Make a Centerpiece for a Holiday Table

Edited by Monika, Robbi, Graeme, Lynn and 4 others

Holiday table centerpiece

Centerpieces are a focal point of any holiday get-together. While you may want an eye-catching, conversation starting piece you may not know exactly what type or the rules of creating a great piece for the dinner table.

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Rules of Centerpieces

Rules for centerpieces exist for the dinner table. If not followed a centerpiece could turn from a functional decoration into one that is bothersome.

Rules for Dinner Table Centerpieces:

  1. 1
    Make sure eye contact isn't broken. Guests should be able to see each other at all times from every chair that is placed around the table. A social gathering shouldn't be hindered by limiting social interaction.
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  2. 2
    The centerpiece shouldn't crowd the table. There needs to be enough room left for plates, glasses, and other items to be moved around freely.
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  3. 3
    Serving shouldn't be hindered by the size of the centerpiece. This works two-fold. Both for bringing new items to the table and for guests already seated. Both should be able to pass, reach, move, and set items anywhere on the table.
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Ideas for a Holiday Centerpiece

Besides the pine boughs, ivy, holly, or other greenery, you can add the following things to the festive table to help complete your decoration:

  1. 1
    Large bowls or simple straight-sided small glass vases. Fill with a single color or multiple colors of glass baubles, decorative glass rocks, marbles, or spray painted pine cones.
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  2. 2
    Beautiful ornaments on a two or three tier cake plate depending on the height of your table and guests.
    glass baubles
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  3. 3
    A large group of candy canes, stuck upright in short glass vases. Turn the crook of the canes outward and if you have room in the middle of the vase, add a pillar candle. Prepare 3, 5, or 7 (always an odd number) of these candy cane holders and place along the length of the table. Add greenery, more candles and tuck several candy canes into the greenery to complete the look.
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  4. 4
    Real, artificial or beaded fruit arranged in bowls, on footed cake plates, in soup tureens, or any other large container. Run various types of greenery from the container and in and out of the pieces of fruit. You could even spray the fruit with gold or silver spray.
    beaded fruit
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  5. 5
    Pile small beautifully wrapped gifts in a pyramid, in the center of the table and place garland in and around the gifts.
    christmas presents
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  6. 6
    Use a silver tray (well polished) as the base for a Christmas scene, baubles, greenery, gifts, or candles. Lay pine boughs and other greenery around the tray. To finish, add more baubles or bows on top of the greenery.
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  7. 7
    Scatter glitter, stars and other Christmas shapes over table cloth color of your choice and cover with a clear tablecloth. By covering the table you or your guest may not have to worry about getting glitter all over your clothing or place settings.
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  8. 8
    Arrange a group of Santas, angel figurines, mini trees, reindeer, swans or other animals in a line down the center of the table, tuck in pine and other greenery sprigs.
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  9. 9
    Find a tree branch that has many branches, spray it to match your color scheme or leave it natural, and put it into a florist oasis or sand in a tall vase. Then, hang your best ornaments, paper chains or things the kids have made on the branches.
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  10. 10
    Gather together varying sized jars, some with lids, some without, and fill with Christmas candies like candy canes, hard candy with designs in the middle, ribbon candy, cinnamon swirls, Christmas-colored candy corn, M & M's, jelly beans, and even marzipan fruits. Tie ribbons around the tops and arrange in a pleasing display along the length of the table. Add candles, about the same height, for added impact.
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  11. 11
    Arrange snow globes and silver or gold reindeer, bowls of silver or gold baubles and votive candles in the middle of the table with a bit of greenery running in and out of the various pieces of your display.
    Sculpture- Deadly Sins (Snowglobes), Pure Products USA, by Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese, Eyebeam Open Studios Fall 2009 - 20091023.10D.55572.P1.L1 - SML.jpg
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  12. 12
    Take pine boughs and place them in a tall glass vase, filled part way with sand. Arrange the boughs so they are roughly in the shape of a Christmas tree. Decorate with bows, small baubles, tiny battery-powered fairy lights, or glass icicles. Run other greenery along the table and dot with the same small ornaments and more battery-powered fairy lights.
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  13. 13
    Using a gingerbread house and gingerbread people, build a snowy scene, using simple powered sugar and water icing for snow, on a big platter or wooden plank. Add small pine sprigs or mini-trees, tiny deer or birds in the trees for a lovely wintry centerpiece.
    GingerBread House.jpg
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  14. 14
    Arrange a simple pine bough garland with pine cones, berries, nuts and votive candles tucked in every so often. Add ribbons and/or bows, colored glass baubles to complete the decoration.
    candle centerpiece
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  15. 15
    Place several large glass vases or glass hurricane lamps containing silver, gold or other color baubles down the center of your table; these could be placed on a pretty silver, gold or red table runner for added impact. Add candles in pretty containers or in little lanterns. Sticking with only one color will make your centerpiece really striking.
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  16. 16
    Use one or more beautiful wooden, glass, crystal or silver bowls, fill them with oranges and lemons studded with cloves and bundles of cinnamon sticks tied with pretty ribbons. Run greenery, such as ivy, along the tables, around the bowls, and place the same ribbon tied as bows among the greenery.
    Grandma's silver.jpg
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  17. 17
    Put large letters, spelling out a Christmas message such as NOEL, on the table, arrange greenery and candles in and around the letters. If you have room and want to, tuck candles or pretty baubles into the greenery.
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  18. 18
    Take three or five poinsettia plants and stand them in a large bowl or on a large platter, or soup tureen. Add tall candle holders along the table and wind a pretty ribbon around the candles and the poinsettias. This can be done with cyclamen plants as well. A smaller version can be created for the dinner table.
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  19. 19
    Your centerpiece could also be a floral arrangement. To keep costs down, use carnations or other inexpensive flowers and plant material from your own garden. Decide on a color scheme and the vessel (bowl, soup tureen, tin pail, wooden trough, etc.) you will use, soak a block of florist oasis in water and tape it securely to your vessel, then add a couple of florist candle holders onto or around the edge of the oasis. Deep red and white carnations can look really stunning when mixed with greenery cut from evergreen bushes or camellias, holly with berries, even bare branches can add a striking note to your arrangement. To finish the arrangement, tie a bow of really beautiful ribbon, and twist some wire around the bow, leaving enough wire to tie onto a stick. Place the bow on the stick and simple candles into your arrangement.
    Still Life with Pumpkin and Flowers.jpg
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  20. 20
    Fill a tall glass vase with sand and pebbles half way up, then plant a single amaryllis, already in bloom, in the vase. Tie a beautiful ribbon around the middle of the vase and place it in the center of your holiday table.
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Additional Tips and Suggestions

  • Pine boughs and sprigs are living things so they need water; therefore use either florist water tubes, put the greenery into a florist oasis or be prepared to replace the greenery every few days as it dries out. Have extra greenery available so you can replace bits that look tired. Keep the extras in water and in a cool place.
  • Put your centerpiece together just a day or two before you need it, as you'll want it to be as fresh as possible.
  • Keep your arrangement in a cool place until you need it and when your event is over, move it back to its cool home in the garage or shed.
  • For additional interest, use several different types of greenery and, since artificial greenery can look very good these days, don't be afraid to use artificial instead of perishable real greenery. You can also spray it with fake snow or spray paint it to match your color scheme.
  • Since Christmas comes only once a year, pay attention to the details, whether it's an elegant and glamorous look or a more rustic style. Look for and get the bits and pieces you need well before the day.
  • For that extra special look, add lots of candles and fairy lights. Name tags, little gifts for your guests and decorations on the chair backs add the "wow-factor" that will make the day truly memorable.
  • You may want to protect your table by using mirror tiles or pretty place mats or even sheets of wrapping paper underneath the Christmas scene.
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Questions and Answers

How to make a pine Christmas centerpiece using a floral block?

Any simple and easy tips Just take your floral block, and weave your pine boughs around it. If there are any parts of the block that are still shown, use a little ribbon or a large pine cone to hide it. This will let you great a lovely flower arrangement surrounded by fresh pine boughs, and as an added bonus, it will last through the new year too.

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Steps to make table floral with candles in the middle?

How can I do this myself? The easiest way to make a table floral with candles in the middle is by using some heavy based candle holders, and then just putting flower arrangements with some big leafy greens around the main candles. This way no one can see the little glass vases your flower arrangements are in, so you can keep them well watered, but you'll also be able to light your candles if the situation calls for it. One great benefit of this method is that you can keep your arrangements fresh by rotating new flowers in and out as needed.

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Article Info

Categories : Holidays & Traditions

Recent edits by: Nikki, Grimm, Eng

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