DIY: Boxwood and Paperwhites

Remember when I was looking for interns a little while back? Well I found not one, but two fabulous ladies to help me out at Snippet & Ink! Let me introduce Jess, our new project designer. When I asked her to put together some fun seasonal projects for us, she created this simply lovely table of boxwood and paperwhites. DIY and budget friendly!

Boxwood monograms are a pretty way to embellish a place setting, and paperwhites are both lovely and budget friendly (we found ours at Stop & Shop, $10 for 3). Boxwood table numbers would be another way to use this idea.

Create a simple centerpiece by clustering votive candles and paperwhites in mixed or matching containers. We used mercury glass vases and votives ($5 to $8, Anthropologie) to add a little sparkle – they would also be lovely take-aways for your guests.

I hope you’re as excited about having Jess at Snippet & Ink as I am! Also, a huge thank you to Rebecca Hansen for the beautiful photos.


Download instructions for the boxwood monograms right here.

Please take note: Boxwood sap can cause minor skin irritation, so you may want to wear gloves when handling it. If allergy is a concern, use another seasonal green or faux boxwood for your monograms.


  • Lili says:

    I cannot emphasize enough that you should not use live paperwhites at a wedding, or even a dinner party. Because of their heavy scent, they can cause severe allergies in some people. The scent easily fills your entire house. If I attended a wedding with live paperwhites, I would have to leave.

    This is a gorgeous table, but please use silk flowers!

  • Anna says:

    Welcome Jess! That is just beautiful! I look forward to seeing your next beautiful idea.

  • Ashley says:

    Nice work Jess! Lili, I had paper whites at my wedding, and I’m pretty sure no one left because of it, or died.

  • Shauna says:

    What grocery store are the paperwhites from? I saw some at Albertson’s here in Los Angeles…but of course when I went to buy them, they aren’t there…or at Home Depot…or at Trader Joe’s…or Ralph’s…

    Thanks, and beauuuutiful place settings!

    • KATHRYN says:

      Shauna, we found our blooming paperwhites at Stop & Shop. You might also try your local nursery.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I too love the table setting! I look forward to more table settings from you ladies!

    The boxwood monograms are a lovely idea, and I love the hand-drawn instructions!

    But I’m just curious if you had a reaction to handling the boxwood? From what I understand you are supposed to wear gloves with them as they are slightly toxic (both to ingest and to touch).

    • KATHRYN says:

      Thanks for bringing this to our attention Elizabeth! I just added this note to the bottom of the post:

      Please take note: Boxwood sap can contain minor skin irritation, so you may want to wear gloves when handling it. If allergy is a concern, use another seasonal green or faux boxwood for your monograms.

  • Truebluemeandyou says:

    I can’t agree more about the allergies some people have to paperwhites. I do these every year as gifts to a bunch of people and one person (after 3 years) brought them back to me admitting that her husband was horribly allergic to them. My family is not allergic to them, and I don’t mind the scent, but others definitely do. When I give them as gifts I also put in pebbles on the bottom in skinny tall thrifted vases – gorgeous gift. Usually get my bulbs (if they aren’t sold out by now) at the grocery store, K Mart, Walmart etc… So much cheaper that way.

  • I love the LOOK of paperwhites – but not the smell (smells like cat pee). Instead of paperwhites I substitute their cousin the yellow daffodil. The daffodil do not have the strong smell, and you can find all different types – petite, white, double, and even ruffled! Plus the nice thing about daffodils you can translate them outdoors later.

  • nancy nimmo says:

    Toward the end of paperwhites bloom they droop.
    Several years ago I was giving a Christmas. The morning of, all my paperwhites were laying over on the tables. I remembered a tip–I gave each vessel a shot of vodka…within 3 hours they were standing tall.

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