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{DIY Tutorial} Rustic & Natural Wedding Centerpiece

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rustic wedding centerpiece tutorial

Hi there – it’s Amber here again from Amber Lay Events! As I mentioned last week, some of you may know me from my days as Editorial & Styling Assistant at HWTM. Now that I’m doing event coordinating and floral design full time, I am so excited to be the newest regular contributor for Hostess with the Mostess! If you missed my Candlesticks & Peonies post last Wednesday check it out here.


This week I wanted to share a DIY Wedding centerpiece idea that is not only packed with beautiful textures, but is also great for the environment since we are using recycled plastic containers!  The neutral color palette, combined the natural element of the bark, gives this centerpiece an earthy and warm feeling. Enjoy! Also, a big thank you to Camryn Clair for shooting this tutorial.

recycled container and bark wedding centerpiece diy tutorial

recycled container and bark wedding centerpiece diy tutorial




recycled container and bark wedding centerpiece diy tutorial

  • 5 Recycled Plastic Containers (from yogurt, cream cheese, etc.)
  •  Floral Foam Soaked in Water
  • Small Bucket or Big Vase Filled with Water
  • Floral Knife
  • Floral Clippers
  • Melaleuca Bark
  • Brown Yarn
  • 1 Bunch Bells of Ireland
  • 1 Stem of Kale
  • 1 Bunch White Lisianthus
  • 1 Bunch Stellata Pods


1. As soon as you get your flowers home from the market give them a quick cut with either your floral knife or clippers at a 45 degree angle and then place them directly into your vase filled with room temperature water. If your flowers came with plant food go ahead add that to the water and give it a quick stir before inserting the flowers.

2. Once your floral foam is completely soaked in water cut pieces that securely fit in each plastic container. Use your floral knife to cut the foam!

recycled container and bark wedding centerpiece diy tutorial

3. Wrap each container with a piece or two of the melaleuca bark and secure by wrapping the brown yarn around it and tying it off in a knot. Cut any loose yarn ends off.  Also, make sure to cover the container completely leaving excess bark at the top of the container to help cover the foam.

4. Now you are ready to insert your flowers! We will start with the Kale since it is the easiest one because there is just one stem. Measure the stem by holding it next to the container you wish to insert it in (a tall and thin container works best) and cut in the appropriate spot at 45 degree angle. You can use either your floral knife or your clippers to make the cut. Insert the stem into the foam filled container making sure it covers all of the foam. You can “fluff” the leaves and adjust the bark if some the foam is showing.

5. Next choose a container for the Lisianthus. Again hold the stems next to the container  and cut to the height you would like. Try to arrange the flowers in a loose but round shape. Make sure to turn the container after each stem’s insertion so that your centerpiece is three dimensional versus being one sided.

6. Now take your Stellata Pods and arrange them in one of the containers the same way you arranged the Lisianthus.

recycled container and bark wedding centerpiece diy tutorial

7. The only flowers left are the Bells of Ireland! To make your product go further cut the stems into 3 or 4 parts as shown. Use a shorter container for this one since the stems will be shorter after cutting them into several parts. The Bells of Ireland are not a heavy flower so they do not need long stems for support like the Kale does. Insert the pieces of Bells of Ireland into the container making sure all of the foam is covered. Again spin the container after each insertion so that you make a three dimensional arrangement.

8. Congrats! You are finished! Now arrange the five arrangements in a cluster if you are using them on a round table or you can arrange them in a staggered line if you have a long thin table.


  • Melaleuca bark peels naturally so you are likely to find plenty of it at the base of any melaleuca tree!
  • You can also adhere the bark by using spray adhesive instead of the yarn if you prefer no yarn in your centerpiece.
  • The Melaleuca tears easily and can be peeled into thinner sheets if need be so you will be able to size it according to the recycled plastic containers you are covering.

recycled container and bark wedding centerpiece diy tutorial

rustic wedding centerpiece using recycled containers and bark


Vendor Credit


  • By: Amber Lay
  • Photography By: Camryn Clair
  • Floral Foam Soaked in Water: Local Floral Supply Store or Michael’s
  • Small Bucket or Big Vase Filled with Water: Lowe’s
  • Floral Knife: Local Floral Supply Store
  • Floral Clippers: Local Floral Supply Store or Lowe’s
  • Melaleuca Bark: Local Melaleuca Trees
  • Brown Yarn: Michael’s
  • 1 Bunch Bells of Ireland: Local Floral Supply Store
  • 1 Stem of Kale: Local Floral Supply Store
  • 1 Bunch White Lisianthus: Local Floral Supply Store
  • 1 Bunch Stellata Pods: Local Floral Supply Store
By |2018-03-27T15:13:31+00:00June 20th, 2012|Party Decor Projects, Weddings|

About the Author:

AMBER LAY is the founder of Amber Lay Events , a coordinating and custom floral design company that specializes in weddings. She got an early start in the industry by interning with one of LA’s most sought after wedding coordinators. Since then she has built many connections in the industry as she continued to work for other top wedding coordinators and event florists in the Southern California area. 

After completing her degree at San Diego State University in Art and Design, she was brought on full time as the Editorial & Styling Assistant at Hostess with the Mostess®, which opened her eyes to a whole new side of the party industry. Her new knowledge from HWTM, paired with her experience in the wedding industry, prepared her to step out on her own and open ALE full time.

Amber resides in San Diego, California. She absolutely loves the water and being active outdoors, which is why she calls the beach her home!


  1. Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor June 20, 2012 at 11:34 am

    25 years ago my husband and I got married in a turn of the century barn, so I am all about the rustic weddings! Love these centerpiece ideas. Very cool looking!

  2. Danielle Bryan June 20, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Amber! Your AMAZING!!!! Love it!!!

  3. Christine June 21, 2012 at 12:31 am

    Very interesting table centerpiece idea! =)

  4. gina at cateror June 21, 2012 at 9:07 am

    What a gorgeous idea! I wonder if the plastic pots would hold up to being used as everyday plant pots as well, could be a great way to spruce up the houseplants :) Lovely centerpiece ideas for any occasion, though!

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    Absolutely great. Golden hands!

  8. Amber Lay June 27, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Thanks ladies! You can totally use this idea for household plants! The bark will wrap around just about any surface! :) You can also use spray adhesive instead of the yarn to attach the bark!

  9. […] Have some old plastic containers sitting around?  These rustic, recycled centerpieces are a snap with some bark, yarn and floral foam.  {source: Camryn Clair via Hostess with the Mostess} […]

  10. […] tell) are amazing! They have an earthy feel that could warm up any table. Check out this awesome tutorial by Amber Lay. It has step by step instructions, helpful hints, and a lot more […]

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  13. […] in For the {DIY Bride} Here is another fabulous DIY project for a rustic wedding centerpiece, published on the popular site: blog.hwtm.com (Hostess With A Mostess). The above mentioned blog mentions a DIY Wedding centerpiece idea that is not only packed with beautiful textures, but is also great for the environment because they are using recycled plastic containers!  The neutral colour palette, combined the natural element of the bark, gives this centerpiece an earthy and warm feeling. This tutorial comes with detailed DIY instructions plus fantastic pictures to illustrate the steps. Check it out at http://www.hwtm.com/2012/06/rustic-wedding-centerpiece-idea-diy-tutorial/ […]

  14. Cindy January 30, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Hi! My daughter is getting married later this year and we love this idea for the tables. We live in Ohio and we’re having a hard time finding the melaleuca bark- even online. Would you happen to know where we could find this? I am making a trip to Florida in March and I see that this tree does grow there. Maybe I could buy it from someplace there if it’s for sell? I’d appreciate any comments. Thanks!

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  18. Vicki November 6, 2013 at 10:57 am

    I would love to get this bark. I know we don’t have these trees in Texas.

  19. […] This is a rustic type of centerpiece with a very green look and you can use it for a wedding but also for the Thanksgiving table. You basically place the plants in recycled plastic containers and you cover them in bark.{found on hwtm}. […]

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  31. […] You don’t have to spend a fortune on flowers or vases with this DIY idea! Amber from Amber Lay Events has created these beautiful rustic centrepieces over on Hostess With The Mostess using recycled plastic containers and tree bark, and twine. Learn how to make them HERE. […]

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  34. […] Wrap the bark around the containers, plant some herbs or local flowers inside, and voila! While these instructions call for cutting the plants and inserting them into floral foam, you can plant them in soil for a […]

  35. Towab Muhammad Yusuf August 19, 2015 at 5:03 am

    Melaleuca tree!

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