Are you throwing an Arabian Nights dinner party or fundraiser and wishing for an amazing centerpiece that will make your guests feel like they have entered an exotic far off land? Wish granted! This DIY genie bottle with vibrant tissue paper flowers and sparkly elephants is sure to do the trick!
Step One – Decorate Your Vase
Choose any type of vase or glass bottle that has some character. I was lucky to find this mosaic mirrored vase at my local Ross store. You can find similar vases at Pier 1, or create your own using a glass vase and pre-cut mirrored or glass tiles. Simple instructions can be found in our DIY Disco Ball post.
Dress up your vase with jewels, beads and rhinestones, to create an enchanted look. I used self-adhesive rhinestone strips which made the decorating process very easy. I was able to cut them to any size I needed. I also used hot glue to adhere strings of beads to the vase.
Step Two – Make Tissue Paper Flowers
For the vibrant tissue paper flowers I followed an easy DIY tutorial at heyletsmakestuff.com. I cut all my flowers with a rounded edge. I made three different sized flowers for this arrangement. For the largest flower I cut my tissue paper to a 15” square. Medium, 10” square and small, 5” square. After the flowers were completed, I attached some onto floral wire stems by using hot glue.
Tip: to create a “smoky” effect I cut strips of gauzy cloth. When I cut the strips, the cloth naturally curled up a bit. I used a little dab of hot glue to cover the wire and I let it hang down to give the illusion of smoke pouring out of the magic vase.
Step Three – Make Sparkly Elephants
To make the sparkly elephants, print and then cut out, the “mama” and “baby” elephant templates (see below). Lay the template on the smooth side of your sparkly foam. Trace around and then cut out with your scissors. Flip the template over and cut a second elephant out of the same sparkly foam. You will now have two elephants that when placed on top of one another, will match up.
To give the “mama” elephant some girth I stuffed her with some cotton batting. First, take a small piece of batting and place it onto the plain side of the elephant. You will need to cut the batting to fit the shape.
Run a bead of hot glue along the top of the plain side of the foam and press the second elephant on top to form a seal. Continue all the way around with the glue until you have a small opening at the bottom of the belly. Take more batting and with the end of a pencil, push in the batting until you reach the desired size of the mama elephant you want. Finish by sealing off the opening with hot glue.
Add a curved piece of foam to the front of the elephant with a little more hot glue. This will outline the ear. I made my cut along the curve of the leftover sparkle foam. Add a sparkle rhinestone for the eye and your mama elephant is ready.
For the baby elephants I used the same technique as the mama, except I did not stuff them. I just glued the two matching cutouts together. I attached one to a floral wire, sandwiching the wire in-between the two cutouts, so I could insert it into the vase with the flowers.
Step Four – Arrange Your Centerpiece
Time to put it all together. Arrange your flowers and baby elephant in the vase. Bend or cut the floral wire to give you different levels. Add a pop of color with a coordinating tablecloth. Arrange your remaining flowers on both sides of the vase. Add the mama and baby elephant for the finishing touch!
There you have it. An easy Arabian Nights centerpiece that is sure to transport you to an enchanted land filled with vibrant colors and exotic delicacies. Where you just might cross paths with an elephant or Arabian Princess. One thing is for sure, you will wonder if there really is a genie in that bottle!
Basic supplies you’ll need: scissors, stapler, pencil, and ruler