There were 2 main types of centerpieces at last month’s French Circus Baby Shower – “feather trees” and an “eclectic groupings”, and today I’m going to cover the DIY details for the feather trees. These are actually one of my favorite types of centerpieces to make – and they’re surprisingly quick & easy! I used a smaller version of these at the Hip Hostess New York event last year, but since this party was outdoors in a bigger space, we opted for a larger feather plumes & taller vases this time so that they’d still make a strong visual impact within the setting.
In the centerpieces pictured here, we used 19-23″ ostrich plumes and 28″ eiffel tower vases, then embellished the centerpieces with ribbon and cool acrylic strands pulled from a “Hoops Beaded Curtain“, which was also used to decorate the cabana area. (only $19.99 per curtain – and one goes a long way!)
To help combat the surprisingly strong wind factor in the backyard setting, we used “earthquake gum” to secure each feather tree to a decorative “base” made from an acrylic silver charger plate with translucent aqua vase gems hot-glued all the way around the edge. The vase gems matched the party’s color palette and added a substantial amount of weight to the plate.
Here are all the DIY details for the feather trees:
19″-23″ Ostrich Plumes (approx 20 – 25 per tree *see note)
Straight Stem Bouquet Holder
Eiffel Tower Vase – (24″ or 28″ height)
glue dots, earthquake gum, or similar other type of adhesive
Hoops Beaded Curtain (or similar)
1. Insert the feather quills into the foam bouquet holder to create a “palm tree like” look, starting at the bottom of the holder and working your way up to the top. (You may need to trim some of the quills if they seem to be a little long and start to run into each other when inserted.) The best thing about this centerpiece is that it’s so easy to adjust. If it looks too full/empty in one particular area, just keep moving things around until you’re happy with the look. When you’re done, give the holder a little shake to make sure all of the feathers are secure and to help fluff them up.
2. Decorate the vase with ribbon (optional). Wrapping ribbon in a diagonal direction from the bottom to the top of the vase gives it a fun “candy stripe” look that’s perfect for circus themes (or holiday!).
3. Insert the stem of the bouquet holder into the Eiffel Tower Vase so that the feathers sit on top to form the “tree”. Use glue dots, earthquake gum, or another gummy adhesive to help secure the bouquet holder to the vase. This is especially important on this size of a centerpiece, because the top can get pretty heavy due to the large size of the feathers. If your party is outside, I definitely recommend using a strong adhesive to help combat any wind that might pick up!
4. Embellishments (optional): Pull a piece of the Hoops Beaded Curtain or a similar decorative element to hang from the feathers. The Hoops strands are so light , they can easily hang from one of the individual feathers, so we were able to hang them a few inches away from the vase so that they were more visible. (If you’re using a heavier element like a crystal ornament, you may need to hang it directly from the top edge of the vase.)
*Note: It’s MUCH more cost effective to purchase the large ostrich plumes by the pound. You’ll get approx 110 pieces for $190, which is enough feather for 5 centerpieces, as opposed to paying $80-$94 for 20-25 individual feathers for just one centerpiece. These centerpieces aren’t exactly inexpensive, but when you compare them to the cost of a traditional flower arrangement or large-scale event or wedding centerpiece, they still come in well under the standard price, especially when done in bulk! PLUS, you can re-use the feathers over & over… or lend to friends, etc. =)
Some of the feather trees at the party were grouped with additional decor – such as small framed signs & the candlestick arrangement pictured above. (The white candleholder is from Z Gallerie, and it’s topped with a funky melamine zebra salad plate from Social Couture and a fish-shaped Mini GurglePot from Delight.com.)
DIY details on centerpiece #2 coming soon!