11 Things You Can Repurpose as a Holiday Centerpiece

Skip the trip to the florist and make an easy centerpiece for your holiday table using items you already own (or can pick up for cheap).

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.

Ornaments

Ornamental

Ornamental

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

Photo by: © She-N-He.com ©She-n-He Photography

© 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.

37 Eye-Catching Christmas Centerpieces

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Mossy Gift Box Centerpiece

Wow your holiday dinner guests with this eye-catching, nature-inspired gift box centerpiece. Get crafting with our step-by-step instructions.

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  1. moss
  2. box

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.

Candy-Inspired Centerpiece

Perfect for a kids' table, this simple, shatter-proof centerpiece is made from foam candy cane spheres, tree trimmings, red feathers and glittery plastic ornaments, all tucked inside a Chinese takeout-style box.

Rustic Charm

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.

Green Glistening Centerpiece

This collection of monochromatic objects in a wide, low basket makes a simple and chic centerpiece. Using bright, sparkling green is a modern twist on the traditional evergreen hues.

Chic Silver Centerpiece

If in doubt, try this centerpiece formula: holiday serving dish + sparkling ornaments + greenery. Here, a footed silver bowl is filled with glass balls amidst a spray of eucalyptus branches. Well-placed Christmas lights add seasonal highlights.

Reflective Quality

For an elegant display, surround a glass hurricane with glass ornaments in reflective hues, like the silver and blue ones here. To pull the centerpiece together, use a white serving platter as the base. Photo courtesy of Katrina Giles.

Simple, Yet Stunning

A tall glass cylinder full of branches adds height to a tablescape. Since branches last longer than fresh flowers, you can use the display throughout the season. Design by Erinn Valencich.

From: Erinn Valencich

Warm Up the Table

Candles make for the perfect centerpiece. They add ambient light to your table and can be adapted to suit your home's style. For a rustic display, sprinkle pinecones and pods amidst the candles. Design by Erinn Valencich.

From: Erinn Valencich

Cheery Christmas Topiaries

Get a little help from the kids to create these bright "trees" made from foam cones, yarn and buttons. Group them together to add a colorful pop to your holiday table.

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.

Colorful and Cheery

Spice up your tabletop with a centerpiece of glittering trees and stacked ornament topiaries. RMSer ms mags creates interest by placing the items on cake plates of varying heights.

Herb Centerpiece

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.

Photo By: DK - A Greener Christmas ©2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited

A Touch of Glitz

A bit of spray paint transforms a basic candleholder or vase into something worthy of the holiday table. Pair silver and gold accents with rustic, found objects and a bouquet starring wintry garden picks alongside blooms from the florist.

©Image courtesy of She-n-He Photography

Mercury-Glass Votives

Bring a metallic touch to your Christmas centerpiece by applying silver leaf to inexpensive glass votives and hurricanes. With just a few minutes, you can create the look of mercury glass without the cost.

Traditional Trimmings

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.

Terra Cotta Candleholders

Turn three simple terracotta pots into stylish 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.

Photo By: DK - A Greener Christmas ©2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited

15-Minute Centerpiece

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.

Cottage Christmas

Turn a dessert stand into a three-tiered centerpiece featuring silver ornament balls, sparkling starfish, strands of jewelry and holiday greenery. Design by HGTV fan single_mom_on_a_budget.

©HGTV fan single_mom_on_a_budget

Look Up

Centerpieces aren't just for the table; free up valuable serving space by adorning the ceiling instead. Here, glittering icicles, crystal baubles and clear bulbs create a faux chandelier fit for a holiday celebration.

Christmas Countdown

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.

Dramatic Table Runner

Add a frosty touch to your holiday table with this easy-to-create felt snowflake table runner. Top it with rustic found objects, candles and ornaments for an inexpensive and easy Christmas centerpiece.

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.  

Photo By: Photography by Alexandra Grablewski

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.

Coffee-Filter Christmas Trees

Dip coffee filters in fabric dye for a trendy ombre effect, then stack them to create a quick-and-easy tabletop Christmas tree that's just the right size for a holiday centerpiece.

Cake Plate Ornaments

This simple, eye-catching display is perfect for a last-minute party. Pile glass ball ornaments on top of one another in a pyramid shape atop a cake stand. Hold them together using double-sided tape.

Cranberry Topiary

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.

Silver Bells

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

Simple Centerpieces

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

Supermarket Centerpiece

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.

Paper Centerpiece

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.

Make a Centerpiece That Pops

For a simple, modern look, group an odd number of white vases and fill each with one color of flowers, like the pink and white versions here. A few gold ornaments in the central white hydrangea arrangement adds unexpected sparkle.

Winter-Inspired Terrarium

Add height to your holiday dinner table with a winter-inspired terrarium that's filled with greenery and festive flair. Get the easy instructions here>>

Cake Stand

Vintage Red-and-White Holiday Table Setting

Vintage Red-and-White Holiday Table Setting

As seen on HGTV Crafternoon, this sweet holiday table setting was inspired by vintage christmas decor. This retro look features red, white and mint, with repurposed cookie jars standing in for traditional vases.

From: HGTV Crafternoon

Photo by: Andrew McGary ©© 2014 HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

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

Marianne shows how to create a whimsical snow globe from a cake stand.

Gifts

Gifts Centerpiece

Gifts Centerpiece

You are already wrapping gifts for your friends and family, might as well wrap a few empty boxes more beautifully to use on your table. I love the idea of using all the same paper, stacking up the presents, and tying them together with a luxurious silk ribbon.

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.

10 Uses for Extra Gift Wrap

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Tray Liners

If you entertain year round, take your servingware to the next level. Trim your gift wrap to size, then line your favorite trays and platters to give them a fresh and sophisticated look.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Book Covers

Not every book is worthy of display on your smartly styled bookshelf. Wrap those not-so-cute (or guilty pleasure) hardcovers in vibrant papers for a bit of colorful eye candy.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Placemats

Nothing pulls together a drab table quicker than pretty placemats. Sandwich metallic gift wrap in clear contact paper for a glamorous look that will hold up to any accidental drips and spills.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Haute Notebooks

Almost everyone needs a petite notebook to jot things down. Make several versions with coordinating gift wrap and gift them to friends. Just be sure to make a couple for yourself, too!

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Wall Art

Bare walls are no fun, but attractive wall art can get pricey. Wrap cereal boxes in a graphic paper, then hang them in a symmetrical grouping for visual impact. Instant gratification!

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Drawer Liners

Even a junk drawer deserves some love. Lining shelves and drawers with bright, cheery paper will inspire you to keep everything organized and in its place.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo Mattes

Elevate family photos with a custom matte, or group them together for one-of-a-kind tabletop art.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Paperweight

If you only have a little bit of paper but you just can’t part with it, make a paperweight. It’s functional and makes a stylish statement on any desk or table.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Paper Tree

Repurpose festive paper into holiday decorations you'll use year after year. Roll the paper into cones and hot glue onto a foam cone for a unique tree with loads of shine and texture.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Box Filler

Make sure all those gifts arrive in mint condition by packing them with care. Replace boring bubble wrap or tissue paper with shredded wrapping paper. By shredding your gift-wrap leftovers, you’ll have plenty of packing material that's as functional as it is festive.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Pinecones

Yarn-Wrapped Pinecones for the Holidays

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.

Wine Bottles

Chic Bottle Menorah

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.

Photo by: Bethany Nauert; Styling by Paige Geffen

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. 

Host a Boho Hanukkah Party

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Set Your Hanukkah Dinner Table

A bold shibori-dyed tablecloth works as a chic updated interpretation of the traditional blue and white color scheme associated with Hanukkah. 

Photo By: Bethany Nauert; Styling by Paige Geffen

Add Warmth

Add some texture with sheepskin throws and fresh flowers and greenery.

Photo By: Bethany Nauert; Styling by Paige Geffen

Mix and Match Place Settings

Mixing metallics is a stylish trend that works perfectly for a holiday table setting. Pair a dark blue and aqua place setting with a brightly-colored napkin to bring a touch of the unexpected to the table.  

Photo By: Bethany Nauret; Styling by Paige Geffen

DIY Decorations

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>>

Photo By: Bethany Nauret; Styling by Paige Geffen

Light the Menorah

Spray paint empty wine bottles gold to create your own beautiful menorah centerpiece. 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. 

Photo By: Bethany Nauert; Styling by Paige Geffen

Make the Perfect Hostess Gift

These matchboxes are easy and thoughtful to make for a host. Cover a box of matches with chalk contact paper, and write celebratory messages with a white chalk marker. Pair the matches with a box of Hanukkah candles, and tie with a bow. 

Add a Punch of Color

Make a fun, quirky pom-pom bouquet by simply sticking barbecue skewers into pom poms from the craft store.

Serve Hanukkah Sangria

Use your favorite sangria recipe, but replace the red wine with blackberry wine. Add fresh blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and peaches to amp up the flavor. For a kid-friendly version, use sparkling grape juice instead. 

Photo By: Bethany Nauert; Styling by Paige Geffen

Make Dreidel-Shaped Appetizers

Cut cheddar cheese sticks into squares, and snip off the ends so they resemble dreidels. Use a toothpick to make a hole in the top of the cheese, and place a small pretzel stick inside. 

Photo By: Bethany Nauert; Styling by Paige Geffen

Try This Sufganiyot Jelly Doughnut Hack

Fry your own traditional Israeli jelly doughnuts, or take the easy route. Put jelly in a squeeze bottle, and fill store-bought powdered doughnut holes. 

Photo By: Bethany Nauert; Styling by Paige Geffen

Washi Tape Gift Tags

Celebrate Hanukkah with the kids by making gift tags decorated with washi tape. The kids can use them to wrap presents for friends and family.

Photo By: Bethany Nauert; Styling by Paige Geffen

Do a Play on Words With a Banner

Have a little fun with Hanukkah traditions with a banner. This one speaks to the traditional game of spin the dreidel. To make, cut card stock pieces into the same shape, and tie ribbon to connect each one. Add glitter letter stickers to spell out a Hanukkah-themed message.  

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Photo By: Bethany Nauert; Styling by Paige Geffen

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.  

Photo By: Bethany Nauert; Styling by Paige Geffen

Hanukkah Stockings

Make modern Hanukkah stockings to help kids keep track of each night of the holiday. To make, label each paper bag 1-8 to represent each night of Hanukkah. Put a small gift in each bag, and allow the kids to open the small gift after you light the menorah. 

Photo By: Bethany Nauert; Styling by Paige Geffen

Set Up a Craft Table for the Kids

If you have kids at your Hanukkah gathering, set up a craft table to keep them busy. Use card stock to make gift tags, or have them decorate dreidel-shaped paper with washi tape, colored pencils and markers.  

Photo By: Bethany Nauret; Styling by Paige Geffen

Gelt Connect Four

Ditch the checkers for Hanukkah gelt instead, and re-invent some of your favorite games. 

Photo By: Bethany Nauert; Styling by Paige Geffen

Wreath

Twig and Berry Wreath Dresses Up Dessert Table

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.

Photo by: Brian Patrick Flynn

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

Terra Cotta Centerpiece

Terra Cotta Centerpiece

Turn three simple terracotta pots into stylish 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.

Photo by: DK - A Greener Christmas ©2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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.

12 Holiday Table Decorations From Nature

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Herb Centerpiece

Gather a selection of fresh, seasonal herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme and bay leaves, and use them to create an alternative table centerpiece.

Photo By: DK - A Greener Christmas ©2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Fresh Foliage Centerpiece

Pick a selection of whatever fresh foliage and winter flowers you may have growing in your garden for this variation on the evergreen centerpiece.

Photo By: DK - A Greener Christmas ©2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Individual Place Setting: Rosemary and Sage

Place a few sprigs of rosemary in a tiny galvanized bucket, tuck in a sage stem and add a little water.

Photo By: DK - A Greener Christmas ©2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Individual Place Setting: Bay Leaf, Thyme and Rosemary

Place thyme and rosemary sprigs in a tiny bucket and insert three bay leaves in a row.

Photo By: DK - A Greener Christmas ©2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Individual Place Setting: Ivy and Red Berries

Fill an egg cup with sprigs of bright red berries and tuck in a few short lengths of ivy around the edge.

Photo By: DK - A Greener Christmas ©2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Individual Place Setting: Rosehips, Ivy and Moss

Put a few slightly longer rosehip stems in an egg cup and pack moss and ivy leaves around them.

Photo By: DK - A Greener Christmas ©2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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.

Terracotta Pot Candleholders

Turn three simple terracotta pots into stylish 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.

Photo By: DK - A Greener Christmas ©2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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.

Dried Napkin Decoration

Make a simple napkin decoration by gluing together a dried leaf, a dried orange slice and a cinnamon stick. Rest it lightly on a folded linen napkin, or secure it with a length of natural raffia.

Photo By: DK - A Greener Christmas ©2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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.

Photo By: DK - A Greener Christmas ©2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Vintage Toolbox

Greenery in Old Wooden Tool Box

Greenery in Old Wooden Tool Box

A centerpiece of fresh greenery is planted in an old wooden tool box on the coffee table in the newly renovated living room.

From: Fixer Upper

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.

Shells

Coastal Christmas Seashell Centerpiece

Coastal Christmas Seashell Centerpiece

A coastal holiday centerpiece features evergreen fronds and seashells.

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.

Set a Coastal Holiday Table

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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.

Forget Flowers

Instead of messing with arrangements you have to water, create bouquets of conch shells. Start with a low, wide-mouthed vessel, like a large sugar jar. Fill perimeter with sprigs of greenery and then arrange 3-5 conch shells in the center.

Create Drama

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.

Fuller is Better

When it comes to table settings, fuller is better! A sparse table can look stark and uninviting. Use greenery and shells to create a feast for the eyes. Set up food and extra beverages on a buffet or side table.

Shell Searching

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.

Galvanized Bucket

Rustic Holiday Centerpiece

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.

Candy Canes

Candy Cane Centerpiece

Candy Cane Centerpiece

Traditional candy canes become an untraditional centerpiece decoration to modernize your table. 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.

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.

10 Non-Floral Holiday Centerpieces

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Candy Cane Village

Classic candy canes become a nontraditional centerpiece to modernize your table. Glue unwrapped candy canes to the bottom of a wooden plate. Crush a few more candy canes, then glue those pieces around the bottom of the standing candy 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.

Organic Flair

Update a few basic hurricane candles with seasonal spices and greens, like cinnamon sticks, moss and foraged branches. With a bit of glue, attach your decor all around the the candle in an organic way. This is the perfect way to add a rustic touch to a modern dining room.

Green Touches

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.

Tiered Treats

You're already wrapping gifts for your friends and family, so you might as well wrap a few empty boxes to use on your table. I love the idea of using all the same paper, stacking up the presents and tying them together with a luxurious silk ribbon.

Unexpected Upcycling

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.

Metallic Fringe

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.

Winter Whites

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.

Glitter Filler

Instead of using candles, fill glass hurricanes with sparkle this holiday season. Use tinsel, glitter, metallic garland and filler for holiday decor. The glass hurricanes keep the sparkling fun contained but still visible for all your holiday guests.

Seasonal Warmth

Use faux sheepskin on your table in an unconventional way during the holidays. This look will bring a warm and cozy atmosphere to any dining room, especially with the addition of birch candles and rustic branch decor.

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