It's a common question I get at shows as I travel from San Francisco, Seattle, to locations like Atlanta, Baltimore, and even here in Boston: what are they for? This question is always asked while folks are lovingly holding my sweet, little bud vases. I can tell you what I use them for and then let you decide if you have other clever uses for them.
My personal, stealthy favorite thing to do with them is to drop some essential oils in them, usually paired with a carrier oil like rice oil or avocado oil (it's just what I have in my studio). As people wander into my studio they almost always remark how lovely it smells in the space. It's a subtle way of giving just a touch of lovely without the pow of strong, smelling scent.
Bobby pins. I happen to wear them. So I definitely have them at home and I keep one of these little bud vases on a shelf in my bathroom. It's cute and functional! Honestly, I also throw my studs in there but you probably shouldn't do what I do. I'm the kind of person that tosses things here and there.
Incense holder and burner! This one is interesting because I happen to have a lot of incense of a certain set of... dimensions (please hear Liam Neeson's voice from Taken). Right now I have switched to one of my bud vases holding my incense so I can see how many I have left. I'm also a bit frugal about how I burn them because I don't actual want to burn a lot of it, more like... 10 minutes worth of it. So, what I do is break my incense sticks as I use them into roughly a 1 inch size. Then I place on my incense mat and burn it. But, I also have a new incense holder I have been working on and just started incorporating that into my little ritual. I just love taking the moment to enjoy a little smoky fire time. It's a calm association and I love a peaceful ritual, like making a pot of tea or a cup of coffee.
Putting little flower buds in it. This summer season, it's the honeysuckle flower that has me stopping every block to smell the beautiful goodness that is somewhere between jasmine and lilacs? I have no idea, but I can tell you those three are my current trifecta of ohmgd-smells-so-goooooo-where-is-that-smell-coming-from!?
Finally, as much as I wish I had time to design my life as much as I did designing and creating pieces in my studio... bud vases are just little cute objects. They bring a simple and sweet curiousity to a space. Whether you decide to hide pretty smelling things within, visibly, or just use it to look at or organize tiny little treats for yourself -- I hope whatever bud vase(s) you have in your life bring you as much joy as they have brought to me and my husband over the years.
If you're doing something fun with your bud vases, let me know in the comments! I'm always happy to update this list and share what you're doing with your little wee pots.