This basic wood vessel is easy to make and the perfect base for any seasonal or holiday centerpiece.

March 13, 2018
thanksgiving centerpiece
Filing a container with autumnal accents like gourds, dried leaves, and pinecones is an easy way to dress up your Thanksgiving dinner table.

You'll want to put all your decor in one basket, so to speak, for this simple project. Make your own DIY centerpiece box that can adapt to any holiday, season, or theme. Fill it with flowers in the spring or dried berries and evergreen branches for Christmas. When no holiday calls for a grand table display, you can use the empty box for storage or even as a planter. This hardworking wood box will hold up for many years, and its simple design allows the contents to shine.

What You Need

  • 6'x1"x4" board
  • 6'x1"x8" board
  • Measuring tape
  • Saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood glue 
  • Wood clamps
  • 1" finishing nails
  • Nail gun
  • Awl 
  • Hammer 
  • Wood filler 
  • White paint 
  • Paintbrush

Step 1: Cut Boards

centerpiece box boards

Start with two 6-foot-long wood boards of different widths and cut out the five box components from there—four box sides and one bottom piece. First, cut two long side boards measuring 27.5"x1"x4" each from the 6'x1"x4" piece. Then cut two shorter side boards measuring 7.25"x1"x4" boards from the same board. Cut one large bottom board measuring 26"x1"x8" from the wider 6'x1"x8" piece. This will become the base of your box. Expect to have some scrap wood left over.

Editor's Note: The final box will measure approximately 27.5"x7.25"x4".  

Step 2: Sand Boards

sanding boards for centerpiece box

After cutting the boards down to size, sand all the edges for a smooth finish. This will reduce rough edges and make handling the box more comfortable. A light sanding also helps paint and stain adhere properly.

Step 3: Glue Box Together

adding bead of glue to centerpiece box

Glue the shorter side pieces onto each end of the bottom board. Do the same with the longer side pieces, gluing one at a time and holding until the glue becomes tacky. Once all sides are glued, use clamps to hold the box together while the glue dries.

Step 4: Nail Edges

nailing bottom edges of centerpiece box

Once the glue is dry, tack nails every few inches around the base for extra strength. We used a nail gun for this step. If you don't own a nail gun, consider renting one from your local home improvement store. You can also use finishing nails and a hammer.

Step 5: Hide Nailheads

using an awl to drive in nail heads

If you decide to use a hammer and finishing nails, you'll want to hide the nailheads for a smooth surface. To do so, use an awl and hammer the nails into the wood slightly. Apply wood filler over the small holes, let dry, and sand smooth. Doing this ensures a cleaner finish, and any paint or stain you apply won't highlight unsightly nail bumps.

Step 6: Finish Box

Pastel Fall Centerpiece Box

You have several finishing options for your centerpiece box. We painted ours white, but you could paint it another color, leave it natural with a clear coat, or stain it. If you do wish to paint your DIY centerpiece box, apply two coats for good coverage.

And that's it! Fill the box with seasonal decor that can be changed out or added to as holidays come and go. Or create a centerpiece with accessories that will always match your decor. 


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