12 creative DIY centerpieces ideas for a stunning reception
by Jen Carreiro

12 Creative Centerpieces Brides can DIY
12 Creative Centerpieces Brides can DIY

Hello Wedding Party readers! It's Jen from Something Turquoise here again sharing more DIY wedding ideas with you... and I hope you are ready to get crafty! Today I'm sharing 12 creative DIY centerpiece ideas that the average DIY bride could totally tackle without breaking a sweat.

First I feel like we need to discuss budget; many people think "budget" when they hear DIY but I'm here to tell you that DIY-ing is not always budget friendly, sometimes you will actually pay more than you would buying something. So I have to ask you, what is your reason for doing-it-yourself? When I planned my wedding, I DIY-ed because I wanted something extra special, something that was handmade, and something that no one else would have; I also kinda wanted to hear, "Wow... you made all this?" (and I did). Through many details I was able to save lots of money, but many I did not, like my jewelry. OMG, the hubby still doesn't know that the beads I purchased were literally $600, shhhh... don't tell him! I'm sure I could have purchased a beautiful necklace, bracelet and earrings for much less - but none that were as amazing and as unique as mine turned out.

So my advice to brides who need to stick to a budget is to borrow tools, use items you already have, shop second hand stores, pinch all your pennies by using coupons and do major-cost comparison shopping online before you jump into any large DIY project, especially like centerpieces. If you can easily source some of the items below, or you already bought that shade of spray paint, or your Dad has a saw... you will totally be able to save some money compared to what you would spend on a typical floral arrangement centerpiece. The less flowers you have, usually means the cheaper it will be.

I personally had the prettiest little tea light lanterns spanning the length of the rectangle tables at our reception with seashells scattered underneath, almost like idea #7. I chose lanterns because the prices of flowers on our little destination wedding island were astronomical, it was cheaper for me to buy and ship all the lanterns to the island than pay for flowers. Turns out many of my relatives and friends still have our lanterns on display in their homes, which warms my heart every time I see them. Many non-floral items can be saved and re-used or kept as special mementos which is a special treat that you will treasure years after your event.

1. Matte Painted Bottles

How-to: I am obsessed. "Matte" is all the rage right now (I'm sure that by this time next year we'll all be obsessed with glossy things) and tuning found bottles into rustic vases in your color scheme couldn't be easier.

Pick your shades of "matte" spray paint, find (or buy) random shaped bottles, maybe even host a drinking night in order to gain a few more -- and paint! Use old wrapping paper or newspaper to lay outside on a flat surface, out of the sun, and evenly coat each side of the bottles. Working with one color at a time, to not get cross-coverage. Avoid drips by painting thin, even coats. Two or three coats will be better than one drippy coat. Wrap with twine or raffia and then add a few sprigs of wheat and lavender. Gorgeously rustic.

2. Wooden Succulent Planter

How-to: Wow, I think I'm going to have to make this one for my balcony! Using a 4 x 4 piece of wood and a 2.5" forstner drill bit - evenly drill circle holes into the wood, across the top. Alternate planting succulents and adding candles in glass votive holders; succulent then candle. Scrapbook a table number onto a sick and you're good to go. This design can also be made in a square, circle, or other shape - if you find the right wood or cut it yourself.

The terrific thing about this centerpiece is that it will live on beyond your wedding. You can have multiple guests or close family members take them home for continued enjoyment.

3. Painted and Distressed Chalkboard Mason Jars

How-to: This one is from me! How to paint and distress mason jars of all shapes and sizes. I fully explain how to do this, including the supplies needed in this blog post. Add multiple colored jars to one table with some freshly picked garden flowers and you have a very simple, and classically rustic table setting.

4. Wine Glass Terrarium

How-to: Build your own super sweet mini-terrarium in wine glasses or the like! You can add moss and a few succulents like you see here, but if you want your little environments to last beyond your day you'll need to layer a few key items. 1. Little stones 2. Next, little wood chips 3. Then a little bit of dirt 4. Plus some moss. 5. Finally add a succulent and/or a cut flower. *Obviously the cut flower won't survive.

I'm saying "little" everything since the wine glass is small but you can use medium or large sized stones and such if your container is larger. The tea light is optional but absolutely darling right? You can make these a few weeks before your event to give your succulent time to grow into it's new habitat. Make multiple terrariums using different glassware, any will work, to create an earthy and natural feel for your tables. Again, terrific take-home gifts for your close friends.

5. Stacked Book + Framed Table Number

How-to: Pretty simple and fairly straight forward. Gather around 5 old books in coordinating colors. Shopping at your local used book store or second hand store is the perfect place to find cool looking old books. Stack them up, wrap with a thick silky ribbon and top with a little framed table number. A votive candle here or there will light them perfectly.

6. Floating Candle Vases with Golden String

How-to: Embellish pillar vases by wrapping them with gold or silver twine, tie off with a tight knot and hide underneath a few layers. Add water and a floating candle and that's all there is to it.

Simple, elegant and can be interspersed with simple vases holding large bloomed flowers like you see here. Using multiple vases that have water in them at different heights will add interest and depth to your centerpiece. You can even color the water with a few tiny drops of food coloring if you want to get crazy crafty!

7. Lanterns and Seashells

How-to: Lanterns of all shapes and sizes make terrific centerpieces. For this setup you'll start with a nautral colored fabric table runner, place different sized white lanterns along it and scatter small seashells here and there. A simple glass mason jar every two feet or so with a votive adds a nice dimension to the display.

Lit lanterns are the most amazing decor for outdoor events, they look nice while the sun is up, but the real charm is when the sun sets. Can you just imagine dancing the night away, while all your tables are glowing like this? Major photo opps.

8. Painted Tin Cans

How-to: Simplicity at it's best. Use tin-cans of all shapes and sizes to create rustically simple flower vases that can be assembled in a small, large, circle or rectangle formation to fit your tables. Paint the outside of the cans using rose gold spray paint. Add a few white porcelain vases and maybe a metallic glass vase here or there. Simple white flowers and green foliage complete the look.

Need more cans? Ask your friends and relatives to save them for you *or include a note on your bridal shower asking everyone to bring you a few!

9. Simple Glittered Vases

How-to: For all the glitter-loving brides -- I know you're out there! What I loved about these vases, that I really want you to notice is that the water in each vase was only filled up to the glitter line - obsessed. That little detail adds so much beauty to this design.

Tape off different heights on each glass. Then using decoupage glue, paint a layer onto the glass and cover with chunky gold glitter. Remove the tape immediately and let dry completely. Apply two coats of decoupage glue on top of the glitter (with at least an hour of dry time in between each) and you won't loose a single sparkle.

Make sure your wedding planner or florist knows that you only want the water filled to the top of the glitter line. Use one stem of a large flower like these peonies, or maybe dahlia's, hydrangea or even protea. Create 3 for each table just like this, or if having rectangle tables make multiples to stretch the entire length!

10. Wood Slice + Bottles + Flowers

How-to: Baby's breath was once thought of as just "filler" and you wouldn't dare use it as the main focus of a bouquet or centerpiece... and I think is awesome that the times have changed so much. This darling little flower is now everyones fav!

Here you can slice off a section of a log with a chainsaw (that is if you have a log and a chainsaw) or buy something similar from most craft stores. String together 3 simple glass jars, place on top of a doily and add a few stems of baby's breath and maybe another flower or two. Beautifully simple and inexpensive.

11. Fruit + Flowers In a Box

How-to: Love!!! Using a wooden box stack fruit, vegetables, succulents and flowers that match your wedding colors. A square box would be perfect for round tables and a rectangle box would be best for rectangle tables. You can either construct these boxes yourself with 1/2" thick panels of plywood or you can buy them at different home decor shops. Fill the bottom of the boxes with something lightweight like packing peanuts or bubble wrap so that you only have to cover/create your display on the top, which will save lots of money!

I love when people incorporate fruits and veggies into their decor. Just keep in mind if you add cut flowers that don't have their stems in water tubes, they will wilt so choosing hearty flowers is best for this idea.

12. Sand + Peonies

How-to: This might be my favorite centerpiece idea of the entire group and that's why I saved it for last! Cheap glass vases + play box sand + 1 large bloom each = this amazing design.

Ok, first lets talk about the sand -- DO NOT steal sand from the beach or the park because there is yucky-ucky stuff in there! You can buy 10 pounds of play box sand at your local hardware store for literally $5 and it goes a LONG way. It's a nice color and looks like beautiful beach sand without all the trash. Now the flowers -- if you cut the stems and put them in the sand, obviously you are drastically cutting their lifespan being out of water. But you can put the cut stems in floral water tubes and bury the tubes under the sand -- the flowers will stay fresh and firm no matter how long your party lasts!

I'm doing this in my home for the week of Valentines and I can't wait, I just LOVE them! :-)

Which of these DIY centerpieces will you be creating for a personal touch on your wedding day? Let us know in the comments!


Jen Carreiro is the turquoise crazed, master crafter and editor behind SomethingTurquoise.com, a creative wedding blog that truly embraces the DIY bride. Known for her detailed wedding DIY tutorials, Jen is hoping to rid the wedding crafting world of the term 'craft fail', and hopes to share techniques that will ensure 'craft wins' for you every single time. Follow her and her trail of turquoise into wedding crafting heaven. You can find her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.