Coconut shells can be classified as hard wood because they are dense, rigid and strong. With the proper tools, making a flower vase from a coconut shell will still require a little elbow grease. Be careful as you cut - using a vice isn't a bad idea to stabilize the round shell.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Floral foam
- Self-adhesive felt or felt and glue
- Beeswax or mineral oil (optional)
- Vice (optional)
Drain the coconut of milk by drilling or nailing two holes into one end. The second hole acts as a vent, allowing the milk to drain.
Cut the very tip off the shell. This first slice will be the top of the vase's stand. Make a second slice perpendicular to the first at about one-third of the original length of the fruit. You should be left with three pieces: one deeper bowl shape, and one tapered ring shape.
Remove the coconut meat. Microwave the coconut for two minutes and scrape the flesh away with a spoon. If you don't have a microwave, you can bake the shell in an oven at about 200 degrees C (375 degrees F) for 15 minutes. Removing all the fruit is an important part of creating a good finished product.
Sand the base and the vase's edge. Smoothing the surface of the stand will help prevent scratching any surface you set the vase on. For a more finished look, you might also sand the top edge of the bowl.
Use the tapered ring piece as the base of the vase by setting the larger end down. Trace the edge of the base of the ring onto a piece of felt, cut the felt to size, and then fix it to the base with glue. If you've done a good job sanding, the base will sit flush and the felt will stick well. Let the felt dry in place.
Cut sections of floral foam to fit inside the vase to make arranging your flowers easier. With such a wide mouth, this vase could make flower arranging a little difficult without help. Soak the felt pieces in water before inserting them into the vase and adding flowers.
Finish the inside of the vase with mineral oil or beeswax for added water resistance. Rub wax or oil into the inner surface and edge of the vase and the edges of the stand.
Tips and warnings
- To avoid cooking your coconut meat, scrape away as much as possible with a spoon before heat-treating the shell to remove the remainder.
- Be careful when cutting the shell. If you don't have a vice to hold the coconut in place, stabilize the shell with your non-cutting hand and use a wadded cloth beneath to keep the shell as stable as possible.
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