Monday, April 25, 2011

DIY: Bamboo Centerpiece

Need a little greenery in your life? Try a decorative bamboo arangement. I love bamboo! It takes no soil and does well indoors. Forget to water it? No problem, more often than not they bouncy back even when the leaves have begun to yellow or the stalks have started to shrivel- oops! My husband has been throwing these things together for years. It first started as a last minute christmas gift idea- a plant you virtually can't kill. Genius!

I found this was a perfect solution for my sister, who recently moved out of our parents home and into her new apartment. She had been looking for something decorative for her place that took little to no care. Bamboo? You got it!

So here's what you will need...

  • small glass bowl or vase
  • bamboo stalks (an odd # of stalks works best)
  • flat fish marbles or decorative rock or gravel

Luckily I picked up this small round bowl for 50 cents at the thrift store. I had already looked at our local craft store but most of the vases were large and deep. I wanted something a bit smaller and fish bowl-esque for her.

I chose 3 bamboo stalks of varying height to add interest. You can choose more or less, or even use a combination of both spiral stalks and straight. Do keep in mind the spiral stalks typically run a few dollars more. Unfortunately our store was down to just a few stalks and these were the healthiest looking of the few.

Here's what you'll do...
STEP 1: place a small handful of marbles into the bottom of bowl. This not only makes the stalks more secure, but also assures you that bamboo roots as seen in the above picture aren't smashed on the bottom of the vase with nowhere to grow.  **A bag of fish marbles was approximately $1/bag at Dollar Tree vs. approximately $5/bag at the craft store.

STEP 2: Stand the bundle of bamboo stalks in the center of vase. Add another handful of marbles evenly around the stalks. Fill to the top. **Note: I used about 1 and a half bags of black marbles, then added a handful of large clear marbles to the top. These larger flat marbles wedged into the underside of the vase kept everything upright and firmly together. (We had a 45min car ride to see her and it needed to stay put along the way).

STEP 3: Lastly, add water. And enjoy!

Examples of past arrangements:
Store bought arrangement from a co-worker when I got my appendix out. It survives nicely in my dim-lit corner of an office. I've had this for over a year.

Bamboo arrangement made by hubby for my office. Everyone enjoyed this so much we moved it to the front desk. It has been around for 3 or 4 years. The bright green is new little shoots that have sprouted up. It is in the original bowl.

"This little guy? I wouldn't worry about this little guy." ~ Super Troopers
 My coworker has been slipping this one some miracle grow from time to time. This arrangement began in a small square bowl similar to the one I made above, but has since out grown it's home twice. It is approximately 4-5 years old. And the one shoot is now taller than me!

Have you put an arrangement together? Let me know how it went. What did you do differently?


  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love this DIY, so easy & cute!!

    How long does the bamboo stay alive? I kill a lot of plants. :)

  2. Hey Linz, first off- thanks for returning the blog love. I do hope you try it. I've updated this post and added a few examples of how our bamboo is doing at my work since I had my camera on me. My desk is in a closet like room with no windows- and it survives. The other two I included get very little sunlight if any at all- check out the one pumped up on Miracle Grow. These babies thrive even on good old flourescent lighting, I'm sure they'd be a great option for you too. I mean, if I can't kill it- nobody can.


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