Shiplap Vase DIY

This DIY shiplap vase is a project that can be finished in a few hours, uses scrap pieces of MDF board and looks amazing in so many areas of the home.

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For more inspiration check out these Tall Porch Planters, 15 flower boxes & tutorials, or this easy beginner flower box.

(see cut list at the bottom of the post before beginning this shiplap vase project)

Creating The Faux Shiplap For The Shiplap Vase

Set the table saw at 2 1/2″ with the blade raised barely above the table. This cut depth is what creates the faux shiplap look.

(The table saw I use is very similar to this one. It comes with a foldable stand which makes it mobile and easy to store. This is so nice for me because I don’t have a set place for the table saw yet, and when we’re slicing down big 8ft. x 4ft. pieces of MDF we can move the saw out into the open and have it free-standing.)

With the front of the board facing down, I ran each of the four pieces through width wise (the short way). Then (without moving the fence) flipped the boards to the opposite end, fronts still facing down,  and ran them all through again, with the right side down. 

You should now have 2 shiplap lines on each board. One at each end.

Now find the distance from the end to the middle of the board and set the fence to that distance (for a 10″ board it should be about 5″, but be sure to measure). With the front facing down, make your last cut. Now you should have all 4 boards with 4 faux shiplap strips on them (3 cut lines). 

When you’ve sent all the boards through check to be sure the boards fit together. If your shiplap lines don’t line up, try flipping the board around. If you did cut the lines in the order that I did mine, they should line up perfectly!

Sanding The Shiplap Vase Pieces

Next lightly sanded the boards for the shiplap vase with a palm sander and 100 grit sandpaper. Don’t sand the mitered edges much because they are thin and will be easily deformed. Wipe the corners free of sandpaper to prepare for gluing.

Assembling The Shiplap Vase

To assemble the shiplap vase pieces together a corner clamp is helpful (similar to this one) and Ryobi battery powered nail gun (this comes with a battery and charger, and here’s just the nail gun in case you’re already set up with a Ryobi battery and charger).

The clamp really helped to get the pieces to stay in place. First glue a 4″ wide piece and a 5″ wide piece together.

 (I like to use this glue, it’s got a super strong hold and a little bit of working time before it dries. If you want to try a smaller bottle you can find it here). 

Make sure the corners are lined up where you want them and that the top of the vase is flush.

Then nail the top and bottom corners together. Move to the middle of the board and put a nail in each strip of faux shiplap. There will be 4 nails on one side of this board.

Assemble the other 4″ & 5″ pieces just like you did the first 2.

Paint the Inside

Now would be a good time to paint the inside of the shiplap vase. It will be a tight fit to get the paintbrush inside the vase when the vase is completely assembled.

Assembly Continued…

Once you have two sides to the vase put together and painted, it’s time to do the final corners. My corner clamp didn’t work for this part because the 4″ side was too short to fit inside the clamp.

So for added reinforcement I clamped a scrap piece of wood to the counter to give me something to press against. I laid the vase down for this part.

If you have a small enough clamp, you could clamp one side of the vase to the work surface to prevent sliding around

Glue both sides of one of the pieces and line the corners up. It’s also important to check and make sure the top and bottom of the vase is flush, so that the vase will sit flat.

Nail up and down the board like you did before, starting with the corners and moving to the middle. You may have to work with the last corner  to get it into place.

Once the corners are lined up nail down the board as you did before.

Adding the Bottom

Add the bottom with the 1/8″ x 4” x 5″ piece. Glue and nail it on. 

The nice thing about working with MDF is it’s workable so if the bottom hangs over at all it should sand down easily.

Prep for paint

Holes filled and sanded

holes filled and sanded

Next fill the holes with wood filler. Wait for it to dry, and sand again. Clean the surface with a vacuum or damp rag. Now it’s ready for paint.


Paint with a small paintbrush first to get into the shiplap grooves. An angled brush can be helpful. 

Make sure to wipe up or spread out any paint that gets outside of the groove. Any excess paint lines will show through when you paint the rest.

You could paint the rest of the vase with a brush or a small roller. I used the roller once the grooves were painted.


Sand the corners for a farmhouse look or leave clean for a modern look. My vase will be on my kitchen counter, so I sprayed a few layers of clear spray paint over the top. This makes it easy to wipe down and keep it clean.

This shiplap vase doesn’t NEED a protective coat because it will likely sit in one spot and not get handled often. However for a more ceramic look you could use a high gloss finish clear coat.

Thanks for following along with this project!!

Materials List

Power Tools Needed

Miter saw (chop saw) you could use a circular saw.

Table saw 

Palm sander

Brad nail gun

Cut List

Made from MDF sheet scraps



1- ⅛” X 4” @ 5” (Bottom)

Small Materials

100 Grit sandpaper

Wood glue

¾” brad nails (for nail gun)

Corner clamp

Tape measure


Face mask

Eye and ear protection


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