Create a Festive Winter Tablescape with These 16 Nature-Inspired Crafts
Reimagine common kitchen utensils like measuring cups and flour sifters as vases to add a rustic touch to your winter table. Search flea markets and antique shops for vintage containers with a timeworn look. Then fill them with fresh-picked bouquets of tree clippings and real or faux holly berries.
Natural Napkin Rings
Forego fancy napkin rings and craft your own natural variation instead. Wrap a few strands of jute twine around eucalyptus clippings and tie around folded napkins. Using a fine-tip permanent marker or pen, write each guest’s name or initials on a leaf to personalize each place setting.
This natural table decoration combines candles, pinecones, and other natural elements in a simple DIY display. First, head outside to collect pinecones, sprigs of greenery, and seasonal berries. Then arrange galvanized metal cups atop a tray or platter and alternately fill them with votive candles and your winter bounty.
Fashion woodsy place card holders for your winter table using tiny bundles of branches. Gather small twigs outside and cut them to about 3-1/2 inches in length. Tie the bundle together with jute twine before tucking in a fresh sprig of fir and a handwritten name card.
To make this simple nature craft, cut wooden skewers to 2-4-inch lengths. Using hot glue, secure one end of the skewer into a 1/8-inch hardware nut, making sure it's even with the nut edge. Attach the nut and skewer to the base of a pinecone with hot glue. With a 1/8-inch bit, drill through a wooden doll-head knob to use as the base. Insert the skewer into the hole and secure with hot glue. For a snowy look, brush thinned paint over the base, skewer, and pinecone, and let dry before assembling.
Use an ironstone tureen or other porcelain serving dish as the foundation for a miniature woodland scene. Plant a natural rosemary topiary inside the tureen and add mounded moss on top to form the forest floor. Layer in Hypericum berries and frosty pinecones brushed with watered-down white paint. Dot the display with vintage wooden kids' toys for a nostalgic touch.
This nature craft reimagines branches clipped from the yard as a seasonal bouquet. Fill a clear vase with glass baubles and pinecones and tuck branches in between. Attach hanging hooks to pinecones of various sizes to create ornaments, then dangle them from the branches.
Nature-Inspired Napkin Ring
Greet guests at their seats with a wreath when you wrap napkins in these frosty rings. Pull berries from an existing strand of garland, taking care to remove each berry with its wire still attached. Wrap the wire securely around a grapevine ring. When you've attached as many berries as you like, brush the berries with a light layer of decoupage adhesive or clear-drying glue, and sprinkle them with clear glitter. When dry, bookend the berries with sprigs of greenery stuck through the grapevine.
Woodland Creature Place Card Holders
Snowy Tabletop Display
Your tabletop will twinkle with candles covered in a dusting of faux flurries. To create this glistening display, pour Epsom salts onto a flat surface and mix in a sprinkling of glitter. Apply a layer of decoupage adhesive to the candle sides using a paintbrush or foam brush. Keep glue away from the top and top edge of the candle so the salts and glitter stay clear of the flame. While wet, lay the candle in the mix of salts and glitter. Lift, rotate, and set the candle back in the faux snow until all sides are covered. When dry, arrange as a centerpiece on a tray covered in fake flakes.
Pinecone Wine Charms
Your guests will be sitting—and sipping—pretty with pinecone-petal drink tags. To achieve the flower shapes, cut straight through a pinecone with pruners. (One pinecone yields multiple blooms.) Paint the petals white using acrylic paint. When dry, write guests' names on a leaf shape cut from green cardstock paper, then slide the leaves between the petals. Place a pinecone flower on the rim of a glass at each place setting.
Create a stunning DIY chandelier to light up your winter table. Start by spray-painting a branch white. When dry, make it a perch for clip-on songbirds (available at crafts stores). Place removable adhesive hooks on the ceiling and hang the branch above your table using two ropes. Tie terrarium bulbs from the branch using fishing line, then add votives to each bulb before guests arrive.
Dress up an inexpensive glass or clear plastic plate with a blanket of drawn snowflakes. Before you doodle, wash the plate so it's free of grease and fingerprints. On the underside of the plate, draw snowflakes with a white oil-based paint marker. Let dry and flip over. Once you've polished off your dessert, hand-wash gently, being careful not to scrub the bottom of the plate.
Take the Cake
Whether it's from scratch or store-bought, dessert tastes sweeter when it's served on a made-by-hand cake stand. Cut two different-sized logs for the pedestal and platter, then hot-glue them together. Set the cake on a circle of cut cardboard before placing it on the wood base.
Tree Cake Topper
Top your frosted treat with a tiny evergreen. Cut a sprig of greenery from your holiday tree or garland, and strip the growth around the base. Push the sprig into the end of a cinnamon stick. Use a short length of jute twine to tie a bow where the sprig meets the stick. Push the cinnamon stick "trunk" into the center of the cake.
Cast a warm glow on long winter evenings with this natural table decoration. Place a branch of greenery at the bottom of a glass jar or vase and fill it about two-thirds full of water. Drop in cranberries and a floating candle to add ambiance to your winter dinner party table.