Gather your friends and use these patriotic decorating, entertaining, and recipe ideas for this year's 4th of July celebration. From festive star banners and refreshing watermelon coolers to raveworthy party favors and more, your 4th of July party is bound to be summer's biggest shindig.View Slideshow
Let nature inspire your next centerpiece. These fall arrangements include gourds, flowers, fall leaves, nuts, and more to create gorgeous, fresh-from-outside tabletops that will brighten your day.
A bowlful of bounty makes a simply stunning centerpiece for your fall table. Pile squash, shallots, onions, nuts, and pears in a woven basket or tray along with a few dried naturals from a crafts store or outside. You'll have an autumn conversation piece that takes just minutes to pull together.
Create stunning contrast in this fire-and-ice centerpiece by using bold red leaves and cool blue vases. A multitude of fresh red oak branches capture autumn's essence while coastal blue vessels add showstopping pop.
Swap a traditional glass vase for a head of dramatic purple cabbage. Hollow out the center with a metal spoon or pineapple corer, then place wet florist's foam or a small jar of water inside. Loosely arrange flowers -- peonies, roses, dahlias, and more -- then surround the blooms with artichokes and flowering kale or curly lettuce. For candles, trim the stem from a napa cabbage. Wrap the leaves around tumblers, tie with string, and float tea lights in water for a glittering glow.
Bring the wonders and awe of fall inside using a beautiful, bounty-filled bell jar as a centerpiece. For the bottom, use a shallow terra-cotta bulb dish to spotlight mini pumpkins and a sprig of oak leaves on a bed of moss. Any terrarium, or even a glass cake cover, can stand in. Let a few pumpkins, leaves, and an apple or two, spill outside the glass onto the table.
Editor's Tip: If you're using a porous vase, like these clay pots, put the branches in a jar filled with water before placing in the pots.
Gather garden mums and arrange away for an instant fall-style upgrade. Look for pom-pom, anemone, quill, spider, brush or thistle, single, and double mums -- all plentiful in gardens and grocery stores throughout fall. We've arranged clusters of the same flowers from light to dark for a stunning look. Put them in same-size vases, then wrap the vase collection with fabric.
Create an elegant, colorful centerpiece using a gilded pitcher and a brilliant bouquet of flowers. To make, lightly spray roses, dahlias, and rose hips with gold glitter paint to echo the shine of the pitcher.
Freshly fallen from an autumn tree, this centerpiece idea is simple and sweet. Choose a bouquet of maple, oak, sweetgum, dogwood, or persimmon leaves, which typically develop the brightest hues. Then fill the rounded clear vase halfway with water.
Oak trees drop beautiful elements perfect for a fall centerpiece. Acorns become easy ornaments with a coat of acrylic paint on the seeds and loops of twine glued to the caps. Drape the acorn ornaments on a branch slipped inside a shapely vase. Place the vase on a silver tray filled with unpainted acorns. Bright red accents -- vase, napkins, and place mats -- add vibrant appeal.
Editor's Tip: Choose an accent that suits your tableware palette. The hues of fall -- red, orange, gold, and yellow -- are particularly lovely in accessories, but blue, purple, and green shades also add an unexpected burst of color to the nut-brown vignette.
Play the rustic, uneven colors and natural textures of wine corks against the smooth shimmer of clear glass for a simple and elegant fall centerpiece. A large footed glass candleholder lifts the scene above the table setting, while a white votive shimmers in the center of the medley of corks. Set the sophisticated neutral centerpiece on a bright table runner to set the scene with fall color.
Editor's Tip: For more fall flavor, tuck brightly colored leaves or berries amid the corks. Make sure any flammable elements are protected from the candle flame.
Junk-drawer finds, such as old copper doorknobs, become unexpected centerpieces. Tuck in some seasonal grasses. We used sea oats (Chasmanthium) for our display and --mvoila! -- a fall masterpiece in minutes.
Watch Sandra Lee celebrate the harvest season by making an elegant wheat centerpiece.
White pumpkins and twisted vines of bittersweet put on an unrivaled display. Wrap long berry-laden vines two or three times around medium-size pumpkins, and secure the ends with florist's wire. Parade the wrapped pumpkins down the center of the table. Add to the warm autumn mood with glass votives partially filled with bittersweet berries. Bittersweet vines are also lovely tucked into a colored glass bottle, swirled inside a clear hurricane, or used as an accent with other fall plants.
Editor's Tip: To better preserve the color of bittersweet berries, keep the cut ends of the stems in about an inch of water while the berries dry out for a few days. Bittersweet berries hold their color for several weeks, making them a long-lasting seasonal accent.
For a centerpiece that's quick to make and easy on your pocketbook, bring nuts and pears into the mix. A simple black basket keeps the focus on the inner contents, and some fallen leaves add a splash of fall color to the arrangement.
Orange and gold may be the traditional colors of fall, but the ghostly hues of white pumpkins and pale pistachios have their own appeal. Design an intriguing centerpiece by gluing miniature white pumpkins to a straw wreath. Glue pistachios in the open spaces to cover the wreath. A white pillar candle set in the center completes the nature-focused tone-on-tone look.
Editor's Tip: If you prefer orange pumpkins, create a similar monochromatic look with miniature orange pumpkins, bittersweet sprigs, and an orange pillar candle.
Create simple but striking arrangements with autumn beauties. A single cattail stalk with its fuzzy brown head and slender green stalk is lovely on its own. Grouped in individual green glass cylinder vases, the cattail stems' simplicity takes on dramatic elegance. Nest the stalks in a base of dried nuts, beans, or stones to echo the brown heads. You also can create a grouping of single stems using ornamental grasses, coneflower seed heads, or dried hydrangea blooms.
When arranged in multiple tiny vessels, two bouquets of store-bought flowers -- miniature orange roses and red and chartreuse chrysanthemums -- have big impact. Divvy up the blooms into mismatched bottles or glasses, accenting them with snips of crabapple berries and grasses. Set the vases on a tray and toss a handful of acorns and nutmeg to play up the season.
Dress up your dining table -- without hindering conversation -- by making a festive, low-profile centerpiece. Cut branches of hypericum berries and chartreuse spider chrysanthemums short enough to just peek over the tops of several glass vases; then arrange them down the center of a long tray. Fill out the rest of the tray with apples, pears, and bunches of elderberries to create an abundant display.
Bored with your fruitful centerpiece? Bedazzle fall apples and pears with jewels and gems for bling that's sure to shine. Watch this video for step-by-step directions.
All it takes is a vintage pail and some leaves from Mother Nature to make this fallworthy centerpiece. Place magnolia leaves into a bucket, using florist's foam to keep the arrangement in place. The arrangement works best if you place tall leaves in back and shorter leaves in front.
Editor's Tip: For extra color, tuck a few fresh (or dried) flowers into the pail.
Simple wood candleholders become centerpieceworthy when dressed up with roses and greenery. Soak florist's foam until saturated and gently tape to the top of the candlestick. Insert roses in small groupings, then add hypericum to finish. Candles with a wood pattern play up the natural sophistication of the display.
Editor's Tip: Let the display sit on a towel for a few minutes, as the florist's foam will drip at first.
A touch of copper turns garden-variety grasses into long-lasting, elegant bouquets. Here, a copper pipe coupler holds purple fountain grass, horsetail, and maiden grass in a freestanding display.
Dried beans make an inexpensive yet chic autumn vase filler -- and you'll likely have them in your pantry. For this arrangement, we filled a cylinder glass vase with two inches of white beans and added a branch of yellow berries. You also can use red kidney beans with orange berries.
Small rose bouquets rest beside a linen satchel supporting a branch of fall-color leaves. Before placing it in the linen bag, secure the branch in a planter with florist's foam to help it stay upright. If it's top-heavy, weigh it down with stones or use a smaller branch.