Okay, so how to do these centerpieces on a budget... Depending on the number of RSVPs, I will have either fifteen or sixteen reception tables, a guest book table, a seating card table, and a 29' counter along one side of the reception room. Twenty-four bunches of hydrangeas in Ball jars should do the trick! First and foremost: eBay is your friend. I found twenty-four clear, quart-size, wide-mouth Ball jars for $33.98 (free shipping!) from eBay vendor Denny and Kathy's Superstore.
For $1.50 each, I purchased two light blue ribbon spools with a white center accent at Michaels. I wrapped this ribbon around the opening of the jars to add a little color to the jars and tie in the country theme. (Don't worry about the overlapping edges - a bow will cover this in the next step.)
Want the perfect bow? Look no further than Martha Stewart's Favorite Bow. I wanted to make sure the bows would not untie or unravel, so I sewed a couple stitches (using light blue thread) into the center of each bow and dabbed fray check onto the trimmed ends. Time consuming: yes; the guarantee that the bows will stay perfect and pretty: priceless.
After sewing each bow, I hot glued them over the band of ribbon on each jar. And here is the final project: twenty-four identical jars all dressed up and nowhere to go... yet.
Remember, these are still functioning canning jars (once you wash the flower gunk out). So, sitting next to each jar will be its lid, with a note inside that reads, "Whoever is chosen to take home the centerpiece (we suggest Ro-Sham-Bo) can also take this lid and reuse the jar at home!" (FYI: Ro-Sham-Bo = Rock, Paper, Scissors)
Cost for this project (minus the flowers):
12 one-quart, wide mouth Ball jars: $16.99 (free shipping) x 2 = $33.98
1 spool of Michaels 'Dashes, Dots, & Checks' 3/8" ribbon: $1.50 x 2 = $3.00
Thread and hot glue sticks: minimal cost (free if you already have them laying around)