Entries in centerpieces (6)
First off, I need to apologize for the quality of these photos. I really wanted a sweet all white tablescape to put these on and to have some amazing photographer like Becca Dilley shoot it, but all I have is my iPhone. (Someday I will have some client who wants to do a funky all-white wedding, and when I do, I will post nice pics of these cylinders then!)
Rice. A wedding staple, but not any more. Traditionally tossed (or hurled) at the newlyweds as the exit the church, this practice is all but banned these days. The poor birdies can't digest the rice and it kills them. Moreover, you don't want to get a piece of rice stuck in your false eyelashes or down your dress. I also have a huge flinching problem, so a whole line of people throwing rice at me would probably not be the best idea.
Here is a way to take a "wedding tradition" and make it new, rice cylinders! I used a small tea light in a metal casing, but you could use a votive or a small gas lamp (both burn longer than a tea light). The rice covers up the not pretty part of the candle so all you see is the flame.
This is with flash, so you can see how cool the white looks.
Here we are without flash, so you can really see the glow of the candle, how romantic!
Here I put it against a white background, but it kind of just looks yellow. But at least you can see that even white on white, the rice has enough dimension to create a lot of visual impact.
Sometimes, I like a little formality, which is why I wish we had high tea like they do in Europe. What a great reason to take a break and hang out and eat crustless sandwiches. I have tea parties all the time with my daughter, so for this Cylinder Thursday I thought I would do a tea party theme.
The obivous use for this centerpiece is a tea party or dinner party, but I also love it for some event that has an "Alice in Wonderland" theme. If you were doing an "Alice in Wonderland", topsy turvy wedding, you could have a coffee station set up with the glasses like this (next to your topsy turvy, whimsical cake).
All you need is cylinders, tea bags, and cups & saucers. I am showcasing my grandmother's china, but you can also rent vintage place settings at Revived Tableware.
I have six cylinders with a cup and saucer on top. I think one cylinder per place setting (i.e. six people at the table, six cylinder/cup combos). When people show up for your tea party, they can take their cup and saucer off the cylinder to use. The tea bags add color to the cylinders, but are also functional. The guests can select the tea of their choice from the cylinder. Just now I thought about adding white and/or brown sugar cubes to a cylinder... wish I had thought of that when I was doing the shoot! Oh well... you can do it.
An interactive centerpiece is a pretty cool idea if I do say so myself. Once the cups and saucers are gone, the centerpiece becomes a little bare, but it does allow for good conversation since you can see everyone across the table. You might think of filling the cylinders with something (fresh floral, doilies, etc.) to add interest even after the cup and saucer come off.
Ah, the inspiration for my Cylinder Thursdays, the cranberry cylinder. I saw this in Martha Stewart Weddings so many years ago I can't remember, and I thought to myself, "what a creative use of a glass cylinder!"
I love the simple and unexpected elegance of the cranberries in the cylinder. Two things about this cylinder that I think everyone should know:
1. It takes more cranberries than you think AND cranberries aren't cheap anymore. (my 16 oz bag was $3.49 and the bag would do 1.5 seven inch cylinders completely full like in the the picture below)
2. After awhile the cranberries bleed and turn the water red. So, don't fill them up too early! The water stays clear for a couple hours. This cylinder works really well for a fall or winter event, it will be clear through the daylight hours (as long as your event is in the evening) and as it gets dark or you dim the lights in the room for dancing, you can barely see the red tinted water. I would imagine most guests wouldn't see a change. Of course, if you fill the cylinder completely full, the red water isn't noticeable at all.
Here we have the 10.5" cylinder with some cranberries, not completely full. Cranberries float (duh!) and I like the look of the water and the cranberries, I think it has a cool texture and if you have a linen with some visual interest it doesn't take away from that.
This is one 16 oz. bag of cranberries in 7" and 10.5" cylinders. I wanted to show just cranberries plain in a cylinder too... I like the non-candle look for a more casual event. You can pair it with cylinders with other fruits, or maybe red rose petals.
Completely full with cranberries. You have to use the candle to keep the cranberries down, so the large 3" floating candle works best (as seen here).
I realized that I don't show a lot of different heights in my cylinders, so I wanted to do that here. This look is really cool too. And would work well if you didn't have a lot of cranberries (but you have to have a long lighter!).
Since I am apparently a huge fan of river rock, I thought I would dedicate a Cylinder Thursday to it. River rock comes in all different colors, you saw it last week in white. It is easy to find at craft stores or wholesale floral shops, or online. It is a versatile decorating material that adds color and texture and earthiness, and it couldn't be easier to work with!
Here are the steps to creating today's cylinder, definitely not Rocket Science!
1. Put desired amount of river rock in bottom of cylinder.
2. Fill with water.
3. Top with candle.
River rock makes a great base for floral, because it can secure stems to keep the flowers from floating up (or hide the washers tied to the stems to keep them from floating up.) Here is some lily grass wrapped inside the cylinder. Our goal for this retirement party was to echo the feel of the Mississippi River banks, since the party was at the Harriet Island Pavilion in St. Paul, right on the river.
Here I have grouped three cylinders together, some have the lily grass, some do not. You can see how the river rock provides a nice contrast to the white table linens.
I am not sure where the inspiration for this particular cylinder came from, but I love it all the same. Usually I am not one for fake things (flowers, or in this case, the bird) but sometimes it can be done right and actually enhance the look. I am going to just go straight in to the pictures this time, with how to make it at the end.
I wanted to recreate the feeling of a tree, like you were in a nature preserve and happened to spot a finch high in the branches. I chose a yellow bird because I like the sharp contrast, but they make all sorts of different birds, including super cute owls. As you can see, this is a very tall arrangement. A lot of impact from a little cylinder!
This shows the nest more clearly. I suppose you could put fake bird eggs in it if you wanted to.
If you think the plain sticks are a little bare, you could add some flowers to them. Wiring on orchids, roses or some other flower would be a great way to tie in to the other floral elements (like bouquets) and color scheme. In the fall, you could attach leaves to the sticks, to really give it a tree feel.
Here is how I made it:
1. Put the rocks in the cylinder. I apparently love white river rock, but you could use any kind of rocks, or sand. Or the gravely stuff they use in fish tanks. The key is to have enough to give the cylinder some weight. Because the sticks are so tall you don't want the cylinder tipping over.
2. Stick the branches through the nest. I used curly willow, but you could use actual sticks for this arrangement. The nest I bought at Michaels. The nest has some gaps in the center, perfect for putting the branches through. I liked the look of just two branches, but depending on what kind of sticks you used you could have more.
3. Put branch/nest combo in to the cylinder. Work the sticks down in to the rocks.
4. Attach bird to nest. I got the bird at Michaels as well. Move the nest down to form a cap on top of the cylinder. Adjust sticks and nest as needed.
5. Wire flowers/leaves to the branches (optional).