As one of the less crafty people on the APW staff, I’m always glad when we have a tutorial that takes literally no artistic skill to create. And huzzah! That’s what we’ve got for you today. Since we couldn’t afford floral centerpieces for our wedding (hello, young and broke) I came up with a similar project to this one for our wedding. Except… mine was not nearly this pretty. (APW didn’t have tutorials back in 2009! I can’t be blamed!) But because I’ve been in the trenches with this one, I do have shopping tips for you, because that’s my thing. You can buy cylinder vases on Amazon for $14.99 for a set of three or $100 for thirty-six, which can add up if you’ve got enough tables. But since these vases are available year-round, if you wait it out, there’s usually a 40% off coupon for Michael’s or Joann’s that can make it worth your while (and since this project is non-destructive, you can possibly even sell the vases afterwards). Also, if parties in the Hogwarts’ Great Hall taught have taught me anything, it’s that candles are magic ambiance-creators and therefore totally worth it.
The trick to this project is early vellum scouting, because so much of the patterned vellum available is covered in baby footprints and things that say “Marriage” and “Forever.” We found one of these patterns at Michael’s and the other at Paper Source, but you can also check out local specialty paper stores for more diverse styles. Once you find the right patterns, the rest is so easy you could task your twelve-year-old niece to do it. Just wrap, cut, and tape. A stick lighter will go a long way to making your life easier when it comes time to light the candles, and if your wedding venue has a no-flame rule, this is the perfect opportunity to use those flameless LED votives. We added napkins from West Elm (which are currently on crazy sale, so go snap them up because they are hott) to give the whole thing an extra layer of pattern mixing, but you could easily forgo those or use fabric squares instead. And unlike most centerpieces, you can reuse these at home when you’re done and create the Great Hall in your living room. Reason enough to make this yours? I think so.