Floral centerpieces are a conventional sight on bridal shower tables, but fresh flowers can put a dent in one’s budget – particularly when there are several tables to decorate. Why not craft an alternative centerpiece, using whimsical and unique items like candy sachets in place of flowers, to lend charm to a bridesmaids’ luncheon or afternoon tea party?
Trying out a different twist on a classic idea can be a fun challenge. So for this alternative centerpiece, the Italian torte bomboniere is given a makeover. The traditional torte bomboniere consists of triangular cake boxes arranged in layers and placed side by side to mimic the appearance of one large cake.
As a variation of this classic Italian treat, ordinary square boxes are assembled and adorned with colorful floral sachets, ribbons, and candy. This centerpiece can even be crafted out of used gift boxes, provided they are clean and unmarked and still in good shape.
Materials you will need:
- Boxes – in three different sizes
- Removable tape
- Tape measure
- Scissors – preferably a pair that can cut fabric ribbons cleanly
- Candy – saltwater taffy in pastel colors
- Candy sachets – such as flower-shaped favor bags
- White card stock paper – cut into 3” x 2” pieces
- Marker pen
- Fabric ribbons
Step 1: Collect and lay out all of your materials on a table.
For this project, three boxes in different sizes are needed to create the tiers for the centerpiece. Prepare fabric ribbons, flower-shaped favor bags, and candies to decorate each tier.
Step 2: Determine the length of the ribbon that will be used to decorate the sides of each box.
Begin by measuring the perimeter of each box in order to determine the length of the ribbon that will be wrapped around each one. The following are the dimensions of the sample boxes:
- 1st level (base) – Box size: 12″ x 13″ x 4″
- 2nd level (mid-section) – Box size: 7″ x 7″ x 4″
- 3rd level (top-section) – Box size: 4″ x 4″ x 2″
Step 3: Wrap the ribbons around the base of the boxes and then stack the boxes according to size.
Cut the fabric ribbons to the proper length, then tape them around the base of each box. Afterwards, assemble the boxes in a stack, with the largest box positioned at the bottom of the stack.
To hold the boxes together and prevent them from shifting, tape the sides of each box to the layer underneath it with transparent tape.
Step 4: Add the decorations when the boxes have been stacked and centered properly.
When the boxes have been properly assembled, the flower-shaped candy sachets may then be arranged atop each tier—much like the gumpaste or sugar flowers that dot a towering fondant cake. A single candy sachet tops the centerpiece, with a tent card made of textured paper tucked between its petals. This card could feature the table name or number written in a swirling typeface and trimmed with a pretty border.
Step 5: Incorporate more ornamentation between each decoration.
In the gaps between the rows of sachets, scatter individual taffy candies in vari-colored wrappers, allowing the candy wrappers to extend beyond the edge of each layer for a casual effect. Alternatively, the candies may be clustered around the base of the centerpiece, creating the impression of the “cake” centerpiece settled in a nest of decorative “frosting” formed by the candies.
Tips To Take with You:
- To give the centerpiece a softer appearance, circular or oval-shaped boxes may be used. An interesting interplay of shapes could also be achieved with triangular or octagonal boxes—or with boxes in three different shapes. For example, the base layer could be a rectangular box, followed by a circular box, and topped off with a triangular box.
- Striped boxes are an attractive alternative, especially if they are topped with solid-colored lids, giving the appearance of a thick layer of frosting on each tier.
- To craft a grander, more impressive centerpiece, larger boxes may be substituted, or more layers may be added to construct a truly towering centerpiece.
- As a money-saving tip, old boxes kept in storage around the house may be used. These can be covered up with gift wrap or patterned fabric in designs and colors that complement the color palette of the celebration.
- Satin ribbons provide delicate trimmings for each box. The visual appeal of these trimmings can be further enhanced, however, with intricately decorated lace, shimmery organza ribbons, satin ribbons with glittery or beaded borders, or textured ribbons with elaborate patterns.
- Apart from using candies to decorate each layer, other items such as confetti, sequins, or faux pearls can be sprinkled between each flower-shaped sachet. For a stylishly decorative flair, fluffy marabou feathers in white or cream could be taped to each box. The fluttering of these feathers in the lightest breeze would provide an additional dimension of motion to the centerpiece.
- Candies that come in a medley of delectable colors lend an appetizing appeal to the display. Ideal treats would be pink marshmallow hearts, white Jordan almonds, gold-wrapped chocolates in the shape of hearts, stars, or flowers, and mints in pastel colors like baby pink, ice blue, lemon yellow, and mint green.
- Arranging the flower-shaped sachets in alternating colors results in a more dynamic look for the centerpiece. The card at its top could also be decorated with markers in bright colors like pink, baby blue, or fuchsia, or printed with cheery designs and adorned with flowers and ribbons.