Lampshade Centerpiece


roll037-0004We still get calls from brides and florists around the country – indeed, around the world – asking us about the centerpieces in our City Chic Gallery which were featured in the Fall/Winter ’07 issue of Grace Ormonde.  We don’t offer them for sale (at the moment), but they’re not difficult to recreate.  Of course, that being said, I wouldn’t recommend a Bride actually try to arrange lampshade centerpieces for 15 tables on her wedding day.  I will, however, explain how to recreate the look….

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The square vases can be purchased at any floral supply store or Michaels craft store.  Be sure they’re high enough for your guests to see through – at least 23″ tall by 4″ square.  Jamaligarden.com sells them online.

Just Shades in NYC makes custom lampshades.  For the tall square vase specified, order a 12 x 12 x 10 cube shade.  If you’re using real candle light, as we did, tell them you won’t need the inside frame and ask them to recommend a fire-proof fabric or paper.  Feel free to customize with your own fabrics, colors and trim.  We selected a neutral to create a clean aesthetic and reflect the gradual lighting changes as each dinner course changed.  Below is the same room in pink.

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Once you’ve selected your shade and vase, you’ll need to order the crucial piece of the puzzle.  Custom order a square or round plate from Canal Plastics which should be made exactly the same diameter as the bottom of your lampshade.  Ask for frosted or a color to match your decor so your guests won’t see the mechanics of the centerpiece, and keep it as thin as possible while still supporting the weight of the candles and shade.

Now that you’ve got your ingredients, you’re ready to assemble.  This should be done on the day of the wedding to avoid damage during transport. 

1.  Place the tray on the vase to determine the center and lightly mark the spots where it will sit on the corners of the vase.

2. Use a clear liquid adhesive or High Tack or Super Tack Glue Dots to attach the lampshade to the clear plastic tray. 

3.  If you choose to submerge flowers, remember to fill the vase with water and add the flowers before adhering the tray to the top of the vase.  We submerged white Dendrobium orchid stems but you can use just about anything that strikes your fancy and works with your decor. 

4.  Place glue dots on the bottom of 12 votive candles and place them inside the lampshade on the tray.  If your venue is candle shy, try http://www.save-on-crafts.com for a great choice of battery operated candles and LED lights.

5.  Enhance with other candle light and small floral arrangements around the base to compliment the look.

Check out www.lampsplus.com line of Art Shades – there’s such a great selection.   Here are some of my favorites.  I could design a different event around each one of these:

For tree huggers….

Butterfly Scroll Opaque Giclee Lamp Shade 13x13x10 (Spider)

Stacy Garcia Forest Ice Opaque Shade 13x13x10 (Spider)

Stacy Garcia Twiggy Spring Opaque Giclee Shade 13x13x10 (Spider)

For the traditionalist…

Ivory and Blue Tapestry Giclee Shade 13x13x10 (Spider)

Lemon Interlace Giclee Opaque Drum Shade 13x13x10 (Spider)

White Splash On Grey Opaque Giclee Shade 13x13x10 (Spider)

For a splash of color…

Midnight Baroque Opaque Giclee Shade 13x13x10 (Spider)

Orange Red Balls Opaque Giclee Lamp Shade 13x13x10 (Spider)

Blue Stripe Giclee  Opaque Drum Shade 13x13x10 (Spider)

Bold Pink Stripe Opaque Giclee Shade 13x13x10 (Spider)

Bold Lime Green Stripe Opaque Giclee Shade 13x13x10 (Spider)

For the retro look….

Dots and Waves Opaque Giclee Shade 13x13x10 (Spider)

Stacy Garcia Avocado Stripe Giclee Shade 13x13x10 (Spider)

If you opt for a round shade, I suggest a round vase as the base. 

If you give this a try, email me a picture to let me know how it turned out.

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97 comments

  1. i would love to see a top part kit (round & square)… starting with neutral shades :) I know a lot of brides could/would either get the vases from me or from a craft store like you mentioned and it would save on shipping across the country (I’m in TX).

    Thanks!!

    • Hi Kristen and thanks for your comment. The challenge with your suggestion is that the “top part kit”, namely the shades and connecting pieces, need to be sized proportionately to the vase in use. One inch larger or smaller makes a huge difference for both balance and aesthetics. I will keep thinking about it. In the meantime, please keep the ideas coming and thanks again for dropping me a line!

  2. Lindsey

    I would love love love to purchase these! I have been looking online for them. Please email me and let me know. I need 11 or so.

    Thanks

    • Hi Lindsey,

      Are you planning to have round or long tables? If they’re long, what width? 30? 36? 42? 48? That will determine the size of the vase and the shade, etc.

      Once I have that info, I can tell you which vases to purchase directly so you can save money and I will quote you a price for the shade and the connecting piece.

      Look forward to hearing from you.

      • Patricia Citizen

        If I’m going to use round 60″ tables what size round vase do I need to use? And what type of shade ? Also can you send me a picture of the connecting piece and the price of the info that I need and where I can purchase it Im in Houston, Texas

        • Hello Patricia. For a 60″ round, it depends on what look you’re going for. I would not go less than 15″ for the shade, or more than 30″. The vase would depend on the proportion of the shade, but try to keep it as narrow as possible to keep the conversation flowing from one side of the table to the other, while also making sure that there is sufficient balance for a larger shade if someone accidentally knocks into the table. Good luck!

  3. I’m looking to recreate/purchase something similar to this. My main concern before i go ahead is how do you get the flower to not ‘float up’? If it is long enought and the vase narrow enough does it just stay, or do you need to glue it to the bottom?

    • Good question, Kristle. Keeping flowers afloat is actually harder than keeping them submerged so you shouldn’t have too much trouble. We used Dendrobium Orchid stems which are long and have a lot of blossoms. They also come in a variety of color options and are cost effective.

  4. Joleen

    Hi –

    If I am using one of the art shades that is 13.5″ round by 10″ high, what size vase would you recommend. It would be on a 60″ round table or a similar size square table.

    Thanks.

    Joleen

    • Hi Joleen, sorry for the delay getting back to you. I’m on vacation this week and having some wifi issues. I suggest at least 23 or 24 inches for height so your guests can converse – line of sight is so important for centerpieces – and a minimum of 4″ for stability. You might consider alternation between round and square vases, depending on your table shape. Good luck!

  5. Aida

    Hello,

    I really love this idea of the lamp shade, however, I’m not to keen on the vase part of it. Is there any other way to incorporate the lamp shape, without the vase? I’m looking for a classy, elegant look…

  6. Hello Aida. Good question. I would probably start by looking at inexpensive table lamps. You can pull out the wires and modify it slightly to accomodate the shade I described in this article. If you’re not crafty, take it to the local lighting store and ask them to help.

    Another option is to use the lamp as is, drill a hole through the center of your tables and use a low voltage or flicker bulb during the event. You’ll need to cover the bottom of the shade so your guests aren’t looking at a light bulb all night.

    Just remember to select a base that will not obstruct your guests views or conversation.

    Lampsplus.com has an extensive collection at a variety of prices. Good luck!

  7. Nicole

    Hi! I have been looking everywhere for instructions for these so thanks so much for posting!! How do you secure the lampshade/tray to the top of the vase? Does it just sit on top?

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  9. Tonya

    I loved the lampshade centerpiece. I was wondering what size vase and lampshade if I was using a 5foot or 6foot round table?

    • A 5″ round is a 60″ table that seats 10. A 6′ round is a 72″ table that seats 12. The size of the lampshade would depend entirely on the look you want. Your lampshade can be as small as 14″ or big as 30″ but you’ll need to increase the size of your vase to accomodate for balance and stability. Consider using a footed vase (wide base) if you increase the size of the lampshade. Also, if you’re using charger plates (also known as a show plate) on each setting, factor in the diameter – they can be anywhere from 10.75″ to 14″, depending on your selection. You’ll also need room for glassware and any B&B plate (bread and butter), plus ancillary flower arrangements or votive candles around the base. As you can see, there are a number of factors involved in the design of each table, so there are no hard and fast rules, only a sense of proportion. If you’re planning to do this yourself (oy vey), I highly recommend setting the table (including glasses, dishes, flatware, napkins) to see how it all works together. Good luck!

  10. Frugal Fabulous

    Love love love this idea! I want to re-create it for my October wedding, I just can’t wrap my head around how you secure the lampshade to the vase & plastic plate that holds the candles? I can’t picture it in my head since usually a lampshade on has the metal framing coming towards the middle which “normally” attaches to the bulb etc..Can you explain?

    • We had these lampshades custom made so there was no metal frame inside. The lucite shelf can adhere to the vase and the lampshade with sticky dots or sticky wax (both tools of the trade).

  11. Nicola

    This is so lovely and chic. I have started purchasing the various pieces but I have two questions. First, did you use any lighting in the base of the vase? Also, do you think square vases must be accompanied by square shades?

    • We did not light the vase. The lucite tables were lit, which added to the drama and glow.

      No, square vases do not need to be accompanied by square shades. I personally feel square shades work better on rectangular tables and rounds shades work better on rounds, but that’s just my opinion.

  12. Tammy

    What size vase and lampshade would you recommended for a 60 round. I read you prefer round vase and lamp shade. Have you started to sell these yet?

    • There are many proportions that work for a 60″ round. It depends a great deal on your personal preference. If you are using charger plates or other smaller arrangements around the base of the table, go smaller (around 20″ diameter). If not, you can go as big as 30″ diameter for a very oversized look but the vase would need to be higher and wider to accomodate balance and proportion.

      We’re still not selling these because our cost to produce and ship them is high. If you’re in New York or the surrounding area, you can rent something similar from http://luxeeventrentals.com

  13. T

    Is it possible to just order the shades and from you? I Love and want these particular ones but cant find them anywhere online. Although i’ve only been looking for about 2 days but still.
    if not can you refer me to a website.
    thanks,
    T

  14. Andrea Simmons

    Where do you get the lamp shades; I would love to buy the square kit from you guys; I like one stop shops;
    Andrea

  15. sheri

    where can i find the tall vases for a reasonable price..i would like to recreate this look but i dont want to spend alot either…help!

  16. jessica

    LOVE THIS CENTERPIECE!! I’ve been trying to find a shade dealer in Toronto, and I’ve been quite unsuccessful. How much do you think this would cost for around 35-40 shades? I would really like this look for my wedding next October.

  17. Sherri Brown

    Hi,
    I love this idea fro my mother’s 70th birthday party. I already purchased three hurricanes from savon-crafts with dimensions below. Do you think the lampshades work work with this style vases. If so could I purchase the plate and shades from you. the event is October 16th 2010. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you,
    Sherri Brown

    Stands 16″ tall

    Top opening diameter: 7.5″ Base diameter 6″

  18. sheri andrews

    i emailed before…i only need 5 lampshades with vase and plate…how much would that run me…ive had a hard time finding the lampdshade for a decent price….help …lol…wedding nov.13, 2010

    • It’s a common misconception that lampshade centerpieces are less expensive than flowers. As you’re unfortunately learning, they are the same and sometimes more costly. The more you buy, the better the discount. When we first made these in 2005, they cost around $225 each, plus the cost of the flowers and candles which we arranged around the base. I have been speaking to the shade manufacturer about offering a discount to In Any Event based on the amount of inquiries we’ve received, but I fear most people are expecting a much lower cost.

  19. Sue

    Hi,

    I love these centerpieces and am trying to recreate. I bought a 24inch tall round vase. My lamp shade is 5in top dia, 10in bottom di and 7in height. Will this work or should I get a different shape of lampshade? My tables are oval, and sit 10-12 people.

    • Those sound small to me, especially since oval tables are usually larger and seat up to 14 people (I know you said yours seat 10 – 12). You might try a rectangular or oval shade to mimic the length and shape of the table. Certainly I think 7″ height on the lampshade is much too short. Ours were 14″.

  20. Kittieswed

    I would lovve these I saw you pics on another blog and have been feverishly trying to find the lampshades

    So far i found one place in north Jersey the can custom make the shades. I live in North Jersey and work in the city,do you rent or sell your shades

  21. jessica

    No, Just the Shade
    the plexiglass I can have someone custom cut the shape, the vase I have already found. This shade is driving me nuts!

  22. Margaret

    I am using 2 bar height 8 ft white tables pushed together to form a long royal communal type table and am wondering how many lampshades and tablescapes of 2 hydrangea cubes and 2 frosted votives you would recommend per 8 ft white table. Also, did you use real candles for all of the votives or are there any LED lights at all??

    • We used only 1 lampshade centerpiece for each 8′ table but if you are pushing 2 together, you might consider having 3 in total, with 4 hydrangea arangements spaced between, and 2 frosted votives for each lampshade centerpiece. We used real candles, but this was a few years ago. There are a lot of wonderful LED options out there. Try http://www.save-on-crafts.com….they‘ve got a wide assortment. Send us a photo to share how it turned out!

      • Margaret

        Thanks so much for responding. There will be 4 total 8 ft table…each as 2 8ft tables, bar height pushed together. The 3rd lampshade would end up being placed at the crease of the 2 tables, so i am not sure how stable that would be, especially at bar height? If I do use 3 lamphades per 16 ft section, you mentioned spacing 4 hydrangea cubes between them…how would you space them?
        Would you use flickering LED votives? Do you think the small glass votives would look ok if they were LEDs??
        Thanks!

  23. Kathy Gardner

    Hello, what a beautiful job! I am having a balck and white wedding at chelsea piers in new york. We are doing white ostrich feather arrangements on 6 tables and the other 6 I was thinking of doing these lamps. The main colors again are black and white (damask print in particular) and fuschia flowers. I calle Just shades but the shades are extremely expensive. I have a standard round table and I really dont think I need a very large shade. The standard shade at just shades NY is $69.. do you know where I could get them cheaper? Also the attachment kits I cannot find either.. and I really don’t understand them!! Please help!! If you could email me I would love to discuss options…

    Thanks!
    kathleen.gardner@nomura.com

  24. Bal Masque

    Hello – I am in need of any ideas for a Phantom of the Opera themed centerpiece. Our theme colors are gold, black, creme and a splash of red. I have two challenges: budget and visuals. The tables will be rectangular, seat about 8 ppl and will need to have 100% visibility for the Phantom performance for the evening. This means my original idea for a candelbra won’t fly. Any suggestions you may have would be greatly appreciated!

    • Depending on your venue, you can suspend an oversized lampshade above each table. Instead of electrifying them, which will probably cost more, try using LED lighting. Google out Save On Crafts. Good luck!

  25. Krystle

    Hi my name is krystle and i really love this center piece i will be having 30 round tables and was wondering where i could find the shade and attaching piece or if you sold them?? thank you

        • You can rent the entire centerpiece from Luxe Event Rentals, or you can buy the shades and plexi from Just Shades in NYC. These centerpieces require quite a bit of assembly which is precise and takes time, so with 30 tables, I suggest hiring someone to facilitate it for you. Good luck.

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  27. Michelle

    I LOVE these centerpieces and working on making 10 for my wedding this fall.

    Question about the adhesive to stick the plate/lamp shade onto the vase — Will it be removeable? I want to borrow my vases from my florist and don’t want the lamp shade permanently stuck on…

  28. Annie

    What shade dimensions would you recommend for a 12″ H 2×2 square vase? My wedding venue is small so I opted for the shorter vases.

    • 12″ vases are too low. Your guests view of other guests at the table will be blocked. If you want lower centerpieces, they should not be higher than 14″ in total. In this case, lampshade centerpieces may not be the answer for you.

  29. Hi!! I am IN LOVE!!!! Totally changed my wedding centerpieces to these-totally gorgeous! I have some tall hurricanes that I was going to use as my base-will this work? I’m not sure of the size, but can I get the rest of the materials from you? How does the lamp shade stay on the base (or in my case the hurricane)? If you could please help me I would so greatly appreciate it! Thank you so much for posting these!!!

    • Thanks Jamie. In this article, I’ve explained the logistics of attaching the lampshade to the base. Unfortunately, we don’t currently offer these for sale, but you can get the lampshades from Just Shades in NYC. They can also sell you the plexi piece that sits between the lampshade and the hurricane. One note about the hurricane – they are usually wide – sometimes too wide for conversation across a dinner table. Good luck!

  30. Sophie

    Hey there, was wondering how large you could go with a shade with having this 4in diameter base? My tables are 6 foot rounds and I’m wanting to use a round drum shade. Do you think a 15in shade would be sturdy enough for this base? A foot wide seems much too small for this large of a table…. thanks for your time! :)

  31. Sophie

    Do you think glass cut circles would work the same as the plastic? I know it’s a bit heavier…but from a cost perspective it’s much more affordable. Do you think with a 16″ shade it would be sturdy enough on this 4″ base? Also with candles? The shades i’ve found are 3 pounds each, and of course i’ll have the weight of the candles as well…thoughts? Please and thank you!

  32. Dameon Harris

    So if there isn’t metal wiring inside, then how do you make the lamp shades stay on the vases. I called Lamp Plus and the said use the clip on lamp shades. Is that correct??

  33. Sophie

    so how do you get the whole thing taken apart when you’re done? and what kind of glue, specifically, do you recommend using, and where can I find it? Please and thank you!

    • Hi Sophie,

      I mentioned the Glue options in point number two of this article, so feel free to go back and google those. As far as taking them apart, I’m afraid I can’t help you there. Once they’re together, that’s how they should be kept and stored. Good luck.

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    • Please take a moment to research the various glue options I recommended. They are available at most florist supply stores or even some hardware stores. The plexi plate that holds the shade adheres to the glass vase with glue dots which you can pull apart.

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  36. Tammy

    I was thinking about the 60″ round table option…you probably don’t have the exact measurements since you used the square ones…you said of course depends on what else is going on the table? I will have charger plates and of course glassware. So you said consider 20″ in diameter..was this in reference to the shade? what about the vase? I know you said at least 23″ for conversation which makes sense. I just don’t want things not balanced. I LOVE the square look and have already located vendors to get that from, but am not sure how the square ensemble will look on round tables? any suggestions?

    • Hi Tammy,

      It’s nearly impossible to offer design advice regarding the balance of the table without seeing what you’re considering. My advice is to create a sample table, and play with it until it “feels” right. The reason why I suggest no more than a 20″ shade for a 60″ round, is that it leaves you another 20″ for the charger plate and glassware (visually) outside the shade, if you get my meaning. Make sure your vase has the ability to balance the shade – I’d say no less than 6″ diameter. If you love the square look, you might consider renting square tables. But there are drawbacks – linens must be custom made and therefore more expensive, and seating for your guests would be 3-2-3-2 alternating sides.

  37. Penny Terstriep

    Hi,
    I want to do black round lamp shades. Would you suggest black plexiglass? Also, would it look ok to do half table with the lamps and the other with floral arrangement?
    30 Rounds with 10 to a table.
    Thank you…PT

  38. Kobe Johnson

    How much would it be to purchase shades from you. I am using a 4 X 23 cylinder vase and as of right now I would need 12. I live in Lexington, KY. I would need the shades to be white.

    • Not at the moment. Most people seem to want a lower price point than I am able to offer. You can purchase the shades from Just Shades in NYC. I think he’s selling them for around $70 each.

  39. gerimac

    I am feeling remedial. But I am going to ask this question anyway. Does the plexiglass tray have sides that the shade attaches to OR is it a flat tray and all you do is place the glue dots and position the shade on the tray itself because it doesn’t have sides. If it does have sides, does the shade attach to the inside or outside of the sides?

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  41. Terre

    I will be decorating 30″ x 8 foot rectangular tables, seating 4 people on each side. What size vases and shades should I use? Thank you so much for your help!

    • Sorry for the delay responding. Death in the family. For a long table, you could do any number of things. The photo on this blog showed one lampshade centerpiece which was a 14″ square on an 8′ long x 42″ wide table. You could reduce to 12 x 12 for a 30″. Either I would do a rectangular shade on two vases, or I would do 5 small ones down the center of the table, using a telescoping lamp which is very thin in the shaft. Ikea has them for very little money (I think $20 each) but you would need to replace their shade with smaller custom.

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