Create a Rustic Fall Centerpiece in a Dough Bowl

Add a rustic touch to your Thanksgiving table with a low centerpiece created by filling a vintage dough bowl or wooden trencher with seasonal pumpkins, gourds, pinecones and flowering branches.

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October 02, 2015

A Centerpiece in a Snap

Too pretty to just store out of sight, a vintage dough bowl is begging to be filled and put on display. If you struggle with creating a Thanksgiving centerpiece, starting with a container with character will simplify the process.  

Opt for a Fresh Palette

When selecting items to fill your dough bowl, skip the traditional fall favorite — orange pumpkins  — and instead add pops of green, white and yellow. Bright green apples, deep-green acorn squash and white pumpkins are still seasonal and read as fall decor, but look fresh.

Think Beyond the Dough Bowl

If you don't have a vintage dough bowl at your disposal, substitute a low metal or wood bin, trough, crate or even a shallow basket. Just find something with the right shape and scale for your table.  

Create Complementary Pieces

Take your Thanksgiving table to the next level by flanking the centerpiece with pillar candles on cake plates, pedestals or candle stands. Wrap candles in a bit of twine or ribbon to add texture, then surround with materials from the dough bowl to tie the two decorative elements together.

Bouquets for the Buffet

Don'€™t limit your fall decoratons to the table; create small, casual arrangements to brighten up your buffet or hutch. Fill pitchers, creamers or vases with simple flowers, dried bittersweet branches, wheat sprigs and even small fruit or mini pumpkins on skewers.

Individual Arrangements

These sweet little bouquets were made by tying dried wheat sprigs and solidago (or goldenrod) together with twine. Use hearty fresh foliage that will look nice out of water for hours, so they don't wilt on the table. Tie a tag onto each bouquet, with the guest's name, a verse, poem or favorite saying, and give to them as a favor.

Coordinating Tableware

Create a cohesive look by adding linens and flatware that tie into the colors of the dough bowl centerpiece. Inexpensive green fabric napkins pop against the warm wood table and highlight the bright green used in the flowers and apples.    

Be Mindful of Scale

Tall centerpieces can block conversation, so to ensure your arrangement doesn't distract from the festivities, keep it low. Test the height before guests arrive by siting at a few different locations around the table.  

Creatively Pick Your Produce

Stroll through your local farmers' market or grocery store produce aisle to see what produce inspires you. Acorn and pattypan squash have almost the same shape as pumpkins, but are petite in scale, which is appropriate for an arrangement like this. Keep your options open. Figs, mini apples and pears, grapes and artichokes can all be used for decoration (and eaten later!).  

Create a Color Scheme

Think of the colors used in the centerpiece as a jumping-off point for the rest of the room's fall decorations. There's no need to do a full makeover — just add a few other elements that reinforce that color scheme and temporarily remove items that detract from it. The overall look created will be worth the extra effort.

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