Centerpiece Tutorial

This is one of the centerpieces at my niece’s wedding reception.  Marcia, my sister-in-law and the mother of the bride, noticed me studying it and looking puzzled, so she came up behind me and said, “soda water.”


“Soda water”, she repeated.  “Half the water in the vase is soda water – that’s what makes the bubbles.”

Now I know it’s rude to corner the mother of the bride at the reception – she’s got more obligations than anyone else present – but there was no way I was letting Marcia get away from me without giving me all the details.  Thankfully, she’s known me long enough to be used to my terrier-like tendencies, so she just smiled and  launched into the instructions while I took notes on a cocktail napkin.

Supplies needed:

clear glass vase

fresh flowers

corsage pin (one for each flower stem)

colored glass pebbles (floral department of any craft store)

soda water

floating candle

Cut the flower stems to varying heights so they fit nicely in the vase and the blooms are at different levels.  Spear each stem with a corsage pin and anchor it under the glass pebbles to keep the flowers from floating up.  Fill the vase with half soda water and half tap water.  Place a floating candle on top and light it.  I should have taken a close-up of one of the roses so you could see more clearly, but the bubbles form on the petals and leaves and stay there all evening, and the light from the candle reflects in the bubbles – FABULOUS!

The tables at Lauren’s reception were large (ten people, I think) and needed something with height, but it also needed to be narrow so as not to impede conversation, and these vases were perfect.  For this type of vase roses work well, as would any long-stemmed flower.  I think lilies would be pretty.  If you have smaller tables or don’t need something that tall I think this would be gorgeous with a round fish-bowl-style vase and short-stemmed, delicate flowers.  Or you could take this from formal to casual and use mason jars and flowers from your own garden for decorations at a summer party!

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9 thoughts on “Centerpiece Tutorial”

  1. First of all I do not mind being corned by my “favorite” sis-in-law. We do not get much time to spend together so my job that night was to visit all the wonder friends and family that came for the wedding. I have one correction to Angie’s instructions. Use 2 corsage pins per flower. You poke them through the base the stem so the flower looks like an upside “T”. Once your flower are placed, then you gently float down the glass pebbles. Put enough in to weigh down the flowers so the do not float when the water is poured in. We did almost 3 inches per vase. Then fill with water and then soda water. These were large vase that is way we did both kinds. The water was filled to just below the lowest blossom and then topped off with the soda water. They turned out better so much prettier than we imagined. And yes, this works on a much smaller scale. Our experiment was a carnation in a tea glass. The bubble were still there the next day.

  2. Pingback: Floating Pebbles Light Pens

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