My original idea had been to keep the flowers in the plastic pots they came in, and then cover those pots with burlap and dress with ribbon. However, the flowers that I loved came in square pots, and I really wanted to have round pots to mirror the round tables on which they would be placed. So, "Plan B" was to purchase inexpensive terracotta pots and use those to re-pot my plants. This added a little more cost, somewhere around an additional $15 for the whole project.
5 potted annuals from the local hardware store
5 terracotta pots with saucers
1 roll of burlap fabric in strip form
2 rolls of ribbon
Hot Glue Gun
First I re-potted the flowers into the terracotta pots. This has to be done before decorating the exterior of the pot to avoid getting soil all over the fabric. I would suggest that this be done the day before trying to hot glue anything to the pot. Trust me, hot glue will not stick to a damp terracotta pot. I have tried.
The next day I wrapped the pots in burlap and tied them off with a blue ribbon. A little tip: be careful applying the hot glue and burlap. The glue will seep right through the weave of the fabric. I burned my fingers no less than five times. Hot glue is like some sort of torture device. My fingers will attest to this.
Here is the finished product. Casual, cute, easy, and economical.
And here is the centerpiece in action. I found these cute little chalkboard signs on sticks at Joann Fabrics. I searched half the stores in town for a white chalk marker. None to be found. No kidding. Apparently everyone around here is in a seriously crafty mood. So I had to use regular chalk, which is not so easy on such a small space. My attempts at it were horrid, so my dear friend wrote out the signs instead.
After the party was over, I planted the flowers in the garden, and the glue and fabric pulled right off the pots. So now I can use them again for future backyard parties.