11 Things You Can Repurpose as a Holiday Centerpiece
If your flower arranging skills are as, um, underdeveloped as mine are, browsing photos of beautiful holiday centerpieces can be a bit intimidating. Luckily, not all centerpieces have to involve an elaborate floral arrangement — in fact, you can even throw together a festive tablescape using items you probably already have in your house (or in your backyard). This year, dress up your holiday table with one of these quick, easy and budget-friendly ideas.
To add a sense of festive abundance to the table, get creative with non-floral centerpieces that can be used for a holiday wedding. Classic silver ball ornaments add interest when piled high in a silver compote or displayed in apothecary and bell jars. Fill in any empty spaces with mercury glass votives, taper candlesticks, additional ornaments and oversized pinecones. Design by CamilleStyles.com
© She-N-He.com, She-n-He Photography
Is your Christmas tree overflowing with too many ornaments? Remove some of the extras and put them to better use as a centerpiece. Choose complementary colors, or keep it monochromatic and mix a variety of shiny, matte and glittery finishes, as entertaining expert Camille Styles did here. Display the ornaments on a platter, in a bowl or in large glass vases.
Oh, (Tiny) Christmas Tree
Boxwood clippings in a white tea cup become a tiny holiday tree. Fill the cup with floral foam and stud with green clippings. Use a hot glue gun to attach silver dragees from your cake-decorating stash. Add sparkle to natural cones and acorns with a thin coat of silver paint.
Classic Silver-and-White Centerpiece
Create this simple, classic centerpiece with dishes and ornaments you have on hand. Top sprigs of fresh greenery with sparkling sliver and white ornaments, trees and mercury glass candle holders. The soup tureen in the center is both beautiful and functional. Photo by Marian Parsons.
Forget the florist this centerpiece starts with evergreen branches you can clip from your yard. Place fresh boughs in a galvanized bucket and swag a wooden bead garland around the greens, then layer homespun items at the base of the vase, like snowflakes, knit "sweater" ornaments, twine-wrapped candles, fresh greens or pinecones.
All That Glitters
Before you take all your old candlestick holders to the thrift store, why not give them a festive update? Janell Beals gives her eclectic collection of wooden candlestick holders a holiday-inspired revamp with gold leaf, making them the ideal tabletop centerpiece or coffee table adornment.
Gather a selection of fresh, seasonal herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme and bay leaves, and use them to create an alternative to the classic bouquet. The fragrant herbs will permeate the air as the candle burns.
Twinkling candlelight, sparkling crystal and glints of silvered tableware create a warm ambiance at this holiday dinner table. Delicate white blossoms, tall pillars and starched white linen napkins work together to create the appearance of effortless elegance. Photo courtesy of Susan Fredman and Associates Ltd.
Putting together a beautiful holiday centerpiece doesn't have to be difficult or break the bank. This one is made up of a few elements you might even have around the house, like a grapevine wreath form and a glass candleholder.
Make family meals even more fun by adding a unique advent calendar centerpiece to the table. Jessica Wilcox uses a vintage chicken-wire cloche dome as the base for her decorative advent calendar. To make your own, add presents, colorful ornaments and ribbons underneath the dome. On the outside, attach the Christmas countdown tags to represent the number of presents inside. Each day, remove a tag and open a present until Christmas arrives.
Modern Tabletop Tree
We all love decor we can keep from year to year, especially artificial trees that look like the real thing. Unfortunately, artificial trees don't hold their form forever, but here's a tree that will. Using thin wooden rails, a small saw, a glue gun and white paint, Paul Lowe forms a modern miniature holiday tree that's perfect for any sparkling vignette. A glittering star makes the ideal topper.
Ombre Tabletop Trees
Layer shades of same-colored felt to create a modern ombre effect, or use a solid color for a more traditional look. Either way, these eye-catching trees will add a handmade touch to this year's Christmas table. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions.
Topiaries don't necessarily have to be made of live greenery. Create one-of-a-kind topiaries from candlesticks, foam floral spheres and faux cranberries. The graphic shape of the sphere, juxtaposed with the texture of the cranberries and sheen of the metallic candlesticks, strikes a perfect design balance.
Layer garland with a collection of colorful ornaments in your favorite tray to create an irresistible holiday centerpiece. Janell Beals dresses up a vintage-inspired porcelain tray with bold accessories and uses a mixture of silver, blue and gold hues for a twist on the traditional red and green.
A Contemporary Tabletop
For a modern look, try unexpected flower arrangements this year. Instead of poinsettias, white hydrangeas and pink carnations can add a lovely and unexpected touch. Use clean white vases to enhance the feeling of a winter wonderland. Styled and photographed by Manvi Drona Hidalgo.
Bring the Beach to Christmas
A centerpiece doesn't have to be a fussy (and expensive) floral arrangement. Fill a large shell, basket or silver bowl with mercury glass ornaments, sprigs of fresh greenery and some loosely-looped lengths of burlap ribbon. An arrangement like this is low, so guests can see over it to converse while eating. Design by Marian Parsons
Several small arrangements can dress up a table filled with food and drink. For this holiday open house, mercury glass footed bowls are filled with silver and gold ornaments. Tall ceramic vases filled with red roses add height and a colorful accent to the green sequined stockings. Design by Manvi Drona-Hidalgo
When buying flowers for a party, sometimes the best place to look is at your local grocery store. An easy way to make everything cohesive is to stick with one type of flower or green. To get this look, pick up two bunches of eucalyptus, which is readily available at any grocery store. Fill an odd number of clear vases with chunky glitter, then add a few sprigs of your chosen flower.
Make Rudolph and his sleigh full of goodies the star of the table with this fun centerpiece decor. Simply print and cut the Rudolph printable graphic and sleigh templates and hot glue them to a circular piece of white cardstock to make them stand up. Embellish with ribbon and cover base with fake snow or shredded coconut for a touch of seasonal sparkle.
Gingerbread House Centerpiece
Turn this season's gingerbread masterpiece into a chic centerpiece for your holiday table. Let the kids help decorate it with candies and printable party circles, then set it in coconut "snow" atop a cake stand.
Andrew McGary, © 2014 HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved
A cake stand is a versatile starting point for a centerpiece; you can fill it with ornaments, seasonal fruit or take a cue from HGTV Crafternoon's Marianna Canada and transform it into an oversized snow globe. Just add battery-powered LED lights, Epsom salt "sand" and mini bottle brush trees. Watch the video below for step-by-step instructions.
Snow-Globe Centerpiece 01:36
As you're wrapping gifts for friends and family, you're bound to end up with some leftover boxes and paper. Turn the extras into a stylish table display a la designer Michelle Edgemont by wrapping the boxes in coordinating paper, stacking them from largest to smallest and tying them together with a luxurious silk ribbon.
Yarn-Wrapped Pinecones for the Holidays
Add a different spin to your holiday decor with these simple, colorful pinecones. All you need to do to create this look is wrap bright strands of yarn around pinecones — no glue required. They make perfect embellishments for gifts or placed in a bowl as a centerpiece. Design by Camilla
Forage your backyard for pinecones to create a super budget-friendly centerpiece (or you can pick some up at a craft store). Left as-is, they bring a beautiful touch of nature to your table. For a splash of color, consider wrapping the pinecones with yarn, as blogger Camilla Fabbri did here.
Chic Bottle Menorah
Spray paint empty wine bottles gold to create your own beautiful menorah centerpiece. You’ll need one bottle for each of the eight nights of Hanukkah as well as a larger bottle for the Shamash candle, which is used to light the other candles.
Bethany Nauert; Styling by Paige Geffen
Instead of recycling empty wine bottles, upcycle them into a beautiful menorah centerpiece for a Hanukkah party, like designer Erica Reitman did here — all you need is gold spray paint and taper candles. You'll need one bottle for each night of Hanukkah, as well as a larger bottle for the Shamash candle, which is used to light the other candles.
Easily incorporate the boho theme with a DIY yarn wall hanging. It looks like a complicated macrame piece, but it's actually a series of simple knots and braids. Watch our easy instructional video to make your own>>
Do a Play on Words With a Banner
Bring the Outside In
Use branches and leaves to make an earthy, stylish piece of decor. To make this Jewish star wreath, simply tie branches and twigs together piece-by-piece. To assemble, cut six branches to approximately the same length (ours were 24 inches long). Use a floral trimmer or snap branches to shorten them. Tie the branches together, two at a time along with the twine to create a triangular shape. Repeat to make your second triangle, and tie the first triangle (top side up) to the second triangle (top side down) to create the Star of David. Attach leaves or flowers with thin pieces of wire. Don't worry about perfectly lining everything up, as this piece looks fantastic the more imperfect it is.
Twig and Berry Wreath Dresses Up Dessert Table
Wreaths are excellent sources for adding color and texture to holiday tablescapes. Consider placing vessels inside coordinated wreaths for added layers of visual interest throughout the table. Here, a dessert is elevated to new heights with a twig and berry wreath placed around its vessel.
Brian Patrick Flynn
If you have an extra holiday wreath and nowhere to hang it, try laying it flat on your table instead. In the center, place a few pillar candles of varying heights or, as designer Brian Patrick Flynn did here, use it to highlight a delicious-looking dessert.
Terra Cotta Pots
DK - A Greener Christmas, 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited
Upcycle old terra cotta pots into stylish, festive candleholders. Line the base of each with recycled aluminum foil, put a beeswax candle in the center, pack sand around each candle and cover the sand with a pretty arrangement of fresh foliage and bright berries.
Individual Place Setting: Fresh Flowers
Cut fresh flowers from plants that flourish in a winter garden, such as Christmas rose (Helleborus niger), Lenten rose (Helleborus orientalis), or witch hazel (Hamamellis mollis). Put them in a small foil-lined box or pot and add a little water.
Decorated Chair Backs
These simple arrangements, made up of a few stems of trailing ivy (Hedera), mistletoe (Viscum album), and holly (Ilex), roughly tied together with natural raffia, and attached to the back of each chair, will lend a lovely rustic detail to your decorated table.
Fresh Napkin Decoration
Gather a few short stems of fresh mistletoe and a sprig or two of bright berries, bind them together with some garden twine and rest the small posy on a folded linen napkin.
Use Organic Table Linen
Beautiful table linen is the most inviting way to dress your table, no matter what the occasion. Whether you choose a vibrant tablecloth or a pure linen cloth and napkins, they all create the same pleasing effect. Conventional cotton production uses toxic chemicals, so buy organic or vintage cotton linen and enjoy the reassuringly natural quality that we typically associate with this material.
Fixer Upper's Joanna Gaines upcycled an old wooden toolbox, but any vintage or old-looking wooden box will do, really. Just fill your container with fresh greenery and you have an instant rustic-chic centerpiece.
For a coastal Christmas tablescape, pair seashells with sprigs of fresh greenery and burlap ribbon. If you don't live by the shore, pick up some shells at a craft store. Design by Marian Parsons.
Bring the Beach to Christmas
Breezy fabrics, woven textures and seashells work surprisingly well with evergreens, mercury glass and elegant china. With seashells available in craft stores year round, you don't have to live by the seaside to use beach inspired decor when the holidays roll around. Add in favorite pieces beach vacation finds to give the table a personal touch.
A Fresh Start
A piece of loosely-woven, almost-sheer fabric provides a fresh and textural backdrop for this table setting. To keep things simple and casual, leave edges raw and allow them to fray slightly. Use fresh evergreen branches in place of a runner and sprinkle small shells and sand dollars randomly over them.
Where "Shell" You Sit?
Place cards are a great way to make guests feel welcome and special. Create a beachy version by writing each name on the inside of a clam shell with a metallic permanent marker. Rest it on a small evergreen sprig or a colorful napkin — you want to make it stand out. Allow guests to take it home as a small favor. Tip: Leave a blank shell and marker for each guest, so they can embellish it or write a holiday greeting to the host.
A Subtle Theme
Woven textures like rattan and grass cloth reinforce the beach feel of the table in a subtle way. Look for placemats, chargers, napkin rings or serving baskets in these natural, woven materials. Pieces like this can then be used in for future occasions, since they are not specifically beach-or-Christmas-themed.
Center of Attention
A centerpiece doesn't have to be a fussy (and expensive) floral arrangement. Fill a large shell, basket or silver bowl with mercury glass ornaments, sprigs of fresh greenery and some loosely-looped lengths of burlap ribbon. An arrangement like this is low, so guests can see over it to converse while eating.
Don't forget to deck out the chandelier for the occasion. Simply weave evergreen branches through the chandelier arms, wrap loosely with burlap ribbons and tuck in a few starfish. Tie loose branches with twine or florist wire to secure. Hang mercury glass Christmas balls from lengths of twine to reflect light and add a little sparkle. Tip: Always keep greenery away from bulbs for safety.
Tie it Together
Allowing some pieces of burlap ribbon to hang from the chandelier at varying lengths is a simple way to relate decorations in the chandelier with those on the table. Small touches like this tie everything together for greater visual impact.
Keep scale, color and texture in mind when gathering shells to decorate a beach-themed table. Find a good mix of large and small, rough and smooth and varying shades of white, neutrals and brown. Don't stop the search at shells, though; smooth stones, glass fishing floats and netting would all look right at home here.
Rustic Holiday Centerpiece
Forget the florist — this centerpiece starts with evergreen branches you can clip from your yard. Place fresh boughs in a galvanized bucket and swag a wooden bead garland around the greens, then layer homespun items at the base of the vase, like snowflakes, knit "sweater" ornaments, twine-wrapped candles, fresh greens or pinecones.
To copy this rustic yet elegant centerpiece by Marian Parsons, start with a galvanized bucket filled with fresh evergreen branches clipped from your yard. Next, layer pinecones, twine-wrapped candles and knit "sweater" ornaments around the base of the bucket to complete the look. If you don't have a galvanized bucket handy, you can pick one up for cheap at a home improvement store.
Who doesn't end up with tons of leftover candy canes around the holidays? Use them up by crafting this playful centerpiece by Michelle Edgemont. First, hot glue unwrapped candy canes to the bottom of a wooden plate. Crush a few more candy canes and glue those pieces around the bottom of the standing canes.
Glitz and Glam
No holiday decor is complete without glitter. You'll need a white table runner, letter stickers, spray adhesive and gold glitter. First, spell out your seasonal phrase (we chose "Fa La La La La"). Add your phrase onto the runner with the sticker letters. Spray all around the letters with spray adhesive, then pour on the glitter. You'll want to push the glitter into the adhesive a bit. Then "Shake It Off" ala Taylor Swift and save the extra glitter for another project.
Can you believe that this beautiful garland centerpiece is made completely out of faux greens? (Tip: Even if you don't like the whole string of faux greens at the craft store, buy a few different ones and mix three or four varieties together. It gives more texture and realism to your garland.) I added some shimmer (because it's Christmas!) by spray-painting a few of the leaves gold. Finish the look by accenting your garland with taper candles in metallic holders.
This centerpiece is the perfect way to use old Christmas ornaments that no longer match your decor. Pick four coordinating colors of spray paint, like lime green, light pink, shiny red and matte red. Spray the ornaments. When dry, thread them onto a piece of wire right through the top loop on the ornament cap. Place your ornament runner down the center of your table. Keep the rest of the table crisp and white to really let the bright colors of the ornaments pop.
This one takes some craft skills, but once you've got the trees together, they look amazing as a centerpiece on a contemporary table. You'll need cardboard, scissors, a ruler, hot glue and metallic mylar sheets. For each tree, cut three identical triangles out of the cardboard. Glue the triangles together, creating a modern tree shape. Cut three-inch strips out of the mylar. On one side of each strip, cut fringe. Starting at the bottom of each side, glue the fringe to the tree. Continue to layer on the fringe until the whole tree is covered.
Pinecones are a traditional winter decoration and a favorite go-to prop for the holidays. I roughly painted these in shades of winter white. Tip: Mix white acrylic paint with a few drops of gray or gold to create a beautiful winter palette. The pinecones look lovely styled in matte brass bowls.