If your hand slips while you're dusting, and your favorite glass vase falls to the floor and breaks, you may be able to repair the vase well enough to once again hold water — but you should know going into the repair that it's never going to be the same. Short of reheating the glass to fuse it, virtually no process will eliminate the hairline cracks left over after gluing the pieces back together, even if you minimize the cracks by carefully aligning the pieces.
However, you can use a two-part epoxy resin to assemble the pieces back together to make it at least functional once again.
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Ready to get started? Here's how to fix broken glass vases.
Things You'll Need
1. Gather all the Pieces
Handle glass with care; it has sharp edges that can cut your fingers.
Collect all the pieces of the broken vase. The repair probably isn't worth doing if the vase has broken into several small pieces, or some pieces are chipped. The repair is most likely to be successful if the vase has broken into two or three large pieces, or if one small section, such as the lip around the opening, broke off.
2. Clean the Pieces
Clean dirt off the pieces you are going to glue with a rag and dry them thoroughly with a clean cloth. Pay special attention to the edges that you're going to glue together.
3. Test Fit the Pieces
Support the vase in a holder if it doesn't stand by itself. Test-fit the pieces you are going to glue so that you know the best way to put them together to minimize visible crack lines.
4. Mix the Epoxy
Mix clear two-part epoxy glue with the hardener that comes with it on a piece of scrap cardboard. To get the strongest repair, use a product that takes longer than 5 minutes to set -- it will be less brittle than one that sets quickly. Mix only what you need for the repair -- you'll have to discard what you don't use.
5. Apply Epoxy to One Piece
Spread the epoxy on the edges of one of the pieces of glass you need to glue, using a toothpick. You don't need to apply the glue to both surfaces of a joint, as long as you spread it evenly. Try not to leave voids, but don't use too much glue, or you may have trouble cleaning the glass after the glue sets.
6. Use Hot Glue as a Temporary Holder
Fit the pieces together and keep holding while you dab hot-melt glue on one or two places along the joint to keep the pieces together. You can scrape off the glue after the epoxy sets.
7. Clean up the Glue
Wait for the epoxy to stiffen; before it hardens, scrape off any that has oozed out the cracks, using a razor blade. After the recommended setting time for the glue you're using has elapsed, scrape off the hot-melt glue with the razor blade.