Things to Fill Vases With

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Fill vases with beach sand, seashells or coral to emphasize a beach or summer theme.
Fill vases with beach sand, seashells or coral to emphasize a beach or summer theme. (Image: Juan Silva/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Vases are not just for flowers -- they come in many shapes, sizes and designs, and it only takes your imagination for them to reach their decorative potential. Whether using vases as home decor or as a centerpiece for a special occasion or gathering, consider the placement or the event for inspiration on what to use to fill the vase.

Seasonal Fillers

Vases make festive dinner table centerpieces or household decoration when filled with season- and holiday-inspired trinkets or treats. Emphasize an event's beach theme or bring a bit of summer into your home by filling vases with beach sand, seashells, coral or dried starfish. Simply fill a vase with fall-colored faux leaves or even add water and top with a floating candle for a fall-themed centerpiece or decoration. You also can fill a clean vase with holiday candy and decorations, such as candy corn for Halloween or colorful ornaments for Christmas.

Edible Fillers

Edible vase fillers not only make for a creative centerpiece but double as a gift for guests to take home or eat while at a wedding reception, party or other event. A vase filled with whole or sliced oranges, lemons or limes makes a vibrant, refreshing centerpiece while filling vases with candy is perfect for a color theme or a children's party. Other creative edible vase fillers include aromatic coffee beans; noodles such as bow tie, corkscrew or shell shapes; assorted nuts; cherries; mints or fortune cookies. If filling the vase with edibles, clean it thoroughly; choose a vase that has not been used for plants that may have had chemicals sprayed on them.

Natural Fillers

Natural vase fillers are simple, eco-friendly and economical, especially if they come for your own yard. Natural vase fillers include river stones and pebbles, pine cones and berries, moss, feathers, lavender buds and wheat grass. You also can get creative with flowers by filling vases with flower heads, cut stems or rose petals. For a party centerpiece that doubles as a gift for guests to take home, fill a number of centerpiece vases with colorful glass pebbles or aquarium gravel, water and a betta fish.

Decorative Man-made Fillers

Decorative man-made objects are versatile vase fillers, as you can use them alone or with other forms of vase fillers. These include colored sea glass, fake ice or snow, dyed water, submersible lights, bath salts and glass gems. Vases filled with pictures and other special mementos or keepsakes make good guest table centerpieces for special gatherings.

Fragrant Fillers

Add aroma to your home or event by filling vases with sweet or mildly scented vase fillers such as potpourri, fragrant flowers or a candle. Hold candles up in vases by adding other decorative, sturdy vase fillers such as coffee beans, river rocks, marbles, sand or glass gems. Emphasize a holiday theme by filling vases with cinnamon sticks or a holiday-scented candle for Christmas dinner.

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