When my partner and I discussed which aspects of the wedding that came with price tags were the highest priority, I knew that the table decor was super high on my list (way higher than the food itself, in fact). I’m a very visual person, and I know that the centerpieces and other objects on the table will be in our guests’ fields of vision throughout the entire evening. So this is one of a few aspects of the wedding that we’re going all out on (another being the rum-centric, serve-yourself bar my partner is planning).
We’re seating people 12 per large rectangular table. Table decor will consist of 3 elements: (1) treasure chest centerpieces, (2) mini barrels topped with lanterns, and (3) large amounts of candles.
I had purchased the small wooden chests individually on Ebay. Apparently they were really big in the 1970s, but today not so much. We also considered placing those little push-activated, battery operated LED lights under the sheeting to make the treasure glow, but decided against it because we already have a lot of set-up planned and we don’t want to send anyone around lifting treasure and pushing lights.
We wanted the treasure to be fixed in place inside the chests, but didn’t want to glue items directly to the wood… we also couldn’t afford to fill each chest up to the top with treasure. So we picked up a large sheet of textured plastic (intended for the rectangular fluorescent lights you sometimes see in kitchens), and cut it to size with heavy duty scissors to use as the base of the treasure.
We also collected a large mix of treasure materials. The most affordable, and therefore most abundant, were pink and purple rough cut plastic “gems” which we used as our first layer. We hot-glued them to the plastic sheets and topped them with diamond-shaped gems and fake coins. Using these cheaper materials as a foundation saved us a lot of money, and I think they look pretty decent when they’re in the finished product.
In order to get a good fit inside the chest, we placed the treasure base inside when glueing the edge gems. The base sat on little ledges inside some of the chests (with an empty space underneath), and in others we elevated it with styrofoam.
As we glued, we also incorporated larger items such as strands of faux pearls, fashion bracelets, silver drink coasters and plastic chalices.
Place the treasure chest masterpieces on your tables with lots o’ candles, lanterns, barrels or vintage signs and watch your guests “ooh” and “ahh” your creativity!