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DIY Upcycled Emerald Paper Vases 


DIY paper emerald vases




Kathy Beymer Bright MindBY KATHY BEYMER
  Merriment Design


It’s ASTROBRIGHTS® Paper’s 55th anniversary! ASTROBRIGHTS Paper asked me to create a unique paper craft idea to help mark this important milestone. Did you know that emerald is the traditional color and symbol for 55th anniversaries? So, I designed gem-inspired DIY paper vases that upcycle milk and juice cartons into celebration-worthy centerpieces.

I played around with folding a Gamma Green™ paper square until it resembled a simple, abstract emerald. Because my favorite color assortment is the timeless Spectrum pack, I decided to add fun pops of color into the gem centers.

You can make my easy DIY paper vases for your own celebrations. Just print my templates onto your chosen colors, cut and fold paper emeralds, and glue to empty milk and juice cartons. I’ve provided you with the measurements to make three different vase heights: tall (8 gems per side), medium (6 gems per side), and short (4 gems per side). Fill them with flowers or plants for creative table centerpieces and DIY gifts.

My upcycled paper emerald vases would also make great centerpieces for baby showers, holidays like Thanksgiving and Easter, weddings, birthday parties, and more. Simply choose cardstock paper colors that coordinate with your event.

Astrobrights Papers launched its bold, colorful paper assortment in 1969 shortly after the United States became the first country to land on the moon. That’s why ASTROBRIGHTS named all its paper colors with a celestial theme. From Solar Yellow™ to Planetary Purple™ and Lunar Blue™, Astrobrights paper has been colorizing the world for 55 years and counting.

Happy 55th, Astrobrights Papers! Thanks for asking me to help celebrate your journey. Here's to many more years of colorful creativity ahead!



  • Kathy Beymer’s printable emerald-inspired paper vases PDF template
  • Astrobrights Spectrum Cardstock in Gamma Green™ and Vulcan Green™ plus additional colors from the ASTROBRIGHTS Spectrum cardstock paper assortment, or choose your own color combination
  • Empty milk and juice cartons (either half gallon or 52-fl-oz sizes)
  • Scissors or craft knife, ruler and self-healing mat
  • School glue and brush
  • Flowers or plants


Step 1: Download and print my emerald squares PDF template onto Astrobrights paper. I designed two sizes of emeralds: 1.75” square emeralds for 52-fl-oz cartons and 1.875” square emeralds for half gallon cartons); print the templates that coordinate with your carton size. Next, print the emerald centers onto your chosen colors; I included most of the Spectrum assortment pack colors.


Step 2: Cut out emerald squares. Fold in three of the four triangles on the dotted fold lines. You can score the paper first for crisp folds like I did by running a bone folder or butter knife along the edge of a ruler.


Step 3: Slip a colorful paper square in the middle of each emerald. Fold the fourth triangle into the center to create an emerald. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have enough emeralds for your chosen vase size (tall, medium, short).


Step 3: Cut the top off of your cartons with a craft knife and ruler or pair of scissors. The heights vary depending on your carton size:

  • For 52-fl-oz cartons: Cut 7” for tall vases, 5.25 inches” for medium vases, and 3.5” for short vases.
  • For half gallon cartons: Cut 7.5” for tall vases, 5.625” for medium vases, and 3.75” for short vases.


Step 4 (optional): Cover empty cartons with Gamma Green™ paper if you’d prefer to not see any of the carton edges on your final vase. I used a brush to thinly spread glue onto the cartons, then lined up the paper along the top edge. Fold about 1-2 inches under the base just like wrapping a present (you can cut off any extra paper) and glue to hold. Let the cartons dry completely.


Step 5: Glue folded emeralds to all four sides of each carton to create a vase. You can choose your own color arrangement; I alternated Vulcan Green™ with other colors.



Step 6: Add fresh flowers and greenery into your carton vases, either by putting flowers directly in water in the carton itself (I recommend using floral foam, glass beads or small rocks for added sturdiness) or tuck flowers inside a water-filled mason jar and set that inside the carton. Alternatively, you can insert 3.5” round plants pots such as succulents directly into the half-gallon sizes and top with moss to hide the soil.


And now it’s time to celebrate!


Be sure to see more of my paper crafts for ASTROBRIGHTS paper including my S’mores Campfire Playset, Paper Bead Jewelry, Geometric Dinosaur birthday party, and many more.

Kathy Beymer

Instagram: @kathybeymer

Pinterest: @merrimentdesign