And we’re not talking about some fruit baskets filled with pineapples and a scattering of seashells here. We mean a towering tropical table centerpiece featuring two entire coconut trees!
Cut the florist’s foam with a floral knife into an oval shape, approximately 18″ long and 12″ wide or depending on the size of your table.
Gently shape the top of the foam so that the edges slope downward, giving the effect of an “island.” Paint it green. Insert the cans a few inches into these holes, and secure with a glue gun. Cut semi-circular shapes (in decreasing sizes) out of cardboard, chipboard, or box board.
Start attaching the rolled semi-circles end-to-end, alternating olive and brown pieces as you go. As you attach each succeeding piece, gradually curve the way you glue them to make the trunk look natural. Keep adding pieces until you have a trunk approximately 24 inches in length—wider at the bottom end and narrower at the top. Then, insert the wide ends of the two trunks over the Pringles® cans, and hot glue their bases.
For added support, insert 3 to 4 bamboo sticks around each trunk and tie securely with raffia. If available, you can even add some pieces of real banana or coconut leaves.
Finally, leave the raffia ties casually disarrayed for an authentic look.) You’ll be making 8 leaves (4 per tree) using 12 or 14 gauge wire and crepe paper in orange and yellow. Be sure to leave one end of the wire bare, as this will be used to attach the leaf to the trunk. Take a length of crepe paper, about 2 inches wide, and pinch and glue it in place to cover the wire.
You may use a contrasting color of crepe paper (ex: orange on yellow), if desired. – Carefully trim the edges of each leaf so that it takes on the shape of a coconut tree leaf—with each end coming to a gentle point.
– Gently bend the wire “rib” of each leaf to make it look less stiff and create a natural curve. Insert the wire ends of each leaf into the foam and secure them with hot glue. Use raffia or more crepe paper to hide any gaps where the leaves meet the trunks.
Take the 17″ organza wraps in burnt orange and/or olive green.
Fill each wrap with tissue paper and add some candy (for a surprise), then gather and tie it to form a ball shape with a ruffle on top. Hint: at the conclusion of the party, let guests know that they can “pick” the fruits from the tree.
This one-of-a-kind “tropical island” centerpiece is sure to draw gasps of delight from your engagement party guests.