I keep seeing pictures of gorgeous centerpieces filled with what looks like marbles, so a couple of weeks ago, I decided to investigate. It’s easy to create a floating candle centerpiece with a few pretty stones or marbles in the bottom, but the amazing thing about the marbles I saw was that they came in vibrant colors and apparently absorbed water, so they were ideal to use a filler for vase. They’d cover the workings of an arrangement and the stems of the flowers while at the same time providing water.
I decided to have a go and find out what it was all about.
First, we had to find a vase. 1 pack of aqua gems (the brand of water pearls we chose) absorbs around 4 liters of water, so we first took an empty cola bottle, filled it with tap water, and emptied it twice into a plastic container. With the bowl full, my daughter emptied the tiny back of clear aqua gems into it. The instructions advised us to use distilled water, but we didn’t have any and so agreed to try tap water to see if it worked. It did.
Within minutes, we could see the aqua gems begin to expand, and although the process did take many hours, the bowl was, 10 hours later, filled with round, clear marble like balls. The final touch was to see what we could create.
(1) was a candle centerpiece made with a single white rose and floating candles. The addition of a color changing floralyte to the aqua gems made the whole thing more interesting.
(2) was a little mote colorful, we used a silk hydrangea head with the floating white candles and a floralyte the same color as the hydrangea for impact.
(3) was altogether more exotic. A clear floralyte illuminated the water pearls, while the surface was draped with a spray of exotic yellow orchids.
(4) our final experiment was a four peice centerpiece created from 4 empty cola bottles.
In most centerpieces the vase is a significant expense. You could use a simple, inexpenisve plastic saucer, but if you want to use water pearls you need something transparent, like glass. We found the ideal container to be one of the 2 liter cola bottles we used to fill the original bowl. We cut them at there different heights, two short, one medium and one tall, and filled each one with the transparent aqua gems and a floralyte each.
Then the tall and medium containers were placed side by side and topped with a single silk hydrangea head. I removed a few small flowers from each head, and popped them in each one of the low containers, placing one in front of the other two and one behind.
The resulting centerpiece was delightful, and since the container cost nothing, the whole arrangement was surprisingly inexpensive. The only cost was for the water pearls, two hydrangeas heads and four floralytes. We estimated the cost at between 15 and 17 dollars and believe that if you were creating several of these, perhaps for a wedding, the cost per centerpiece could be even lower. Here is the final version. Any sort of color scheme is possible; you could use clear water pearls with blue hydrangea, or blue pearls with white, using a blue or clear floralyte inside the containers. The possiblities are endless, and yes, we can confirm the water pearls are squidgy. If you wanted to, you could easily squeeze them into a tall narrow vase.
Here’s the video we made of the test, and the results.
Update: one week since we tried this one thing is very clear; vases with water pearls stay clear and clean and are far more pleasant to deal with than vases with water. Ive just bought a bulk pack, and I’m planning to use these with all my flowers from now on.