Is it cheaper to DIY centerpieces? Avoid Costly Mistakes

Everywhere you turn, whether it be YouTube or Pinterest or even your friend’s wedding, you will find DIY centerpieces.  Some of them are so adorable and so simple that it makes you want to create them yourself.  But is it really the cheapest option?

DIY centerpieces are less expensive than buying decorations for your wedding.  With little skill and minimal materials you can create great looking centerpieces and decor for your wedding on a budget.  However, there are many pitfalls you may run into while creating your DIY wedding and extra planning and care should be taken to make your wedding look more expensive than it really was.

I have spent the last decade being an advocate for budget weddings.  For my very own wedding I even created my wedding invitations from raw materials including creating paper from pulp.  Since my own wedding I have created a huge array of wedding decor for hundreds of brides.  It is safe to say I have an expansive understanding of how DIY weddings work.  Read on and take note to avoid costly and embarrassing pitfalls for your DIY budget wedding.

Start with your vision board

You can use Pinterest, create a slide show, use a fancy wedding planner, or simply a pen and paper but you should start your wedding decor ideas with a vision board.

Your vision board is going to give you the foundation for your ideas to grow on.  Here you might begin to discover the overall theme of your wedding.  This could be somewhere along the lines of the Boho, rustic, elegant, eclectic, or even a Dr. Seuss themed.  While it’s not important to share a theme with your friends and family it is important to know which décor falls under your theme so you can search ideas more easily.

Save the photos that you have found or color schemes or links to web sites that share your vision.  Once you have a vision board completed you can move on to creating a list of your décor items.

List your décor items

The list of your décor items might include a thumbnail, the size, the color, the material, and also the price of the new item.  You are going to use all of these attributes to determine whether you should make your own item or purchase a new because it might be cheaper to purchase rather than make it on your own.

The great place to list all of your décor items is on Amazon.  You can actually create a designated list and name it “wedding décor” then simply add the searched items into that list.  Regardless of where you create your list you might consider printing that list or printing the shopping cart from a different website like

Some things on your list might include chargers, long slices, geometric gold shapes, candles, candle holders, table numbers, lanterns flowers and more.  Once you list all of your décor items from your vision board you can move on to the next step.

Create a supply list

You will be creating items from scratch, therefore; you will need to create, find, and purchase materials to make your decorations. 

Start by researching how to make the item you are wanting.  You can find instructions on google, Pinterest, YouTube and Blogs such as this one.  Take note of the signees and dimensions you are trying to obtain and put those on your supply list as well.

Don’t overlook supplies such as spray paint, painters tape, specialty adhesives, and items that might be in a typical household such as scissors.  You’re going to want a complete list of suppliers so when you are ready to create your decorations you won’t be it running around trying to find that pair of scissors that isn’t in your junk drawer.

After you’re done creating your supply list it is time to shop around am determined whether making your decorations centerpieces will be cheaper than purchasing them new.

Shop for your supplies

Now that you have your list of supplies it is time to shop and compare prices so you can get all of the materials needed for your project.  It might seem it easiest to go to your local craft suppliers but I have found their prices aren’t always the best when making creations on a budget.

The best retailers I have found for DIY wedding decorations are as follows:

  • The dollar tree
  • Wal-Mart
  • Home Depot
  • Amazon
  • T.J. Maxx
  • Outlet Stores

Most of these retailers have an online store you can browse through to compare prices.  If you have allotted plenty of time, I highly suggest you thoughtfully compare materials to stay within budget.  I am definitely guilty of overspending at the craft store when I have a project in mind.

Once you are finished shopping and pricing all of your supplies, add up your total and see what you are about to spend.  Go back to the second step in this article and compare your DIY cost to the new items you listed earlier.

You might cross off some of your DIY items once you see the actual numbers.

Consider your time

I didn’t want to calculate tiny move in this article because I have been in the chapters of my life where time was abundant and finances were not.  If that is you right now, then that simply consider your time and the fact that wedding planning grows exponentially leading up to your big day.

Along the lines of considering the time it takes to create decorations, you might enlist the help of your bridesmaids, friends or relatives to create your vision.  While this could be a fun, relaxed evening at somebody’s house with a large table and a hot glue gun!

Consider the quality

There is no doubt that new items which are manufactured or created by a professional are going to have a higher quality than that of one off DIY decoration item.  But if the numbers were in you are going to save money by creating your own decorations then you’re going to have to justify losing a little bit of quality to save a large amount of cash.

Think of how you’ll be able to reallocate that cash towards your honeymoon or towards your dream dress or even towards your first house.  Typically guests don’t critique and over analyze the small details but you know your guests better than anyone else so that is a judgment call you will have to make.

Consider the resale value

The upfront cost of buying new is sometimes a steep cliff to climb, but there is always the resale value of those quality items.  Particularly, if your wedding is early in the season you should have no problem reselling your new items to other brides through your local classifieds.  Sometimes you can sell your entire lot of decorations in one swoop for one price to one dried or wedding vendor.  I went into more depth of how to do this in another article that you can’t you here.

From my experience, some of weld made DIY centerpieces have resold very well but it is hit or miss.  Someone DIY decorations and centerpieces they are very niche, do not sell at all.

In conclusion, keep that in mind the net cost of the new items and the overall cost and time of the DIY items.  I have seen hundreds of weddings with DIY decorations that are masterfully done, either way your guests are coming to see you marry the person you love and there’s no reason to overspend on your decorations.

Recent Posts