Easy DIY Wedding Project

It’s DIY week on my bloggity and while I’m not one to suggest DIY florals for your wedding (as evidenced in yesterday’s post) and I almost never use carnations, I do know that some people are brave and determined enough to give it a go so here are some tips for a super easy, cost effective tabletop design. 

I think if it’s a DIY project it should also be budget friendly so I’ve combined Burlap and Carnations for a shabby chic tablescape–or barnyard chic if you prefer to Vermont-it-up!  You’ll need to get yourself: some burlap + a pair of sharp fabric scissors for the place mats; approximately 12-15 carnations per table + floral clippers + containers for the centerpieces; some ribbon + shipping tags for the place cards.

To make the place mats:  Simple.  I used a place mat that measured about 18″w x 14″ h as a pattern.  I had a bolt of burlap and cut out a rectangle.  Simple.  After cutting the fabric I pulled on the horizontal threads to fray the ends–the same way I used to fray the bottom of my cut-off jean shorts in middle school.  This gives a bit of a finished edge and you can trim the fringe to make it neat and tidy.  A nice sharp fabric scissor will make this much easier and you can probably double up the burlap to cut 2 place mats at a time.  Use leftover scraps instead of ribbon on your favors or invitations or to tie silverware together.  I tucked a piece of eucalyptus in there, too.

For the centerpiece:  I cut 6 carnations super-short (these are about 3″ tall) and put them into small white ceramic vessels.  On a rectangular table you’d make 2-3 vases per table and on a round table I’d suggest doing one 5-6″ round container with 12-15 carnations to create a more full look.  

Pricing:  Assuming you buy the carnations for $1.00-1.50 per stem {depending on the source and the quality–yep, just like steak and diamonds there are different grades of carnations!} you could recreate this centerpiece for around $25-35 per table.  If you use containers you already own, then it could be as little as $12 per table.  Design tip:  I open my carnations by “fluffing” them a bit; I gently brush the center petals toward the outer edges with my fingertips.

{For any carnation naysayers out there take a closer look at these creme carns.} 

For the place cards:  This is pretty obvious, but these are just simple shipping tags with a ribbon in lieu of the white string and a lovely script detail.

Does this seem like an easy DIY project you’d try for a wedding or dinner party?


  • Jacquelyn

    March 31, 2011 at 1:40pm ·

    This is so elegant and lovely I almost wish we’d gone for an eco-chic theme instead of vintage! 🙂

  • alison

    March 31, 2011 at 2:10pm ·

    I am so glad you like it, Jacquelyn, but if you changed your wedding theme I might cry…I LOVE your style!

  • Jessica

    April 1, 2011 at 11:10am ·

    I’ve never seen carnations look so beautiful! Thanks for sharing 🙂

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