If at a bridal shower--here are a few thoughts: the utensils/glasses could be the hostess's gift to the bride OR they could be used as prizes. The winner could take utensils or the set of glasses. I would probably purchase glasses from Dollar Tree or the cheap section of Wal-Mart if they were prizes, but I would buy nice utensils. No one wants flimsy plastic utensils. If buying cheap glasses, you can use etching cream and stencils to design the glass, or paint simple stripes/designs. I think I would put a matching dishtowel under the glasses to help "anchor" the centerpiece design.
The dishtowel cake would make a great main centerpiece for a shower, and could also be a gift to the bride. If you know that someone is making one, ask them to bring it early for you to use, but make sure they get acknowledgement during the shower, and it would be a good idea if it matches in color.
Other centerpieces could be kitchen items as vases--- coffee pots, pitchers, nice looking cans without labels...use your imagination. I've even seen blenders and toasters with flowers coming out of them! I'm even picturing a small crockpot filled with flowers as a huge centerpiece!Use your resources-- yard sales, friends, second-hand stores, but be careful of what you're buying. You still want them to look nice!
Another idea is to ask each guest to bring a recipe: their favorite, one for the slow-cooker, one that can freeze, or a family recipe to start the bride's collection.
As far as I'm concerned, this doesn't just have to be a bridal shower design as suggested, but also for a child's cooking themed party. With cooking and food as a theme, there are several directions you could go: pizza/italian, baking, or just utensils/kitchen items. Need help for more ideas? Contact me.