Floating Flowers and Candles Centerpiece
For a romantic outdoor centerpiece, float a dozen dahlias in a 14-inch copper-plated saucer filled with water (you can also use any 2-inch deep, watertight container for this display -- metal cake or ceramic casserole pans work well). Add a few floating candles to the display for added romantic ambiance at your outdoor gathering. To make the centerpiece more prominent on the table, elevate it by setting it on a trivet.
Editor's Tip: Only keep candles lit for the amount of time you'll be outside, and keep a close watch on them while they're lit as a precaution.
Bright Bouquet Centerpiece
Any arrangement of flowers will work in this five-minute centerpiece (we used sunflowers, thistle, and hydrangea), which yields a bright and colorful bouquet. Display the flowers in a galvanized pail for a rustic outdoor feel.
A small collection of plump succulents, staged in a slate planter, can become the center of attention on your outdoor table. Plant a variety of succulents, such as hens-and-chicks, sedums, Crassula selections, and kalanchoes, in a rectangular slate planter (available in the gardening section of home improvement stores). Combine the succulents with stones and chunks of recycled glass. If your planter doesn't have a drainage hole, water sparingly and bring it inside on rainy days.
Editor's Tip: You can save money on this centerpiece by taking cuttings of succulents from your garden and rooting them in the planter filled with equal parts mix of sand, perlite, and potting soil.
Wildflowers and Colored-Glass Table Accents
Rely on wildflowers and colored glass to brighten up your outdoor table. Simply tuck a handful of wildflowers and herbs, such as lavender and mint, into a glass bottle for a fragrant (and frugal!) outdoor table accent.
Painted Flower Box Centerpiece
Bring your garden to the table with this simple outdoor centerpiece. Simply paint a rectangular wooden flower box a vibrant color and add a variety of potted flowers. Place the flower box in the middle of the table for a garden-inspired table centerpiece.
Editor's Tip: Make sure the flower box isn't too tall, so party guests can still converse while enjoying the pretty flowers.
Asian-Inspired Outdoor Centerpiece
Adorn your outdoor table with a simple, Asian-inspired centerpiece that features hosta leaves arranged on stacked slabs of slate (available in the gardening section of home improvement stores). Push the cut stems into a floral frog, placing leaves at the outer edges and working toward the center, varying the size and color as you go. Add flower stems to the center of the arrangement, and finish by scattering small flat stones on the slate slabs.
Fresh Fruit Outdoor Table Accents
In addition to fresh-cut flowers from your garden, incorporate the season's best fruits for a colorful outdoor table accent. We scattered peaches, strawberries, and blueberries down the center of our table runner in just a few minutes.
Editor's Tip: Use a washable table cloth so you don't have to worry about the berries leaving stains.
Daisies and Candles Centerpiece
This quick, DIY outdoor centerpiece turns clay pots into pretty candleholders. To make each candleholder, fill a 5-inch diameter pot three-fourths full with moist potting soil; top with pebbles. Push glass chimneys and candles into the pebbles; insert daisies so the cut ends touch the moist soil.
Pastel-Color Butterfly Tree Centerpiece
This pretty outdoor centerpiece will add a bright accent to your party table from late spring through summer. To make, glue silk flowers to sparse tree branches and push branches into a foam brick hidden inside a flowerpot. Cut butterfly shapes from note cards or cardstock and outline the edges with a marker. Use twine to hang the paper butterflies and add moss to the top of the container to finish the look.
Editor's Tip: You can extend the life of this centerpiece by changing the shapes on the tree. For fall, for example, replace the butterflies with cut-out leaf shapes in red, orange, and yellow.
Flowery Table Accents
These pretty table accents double as favors for garden party guests; to make, fill a glass mason jar with handfuls of pink snapdragons and wrap old botanical and garden-theme postcards around the jars. To keep the snapdragons fresh, fill a small plastic bag with water and use a rubber band to secure it around the stems.