red, and the roses are beautiful!

  7. Great job! If you spray the can with your choice of varnish after everything dries, it helps the glitter stay put. Thought you might like this idea.

  8. What a great idea, I may have to steal the tin vase idea for my Granddaughters teacher valentines gifts! She has to also make a shoe box valentines mail box for all her valentines (remember those for our kids) Spray glue and glitter is a great idea for that! Thanks again for the inspiration.

  9. I’ve got the perfect spot for this idea. Really love the look and colors you used ? like you said, it’s a fun way to use these things we love, instead of keeping them put away ?

  10. As always, Diane, you can take the simplest of items and repurpose them into something so charming! I love the selection of Barefoot Contessa cookbooks too – I also have all of them. Since countertop real estate in my kitchen is at a real premium, the flower vase may be all I have space for, but even that will certainly add a a bit of charm and beauty. Happy Valentines Day❤️