My husband and I wanted the centerpieces for our wedding to add a little fun to the day and show off our nerdy sides. To do this we came up with a list of all the things we love and ways we could represent them. Luckily, my husband had a Loot Crate subscription for a few years and amassed a collection of random nerdy toys that were perfect for our plans. Sadly, the Millennium Falcon I got for Christmas when I was a little girl wouldn’t fit in a vase. You win some, you lose some.
We started the project with wide cylinder vases that I picked up from a Libby Glass Factory Outlet store. The vases came in boxes of two, and the boxes themselves were invaluable for storing and transporting the finished centerpieces. We then collected the toys and materials we would need, found a couple of glue guns, and got to work. The whole thing became a family affair, and my parents, my husband, and I had a blast putting these together. I had more fun with this project than anything else we worked on for the wedding (except maybe the cake).
This is part one of a two-part series on how we made our nerdy wedding centerpieces. Check out the second post Nerdy Wedding Centerpieces Pt. 2, where I talk about creating centerpieces themed around Super Mario Bros., Fallout, The Legend of Zelda, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. For this first half, we got crafty with themes from Star Trek, Marvel, Firefly, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Supernatural, and the Pathfinder roleplaying game.
Tribbles (Star Trek: The Original Series)
This one was the easiest of bunch. To “create” the tribbles, I bought a package of 12 fake fur pom poms and threw them in the vase. When I say throw, I mean this rather literally, as it made the arrangement look more natural and less squished-in. This centerpiece was one of my favorites. Very few people knew what it was, making it that much more fun.
My husband received the Doctor Strange figurine from a Loot Crate. For the base, we cut a piece of cardboard to fit the bottom of the vase, then painted it to look like stone. We hot glued the figurine to the cardboard so he wouldn’t move around.
Later, I went online and found a picture of the symbols used in the recent movie for his spells. I printed those symbols on clear sticker paper, let them dry, and applied them to the inside of the vase. I think the spells look cool in the photograph, but they look much cooler in person.
Baby Groot (Guardians of the Galaxy)
Baby Groot is my absolute favorite centerpiece. I used a Baby Groot bobble head from Funko POP! that normally sits on my desk at work.
Finding cassette tapes in 2018 was really the hard part for this one, but my aunt found just enough of them stashed away in her basement to make it work. For the most part, I just stacked the tapes up and put Baby Groot on top, but it was important to make sure there was a relatively flat base for the figurine to stand on.
If the cassette tapes had been mine, I would have hot glued them all together. Because the tapes were left loose, we had to rearrange this one the day of the wedding. I was trying to avoid that, and would recommend you do too (if you can).
Though I loved the idea for this one, it was my least favorite. We ended up with one more centerpiece than we needed by the day of the wedding, so this one didn’t make it to a table. The dinosaurs were just a little too big, but slightly smaller dinos would have made this one a success.
To start, I stole the paper money from Firefly: The Game and arranged the bills at the bottom of the vase. (Side Note: This is an awesome game and you should try it if you are into Firefly.) The Dollar Tree had dinosaurs that looked right so I bought them and put them on top of the bills.
I printed “Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal” on clear sticker paper and cut it out. I wrapped the sticker around the vase so you could read it from the front of the centerpiece and angled them a bit to cover more empty space.
This one really didn’t photograph well, it is much cuter in person. I cut a piece of crafting moss (bought at Joann Fabrics) and fit it to the bottom of the vase to look like grass. My mom randomly had this tree in her Halloween supplies that resembles the whomping willow, so we added that for height and a pop of color.
I bought figurines for Harry, Hermione, Ron, and a dementor from Target, and hot glued each figurine to the moss base. The figures tended to lean a little, which made the dementor look like he’s floating. I was OK with this for the dementor, but to avoid this for the other figures, I would suggest gluing the moss to a piece of cardboard at the beginning to give the whole thing some stability.
Hobbit Hole (Lord of the Rings)
For the hobbit hole we started by cutting a foam ball to fit inside the vase. When the shape was right, my mom covered the foam in moss (the same moss used for grass in several of the other centerpieces), and pinned it to the foam to keep it in place.
I used a fairy door for the door, and a tiny hoe I found in my polymer clay stash. I shaped the shrubs in the front from a different pack of mosses that had more bulk to them.
For the chimney, I used an old package of Granitex polymer clay (made by Sculpey III) that looks like stone. I made a cylinder, carved the lines for the stones into the sides of the clay, and made a small depression in the top for depth. After baking, I hot glued a tuft of cotton batting to the top for smoke.
I don’t know if they still sell Granitex clay, but you could get a similar effect by marbleizing a bit of grey clay with brown or black. For added texture, add a little sand, or press the bristles of an old toothbrush into the clay.
For this centerpiece, we started by pouring all of my husband’s gaming dice into the bottom of a vase. We tried to get a level surface but that was nearly impossible with all of the different sizes of dice.
I cut another circle of moss to fit the vase, and placed it on top of the dice to simulate grass again. We then hot glued miniatures from Pathfinder’s iconic collection (by WizKids) along with the goblins featured in the We Be Goblins special adventure to create a stand-off battle scene.
This was one of my husband’s creations. We started by cutting a piece of cardboard to fit the bottom of the vase, then put two wide strips of black tape down the middle of the cardboard, trimming the excess with an X-acto knife. Carefully painted white lines on the sides and down the middle turned the tape into a road.
We hot glued more flat moss to the sides of the cardboard, and again cut the excess with an X-acto knife. Another gift from Loot Crate, we glued a Matchbox version of “Baby” to the road, then added a thin twig of pine needles to the side of the road for a tree.
These pictures were taken quite a while after the wedding so the pine tree needles are no longer green. If you need the color to last, you may want to pick something different for your tree. I printed “Carry on wayward sons” (from the song frequently featured on the show by Kansas) on clear sticker paper, and wrapped it around the vase.
Next week I’ll talk about the other half of the nerdy wedding centerpieces we made. You can find that post at Nerdy Wedding Centerpieces Pt. 2.