Floating candle centerpieces are quite possibly the simplest type of centerpiece to create, they are effective, inexpensive and romantic, making them ideal for dinner parties and other events, as well as for DIY brides. They are also easy to customise to fit a color scheme or event theme.
There are several types of centerpiece which use floating candles.
- Candles floating in a wide shallow bowl.
- Candles floating in a tall narrow vase or cylinder
- Individual Candles floating in a tiny vase.
In each case you need
- floating candles
- a vase or dish to contain the candles
You may also want to add decorations for the inside or outside of the candle container
- flowers can be floated in the container with the candles, or you can place them around the outside of the bowl. One of the easiest and most effective things to do is place your shallow bowl inside a wreath.
- a jewelled garland can be twisted around the container if it’s tall or placed inside a shallow saucer
- a candle ring can be used like a wreath, above.
- vase filler, perfect inside the vase to add color or texture. Beads, water beads, fake gems, seashells and christmas ornaments can all the used.
- illumination place battery powered lights under gems, or use submersible light strings in taller, cylindrical containers.
I love These But I Don’t Have the Budget
Decorations are never necessities. My suggestion is to ask for a shallow glass bowl around 11 inches in diameter for your next birthday or Christmas, or if you prefer, ask for a set of three cylindrical vases, you’ll find both in our shop.Once you have these it all becomes much easier, but what if you don’t have them right now?
You’ll still need candles, but many supermarkets cell tea-light candles where the cup is made of plastic and not metal. These are light enough to float and thought they wont last as long as floating candle, they’ll do. If you can no vase, use anything that’s glass, one simple trick is to use wine glasses, float a candle in each one and put one at each place setting. Take a look through your cupboard or borrow on or two stemmed glasses from friends, if they are different heights, that’s even better. Buy a roll of seasonal ribbon, or borrow some or find some you’ve saved from a gift, you should be able to find something at the dollar store, and twine the ribbon around each glass, or around the ground as a whole. If you do have cylinder vases and candles, but can’t afford flowers, just leave them out or pick twigs from a tree and submerge those in the water. It’s free, and it’s interesting.
To be prepared for the whole year, buy white floating candles. Add some silver or gold ribbon for Christmas and New Year, red ribbon or rose petals for Valentines, yellow for Easter and Pink for most birthdays. You can also use your candle centerpiece at Thanksgiving, choose leaf shaped floating candles or just do as normal or add a copper or deep orange ribbon.
There are several types of floating candle. The simplest are circular disks which will float when added to water. These are readily available in ivory and white. You can also buy floating candle holders, lightweight glass dishes very similar in shape to the floating candles, which can be used to hold a standard tealight candle. Standard tealight candles are less expensive, easier to find and there are varieties with a lovely scent. The downside is that they don’t last as long as purpose made floating candles. They are, however, ideal for home use.
The last type of floating candle is more decorative, a floating candle in the shape of a flower or leaf. Candles in the shape of roses, orchids and autumn leaves are generally quite easy to find in a wide range of colors.
Floating Candle Bowls
Low level centerpieces can be made from a wide, low bowl usually at least 8-10 inches in diameter. Since the candlelight is part of the charm of the arrangement, place the bowl on a mirrored mat and the effect increases.
The simplest way to ‘dress up’ this sort of centerpiece is to float flowers in the bowl along with candles. The ideal flower is not too large and has a wide, flat head. Gerbera daisies are ideal, but don’t feel restricted by the choice of flower. If you spend the time spreading the petals of a rose, for example, you can easily float even a large rose on water. Orchids also made good floating flowers. If you’ve chosen calla lilies as your wedding flower, you may find it best to bend these around the inside of a glass bowl and then float candles in the middle. Other flowers which look great floating include the heads of spray roses and rose petals.
An alternative form of decoration is to fill the bottom of the bowl with some sort of vase filler and hide a submersible LED light inside. This will provide extra illumination and is a very pretty effect.
You may also choose to place the bowl inside a wreath, or to surround it with a jewelled garland. The best thing about this is that you can keep all the items you need in a cupboard (even silk flower petals) and it takes little more than five minutes to set up. To emphasise a color scheme choose the right color of petal, dye the water, use colored candles or add a colored ribbon.
May need to be a little more elaborate than those you would use for dinner at home. You may also want to experiment with creating a taller centerpiece by floating candles in a tall cylinder or vase. One popular choice is the giant martini glass, filled with a color co-ordinating filler and LED light and with one of more candles floating in the water. The stem can be twined with ivy or a crystal garland, and the base can be surrounded by a small arrangement of flowers done in a foam ring. You could also choose to place a miniature version, a candle floating in a wine glass, at each place setting.
Floating candle table centers are especially popular at beach themed weddings where you can fill the base of the bowl or cylinder with tiny seashells.
Another popular wedding centerpiece idea is the cylinder filled with submerged flowers. This is an ideal way to use flowers that don’t lend themselves to floating, like calla lilies. Add some vase filler to a cylinder vase and then add a flower stem cut so the flower is not quite so tall as the cylinder. Add the flower (or flowers) and hold the stem tightly with the vase filler, then simply fill the cylinder with water and place a floating candle on top.
Floating Candle Centerpiece kits
Kits containing vase, candles and some decoration, are available from several online retailers, you’ll also find it easy to buy sets of cylinder vases, three the same width but different heights. Bulk prices make these reasonable affordable. For the final flourish you can surround all three with a single wreath, or simply place them on a mirrored mat (also a good bulk buy) and surround that with votive candles in holders.
How to Make Floating Candle Centerpieces
First, decide on whether you want a low centerpiece or a tall one. Neither need be expensive, however you can spend as much as you want decorating them.
For a low centerpiece, purchase one floating candle bowl and a set of floating candles. You should be able to find one for around $10, less if you shop around. Buying in bulk can save you a lot and bring the price closer to $7 per bowl. You can also use a fishbowl vase or a 2 inch square vase if you want to place a single floating candle at each place setting.
Floating candles are also cheaper when bought in bulk, 36 white two inch candles are around $20, though you can expect to pay more for those that are made in decorative shapes.
Now you have the basics, it’s up to you and your budget to decide how much further to go. One way to add color is to use a colorful vase filler in the base of your bowl. Water pearls are very decorative, but remember, they are water filled, so they will float. For these purposes you need something heavy which will fill the base of the bowl. You could try frosted glass stones , large pearl beads, sea shells, polished river rocks, acrylic or glass gems.
Another way to dress up the arrangement is to place it inside a ready made wreath, or create one yourself by arranging flowers in a ring of floral foam of appropriate size. Wreaths of dried flowers, such as myrtle or Lavender can look stunning as well as adding a subtle and very pleasant scent. These can, however add considerably to the cost. One of the prettiest dried flower wreaths for weddings is one made from dried hydrangeas.
If your budget doesn’t run to a flower arrangement or wreath around the base of the bowl, then place it on a mirrored mat and scatter rose petals or fruit around it.
Tall Floating Candle Arrangements
You can simply follow the same procedure, but using a tall, stemmed container such as a giant wine or martini glass. An alternative is to use a tall vase or cylinder and fill it with flowers below the water line, before adding water and floating your candles on top, as in these examples.