Sunday, November 8, 2009

VIDEO: How to Make Inexpensive but Beautifully Unique Summer Centerpieces

Ideas for Summer Outdoor Weddings -- powered by

Although this video was designed to offer centerpiece suggestions for summer outdoor weddings, the principles will work for any summer or beach-themed party whether it's held indoors or outdoors.

Below is a little bit more of a description of what I did, how much the centerpieces cost, where the items can be purchased and additional ideas not featured in the video.

Buy inexpensive, small individual vases from your favorite discount or dollar store. I bought these at Dollar Tree. Group enough of them to give away as guest favors. Add your favorite flowers and some greenery - just a few in each vase will do the trick - and then group them in the center of your table. You'll have the look of a fancy bouquet without the expense. Depending on the flowers you choose, you can make this centerpiece for around $10.

If you live near the beach and want to do a beach-themed wedding, these next few ideas will also only cost a few dollars but will look much more expensive.

Choose a tall, plain glass vase. Fill the bottom quarter to one-half with seashells you've collected at the beach. Fill the container up to about two inches from the top with plain or colored water. Float a candle. You can place the vase on a bed of sand and/or surround it with additional seashells and votives or tealights in holders. The centerpiece featured used a vase and tealight holders and candles found at Dollar Tree and the shells were collected from my local beach. Many Dollar Tree stores also sell baskets of shells or you can find shells at many local and online stores. This centerpiece was under $10. But if I had to purchase the shells and sand, it would have still cost under $15.

A giant piece of coral or a large sea sponge can be the base of another inexpensive centerpiece. Because they come from nature and no two are alike, each table will have a unique look.

If you wish, you can spray paint the sea sponge, which naturally comes in beige. Although in its natural habitat coral comes in a variety of colors, the dead coral you will purchase will invariably come in white. Therefore, you can paint that too to match your wedding colors. Adorn the coral or sponge with pretty shells or dried seahorses. Depending on your location and size of the piece, sea sponges and coral will start at around $10 and go up. Check out online shell shops or eBay for great deals.

Here are some additional ideas not shown in the video but will work very well.

Another option is to buy goldfish bowls. Depending on the size, these will range from $1 to $20. Place a tall pillar candle in the center of the bowl. Or, for an outdoor wedding, choose a shorter pillar candle so that the glass will protect the candle's flame from going out. Surround the candle with seashells. Again, you can place this on a bed of sand, sea glass or surround the bowl with shells. Highlight these with votives or tealights in holders or with battery-operated tealights.

If you want a beach or tropical theme and you don't live near an ocean, sand can be purchased from your local gardening supplier or home improvement store. Sea glass or colored stones can be purchased from many dollar stores or craft stores and will give additional color to your arrangement. As noted above, you can find most of the decorative items at Dollar Tree or other local dollar store. If you shop wisely, you can make these centerpieces for $5 to $20.

Large conch shells will also make a beautiful, unique and totally seaside centerpiece. They all have distinctive and individual markings. Place a shell on a bed of sand. Colored sand can be purchased online or at craft stores if you want to add a bit more of a specific hue to your arrangement. You can stabilize the conch shell in the bed of sand or on a specially-designed shell stand made for this purpose available at craft stores or where shells are sold. Place the shell so that the opening is on the top.

If the shell is completely sealed (no small holes or cracks), you can add water and float a candle in the opening if it is large enough. If not, surround the shell with tealights or battery-operated tealights, sea glass or colored glass beads to add sparkle and glow.

Conch shells can be found on ocean beaches in many parts of the country or can be purchased at some specialty stores or online and will start, depending upon their size, at around $15 each for a fairly large shell.

As you can see, you don't need to spend a lot of money to have the beautiful summer wedding or party of your dreams.

Thanks to Panache, a Classic Party Rental Company, for the use of linens and rentals in the video! Classic Party Rental stores can be found in many parts of the country and they ship worldwide.

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