Candle Centerpieces

A blue orchid centerpiece with floating candles

A Blue Orchid centerpeice with floating candles

Candle centerpieces are ideal for speical events of all kinds, from weddings to anniversary dinners and even baby showers. They are easy to make and can be very economical, as well as varied in style. Floating candle centerpieces are very popular, they can be largely vertical, using cylinder vases or tall glass tea light holders, or they can be low and initimate, a bowl filled with perfumed flowers and flickering candlelight.

Perfect for the center of a dinner table at Christmas and Thanksgiving, a candle centerpiece is thoroughly romantic, so also ideal for weddings, engagements, and an intimate valentines dinner for two. The simplest type of candle centerpiece is one with floating candles, and these are particularly useful when you’re working with a limited budget.

Floating Candle Centerpieces

All you need is a shallow glass dish. I used to make these all the time when I was  student, my walk to class took me though a truly beautiful park; I’d pick out some flowers that were just about to fall, clip them off and take them home. Then I’d float them in my shallow bowl and add some floating candles. You can even manage without the flowers, just use floating candles which come in a flower shape!

Floating candle centerpieces can be simple or elaborate. They’re effective, often very easy to make and truly inexpensive. Here are a few ideas I found on the web.

Click on the pictures to see them enlarge and read the description.

Candle Centerpieces for Weddings

When it comes to weddings there are many thing to take into account – especially if you are working to a strict budget. Candle centerpieces look fabulous on tables, but fire regulations may mean they are just not allowed. In this case don’t despair; battery operated candles can be used to get around the problem. These can be bought in bulk. Tiny battery operated tea lights work just like their genuine counterparts, and there are also very convincing battery operated pillar candles in various heights which can be used in settings where the real thing may pose a problem, such as in the center of a bird cage tablecenter.

Here’s a video from Russ on Flowers showing how to float flowers – note that gems can provide a great contrasting background.

Almost any flower can be floated. large header flowers like daisies are easy, but with a little ‘tweak’ you can also float roses. I did this for a birthday party where I paced a floating rose at each place setting, and a larger display with floating candles in the center of the table. I’d like to say the whole idea was intentional, but truthfully I had intended to make a  rose centerpiece, but some of my roses drooped and in some cases the stems snapped.

Of course there are many other ways to use candles in a flower arrangement, but I always wondered how you attach the candle to the foam. Apparently there is a specific device for the purpose, a candle holder! You can see it demonstrated in this video, from Sandy of afloral is using it with silk flowers. She is also using a pick machine, which is quite fascinating. I’d love to say I understand why, most silk flowers I’ve used would quite happily stick in the foam.

Candle Centerpiece Pictures and Ideas

Here are a couple of small floating candle centerpieces I made myself, what’s interesting is the effect of the water, when the flowers are submerged, the water acts as a sort of lens, and magnifies them, making them even more striking than before, and of course the candles always add interest.

Floating candle centerpiece, grapes around a bowl of lemon and vanilla

Floating candle centerpiece, grapes around a bowl of lemon and vanilla

The first is an ultra simple arrangement using only a couple of bunches of grapes, piled around a glass bowl. I cut up half a lemon and floated the slices, along with some floating candles.  If you look closely, you can see that these are tealights with transparent plastic bottoms, Ive found these look great in floating arrangements, and best of all, they are much cheaper than the genuine ‘floating’ candles, however, they don;t last as long, so while they are great for a lunch or dinner, they’re probably not ideal for something longer, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or a wedding centerpiece, when you’d be better off buying the more expensive floating candles which will last through the whole event.

For the other, I created something to match the boldly colored tropical overarm bouquet I created for another post; the idea was to use the same colors, but add some blue gems to represent the sea, and avoid the cliche seashells.

This is just one cylinder vase, but they were all made the same way, using silk flowers. Cut one protea short, and bend the stem. Put it in the bottom of the cylinder and add blue gems to cover the stem, you can also add a floralight to light the gems from the inside. I also added a small branch of yellow oncidium orchid. As you can see in the two pictures, there is a difference when you add the water, it magnifies the flowers. I think this would be OK without the candles, but with, is just, well, better!

Ready to make your own candle centerpiece? Here’s what I use.