Tada! Here is my first centerpiece. Sorry for the long tease, but I wanted to be sure.

I wanted the centerpieces to (be):
1. Affordable
2. Low - to not interfere with conversation at guest tables
3. Fit the theme (Chinese Tea)
4. Reusable for the most part
5. Easy to transport and set up
6. Incorporate something with life (flowers or plants)
7. Include candles as part of the centerpiece (as oppose to just adding votives around the piece)
8. Unique

I purchased 7 of these ceramic tea sets. Evolution of mockup is pictured as follows:

Version #1:
Added red velvet liner, red tealights, silk red hydrangea (meant to be replaced by real flowers later) to the original tea set Version #2:
Replaced velvet liner with red beans to add texture
Version #3:
Swapped silk flower with fresh carnation
Final Version:
Used large silk flower to place in tray instead of in pot

So my final version does not satisfy criteria #6 above. Hey, you win some, you lose some. Not having to set up real flowers on the day of and not worrying about the real flowers wilting under the sun is more than likely going to be worth the sacrifice. Remember that the details should be fun! I also dig the look of the flower on the side, at the same time it keeps the teapot much more defined. The carnation just kinda 'took-over', don't you think?

Cost Breakdown:
- Tea sets - Average $9 per set*
- Tea lights - $0.16 for 4**
- Red beans - $0.50 per half bag
- Silk Ranunculus - $1.00***
TOTAL: $10.66 per centerpiece

* Tea sets retails $24.99 but I purchased them from various stores (Amazon, Ross, Le Gourmet Chef) on sale.
** Red tea lights were on clearance (90% off).
*** Silk Rannunculus also on clearnace (75% off)

Cheap Tip #81: Keep an open mind. A centerpiece, for example, can be as imaginative as you can be! Look around you for things with potential and always remember that you have options.

Keep it locked here for the next decor installment to check out Centerpiece Version 2.0, and find out why that table name card looks so darn familiar!

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