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Blossoming Tablescapes:
Creating a Sunflower
Candle Arrangement

One of the most enjoyable parts of summer is taking advantage of all those beautiful blooms that become available as the sun shines longer and the temperatures warm up. While your garden beds and the farmers’ market stalls are exploding with rainbows of floral textures and crisp, heady scents, you might be wondering how you can incorporate these natural elements indoors too. If you’re ready to call on your creativity and arrange some stunning greenery on your dining table for a summer soiree or simply to spruce up a weeknight meal, take a cue from this gorgeous idea from Pottery Barn next time you bring home a bouquet.

Bright, cheery sunflowers are the sentinels of summer, standing tall over garden beds and brightening up any space with their vibrant canary-yellow hue. They create even more of a visual impact once you invite them inside to enliven your dining table, mantel or coffee table. Paired with candles, color-coordinating seasonal blooms and a contrasting metal bowl, they set the scene for an elegant evening. Cast a luminous glow with an arrangement that blends golden sunflowers, crisp silver and the height of tall tapers to please guests and family members alike.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of this project is that you don’t need to gather up too many supplies to help everything come together. Before you start, make sure you have the following components:

  • A silver bowl or other low metal vessel with or without a pedestal
  • Fresh sunflowers
  • Taper candles in cream or gold colors
  • Sprigs of smaller seasonal blossoms, such as Cotoneaster
  • A foam floral base

Before you begin assembling your candles and blossoms, soak the foam base in water until it’s fully saturated. Attach it to the bottom center of the silver vessel using waterproof floral tape, and be sure not to press down too hard on the base, as this can compress the foam and make it more resistant to yielding for the candle and the blooms that you secure into it. Make sure the bowl is dry and free of any dust or debris that might prevent the floral tape from sticking completely.

Give the waterproof tape a moment to set before proceeding. Your foam base may have a plastic guide attached over the top that indicates where the center is; use this to judge placement if desired. Stick a taper candle into the middle of the base and press down to secure it; check to see that the candle extends all the way down to the bottom of the base to ensure stability. 

Trim the long stalks off of the sunflowers until the stems are only a few inches long. Be sure to allow some of the leaves around the flower to remain; they add volume and more color to the display. Insert the sunflowers by the stems into the foam all around the base of the candle. Depending on the size of the bowl, you may be able to fit three or five blooms around the base of the taper; try to group the flowers in an odd number to ensure visual appeal and balance. 

Trim the stems of your seasonal blossoms, leaving them a few inches longer than the sunflower stems so they can drape or stand elegantly out of the bowl. Insert the seasonal sprigs in the spaces between the big blooms for an accent that provides fullness and textural contrast. Arrange your bouquet in the center of your dinner table and light the candle to set the scene.

One other great thing about this arrangement is that it provides dramatic height without much width; depending on the length of your table, you can fit two or even three down the center to really make an impact. Punctuate the tablescape with smaller votives in colors that harmonize with the bright sunflowers for a cohesive look.