Monday, June 22, 2009

Centerpieces: Revisited and Redefined

Way back when I posted about the different centerpiece items I'd purchased from Crate & Barrel. If you link over, you'll see the cute little tealight holders, vases, and black chargers. In my mind it was going to be simple, chic, and budget friendly! I'd pick a great bloom to go in each vase, wrap ribbon around the vases and place everything on damask table squares.

I finally compiled everything a month or two ago to see my vision come to life. Here she is:

It could be worse...but could be better, to say the least. Please disregard the yellow gerber daisy, I had picked up whatever flowers they had at Whole Foods. The picture frame is a placeholder for whatever we're using for our table numbers. There was just no "wow" to it. It's fine, gets the job done...but Mr. S and I wanted to see what else we could do without throwing a ton of money at the centerpieces. I'd spent about $225 for enough tealight holders, vases, chargers and fabric to outfit 15 tables.

Oh and if you're wondering - Momma Stiletto is kindly making the table squares for us! Doesn't the first one look great? I love the fabric we ended up choosing, and I'm hoping to take the squares after the wedding and turning them into a keepsake such as pillows or something of the like.

Anyway, Mr. S and I got to researching different options that we thought we could pull off with minimal investment. The general rule seems to be taller = expensive, so we wanted to get some height on the tables. One centerpiece-of-the-moment seems to be branches. So we went into full force research mode finding good DIY's for branch centerpieces and pricing them out. Word to the wise - branches can be very expensive!

I came across an online store called Nettleton Hollow, which has branches that are reasonably affordable. Better yet, they have a blog with great DIY advice for their projects (quite smart, if you ask me!). On their blog I found this fabulous DIY for flowering birch branches combined with dried grass.

I decided to go for it and bought all of the supplies they suggested, and enough to decorate 8 of our tables. I've got one done and I LOVE it!

If you're thinking about doing this yourself, here's a breakdown of what I bought, what I did, and links to the products. Of course, that blog post I mentioned gives a great DIY as well!

Natural Birch Branches: $16.50/bundle

Fountain Grass: $12.50/bundle

I used 18" tall square glass vases: $6.45 each (I found square to be cheaper than cylinder vases and had to bit the bullet and pay the somewhat hefty shipping!)

Small white silk flowers: bought 4 bunches from Jo-Ann Fabrics on sale for $1.00 a bunch, cut them off of the stem

They suggest using 6 of the birch branches and a half of a bundle of fountain grass per arrangement, as I did above. Each bundle of birch branches has approximately 25 branches. So I bought 4 bundles of fountain grass and two bundles of birch branches. I think the biggest cost saver of this project is using the fountain grass to give your arrangement some more volume rather than using the more costly birch branches.

So, including shipping I spent right around $100 for the branches and grass (I was amazed at how reasonable their shipping was!). The 8 vases were $75 including shipping, and around $4.00 on little silk flowers. So, $180 total or around $22.50 per table. Amazing! The only downer was the vases - they seem to have some paint spilled in them and smell a bit like paint. Wha?! It wasn't worth contacting the company about but I probably wouldn't order anything else from them.

After purchasing all of the items, just use a hot glue gun to glue a few flowers on the branches - I think less is definitely more with the flowers, but that's just my opinion!

I love that this gives us some height, some of our green is pulled through via the fountain grass and brings some drama to the tables that we were otherwise lacking. Of course, we still have 6 or 7 more tables to "outfit" with centerpieces! Since I have all of those short vases from Crate and Barrel, and I had been budgeting for a bloom at each table that now won't be needed for 8 of the tables, I have a plan brewing that I'll share with you soon!

Did you decide that your centerpieces needed a little extra "oomph" from what you were originally planning?


EngiNerd June 22, 2009 at 6:30 PM  

hi, this site has a lot of inexpensive centerpiece items as well as instruction how to DIY.

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