Homemade Luau Centerpieces

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A luau is a traditional Hawaiian party, usually involving lots of pork, cleverly made leis and maybe a few tiki torches. But that doesn't have to be all for your luau. Why not dress it up with a few centerpieces? Try some creative ideas to make your luau centerpieces stand out.

Edible Centerpieces

The easiest and most practical type of centerpiece is one your guests can eat. If you choose correctly, this centerpiece can really stand out. Imagine jewel-like pieces of pineapple, watermelon, mango and kiwi in a natural bowl, sparkling in the light of your torches. Pick a fruit and hollow it out; you can use a melon baller, or better yet, a large spoon. The spoon idea is ideal, since it will help you get bigger pieces of fruit out. Then, fill the shell with the chunks of the fruit, and another fruit of your choice. Surround the bowl with oranges, lemons and limes. Not only is this a delicious idea, it's healthy too.

Tiki Centerpieces

Instead of putting up tiki torches, make them the centerpiece. Use sturdy TV trays around the torch, and have your guests sit there, instead of at long tables. Put the tiki torches into a coffee can filled with sand or push them into the ground, if the party is outside. You can surround the base of the torch with palm fronds, flowers or Hawaiian skirts (don't decorate the area next to the flames, for safety reasons). It will give your guests a conversation starter, and add a touch of ambient light.

Simple Centerpiece

If you don't have time to carve fruit or arrange trays and chairs, here's another idea for a centerpiece. To make this work properly, you'll have to have the seats already assigned. Get a piece of paper and hand write, as beautifully as possible, a personal message to the people sitting at each table. Carefully curl or burn the edges to make it look like old parchment paper. Bend a piece of heavy cardboard in half to make an "A" shape, then attach your letter to it and display it in the center of the table. Surround it with a few leis, and your job is done. Since you're only doing one per table, think carefully about each guest and make sure you include something personal for each one. Letting your guests know know how much their presence means to you will make a lot more of an impact than an ordinary decoration.

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