Happy 2012!

Welcome, won't you stay a while? There's so much to do, and we hope to share it all with you this year. Design, crafts, frugal living... You'll find this and more at Design-Aholic!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Manzanita Branch Centerpiece Decor

To continue tutorial time, (I recently posted about the pearl bridesmaids bracelets as well!) today I wanted to share with you the process for completing the manzanita branch centerpieces we used for our wedding reception.  :)

I had the idea for the branches long ago, but exactly how to construct and complete them didn't really hit until about a month ago.  A few friends went to a wedding and posted pictures of what would be the final inspiration for our centerpieces:

As you may (or may not?) recall, I purchased 12 branches inexpensively from a Californian seller on eBay.  All 12 branches shipped were like $75 or something silly.

The rest was really easy-

We used 5" cedar fence boards cut to size for the bases- these we hand picked for straightness (7 of them) at Lowes, which is also where we picked up the paint too.  Originally we were going to glue them together, but ended up using a nail gun and finish nails and they were done in a snap (Z did the leg work on these, Love you!)

Yep, check out that price: $1.89/ea.  Love it!

After the boxes were built (we ended up with 14, and wood left over) they were coated twice with black semi gloss paint... another great find!  I was about to have the paint counter mix up black for me, when they took too long and I started poking around the paint section... Low and behold, there was a quart of BLACK Valspar semi gloss for $2.50 on the "oops" paint rack.  SCORE!  My friend Gina painted one coat, then later that day, Z painted another coat on the boxes, giving them a nice sheen.

I purchased 12 packs of floral foam at the dollar store, and spanish moss at Joann's (I used way less than I thought I would- I purchased 4 bags, and have 2 whole bags left- could have just purchased the same stuff at the dollar store!)

The branches were secured in the boxes with the floral foam- each one took about a whole package of the foam, and luckily it was already cut into 4 blocks (each "pack" was $1 and had 4 small bricks in it).  Some of the branches required a bit more support, and a stuck a river rock or two in with the floral foam.  Those also came from the dollar store, and I have extras!

After the branches were secured, the next day we added the spanish moss around the top of the boxes to cover the base of the branch and the foam.  Then, we used the pom poms and simply hot glued 1 at the base of every centerpiece, and a few throughout the "branches".

 There's my sister contemplating the next pom pom location.  Please excuse the messy garage background.  :)

The colors turned out perfect- and they looked exactly how I had hoped.  :)

All in, these 12 centerpieces, which we gave away to guests cost just about $110, or $9.50/ea.

Here's the breakdown:
12 manzanita branches: $75 shipped from eBay listing
7 cedar fence boards: $14
1 quart black semi gloss paint: $2.50
2 packs of tissue paper (for pom poms): $3
2 bags of spanish moss: $3
12 packs of floral foam bricks: $12
TOTAL: ~$110 (or about $9.50/ea)

When I have some good photos from the photographers, I'll post those, but for now, heres an action shots from the reception where you can see them on the tables (sort of):

Oh, and I found out that people loved "winning" the centerpieces!  One of my family friends getting married in January is even going to make them for her wedding!  I hope we get to go and see them :)

So, what do you think?  Pretty thrifty, eh?  It's the name of the game I tell ya- champagne taste on a beer budget.
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