Simple Christmas Centerpieces

Gorgeous Christmas centerpieces don't need to take a lot of time or expensive materials. Get inspired with these beautiful -- yet easy -- arrangements that will wow your family and guests.

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amaryllis in vase
Amaryllis and Cranberries Centerpiece

    A single amaryllis stem makes a dramatic statement as a centerpiece. Place the stem in a few inches of water in a tall cylindrical vase. Hide the stem with cranberries and finish with a red ribbon and a small pine branch cutting.

Powder Blue Mini Bouquet Centerpieces

    Bulky centerpieces can hinder lively dinner conversations, but these mini bouquets are easy to talk over. Spray-paint an inexpensive drinking glass powder blue, let dry, and wrap it with glittery gold ribbon. Fill glass with white leptospermum (ask your local florist to find it).

    Editor's Tip: Use two colors of spray paint to add depth. Place a similarly decorated round ornament next to the vase for extra holiday cheer.

Luminarias Centerpiece

    Transform plain white paper bags into luminarias for an inventive holiday centerpiece on the cheap. Use a large scalloped-edge punch to create the detail on the bags, then weave ribbon through the openings and secure with double-sided tape. Use battery-operated tea lights instead of candles for long-lasting, safe illumination.

Blooming Tree Holiday Centerpiece

    Put a twist on typical holiday table decor with a tree-inspired centerpiece. To create the trunk, wrap a clear glass vase with bark chips. Surround the vase with faux variegated moss and top with nuts, berries, and tiny decorative birds to mimic a forest setting. Bring the "tree" into bloom with a lush floral arrangement of hydrangeas, roses, fresh greenery, and hypericum berries.

Tray of Yews Holiday Centerpiece

    Foot-high yews with root balls nestled in moss look fresh lined up in a galvanized tray. You can find these mini evergreens at your local nursery. Anchor with white and purple eggplants for an all-natural centerpiece.

    Editor's Tip: To keep plants from drying out, place out of direct sunlight and water twice a week. Limit display time to 2-3 weeks; after three weeks, trees will come out of winter hibernation and start to grow like houseplants.

Tulips and Pinecones Holiday Centerpiece

    Incorporate natural elements, such as fresh flowers, in your holiday centerpiece. Fill varying sizes of cobalt blue -- or your favorite festive hue -- glassware with wintry white tulips. Arrange the makeshift vases around oversize metallic-sprayed pinecones and silvery ornament balls.

Tissue Paper Flowers Centerpiece

    Petals scattered around candles in glass goblets make an elegant centerpiece when displayed on a simple wooden platter. These paper petals bloom beautifully all season long -- perfect for holiday soirees! To create a blossom, cut 3-inch circles from eight layers of light-color tissue paper. Place in a stack, then poke a hole through the stack with a pin. Pull the paper off the tip of a twist tie and insert the exposed wire through the paper layers. Twist the wire to create the flower center. Help the flower bloom by gently pulling up one layer at a time.

Amaryllis and Pineapple Centerpiece

    Let nature do the legwork in a beautiful centerpiece that's also a conversation starter. Simply hollow out a pineapple, set it in a tray filled with cranberries, and arrange classic Christmas amaryllis inside the makeshift vase.

    Editor's Tip: To make your amaryllis blooms last, set the bouquet in a vase with water first, then set the vase inside the pineapple.

Candy Canes and Carnations Holiday Centerpiece

    Add high-contrast punch to white table linens with a few touches of red. Red-and-white carnations and a striped runner (easily made from a fabric remnant) draw the eye to the center of this table and establish the candy cane theme. Fill a pretty glass bowl with ornaments and greenery for extra class.

White Hyacinth Holiday Centerpiece

    This centerpiece filled with seasonal, natural elements is versatile enough for any holiday occasion. Simply fill a large, low bowl with boxwood, pinecones, and white hyacinth.

Sugar-Coated Fruit Centerpiece

    There's nothing sweeter than this sugary holiday centerpiece. Fill an ebony wood compote with artificial snow. Embellish with wax sugar-coated pears, plums, and grapes.

Glass Cloche Holiday Centerpiece

    Bright vintage ornaments arranged under a glass cloche add sparkle to the holiday spread. Choose a few favorite ornaments and show them off on a shallow white bowl or simple white plate.

Winter White Holiday Centerpiece

    A holiday table is even cozier when layered in winter whites. To make the runner, cut felt by the yard to the needed length and 18-24 inches wide. Trace halfway around a drinking glass at the ends of the runner to create scalloped edges; cut out with scissors. Embellish with punched scalloped-edge circles. On smaller sections of felt, punch more scalloped-edge circles, and wrap felt around oversize glass vases. Insert candles for a soft, wintry white glow, and scatter felt cutout snowflakes across the table runner.

Freshen with Botanicals

    Elevate a humble wooden box to Christmas-centerpiece status. Start by lining the box with dry florist's foam to anchor evergreen sprigs. Attach citrus fruits (lemons, oranges, limes) to florist's picks and tuck into the greenery. Add interest by cutting some of the fruits in half or adding decorative details.

    Editor's Tip: Make orange pomanders by using a large needle to poke holes into the orange. Push the stems of whole cloves into the holes.

White Gold

    Large white hydrangea blooms fill a white pitcher (or try a bowl!) with fresh floral splendor. We added seeded eucalyptus leaves and a few stalks of white snaps and filled in with golden holiday ornaments on wires. Fresh green and red apple slices surround the neutral centerpiece with a bright border.

Under Glass

    A clear glass cloche on a platter or tray plays host to a few perfect decorations: one stunning holiday ornament, a few sprigs of evergreens, and a single perfect rose. Keep the rose fresh by inserting the stem into a florist's water tube, which can be concealed under the greenery.

Front and Center

    This tabletop take on pomander balls makes an eye-catching Christmas display. Simply soak florist's foam balls in water and cover with red carnations. Place the finished balls atop white vases or urns placed in a row in the center of your table.

Glad Tidings

    For this organic centerpiece, insert a chunk of wet florist's foam into the bottom of the urn and fill with water. Cut each gladiolus stem into three or more sections, with at least two florets on each section. Insert the cut ends into the wet foam, turning the container as you work. Add filler around the base and up through the flowers (we used green hypericum berries and waxflower foliage).

Relaxed Holiday Brunch

    This setting for brunch reflects a relaxed country French approach to decorating. The dining room features a red-and-white color scheme as a backdrop.

Little but Lasting

    Decorate your table with small arrangements of alstroemeria and birch twigs. We added a filler of beige rice flowers and long, green amaranth seed heads. Find similar shaped flowers at your local florist or grocery store. Or clip twigs from your yard for a personal touch.

Think Small

    Instead of one gigantic centerpiece, consider making several smaller bouquets for the table. A silver ornament and sprigs of evergreen are nods to the holiday season, but this idea is versatile: Flowers could be any color or type that complements your china and table linens.

Wreath Ring

    This centerpiece idea is great if you have a large dining table. Set a wreath down on the table and place various candlesticks in the center and around the outside of it. Note the height variations from low votives to a tall hurricane candle.

Sparkling White

    Capture the look of a snowy Christmas with an all-white centerpiece and table decor. The secret to a beautiful monochromatic table setting is using a variety of materials. Here, the table boasts everything from elegant white orchids to dishes and flatware in shades of ivory.

    Editor's Tip: Texture often assumes greater importance in a monochromatic setting. The ribbed vases, pressed-glass stemware, and embroidered tablecloth all add interest to the scene.

Flowers and Votives

    A block of soaked florist's foam holds this arrangement in place. Three glass votive cups were set on top of the foam -- making it easy to change the candles as needed. Curly twigs inserted into the foam hold the glass cups in place. Next, flowers and greens are arranged around the sides of the foam, draping down to the tabletop.

Gilded Fruit

    Whether silver, gold, or copper, metallics can make a table spectacular when displayed in clear glass containers. Look for gilded artificial fruits (these are pomegranates) at a crafts or floral supply store, or make your own (see link below). Mix in a few small- and medium-size beads, garlands, or berries for added glimmer.

Switch It Up

    Centerpieces usually run the length of the table. For something different, keep the centerpiece in the middle of the table, but stretch it across the width instead. Here, evergreen boughs drape across the table horizontally and are accented with pretty red flowers and white berry sprigs.

Low Glow

    Real or artificial magnolia leaves (we gave ours a quick spritz of gold paint) are set on a flat platter to form the foundation for an arrangement of holiday ornaments and tiny berry sprigs. Easy and impressive!

Serving Up Sophistication

    A pair of stacked cake plates dressed with evergreens, glass balls, pinecones, and red berries makes a sophisticated, no-fuss centerpiece.

All Boxed Up

    A rustic wooden toolbox lets a holiday centerpiece spread out. Stand pillar candles on supports, such as candleholders or even soup cans, so they are set at different heights. Next, add bowls or low containers of damp florist's foam and arrange the greenery. A sweep of garland and a cardinal's nest add a final touch.

    Editor's Tip: Be sure to keep the candle flames a safe distance from the greenery and other elements.

Fresh Arrangement

    To make this fresh floral centerpiece, fill a silver ice bucket with soaked florist's foam. Insert white pine branches so they arch down and touch the tabletop. Next, insert groups of fresh flowers -- we chose hydrangea and roses -- along with a few pinecones attached to sturdy wire picks for stability.

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