Centerpiece Trial

My supersweet florist Karen of Huckleberry Karen Designs reigned me in this Sunday for a centerpiece trial. Since I was pretty adamant about DIY’ing our centerpieces, she insisted I come in to her studio for a trial, so she could give me pointers on how to set everything up, and to share tips and tricks about how to make the flowers last through the June heat.

I wanted a pretty minimal centerpiece, and my mom wanted orchids. Well, orchids, they aren’t the cheapest flowers around, so Mrs. Lemon stalked down some pretty awesome inspiration for me:


Image from Tropical Colours: The Art of Living with Tropical Flowers
Pieces by Floral Designers: Sakul Intakul & Devehastin na Ayudhya
Photography by Luca Invernizzi Tettoni
Featured on:

So running with the simple look, Karen came up with a simple way to recreate the centerpieces, for under $10 a table (for floral materials).

I’ve got 19 round tables total. Half of the tables will feature tall centerpieces, and half, short centerpieces.

Tall table centerpieces:

Using 24″ tall glass vases I bought from ebay seller HJK Imports, ($66 for 6 vases), Karen showed me how to set up our first centerpieces.

She added rocks, cut a slit in a large leaf about 3/4 of the way up, and added a cymbidium orchid to the front and the back of the leaf, for symmetry.


Then she filled the vase up with water.


All done!


I mocked the table up with 3 additional Cymbidiums, and tea lights. Here you can see that the front and the back of the centerpiece look virtually identical, giving our round tables a great 360 degree view. We cut the leaf to see what it would look like fully submerged, but I like the look of the leaf sticking out higher than the vase (above pictures) so we’re going that route.


Short Table Centerpieces:

Cutting small strips of a banana leaf, Karen placed a strip in each glass container.


Then, she added a Cymbidium orchid and filled each vase with water, and I added the same setup on the tables with the tealights and the orchids. Easy-peasy!



Afterwards, Karen and I grabbed a leisurly lunch and enjoyed the San Francisco sunshine on the restaurant’s patio. And with only a few weeks left till my wedding, look what I got:




These cost:
$11 for 24 inch vase from HJK Imports
$8 for 8 tealights and candles
$10 for 5 cymbidium orchids and large leaf
TOTAL: $29

$11 for trio of vases from Pfalzgraff (search for a coupon code to get a discounted price)
$8 for 8 tealights and candles
$10 for 6 cymbidium orchids and small banana leaf
TOTAL: $29

The best part? I can lend out/sell the glass pieces later and recoup some of my costs!

Are you planning on DIYing your centerpieces?


Mrs. Penguin

Northern California
Wedding Date:
June 2008
Bachelorette Surprise!
Sending Out the Monster
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  1. Member
    Teeners 79 posts, Worker bee @ 11:35 am

    word. we are doing something similar – having submerged orchids and calla lillies with floating candles. looks super cool, different and freaking awesome.

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    Kat, Guest @ 4:42 pm

    The centerpieces look great & they’re so cost effective!

    So sorry about the lines! Hopefully they’ll fade in enough time

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    Red, Guest @ 2:07 am

    Centerpieces look FAB!!! Don’t worry, the tan lines will fade by then, just exfoliate lots.

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Guilty Secret, Guest @ 11:33 am

    They look great! I’m going to DIY my centrepieces, with vases of calla lilies and lots of tea lights.

    Now get exfoliating and moisturising that shoulder!

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    Jenny, Guest @ 11:45 am

    Hi Mrs Penguin, do you have a coupon code for the short centerpieces??

  6. Member
    stargazerlily 943 posts, Busy bee @ 12:07 pm

    @Jenny: There is a mystery sale going on there right now, where you can get anywhere from 10-60 percent off your purchase, to shop the sale click through this link

    I dont know much about it, I just got the e mail in my inbox. Good luck!

  7. flamingo Bee
    flamingo 1365 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:54 am

    How did I miss this post… Penguin, these are stunning… I love the overall look and the flowers submerged in water… neat-o

    two thumbs up 😀

  8. Member
    historykitty 58 posts, Worker bee @ 8:32 pm

    I have been going through back logs of diy blogs to find things to steal, and this is definitely going on my list! If I had the money (and any idea how many tables I have), I’d go ahead and buy the short ones today! Thank you so much for the idea and the links!

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    natashamas, Guest @ 4:27 pm

    these are gorgeous! what a great idea. if you happen to still have the vases… would you consider reselling to me? wedding in october…

  10. Guest Icon Guest
    Cheryl, Guest @ 3:30 pm

    awsome. Very inspirational. I want something elegant without going into debt to do it and this may well work for me. Thank you for helping us that have to do it alone.

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