The third week of March was my Mother-in-laws 90th birthday. The family honored her with a family and friends celebration in the Missouri History Museum.
My sister-in-law did most of the planning, but I volunteered to help.
We wanted to make conversation piece centerpieces for each of the 10 tables, utilizing some of the many spring flowering daffodils we usually have at this time of year on our acreage. BUT we didn’t want to spend a gob of money on them.
Since the celebration was a meal at the restaurant in the museum, and since our birthday girl has already seen nine decades we decided on a history theme.
How I made centerpieces for $2.70 each.
We decided to re-label 10 empty wine bottles using a picture of an historical event for each decade of her life.
I already had saved up a box full of wine bottles, in hopes of selling them at my next garage sale, so we didn’t have any cash outlay for those.
After doing some quick refresher research on events that happened in the 1920s through the current decade, I went on a mission to find the pictures. To start, I made a sample bottle as proof of concept using images printed on matte photo paper. It turned out OK, but not spectacular.
Wanting something a bit fancier, the next day I went on a search for paper to use as the new labels, underneath the pictures. As I looked around at what was available ideas started popping. The bottles had a back and a front label. I decided it would be fun to put the picture on the front label, with a brief explanation of the event on the back.
The bottles were green and I needed a color that would blend with the bottle as well as one I could use with black and white photos. Eventually I ended up at a scrap-booking store that carried 12 x 12 sheets of paper in enormous variety. They had black paper flocked with a scroll design that looked elegant. This would go on the bottle as the front label, with the picture on top. They also had plain black paper, which I would use on the back of the bottle, with a smaller white paper with the event description on it in black ink. Then I found a sheet just full of fancy shapes in black and white. This would go at the top of the bottle’s label to identify the decade the bottle represented.
The events I chose were:
- 1920’s Charles Lindbergs New York to Paris flight
- 1930’s Amelia Earharts disappearance
- 1940’s Victory in Japan day
- 1950’s I like Ike – his administration started the Interstate highway system
- 1960’s First man on the moon
- 1970s American bi-centennial
- 1980’s The space shuttle program
- 1990’s Personal computers and the internet
- 2000’s Attack on America (9/11/2001)
- 2010’s The rise of cell phones and smart phones.
The materials I used were:
- 10 clean, empty wine bottles No cost (had on hand)
- 3 sheets 12 x 12 black flocked paper $5.97
- 2 sheets 12 x 12 plain black paper $1.98
- 1 sheet 12 x 12 fancy shapes paper $1.29
- Tax on paper $0.78
- 2 rolls double sided scotch tape $6.79
- Tax on tape $0.64
- 10 White matte photo paper No cost (had on hand)
Total cost $17.45
It took me a full day to finish putting them together. First I photo-shopped the pictures, to change them to black and white and re-size them. Then I inserted each picture into an office text document and added a wide black border around it. Then I wrote up a very short paragraph on each event for the back of the bottle, formatted it to fit the skinny label and put a black border around each description.
I measured and cut the flocked and plain black paper squares into label sized pieces and used the double sided tape to fix them over the original labels on the bottles.
Then I printed each picture and it’s description on the matte white photo paper and cut each one out. Meanwhile, I had cut the shapes on the fancy shape paper out and cajoled my husband (who has neater printing than I) to write a decade on each one.
Last, I taped the picture onto the front label, centered over the flocked black paper; taped the scroll with the decade name at the top of the front label and centered the description over the black back label and taped it on.
Unfortunately, our plan to use fresh daffodil’s from our acres didn’t work out well – as most of them hadn’t bloomed in time and the ones that did bloom were frozen and snow covered.
Luckily, a last minute trip to Walmart yielded 3 huge bunches of silk daffodil’s that I was able to cut apart to have 3 blooms in each bottle. I also found some red silk tulips for only 75 cents a bunch. Since red is my Mother-in-laws favorite color, I snatched them up too! Total cost for all was $10.00.
This was a fun project and ended up only costing us around two and a half dollars for each centerpiece.
Have you made centerpieces? What was your experience?