Holiday centerpieces jazz up tables all across the world. They’re not just a way to mark the occasion, but they play a big role in the warm feelings we associate with Christmas. These important gatherings remind us that our loved ones are never more than a chair away.
A beautiful holiday centerpiece doesn’t have to come pre-designed to light up your table. The best ones are customized to your space, and the only way to get that personal touch is to make it yourself. We’ll look at DIY table centerpiece ideas that will have everyone dying to pull up a chair and dig into the feast.
Incorporate String Lights
When you think of string lights, you probably think of the artful arrangement on your aromatic evergreen. Yet string lights are portable and versatile enough to serve as the focal point of your centerpiece. Look for vintage designs, like stars or hearts, to brighten everything up. Not only will the twinkle set off the meal, but the string lights will be far safer than candles. (So even if one of the younger guests is a little klutzy, you won’t have to worry about calling the fire department.)
Stretch It Out
A centerpiece doesn’t have to be elaborate when the whole table is equally festive. Cluster a few Christmas lanterns together in the middle atop a red plaid table runner. Throw in some garland to get the classic red and green combination, and then throw in a few citrus fruits, like tangerines or clementines, to give the table little pops of bright color. The idea of the runner or tablecloth is to anchor your centerpiece, making it a visual that will really catch the eye.
This classic design is an easy one to pull off, as long as you stick with the theme. Regardless of the color you choose, the idea is to get decorations that all match. So you might pick up pink or red and white striped napkins and use them to offset a similarly striped table runner. The centerpiece can be tea lights and flowers of the same color pattern. Use wrapped candy canes as the basis for your nametags to add the finishing touch.
If you want to keep your table on the minimalist side this year, use trays or shallow bowls as a baseline to arrange fruit and gourds of all varieties. From mini-white pumpkins to deep red pomegranates, this is a versatile idea that you can have fun with both at the grocery store and at home. These are easier to design than a big floral centerpiece and add just as much color (without overpowering the aroma of the turkey). Plus, there are plenty of unique second-hand serving trays and containers to make the centerpiece that much more creative.
If you want to do something a little different this year, you can shun the standard red and green for deep purple, bright yellow, or brilliant blue. These colors provide just as much holiday cheer, but they challenge the traditional and inspire new trends. Look for black and white vases, dinnerware, and napkins as a backdrop for a more modern take on the holidays. Make paper flowers or purchase real ones to set inside the vases and add unlit tapers to complete the look.
Cluster Grab Bags
Grab bags are a fun tradition that can really pull a table together. Use white paint on brown bags to create snow and wrap twine around it with an ornamental holiday star looped in to hold the whole together. At Goodwill, we recommend having a small, wrapped gift inside, one that is inexpensive but will still be valuable to whoever picks it up (e.g., a small magnet or a piece of gourmet holiday chocolate). Then finish off the grab bag by stuffing the top with green garland and twigs. This colorful display can be used to invite people to the table and adds a lot of glam to what are otherwise mere trinkets.
There’s something about floating centerpieces that make the whole table look that much more whimsical. You can float floral decorations, such as twigs and berries, or try arranging candles in the water. This centerpiece takes a little more planning to pull off, but the experimenting is half the fun. For a smaller table, consider one larger bowl in the middle if you’re choosing candles. If you’re going with plants, it will look better when you have a few smaller vases that are arranged near each other.
Stick with White
The snow of winter might make things chilly, but it’s also a way to set off the natural glow of the season. This color doesn’t represent a void, but instead reminds us of the sparkle of ice and the glint of crystal. If you’re going with an all-white centerpiece, make sure that you’re adding dimension whenever you can. This might include faux fur as a table runner, different sized vases, and varying types of white flowers (e.g., roses, chrysanthemums, etc.). As an added bonus, white is the best way to show off accent colors like gold, red, or green (even if it’s just a glass of champagne).
Mini Christmas Trees
Whether you opted out of a tree this year or you have one in both the living room and the den, mini Christmas trees are always in style. This affordable idea takes nothing more than a wooden box and a few strings of cranberry and popcorn to pull off. Set off these beauties with a few electric candles in the middle and a relatively plain table runner below. To really round this one out, consider tying name tags to a branch of pine set above each of the plates.
Holiday wreaths look great when they’re displayed on your door, but they’re equally at home on your table too. You can get mini expandable wreaths that fit around your glass pillars to add more color to the base of your table. This minimalist idea could be naturally incorporated anywhere, but it might be especially effective for rustic wooden tables. The brown underneath coupled with the green on top can be a way to mirror the big decorated tree in the main room.
More Table Setting Ideas
One of the best tips you can get is to be inspired by what’s available to you. Try not to have a specific combination in mind, because you might be disappointed if you can’t find the exact match. This is all about using your imagination to get a DIY table centerpiece for you. So if you see a plain glass vase, try picturing how it would look if it was filled with red and white marbles and gumballs and elegantly set at the heart of your table.
Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona has been helping people create their centerpieces for years. There’s a true treasure trove of premade decorations and decorations yet to be customized by you. We offer affordable decorating ideas that add to the magic of the holidays in every sense of the word. The fun of completing these projects is every bit as important as the final results.