Tuesday, August 25, 2009

DIY CENTERPIECES: Is it worth it?

One of the first ideas Mama Mojito and I came up with to save money was doing our own centerpieces. We had heard how expensive it can be, and after realizing we would need at least 22 we thought we could do this ourselves.

So one gloomy Friday morning Mama-Mo and I head down to the LA Flowermart and start grabbing flowers that were inexpensive and in our color scheme. I always liked spidermums for their texture, and the button mums are always so cute to me. Another one I love is the fabulous Dhalia. Other then that we just went for the gerbers that day knowing they were affordable and would last the time needed to make it to the wedding.

Besides buying about $25 worth of flowers we also picked up a few oasis' and some 6x6 inch vases to put this whole thing together. In order to hide the oasis in the vase we bought some tea leaves that could be stripped and wrapped along the freame of the vase for more color as well.

We headed home and got to work. Next thing you know Mama Mo and I had our kitchen looking like a florist shop. We did some rough drafts and just tried to see how different things looked, it took us about 15 minutes per centerpiece and we made three. We figured we would want them perfect for the wedding and estimated maybe 30 minutes max for each making that 11 man hours right there... assume it's me, Mama Mo, and maybe one or two others. Wow, we can crank out all of the centerpieces in about 3 hours probably.

Before I continue with this story why don't you check out a few angles of some of our drafts...

As you can see we ended up putting some rocks at the bottom just because the leaves wouldn't totally stay down so the rocks were a way of covering up the oasis as well.

As a whole, I was totally satisfied. I knew that we could do another draft with the actual flowers I wanted (maybe adding a couple different ones, wasn't really sure) and be completely happy with it. I wasn't IN LOVE, but I was happy with my first DIY project.

With the price of a vase, rocks, oasis, and flowers we were looking at about $12-15 per center piece which compared to quotes at $35-45 originally that seemed like a great deal, plus the vases could all be resold on Weddingbee or Craigslist. And for the deal that we got those vases at I was sure I could get them back for the same amount we purchased them as long as they were in just as good condition.

Making a long story even longer, that night my dad said we did a fantastic job but no penny was worth losing our sanity. In a nutshell he said we would be crazy to try and take on this task on our own. He knows us better then anyone (we are both infamous for being stressed) and also knows that the day before the wedding we will have 1,569 other things to do.

Conclusion: They made lovely centerpieces in my condo, a lovely desk arrangment at work, and a great little surprise to my FMIL... but they will not be replicated on April 16th.

I will tell you about my fabulous florist in another post. She's been fabulous to work with and has been so helpful with working with me and my budget.

Have you tried to tackle a huge DIY project? What about one that could only be done the day before the wedding? Good luck! :)


Ashley said...

I'm doing all our bouquets. I'm kind of dreading it.

Sweet Tooth said...

I'm taking on the task of doing the centerpieces the day before the wedding. We did a trial run this past Saturday morning. You gotta love the craziness at the LA Flowermart. I'm also doing my bouquet and the bridesmaids bouquets. : ) This is the only project I'm leaving for the day before.

Miss Mojito said...

You're brave Sweet Tooth! As much as I enjoyed doing it I'm too scared... plus I would have to transfer them all 45 minutes to my location! Good luck ST and Ashley! Love the LA Flowermart though! :)

BTW, Saw your pic was posted on Weddingbee, Sweet Tooth! :)

Christine Saunders said...

Great job on the centerpiece for a first try! For a 6x6 vase, you could skip the oasis and ti leaf (which are always tricky to get straight and stay that way) and use clear oasis tape to create a grid over the mouth of the vase. You have to tape when the vase is dry, and then tape all of the ends down around the vase. Three stems of hydrangea go a long way to create a "base" for the flowers to hold the rest of them up, then you can insert the other flowers through the hydrangea into the vase. In the finished product you wont necessarily see the hydrangea too much, but the arrangement will be a lot fuller and larger, and take less time to make because you arent messing with the ti leaf and oasis. Hope that tip helps for your next DIY flower project!