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Instead of spending money on centerpieces and wedding favors that get tossed away, decorate with plants and books that can be donated to worthy groups.  This book basket centerpiece would be perfect for librarians, teachers and all book lovers. 

Step 1: Choose Books.

The first step is to choose books for the baskets.  One idea is to choose books about love and friendship.  Another idea would be to use books that are favorites of the bride and groom.  

Step 2: Or You Might Choose Books That Reflect the Couple's Interests and Experiences.

My daughter used to love meercats.  She and her fiance share a passion for environmental issues.  Their first big vacation together was to England.

Step 3: Or Choose Books That Reflect the Couple's Jobs and Hobbies.

My daughter is a librarian who helped start a library in Nicaragua.  She loves to dance salsa.

Step 4: Choose Books That Relate to Families and Friendships.

Go to a bookseller's website and use their search feature.  See what comes up if you type in FAMILY, FRIEND, FRIENDSHIP, MOTHER, FATHER, RELATIVES, WEDDING, MARRIAGE, etc.

Step 5: Find Places for Your Donations.

Since my daughter plans to get married in Florida, I looked for a book drive there.  I found a library on wheels (Bess the Book Bus) in the Tampa area that collects books year round.  For the plants, I would look for a hospital near the wedding location.

Step 6: Choose a Basket.

I chose a simple $2.49 plastic basket from The Container Store.  I wanted a square basket with low sides.  

Step 7: Choose Decorations for the Basket.

I decided to keep my basket decoration very simple so I bought four $2.49 opalescent bows, one for each side of the basket.  

Step 8: Decorate the Basket.

I attached the bows with clear packing tape.  Other ideas for decorating the basket:  weave ribbons around the edge, decorate with flowers or glue small photos to the basket. 

Step 9: Choose Flowers or Plant for Center of Basket.

I chose a $7.99 kalancho plant because I wanted to use something that could be given to a hospital patient.  Fresh flowers in a vase would also be pretty.

Step 10: Put Plant in Center of Basket.

Step 11: Cut Pieces of Cello Wrap Into Approximately 12" X 12" Squares.

Choose a color of cello wrap that fits with your wedding colors.  I decided to use clear cello wrap because I didn't want to detract from the book covers.

Step 12: Crinkle Cello Wrap and Line Bottom of Basket.

Step 13: Arrange Books in Basket.

I decided to use two books on each side of the basket, one taller than the other so the titles are easier to read.  Use additional cello wrap to make books stay in place.  You can add a little pizzazz by adding glitter, confetti or flowers. 

Step 14: Make Cards That Announce Where the Gifts Will Go.

I made a simple card by copying an image from the organization's website and handwriting a message.  I might choose to use a computer publishing program instead.

Step 15: Arrange Your Book Basket Centerpiece.

Use your imagination to make your table decoration complete.  

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