Making cheap colored sand centerpieces!

In the image of unity sand, my wife and I decided that it would be adorable to take our colors for our wedding and put them in wine glasses as centerpieces at our wedding. We planned out that we would use my favorite color, light blue, her favorite color, yellow, and the color that we use to hold them together, coral.

We decided that these would be great with our burlap theme and set to work figuring out how we were going to make it happen. Obstacle number one: the wine glasses. Well, this one turned out pretty easy because a friend’s brother had just gotten married and was willing to give us all of their wine glasses for free – WIN! So, of course, we took them. You could also find cheap wine glasses at Goodwill or get a set like these at Amazon:

Once we got the wine glasses, our next obstacle proved to be the toughest of all: we had to figure out how to get the sand. The first thing we did was look at colored sand at Hobby Lobby and at a wedding store. This was a terrible idea. I suppose, if you are not feeling crafty at all, you could get it for a decent price online, but we weren’t willing to spend the money. We wanted to make this wedding affordable and we had a budget to stick to – so the pre-dyed sand wasn’t going to work for us.

We decided to go out and buy some sand. Simple enough, right? So, we went to Menard’s and searched all over for a bag of sand. We looked in the lawn care, in the kid’s toys, everywhere. Of course, we didn’t look outside (which is apparently where they keep sand, who knew?). Finally, we went up to the cashier and asked if we could purchase some sand.

“What kind?” She asked innocently enough. My wife and I stared at each other, confused.

“There are different kind of sands?” We asked, bewildered. How could we have not realized that this was a question we would be asked? At this point she listed a few of them. I didn’t pay attention, obviously, because I don’t remember what they were. Regardless, we asked for normal ‘play’ sand.

“Do you want the 40lbs?” Holy shit. No, we don’t need 40lbs. “Or the 100lbs?”

“We need less.” As luck would have it, 40lbs is the smallest they had. And they sell it in bags. And 40lbs isn’t actually that much, go figure. “How muchΒ is 40lbs of sand?”

“Around $3. I can look at the exact cost if you need it.” Oh. Well, in that case – we had assumed 40lbs would be pricey, but apparently it’s not. We purchased our sand and left the store to pick it up outside. After heaving the sack into our car, we drove home, excited to dye the sand to the beautiful wedding colors we had picked out.

But things rarely work out as planned and, as you may have guessed, this whole sand-dying thing was not as easy as we had once hoped. We threw a tarp down over the living room carpet and set to work.

We started with blue and threw a couple cup-fulls of sand into a baggy with some water and blue food coloring (like the internet told us to do). Mixed and mixed until we got this dark and ugly green color. So, we tried adding more yellow. It didn’t help. It was disgusting.

We opened another baggy and tried again to no avail.

We even tried letting it dry overnight and it still looked horrible. We were at our wits end trying to figure out this sand situation and how we could make the centerpieces we dreamed of. Maybe we would have to go with just flowers in the cups…

And that’s when it occurred to us.



We bought a giant bag of sugar like this one for cheap at Amazon:

We put in some food coloring and mixed until all of the chunks were chopped up into the mixture. And you know what? They turned out beautiful.


Sure, it was a little sticky, but the colors were perfect. They were light and crisp. If we wanted them deeper, we could have added more food coloring, but we had the perfect amount.

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With that obstacle complete, we moved onto how to fill these cups with the sugar since we wanted all three colors in every cup. We got plastic baggies and threw the colored sugar into the baggies. We cut a tip off of a corner and began filling and designing each cup. They turned out gorgeous!


As a final touch, we added a flower to the top of each cup to create a cohesive picture. They were beautiful. We decided from the start that buying fake flowers would serve us much better than trying to coordinate with a florist (I have only heard negative things about buying flowers and having them delivered. It’s always stress and never fun. Not to mention the cost). So, we got some fake flowers for our entire wedding day and we used some of the extras for these. They worked perfectly!


Did you do any fun crafting for your wedding day? Share them in the comments below! We love hearing from you!

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