Hands up if you love fresh flowers. (Me, me, my hand is raised.) Hands up if you need your child’s birthday party to be pretty, but way easier. (Me again! Two hands up!)

When it comes to children’s parties, I completely believe in pre-making centerpieces with faux flowers. Who wants to be fiddling with real flowers on the morning of the party? Or even shopping for flowers the day before, only to find out that you can’t get the blossoms you want? Been there.

That’s why I often turn to faux flower arrangements any time I’m going to try something more complicated than sticking a few buds in a vase, like here or here. It just makes my party day easier.

So today, I’m sharing how I made the cowgirl boot centerpieces for my daughters’ Horseback Riding Party.

Horseback Riding Party cowgirl boot centerpiece tutorial by the Party Teacher


  • Cowboy or cowgirl boots (child or small size)
  • Styrofoam vase insert or foam cone
  • Silk flower bush
  • Individual silk flowers
  • Trailing greenery
  • River rocks
  • Wire cutter

All my supplies came from Hobby Lobby.


1 – Insert river rocks into the toe of the boot. This will give the finished arrangement the weight it needs to resist the top-heaviness of the floral arrangement. I used two sets of boots. One was an old pair of my daughter’s that I hung onto, thinking we might someday do a horse party. (It was a little horder-y, I admit.) The second pair was shorter and I found them at an antique store. I did not get a photo of this step, but here are rocks similar to what I used. These are from Joann’s.

river rocks

2 – Insert the styrofoam vase insert into the boot. It should be a snug fit.

For the shorter boots, I used a styrofoam cone. I just sliced off a bit of the pointy part to make it the right height.

3 – Start the centerpiece by inserting the floral bush straight down the center of the floral foam. I chose all white flowers, with varieties of open roses, peonies, and hydrangeas.

4 – You may need to bend the stems of the floral bush to shape it the way you like. Even after I’d done that, there were still gaps between the flowers and the top of the boot. Fill those in with individual flowers. Hold the flower next to the boot to see where you want the blooms to fit into the arrangement. Cut the stem to make it the right length. Keep in mind that you may not be able to insert the stem all the way to the bottom of the foam. So, you may need to cut the stem shorter than you first think you should.

5 – Look at the centerpiece from all angles to see if you like the view from every side. Fill in with individual flowers and greenery as you need to.

And that’s it! You’re really just trimming, inserting and fluffing. And because you’re working with faux flowers, you can made these centerpieces weeks ahead of time.

For other faux flower centerpiece ideas, check out these parties:

Believe it or not, my local grocery store is often a great source of flower arrangements. It has to be Marie working that day, but when she’s available, I can save money by Kroger-ing my flowers instead of shopping with a florist or even a delivery service. You can see her work in these parties:

How do you handle your party flowers? Faux or real? Simple or styled? Anyone using felt or paper flowers? I love those too and am leaning toward felt for our next party.

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