How to Make Your Own Centerpieces

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A centerpiece can make your table elegant or casual, become a good conversation piece or completely take over your table. To avoid an overzealous centerpiece, make sure you don't go overboard in height and width. Your centerpiece should be lower than the eye level of anyone who will be dining at the table. You can create a look that can be casual or formal and can be easily changed to go with the season or occasion.

Things You'll Need

  • Silk or faux flowers and leaves Decorative rocks, marbles or shells Glass bowl or vase (clear or colored) Small candle holders (gold or silver) Candles
  • Decide on the colors you'd like to use for your table for any given season. You can purchase everything all at once or just start out with the current season. Consider the dishes and place settings that will surround the centerpiece and how often you'll have to move it. In most cases, your centerpiece should be easy to move (for cleaning or other practical uses) and easy to change. Purchase the best, most-realistic looking silk flowers that you can as they can last forever.

  • Start with the glass bowl or vase and add the decorative rocks, stones, shells or marbles. Place it in the center of your table (preferably with the table set so you can easily see if it's too much or not enough) and begin adding your silk flowers. Plump up the flowers and manipulate the stems and leaves as necessary for them to look real.

  • Arrange your candle holders around the floral arrangement in uneven numbers, such as three on each side. If you have a large table, you can get away with large candles. However, for a small table you may want to stick with votives or other small candles so the space is not overwhelmed. The candles can be plain, for example, white or cream colors, if your floral arrangement is bright and over the top; or you can choose bright-colored candles to make the arrangement pop. Flowers and candles do not have to match but the colors should complement each other.

  • Walk around the table and sit at each seat to see if the arrangement looks just as nice from every angle. Adjust your centerpiece as necessary so everyone can benefit from its beauty.

  • If you like and if there's room, you can add fruit around the arrangement for more color. Or you can weave ivy or other greenery around the candles or sprinkle around leftover pebbles or shells (or whatever you put into the glass vase or bowl). These small items tend to bring the whole centerpiece together.

  • Store unused flowers, candles or extras in plastic containers, separated into groups. This makes it easy to find and change the components of your centerpieces as the seasons change.

Tips & Warnings

  • It's easy to use this same method to create holiday centerpieces or party centerpieces that are all easy to change. You can also add water to the glass container for floating flower heads or floating candles. You can use small glass jars in lieu of the candle holders.
  • Before lighting the candles, make sure the flame will not touch any of the silk flowers, the table linens or anything else.

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References

  • Suddenly a Centerpiece; Sher Simon; 2004
  • Color Your Life; Elaine Ryan; 2007
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