While Christina and I lived together we threw some dinner parties with some great centerpieces. We worked together and everything was lovely. Now that we live on two different coasts, it’s war. Just joking (mostly…). So we agreed to battle it out with $10, a theme and no direction. We each had to come up with a centerpiece that reminded us of summer, since it’s almost over.

Dana’s Centerpiece:

When Christina said that summer was the theme, I immediately thought of sunflowers, even though they just started showing up at my flower spot last week. But their bright yellow color really reminds me of the outdoors. For whatever reason I decided to do something crafty. As my husband will tell you, I always make things more complicated than they need to be. Regardless, I’ve outlined the steps below. Remember how your parents told you that you couldn’t go to college to major in basket weaving, and to get yourself together and pick a major? If you had, it would have come in handy now.

You will need:

  •  2 spools of 2 different colors of ribbon, 1 inch wide – $99 cents each
  • Adhesive (tape, glue dots, whatever you have…) – $0
  • Bunch of sunflowers – $4.99
  • Tall cylindrical vase (Note: You can use any shape of vase that you have that will allow the ribbons to lay flat. Sunflowers are pretty hefty flowers, so I prefer a taller vase, so you can see the vase instead of being covered up by the flowers.) – $0

Step 1: Cut the sunflowers to fit the vase. These flowers are pretty thick, so they’re a pain to cut. Scissors may not cut it. (Ha ha..)

Step 2: Cut strips of ribbon (color 1) the height of the vase, leaving 1/4 “ at each end for securing to the vase. Adhere the ribbons around the top of the vase, flush with one another. Leave the bottoms free.

Step 3: Continue putting ribbons (color 1) around the top of the vase until you cover the top.

Step 4: Take the alternate color (color 2) and adhere on the vase under one of the existing ribbons (color 1), flush with the top of the vase.

Step 5: Weave the ribbon (color 2) in and out of the flaps, securing the strip where you started once you get around. Pull down the vertical ribbons (color 1) until they are flush with the top of the vase.

Step 6: Place another ribbon (color 2) under the next vertical ribbon (color 1) over. This strip should be shifted over one, so it is alternating with the row above it. Continue until you get to the bottom.

Step 7: Secure all ends of the ribbons (color 1) on the bottom of the vase.

Step 8: Fill the vase with water and put the sunflowers in it. Enjoy!

Christina’s Centerpiece:

The first image that came to my mind when I thought of the term “summer centerpiece” was yellow flowers.  No specific flower, really. Just yellow. (Funny how Dana and I thought of the same thing — living together will do that…) And then I pictured blue. I wanted something that looked a little country so I picked up a blue-flowered sugar bowl from my local Goodwill and it only cost a few bucks. Gotta love Goodwill for cheap finds.

Oddly, getting the flowers for the centerpiece was the most challenging aspect of this project. You see, I have a full-time job Monday through Friday which means I pretty much only have weekends to get anything done (and if I’m working on anything that requires taking pictures, forgetaboutit.). And not all of my weekends are free for crafting projects so I really have to plan ahead to accomplish anything.

My grandmother suggested the San Francisco Flower Mart which I had never been to but seemed like the perfect place to find a variety of flowers at good prices. I was a little nervous when I first got there because I saw a warehouse of people who seemed to be packing up for the day but right before I gave up I spotted a vendor through one of the doorways.

I was really excited to see such a wide variety of flowers and so many flowers whose names I didn’t know and had never seen before. But of course I was looking for yellow flowers which narrowed my choices considerably. I ended up buying some spider mums which were about $6. I thought that was a pretty good deal.

By no means am I an expert in floral arranging but it is something I’d like to learn to do better. In the meantime, this is what I came up with for the centerpiece:

My grandmother loved it, which is all that matters to me. I left the arrangement at my grandparents’ house so they can enjoy it.

Have Fun!