Here’s a simple patriotic centerpiece I made from some old glass bottles, a little spray paint, and a few carnations.
I save glass bottles. It’s a little bit of an obsession. There are so many cool shapes and sizes, it just seems a waste to throw them away. Any time we finish a drink, condiment, or other food in a glass bottle, I wash it out and remove the labels. Usually just soaking it in soapy water and scrubbing it is enough to get the label off. For extra sticky ones, I use Goo Gone.
I used several of my glass bottles to create today’s red, white, and blue centerpiece for a barbecue we were hosting. I used spray paint to make two bottles white, two bottles silver, and three bottles blue. I sprayed several light coats to make the color solid. I was happy that the paint covered even the green bottle well.
After spray painting all seven, I realized the bottles looked painted. They’d lost their beautiful glass look. So, I found a triple-thick glaze spray that’s supposed to make anything look like glazed ceramic. I don’t think they look ceramic, but the glaze definitely brought back the bottles’ glassy shine, which was perfect.
I bought a carnation to go in each bottle. Any red flower would have worked, but carnations look a little like fireworks, so they seemed the most appropriate. I learned from the florist, that carnations need to be “fluffed” or opened. Basically that means that if the carnation is still closed up, you use your fingers to gently open and fluff the petals.
I put a carnation in each bottle. I was really happy with my simple red, white, and blue display. At least from this top view.
But once I put the bottles on the back of my piano to display them, and looked at them straight on, I realized they looked a little sparse. The bottles are narrow, so they can’t hold much, but one flower just did not look like enough.
I cut some stems from my garden that have a reddish tinge and shoved a few leaves into each bottle. It wasn’t much filler, but it added enough volume to fill out my display.
The centerpiece sat as a display on the back of my piano for a few days before the party, so I added a few more red, white, and blue accessories to finish off the look.
On the afternoon of the barbecue, I put all of the bottles in the center of our outdoor table. The centerpiece added height and color to the table, and made the whole meal very festive.
After our meal was over, I put all of the carnations in two of the larger bottles and gave them to our guests to take home. That made a great ending to a fun meal with friends.