DIY Centerpiece: How to Dress Up a Plain Square Vase

Want ideas from a pro on creating your DIY centerpiece? This tutorial shows you how to transform a simple, square vase into a stylish vessel by attaching panels that match your theme.


We used balsa wood but you can also use heavy decorative paper or fabric to personalize the look. Then add fresh flowers and arrange the square vases in a grouping, down the center of a table, as altar arrangements or buffet displays. This project works with just about any flower variety and materials/colors of the panels can be coordinated to match your wedding day style.


-Approximately 1 bunch of flowers per vase  depending on variety- we used Hydrangea (6 stems), Lisianthus (1 bunch) and Anemones (1 bunch)

-3 square vases, any height

-Clear waterproof floral tape

-Scissors or razor knife

-Floral shears

-Thin balsa wood

-Wood stain

-Spray adhesive glue

-Rubber bands


Approximately $10-15 per vase depending on your choice of flowers and craft materials


About 2 hours to prep the materials. Then let dry and plan for about 2-3 hours to assemble.



Start with a plain square vase.  You can use any size or height of vase, as long as the sides are flat.  Tape a grid of clear waterproof florist’s tape on top of the vase. Two strips of tape each direction (creating a tic-tac-toe board pattern) will be sufficient, then tape around the lip of the vase to secure the grid in place.  This will hold your stems in place later when you create the arrangement.



Measure and cut a piece of balsa wood (or your chosen material) to fit each side of the vase.  The balsa wood may be stained or left natural, depending on the look you desire (we stained ours dark walnut).  Thin balsa wood can be easily cut with a scissors or razor knife.



Use a spray adhesive glue to affix each wooden panel to each side of the vase.


Use rubber bands to hold panels in place until they are set and dry—normally just a few minutes.   Remove rubber bands once the panels are dry.



Add water to the vase and insert flowers.  The taped grid will catch the small delicate stems and hold the flowers in place. The balsa wood panels hide the stems and create a finished look.

IMG_7474Expert Tips from Lee Forrest Design:

Use a single vase or do groupings of three vases. We created a composition by using one type of flower per vase and a collection of three vases in varying heights.  Add some votive candles to create a beautiful table centerpiece.

Special thanks to Lee and Jaimz at Lee Forrest Design, an Orlando based floral and decor company, for sharing this DIY project. Check out their online idea gallery to browse design categories such as Timeless Elegance, Softly Sweet and Modern Garden and find ideas for your wedding style.

Need help planning your DIY Wedding Flowers?

Schedule a complimentary consultation with one of the wedding flower planners at by emailing [email protected]  Or download the Flower “Recipe” worksheet designed to assist DIY brides in knowing how much to order for their DIY wedding flowers.

Project Team

Styling:  Lee Forrest Design

Photography: Tab McCausland Photography

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