This is part two of a two-part series on how we made the nerdy centerpieces for our wedding. If you missed the first post, check it out Nerdy Wedding Centerpieces Vol. 1. In that post I talk about creating centerpieces themed around Star Trek, Marvel, Firefly, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Supernatural, and the Pathfinder roleplaying game. For this second half, we got crafty with themes from Super Mario Bros., Fallout, The Legend of Zelda, Star Wars, and Doctor Who.
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Super Mario Bros.
This one turned out better than I could have hoped for with my original plan. To make this one, I started by cutting a piece of cardboard to fit the bottom of the vase, then painted it to look like the blocks from the original Super Mario Bros.
Next, I cut rectangular pieces of cardboard to form a block platform for Luigi to stand on. The cardboard blocks were glued together with hot glue, then painted to match the base. I used a black Sharpie to outline the blocks, draw portions of the bricks, and shadow the question mark.
I used the same process to construct and color the green warp pipe. After putting the block platform in the vase, I glued Luigi and the warp pipe into place around it.
The block platform was originally supposed to sit on the bottom of the vase because I couldn’t think of a good way to make it float. Luckily, the vases we used are not perfectly shaped. When I pushed the platform down into the vase, it got stuck part way down. It looks awesome and it was totally a happy accident.
This was another of my husband’s projects. He started by cutting another round piece of cardboard to fit the bottom of the vase, then painted it to match the other Mario-themed vase.
For the pipe, he cut a thin piece of cardboard to fit around half of a toilet-paper tube. Once that was glued in place he painted the entire thing green (including part of the inside of the pipe).
We used a piece of crafter’s moss for a bush, and glued Luigi and Toad into place. I found pictures of clouds from Super Mario Bros. 3 online, printed them on white sticker paper, and placed these on the inside of the vase.
This particular centerpiece went through a few different designs. For the final design, we cut a foam ball into a small mound to fit inside the vase, and flattened the top to give the Pip Boy bobble-head something level to sit on.
I used Elmer’s craft glue to attach sand to the foam ball (not clean or easy), and added some sand to the bottom of the vase before placing the sand hill on top.
I used hot glue to glue both the bobble-head and the “Nuka Cola” bottle caps to the foam. The bottle caps are made of plastic and came as the pieces of a Fallout-themed checkers set I found at Target.
The Great Deku Tree (The Legend of Zelda)
To make our Zelda-themed centerpiece, we cut a round piece of flat moss to fit the bottom of the vase and placed it inside for a grassy base.
I picked a few colors of brown polymer clay and worked them together to get a wood grain effect. That clay was perfect to form the trunk of the Deku tree. I baked the trunk in our oven at home, and set aside to cool while we finished the rest of the vase.
Our grocery store had miniatures of Link, Makar, and a Bokoblin that I placed around the roots of the Deku tree. I glued these to the moss, though they didn’t stay perfectly in place.
With everything else in place, we then cut another foam ball to just barely fit inside the vase. We covered the foam with a different craft moss to simulate the foliage. We secured this with craft glue and pins. The canopy sits just on top of the tree trunk. It’s tight enough against the glass of the vase that it doesn’t need to be glued.
Yoda’s Exile on Dagobah (Star Wars)
This is actually the centerpiece that started them all. We loved the idea for this, and the successful trial run helped us decide to try making the rest.
I started by pouring black sand, found in my craft stash, into the bottom of the vase. We found a few branches and twigs in the back yard, broke them apart a bit, and placed them in the vase. We added rocks from the back yard, and a few different kinds of crafter’s moss to create the jungle scene.
Yoda just sits on top of one of the sticks, no glue necessary. The elements in this centerpiece were unsecured, so we did have to do a bit of rearrangement when we unpacked it at the venue.
Hoth (Star Wars)
Hoth was a little aggravating. Easy, but aggravating. I filled the bottom with white sand, purchased from the dollar tree, and placed a (Hoth version of) Luke Skywalker action figure in in the sand. We actually had this particular action figure on hand already.
Dissatisfied with its simplicity at that point, my mom scoured the internet and found a toy set including a Hoth version of Han Solo and a tauntaun. When the toys arrived, we shoved them into the vase.
The biggest problem we ran into was that the tauntaun doesn’t really fit. It was just too cool to leave out, though, so I decided I didn’t care that the tauntaun’s head was over the rim, and I left him in. The sand and figures were loose inside the vase, and had to be rearranged on arrival at the venue.
Tatooine (Star Wars)
To create a desert landscape, I poured a little playground sand into the bottom of the vase.
We cut a foam ball to fit the vase, and cut the top flat again to give our droids a level surface to stand on. We used craft glue to cover the foam ball with sand and placed it inside the vase.
I added a little more playground sand around the edge of the foam ball to make the dune look more natural. We used hot glue to attach the droids to the top of the dune. The droid action figures were a lucky supermarket find. I looked everywhere else and couldn’t find them for a decent price.
The T.A.R.D.I.S. (Doctor Who)
Coming up with a Doctor Who-themed centerpiece was hard because of the sheer number of options we had to choose from. Ultimately, we chose convenience and decided to feature the T.A.R.D.I.S. floating in space.
To start, we cut another foam ball to fit the vase. Then we cut a rectangular hole into the top of the mound to fit the battery pack for a set of tiny LED lights. We used black felt to cover sides of the foam, and another piece of black felt to cover the top. It was helpful to have them separate for easier access to the battery pack and LEDs.
We cut very small holes around the top cover and pushed the colorful little lights through. A little hot glue added to each light kept them in place. We put the battery pack into the hole we cut in the foam, and secured the cover piece with pins. Before the wedding we turned on the LEDs and placed my husband’s LEGO T.A.R.D.I.S. on top.
We created our seating chart with pictures representing each centerpiece. I think this helped the guests identify some of the centerpieces, but it didn’t work for all of them.
For example, if you’ve never seen an episode of Supernatural (which you really should), you’re just not going understand seeing Baby on a lonely road with lyrics to Carry on Wayward Son.
We also tried to seat people at a table with a centerpiece they would know, but that didn’t work out perfectly. We tried.
Nonetheless, we had a great time making these nerdy centerpieces, and they really helped make the wedding our own thing. Not only did they incorporate our love for all things nerdy into one of the most important days of our lives, but I got to be crafty in the process. You can never have too many reasons to get crafty. Our guests loved our centerpieces, but I’d bet only a few of our guests could have named them all.