Thursday, July 30, 2009

orchid and tealight centerpieces

DIY Willow Tip and Orchid Centerpieces

Look at these stunning willow tip and orchid centerpieces! This tutorial was submitted by Marla, one of our readers! Marla writes:

We created these awesome centerpieces for a fraction of what a florist would charge. It was easy and you can do it too.


  • Curly willow tip branches. (These I purchased from Whole Foods)
  • Silk flowers... 9 per centerpiece. (Mine were soft touch orchids from Stats)
  • Moss
  • River rocks... 5 per centerpiece.
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Small pots to contain your centerpiece. (From Stats, these are actually paper mache.)
  • Paint in your wedding colors
  • Artistic Wire Ltd - Light brown, 28 gauge.
  • Styrofoam discs that fit inside of your pot
  • Hot glue sticks
  • Tacky glue


  • Wire cutters
  • Hot glue gun
  • Small paint brush for detail work


1. Using your hot glue gun, secure the foam disc to the bottom of the pot and let sit for at least 30min to make sure it is attached.

2. Mix up your plaster of Paris following the directions on the container, and fill in the moat like area between the pot and the styrofoam disc. The plaster helps weigh the pot down to prevent the centerpiece from tipping over. Of note, if your styrofoam is not secure to the bottom of the pot, it may float up once your pour the plaster mix. At this point I suggest placing something heavy on the styrofoam to weigh it down until the plaster mix has dried completely.

willow orchid centerpiece

3. Once your concoction has dried, you can paint your pot! Our main colors were chocolate and orange with accents of red. Hence, we painted the sides of the pot with the accent colors, and also painted the bottom with our names and wedding date so that guests who lived in town could have a souvenir to take home if they so chose. When you are done painting, let the pot dry.

willow orchid centerpiece
willow orchid centerpiece

4. Now it is time to insert your curly willow tips into the styrofoam. I find working with curly willow that's been allowed to dry out a day or two is easier to work with as it holds it's shape better and doesn't bend under the weight of the flowers. One of the keys is to remember these are relatively tall centerpieces, so you don't want the branches to be too thick to block guests view of each other. Once the branches are where you want them, secure with hot glue and let the glue dry for at least 30 min.

5. Meanwhile, chose some of your river rocks, and if you so desire, paint them with meaningful words of what being married is to you. For us we chose words like "Love", "Trust", "Honor", "Friendship" and "Cherish".

willow orchid centerpiece
willow orchid centerpiece

6. Cover your styrofoam and dried plaster mix with moss. Use your hot glue gun to secure the moss in place. Then place flowers and river rocks as desired around the base of the curly willow branches. Once they are in the spot you like, secure them with your hot glue gun.

willow orchid centerpiece
willow orchid centerpiece

7. Pull your flowers off their wire stems. Using your brown artistic wire, secure the blooms to the branches where you desire. The pattern I used was two blooms at the base, three midway, and four higher up the branches for a total of 9. Once they are wired to the branch, glue the wire in place using a dot of hot glue or tacky glue. (Remember the glue will dry clear!)

And behold! You have a unique centerpiece made for approximately $32 each.

willow orchid centerpiece

Centerpieces in action at the event:

willow orchid centerpiece
willow orchid centerpiece

Return to the DIY Centerpieces section.