DIY Details: Centerpieces

DIY Candle Centerpieces with Plumeria

The urge to DIY comes in many forms: wanting to save $$, putting your personal touch on your wedding, or creating something that you couldn’t have otherwise. My situation called for all three. When I saw the going rate for centerpieces ($50 for something I would laugh at and $300 for something I enjoyed), I resorted to taking care of the task myself by creating budget centerpieces. And I got these beautiful, warm, DIY candle centerpieces:

diy candle centerpieces

Now this idea didn’t pop into my head out of thin air, but rather from a couple pictures I saw on a florist’s website that captured my eye. Candles, candle holders, flower petals…got it! Not too hard! So, I set out to recreate the look my own way, and save some $$$ at the same time.

wedding centerpiece with candles

cream flowers with clear glass candle holders

Step 1: Head to IKEA (AKA my favorite place to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon).

supplies for DIY candle centerpiece

It never hurts to think outside of the box as you walk around the gigantic store. I like to think of IKEA as a craft store, and I’m ready to walk in and transform what they give me into something much cooler. So instead of spending money on “vases” or “candle holders,” I bought lots and lots of drinking glasses. Total cost for the 160 glasses: $90. I also bought the tall ivory candles (another $30) from IKEA.

Here is my mock DIY candle centerpieces arrangement (without the votives):

clear vases with white candles

Step 2: Add more candles!

I performed a candle-burning test and soon realized that standard tealights and votives weren’t going to hold up for seven hours…so I went in search of some candles with longer burning times.

After doing some price research online, I chose to buy 100 soy tealights with 7.5 hour burn times from Moon Glow Candles ($35 shipped), and also 72 votives with 10 hours of burn time from ($23 shipped).

Step 3: Bring in the flowers!!!

While I enjoyed the look of the rose petals, the amount of petals needed to recreate that look would be mighty costly. Plus, I wanted to enhance the golden glow of the candles, so I opted for my favorite flower—plumeria—in our DIY candle centerpieces. I adore their smell and love the colors of the flower…it just brings back wonderful memories of tropical islands.

I chose to order 2000 loose plumeria from Molokai Plumeria for $200 shipped. I had ordered leis from Hawaii for various occasions before, and knew that shipping plumeria was an option, but a risky one. Plumeria are extremely perishable once exposed to the elements, so even if they survive to the big day, they wither quickly over time. While the perfect situation would have allowed the flowers to arrive via FedEx on Saturday, we were warned that if an agriculture inspector is late to Saturday inspections, then our flowers would not arrive on time. So just to be safe, the flowers arrived overnight on Friday, and my dad took care to mist them and keep them in an ice bath until they were spread on the tables at 5:00 PM.

Step 4: You’re DONE!

In the end, the guests loved the DIY candle centerpieces (especially the low height), and they added the most beautiful glow to the room that bounced off the windows in every direction. The total cost was $378, which was about $25 a centerpiece, including extra glasses and candles. So…these budget centerpieces were cost effective and exactly what I wanted! 🙂 I don’t even want to know how much a florist would have charged me to create the same thing…just to “rent” the materials. Plus, throwing plumeria into the air at midnight is lots of fun…even if the cleanup staff grumbles at you!

More photos of our budget centerpieces from guests:

yellow lily in champagne glass

yellow lilies and white candles

warm romantic candlelight

sweetheart table with candles

candle centerpiece and escort cards

Did anyone else make their own DIY candle centerpieces?


Mrs. Lemon

Los Angeles/Monterey
Wedding Date:
July 2007
Big Decisions Were Never My Thing.
A Few More Sneak Peeks
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  1. Guest Icon Guest
    jenn, Guest @ 7:10 am

    I’m literally going to IKEA today to check this out! Would u say ur 10 HR candles u bought lasted as long as they claimed??


  2. Guest Icon Guest
    Jennifer, Guest @ 5:36 pm


    Love this idea! Do you have any specifics on which pieces from Ikea were used and how many on each table?


  3. Member
    flybyrd76 68 posts, Worker bee @ 12:18 pm

    WOW! I think I may have found what I’m gonna do.

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