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How to Make DIY Candle Centerpieces

Updated on November 7, 2012
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Candle centerpieces are the essence of warmth, hospitality and romance, so it's hardly surprising that they're popular for weddings, birthdays and all manner of events, but they also look great in your home, so how do you go about creating a candle centerpieces yourself?

There are several types to choose from, from floating candle centerpieces to tall centerpieces made from exotic candelabra.

To decide on the type of arrangement you want to create, take a look at the containers you have available and consider where you want to place the arrangement. I promise you will have something that will work!

If this is to be a centerpiece for the dinner table, a low arrangement in a shallow bowl is ideal. That shallow bowl can be anything from a soup bowl to a glass oven proof dish, but of course there are specialized bowls designed for floating candles, you can find them at amazon, and many other stores. If time is short, float the candles in a bowl and add some roses, they'll float very well if you just pull out the petals a little. Here's a video which shows how its done.

How to Float Flowers

OK, so this isn't a candle centerpiece, BUT, you can use the same technique, fill your cylinder vase with fruit, sisal and more fruit, then float a candle on top. Simple, quick inexpensive.
OK, so this isn't a candle centerpiece, BUT, you can use the same technique, fill your cylinder vase with fruit, sisal and more fruit, then float a candle on top. Simple, quick inexpensive. | Source

Tall Floating Candle Centerpieces

If you have a set of cylinder vases (and if you don't, get one, they are so useful!) you can fill the cylinders with all sorts of things and top with a floating candle.

Try

  • Long stemmed flowers - orchids
  • Rose petals
  • fruit (often the cheapest and the most effective)
  • Colored pebbles or vase filler
  • colored florists foam (in small cubes)
  • sisal
  • cheapest of all - colored water.

This sort of arrangement can be used to add a pop of color to your table, just co-ordinate the colors with your table napkins and you'll achieve a 'designer' look.

A hurricane vase wih pillar candle, surrounded by a foam ring filled with flowers and accented with oasis mega beads.
A hurricane vase wih pillar candle, surrounded by a foam ring filled with flowers and accented with oasis mega beads. | Source
Melrose International Pear Hydrangea and Berry Polyester Wreath
Melrose International Pear Hydrangea and Berry Polyester Wreath

Extremely versatile silk wreath which can form the basis of any candle arrangement. Add a hurricane and pillar in the center or a bowl filled with floating candles. You can add flowers to the wreath, or ribbons, or simply leave it as it is.

 

Pillar Candle Centerpieces

Another simple arrangement type is a pillar candle inside a hurricane vase and surrounded by a ring of flowers. If you don't have a hurricane vase, simply put a number of candles (in holders) in the center, preferably at different heights. As always there is magic in odd numbers, 1, 3 or 5, depending on the size of your ring of flowers.

If you don't have the time or the patience to arrange flowers, you can use a wreath. I have several made from dried flowers I use for this, lavender is very effective in summer, and I have an artificial berry wreath I use in autumn and winter. For how to arrange flowers in a foam ring, see my other hub about candle arrangements.

Another simple idea is to place three pillar candles in the center of a footed cake plate, and then just place flowers and foliage between the candles. Again, it's easy to do very effective and you don't need any special equipment.

Add foliage to the arrangement which drapes over the side.
Add foliage to the arrangement which drapes over the side. | Source
Roses are ideal for a candlestick type arrangement.
Roses are ideal for a candlestick type arrangement. | Source

Leanne from the Flower School Shows How It's Done

A 'Bird's eye' view of a candlestick arrangement. Using a square of foam, place a focal flower in the center of each side. Then add trailing foliage a shown by the wavy lines, then fill with fillers and foliage.
A 'Bird's eye' view of a candlestick arrangement. Using a square of foam, place a focal flower in the center of each side. Then add trailing foliage a shown by the wavy lines, then fill with fillers and foliage. | Source

Candlestick Arrangements

Probably my very favorite type of flower arrangement, candlestick arrangements are ideal for the buffet, but can also look fantastic on your dinner table, especially if it's longer than it is wide. This is one case where even numbers will work! Prepare two arrangements and place them at opposite ends of the table, then if you run out of space on the table, you can move them to the buffet. If you have a very long table, go for several arrangements. I promise they don't take long to make.

Getting Started

Your first task is to add some florists foam to your candlestick so you have something to hold your flowers. Candlesticks designed for pillar candles are the simplest to use; simply buy a small round piece of oasis and place it where the candle was supposed to go. If your candlestick is narrow, and designed for a taper candle, you'll need what is known as a candle cup. This is a small, inexpensive plastic saucer with a dimple the right size to fit in the candle space. You can find these at floral supply stores like those listed in the links section. The same shops will also supply uglu transparent adhesive dots. Use one or more of these to keep the candle cup in place. I don't like using hot glue for this sort of thing, it's too difficult to reverse. You'll notice that with the foam in place, there is nowhere to put the candle. The answer to that problem is a candle holder, a piece of green plastic with a spike to add it to the foam. Buy the candle holder where and when you buy the foam. (see the links section)

Choosing Your Flowers

Candlestick arrangements don't need long stems, but they do need foliage which spills over the edge. I like ivy for this . I bought an ivy swag from Afloral.com (in a sale) and have cut it into several pieces for use in various arrangements. It is possible to mix silk and fresh flowers and foliage, some times of year foliage isn't that easy to get hold of, and though we spend time decorating with fall leaves and berries at Thanksgiving, for most of the US, the trees are quite bare by that time of year. Growing ivy in pots is another way to make sure you always have enough for your flower arrangements. Just snip a bit off, as long as you leave some leaves behind, your ivy will recover.

When it comes to flowers, almost anything goes, but be careful the flowers aren't too large. If you want to use hydrangeas, for example, break the large heads into pieces. Choose colors which harmonize well with your container, warm colors for a gold candlestick, cool for silver. If you have clear glass, as I do, then anything goes. Choose a single focal flower, you'll need at least four, and then add fillers. If you decide to work with roses, you can use the same technique to make your roses look more 'blown' as you do when floating them on water.

Focal flowers: roses, (large lilies may be too big) carnations

Fillers: alstromeria (peruvian lily) hypericum berries, solidago

Foliage: ivy, seeded eucalytpus, pine, fir, assorted short leaved twigs.

The height of your arrangement is provided by the candle, so there's very little work to do.

  • Add the candle
  • Build a skeleton shape from foliage. Make sure you have at least four piece dropping down, spaced evenly around the arrangement at the bottom.
  • Above this place the focal flowers, the stems should be almost horizontal.
  • Fill in with fillers, some pointing towards the ground, other pointing upwards.
  • Add more foliage until all the foam is hidden.

For special occasions you might like to add metallic wire accents to the arrangement, or wind the wire around the candle. Metallic accents will catch the light and add to the charm of your arrangement.

Top Tip: If, like me, you love this style of arrangement, but don't have a suitable candlestick, use a wine glass.


Glass candlestick, foliage and flowers, filled with foam (for silk flowers) ready to make a candle centerpiece
Glass candlestick, foliage and flowers, filled with foam (for silk flowers) ready to make a candle centerpiece | Source

Tips for Using Silk Flower Foliage

When you plan to use silk foliage in any arrangement you may find that it tends to look artificial, especially when mixed with fresh flowers. There's a reason.

In nature, stems are never straight as they are with silk flowers and foliage. Spend time with the stems you buy, add some natural kinks and bends and you find they look much better and blend more successfully in your flower arrangements.

Eastland Glass Cylinder Vase Set of 3
Eastland Glass Cylinder Vase Set of 3

One of the most useful vases I have in the houce, use them together, use them separately. Float candles, fill with flowers, or fill with fruit and then flowers, these are so versatile they are my favorite thing to give as a housewarming gift.

 

Do you like candle centerpieces? Would you make one? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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    • Amaryllis profile imageAUTHOR

      Lesley Charalambides 

      5 years ago from New Hampshire

      Thanks Kellyteam, for taking the time to read my hub. Flowers and candles do make a great combination, and with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up now,s the time to start planning! Hope you give one of the ideas a try.

    • kellyteam profile image

      Willette 

      5 years ago from Michigan

      Great ideas. combining flower arranging with candles, basically a great decorating combination. Love it. Thanks for the ideas. Keep on hubbing.

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