Easy Table Toppers

Express your style with your centerpiece -- whether it's clean and simple, elegant and glittery, or traditional.


This low centerpiece is perfect for the dining table. Guests won't have to peer through flowers to converse.

What You Need:

+ enlarge image Apples, grapes, and full-blown roses make an appealing display.
  • 2 footed candle stands with spikes
  • 1 block floral foam
  • Waterproof floral tape or cellophane tape
  • Wooden florist's picks with wires
  • Red or green grapes
  • Green apples
  • 2 dozen white roses (see More Ideas below)

Instructions:

1. Soak the floral foam in water, then cut the block in half. Center one half on each candle stand and push it onto the spike. To keep the floral foam from slipping, secure it to the candle stand with strips of floral tape or cellophane tape.

2. For each arrangement, attach three bunches of grapes to wooden florist's picks. Insert one bunch at each of two corners and insert the third bunch in the center of the opposite side.

3. Snip the wire off a florist's pick, then push the pick into the bottom of an apple. Push picks into floral foam to secure apples to the arrangement. Place them to create a curving line across the front and back of the arrangement or diagonally across the floral foam.

4. Fill in around the apples with roses. Cut the stems so all the rose heads are at about the same height. At the rim of the candle stand, angle the flowers toward the table.

More Ideas:

  • Buy the roses a day or two ahead of the party and let them stand in room-temperature water. They'll be almost fully open when you're ready to arrange them.
  • If a single arrangement looks lonely, make two and place them symmetrically on each side of the center, or make three to five small arrangements and place them along the length of the table.

If this centerpiece is for a table that won't be used for dining -- for example, you're hosting a casual buffet or decorating a sideboard -- add height to create an eye-catching display.

What You Need:

+ enlarge image You can watch this tree take shape before your eyes.
  • Snowman ornament
  • Small plastic container (such as a single-serving microwavable dinner container)
  • 1 block of floral foam
  • Dried apple slices
  • Pepper berries
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Moss
  • Ribbon
  • Hot-glue gun and glue sticks
  • Boxwood branches (available at florist shops)
  • Slender, flexible grapevine (available at florist shops)

Instructions:

+ enlarge image Step 1: Shape floral foam.

1. Soak the entire block of floral foam in water until saturated. (It does not need to be submerged; it will absorb water from the bottom side.) Use a sharp knife to trim the wet block into a rough pyramidal tree shape. Don't give the top too small of a point; it needs to be wide enough to accommodate boxwood stems and a cinnamon stick. Wedge the block into the plastic container.

+ enlarge image Step 2: Add boxwood.

2. Starting at the bottom of the form and working toward the top, insert small stems of boxwood into the floral foam. Insert the lowest branches at a downward angle to hide the container. Gradually shorten the stem lengths as you work toward the top of the form. Angle the stems at the top of the foam so they point up and out.

+ enlarge image Step 3: Grapevine garland.

3. With the glue gun, glue apple slices, pepper berries, and ribbon bows to the boxwood as desired. Loosely wrap grapevine around the tree and insert cinnamon sticks into the floral foam. Glue a cinnamon stick to the back of the snowman ornament, and push the stick into the top of the tree. (You may want to start this hole with an old screwdriver or pencil.)

This centerpiece can be assembled at practically the last minute for a sparkling holiday display.

What You Need:

+ enlarge image Serve up this quick centerpiece in a flash.
  • Serving tray (silver, brass, or glass)
  • 3 to 5 pillar candles of different heights
  • Fresh fir, holly, and apples
  • Flower water vials
  • 2 to 4 roses and lilies
  • 1 coil of wired garland with stars

Instructions:

1. Place serving tray in the center of the table.

2. Arrange pillar candles just off center.

3. Place fresh fir, holly, and apples around the candles, extending the branches along the length of the tray.

4. Insert a few stems of roses and lilies into water vials and tuck the flowers among the apples and greenery.

5. Unwind garland and loop it around the arrangement in a free-form style. Just be sure to keep it clear of the candle flames.

Tips:

  • Water vials are available from floral-supply shops and some crafts stores.
  • Wired garland is available at party-supply outlets and crafts stores.
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