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Centerpiece Challenge: What Would You Do?

Here’s your challenge, if you choose to accept it.

You have just arrived in Michigan to introduce your new baby to her family…

Baby Mila with her Grammy

..and to celebrate your sister-in-law’s new baby with a baby shower:

Cousin Danielle, Sister-in-law Tiffany, sister-in-law Ashley and me

You haven’t been very involved in the planning of the shower, although you did pretend-decorate a penguin-themed nursery for the teeny baby. When you arrive in Michigan, your mother-in-law shows you the pots she’s decorated for the centerpieces…
White Vase with Blue Ribbon
…and tells you she hasn’t decided what else to do for the centerpieces, and would you like to come up with something?

Your challenge: Create a centerpiece decoration using these pots. You have 24 hours. Go.

What would you do?

I’ll tell you what I did! First I got all giddy-excited about the chance to decorate something. Then I got to work!

I wanted to make the little pots feel more “important” on the big round tables, so we hit the Dollar Tree to come up with some way to raise them off the tables. We found these candlesticks and these little glass bowls:
Dollar Store Finds
And found that the lid on the bowls fit perfectly in the candlestands. I glued them together using Glass Bond:
Glass Bond Glue
And ended up with a DIY $2 stand for the little vases my mother-in-law had made:

We hit up Kroger (my favorite place for fresh flowers) and picked up a bunch of blooms in all shades of orange. I thought the orange would really pop against the blues.
Orange roses and greenery
We found lots of wild orange lilies growing in my in-laws’ yard, so Weston and I picked a bunch…
Wild orange lilies
And I gathered all my mother-in-law’s spare vases and glassware and started playing. First I filled the little white pots with orange roses. I like to cut the flowers just slightly taller than the pots so you focus on those gorgeous blooms, and not on the stems.
Filling a vase with orange roses
Once they were full of roses, I added some greenery too.
Filling a vase with roses and greenery

Then I just got carried away and couldn’t stop playing with flowers and vases. I found a set of matching vases in her basement which I filled with little clementine oranges.
Vase of oranges
And added lilies and carnations.
Vase with clementine oranges, lilies and carnations

Look at all that fun orange freshness just hanging out on the counter while I played!
Orange Flower Display
Here’s my favorite one! It’s a trick! It looks like a standing bouquet of carnations…
Standing Carnation Display
But it’s really this extra vase I found…
rectangular glass vase
Filled with water and carnations…
Standing Carnation Display
I used the rubber band that came off the bouquets:

Wrapped it around the vase, and cut carnation stems the height of the vase, then stuck them under the rubber band:

Then I covered the rubber band with a stray piece of ribbon I dug up in my mother-in-law’s basement. Ta-da! Cool, right? It’s magic.

Then suddenly it was like 1 a.m. and I had run out of flowers and it was way past my bedtime so I finally stopped.

But look how pretty everything turned out! I love how the orange roses popped against the navy tablecloths at the shower.
Orange Rose Centerpiece on Navy Tablecloth
My mother-in-law and sis-in-law had also set up this fancy candy table. So cute, right?
Baby Shower Candy Table DisplayBaby Shower It's a Boy Candy Table Favor Decorations
The shower was a great success and the mama-to-be got lots of goodies for the little one.

Plus we had so much fun on our trip. Weston got to fly the airplane. Only for a minute though. Apparently they frown on that kinda thing.

When we got to the airport and he saw his Grammy on the other side of security, Weston took off running toward her, they embraced, and it was this very emotional, slow-motion hollywood-style moment.

Weston and his baby sister played in the kiddy pool at their grandparents’ house.

And Weston got to go fishing in their pond…
Mila got some good cuddle time with her new unborn cousin…

And we all braved the otherworldly heat to spend some time on Lake Huron.

But we’re back now!

What would you have done with a white-pot centerpiece challenge? Do you have as much fun playing with flowers and vases as I do? Would you let your toddler fly a commercial jet?

Let's connect


  1. The centerpieces came out great, Kelly. Love that color combination of the orange with the blue – so pretty and festive! Way to meet the challenge. Sounds like a great visit with your family!!

  2. I did my previous guest room in that orange and blue combo. With willow plates, jars and accents it really does pop. I love the way you turned the candlestick into the platform. Can you also put the bowl on top and fill with dip? candy? more flowers? a fat candle holder?

    I don’t know about a toddler flying a plane, but I would let her steer a cruise ship!!

    • Oh SO smart! I knew there had to be other good uses for them but I couldn’t come with anything. Steering a cruise ship sounds like a fun toddler activity!

  3. I have seen that Hollywood style, post security reunion so many times…it never gets old. : ) And I love your carnation trick! And I love orange. Beautiful! My 24 hour attempt would not have turned out so nice…

  4. I LOVE orange and blue together like that! My college roommate did it for her wedding (those same shades of those colors too!). So you survived our crazy Michigan heat, huh? Take it back south with you please!!

  5. everything looks awesome! but how did you get those flowers to just STAND UP LIKE THAT?!?!? 😉 seriously fabulous job and looks like some great family time! 🙂

  6. The centerpieces look great! Nice last minute decorating! Looks like you had a fun trip! Oh and I’m pretty sure Mila has doubled in size since I saw her???

  7. What would I do? Probably brainstorm (maybe do some pinteresting) and come up with grand ideas for about 22 hours, then I’d unleash a storm of panic fueled creative energy that would surely suck in innocent bystanders. Eventually (like 1.5 minutes before the event started and I hadn’t showered yet) I’d execute the simplest of my ideas in a way that I’d feel 50% good about…which is all a long way of saying, wow, good for you! Way to pull it off with style! And with a newborn to care for no less. Kudos….I seriously can’t get enough of navy and orange lately so I loved all your arrangements.

  8. You did an awesome job on such short notice! Incredible! 🙂

  9. I love it all!! Those standing carnations are the bestest!!

  10. WOWOWWWOW, I love everything you did, and how resourceful it all was. The elevated dollar-store (!) holders are perfect and really jazzed up the pots. The flower arrangements are beautiful and I LOVE LOVE the carnation trick. So much so, that I want to try it!! The picture of Weston running to gmom is perfect.

  11. I would most definitely let my toddler fly an airplane, I just might not fly along with him, and I have no idea what I would of done on the spot with centerpieces, but I’d eat the candy at the candy bar for sure. Oh, and nice Lake Huron bikini.


  12. Love the color combo, Kelly! Nothing like the chance for a decor blogger to play, is there? Glad y’all had a great trip!
    xo Heidi

  13. those stand up carnation centrepieces are brilliant! Love that.

  14. I am so impressed! You work well under pressure!! Love your ideas and the color combinations! Loved meeting you at Haven, too!!

  15. I honestly can’t wait to host a shower of some kind so that I can DECORATE! I would have gone crazy like you and been unable to stop. I love the color combo you ended up with!

    And I don’t know about a toddler in an airplane, but how about a toddler in a jet pack? 😉

  16. Gah, love it. You are so talented! The orange and blue together are so pretty.


  1. […] done a lot of lazing outside in our beautifully designed and expertly landscaped backyard pool. We went to Michigan and vacationed in Florida. Uh oh, I feel an involuntary spewing of vacation photos coming on… […]

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