One of the most creative and cost-efficient ways to decorate for any holiday is to take something you already have and gussy it up to make it look special. 

(Wow, I just diagrammed that sentence in my head to make sure all the tenses agreed and now I need a nap.)

The point is, if you need a centerpiece, why not look around at what you already have and see if you can re-imagine it in a new way?  Here are a couple examples.

From Christmas With Southern Living 2007
This centerpiece looks really impressive, but take a moment to look at the different components and you'll see that it's actually very simple.  You could use a pretty serving bowl as the base-- I think any color would do.  The stand at the bottom is a nice touch, but if you don't have one I think it would be just as pretty without it.  Or you could substitute a smaller, upside-down bowl.  Think outside the box.

You would need a piece of floral foam for the inside of the bowl to support the candles and anchor the foliage.  If you plan on using silk foliage, look for Sahara foam or DriFoam-- that's what florists use to make silk floral arrangements.  You can find it at pretty much any craft store.  Cluster your candles on top of the foam, and surround them with your decorative foliage, and voila!  You have a centerpiece with a lot of impact, from stuff you probably already have lying around the house.

From Christmas With Southern Living 2003
I just love, love, love this centerpiece.  To give you an idea of the scale, the roses in the pitcher are spray roses, which are about the size of sweetheart roses.  They're small and come clustered on a stem-- usually four or five blooms on each.  That pitcher is tiny!  It looks to me like a china dinner plate, topped by a bowl, topped by the pitcher.  Then they used various types of greenery, fruit, and flowers to fill in all around.  They may have used Oasis foam (which is the foam florists use in fresh arrangements) to stack the bowl and pitcher in order to give this arrangement more height.  Or it might be something else entirely, like styrofoam.  Who knows?  But there's no wrong way to do this.  

You could also use a small vase on top if you don't have a dainty pitcher like this one (I sure don't-- but now I want one.)  Or you could stack the whole thing on top of a pretty cake stand instead of a plate.  There are infinite possibilities!

From Southern Living Magazine
I love this one because it's so simple but so elegant.  Take a few ornaments, arrange them on a cake stand, add a little greenery or ribbon-- that's it!  And it's a great way to showcase ornaments that might have a sentimental value (or are just especially pretty).  

What are your go-to centerpiece ideas?



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