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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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