Saturday, December 25, 2010

Holiday Centerpieces

Looking for Christmas centerpiece ideas? Here are some great ideas from Taste of Home.

Fire-and-Ice Holiday Centerpiece
Guests will be in awe when they catch sight of this unique holiday centerpiece. You'll like that there's no pressure to have this unique centerpiece look perfect—the items will shift any which way as the water freezes. But the end result will definitely be stunning!
Materials Needed:
  • Artificial or natural pine greens and pinecones
  • Small gold plastic balls
  • Gold string beads
  • Freezer-safe container with smooth, straight sides
  • Distilled water
  • Tea light candles in clear containers
  • Edged tray to hold centerpiece
  • Fresh greens
  1. Place greens, pinecones, gold balls and beads in a freezer-safe container, using enough so they stay in place when water is added and arranging them so they touch the sides of the container.
  2. Carefully add distilled water to within 1 in. of the top of the container. Float tea lights on top of the water. Place on a flat surface in the freezer; freeze for several days or until solid.
  3. About 15 minutes before unmolding, remove the container from the freezer. Let stand at room temperature until ice releases from the sides of container.
  4. Trim or fold a paper towel so it is a bit smaller than the centerpiece and place on tray. Place the centerpiece on top of paper towel to keep it from sliding. Add fresh greens around the base of the centerpiece. Remove water from the tray as needed.

Wine Bottle Lights
Recycle empty wine bottles into these chic decorative wine bottle lamps for your next cocktail party. Decorating a basement bar or rec room can cost a fortune. But use this fun idea for turning wine bottles into inexpensive art!
  1. First gather several empty wine bottles and corks. Wash the bottles inside and out with hot, soapy water. Any glue reside from the label can be removed with a penetrating oil spray like WD-40®.
  2. Make a simple wooden V-shaped fixture to hold the bottle while drilling.
  3. Wearing eye protection and work gloves, slowly and carefully drill a hole 1 to 2 inches up from the bottom of each bottle using a 1/2-in. drill bit designed for glass.
  4. Rinse bottle to remove any glass particles.
  5. If desired, use a clear sealant to cover any rough edges of glass.
  6. For each bottle, you need a single-plug strand of 20-25 lights. Feed the non-plug end into the drilled hole, leaving a length of cord extending from the opening.
  7. To make it easier to put the cork back into the bottle, drill an 1/8-in. hole lengthwise into each cork. Insert a cork into each bottle top.
Note: If the glass has any defects, it may crack during drilling. So plan on having a few extra empty bottles on hand.

Christmas Candle Holders
Make use of evergreens for these festive Christmas candle decorations for your next holiday centerpiece. Invite guests to gather around your Christmas dinner table with these stunning candle arrangements that provide a warm, welcoming glow.
  1. First, purchase pillar candles in a color that complements your table linens and china. (The ivory-colored candles shown here would work with any decor.)
  2. Instead of traditional candle holders or candlesticks, we set the candles inside square, clear glass vases that were about half the height of the candles.
  3. For the candle wreaths, wire Christmas greens and artificial red berries into a circle. All stems should be facing the same direction.
  4. Place a wreath over each candle so that it rests on top of the vase.

Ornament Centerpiece
Bring new life to old ornaments with this retro ornament Christmas table decoration. Do you have an assortment of ornaments from decades ago (such as the Shiny Brites shown here) that you dare not hang on the tree in case they fall and break? Don't keep those beautiful baubles under wraps where no one can enjoy them. Take holiday guests on a trip down memory lane by displaying those treasured ornaments in a retro-style tablescape. Deck the dinner table in your finest linens, china and silverware. Then sprinkle artificial snow down the center to create a snowy scene. Place pretty ornaments inside assorted stemware. Miniature bottle-brush Christmas trees complete the reminiscent, wintry wonderland.
Lightbulb Place Markers
Ignite memorable discussions about Christmases past by using old-fashioned Christmas tree lightbulbs as dazzling place cards.
  1. First paint the lightbulbs in colors that complement your table setting; let dry.
  2. Using an embossing pen, write a dinner guest's name on each bulb. Sprinkle with embossing powder; melt the powder with a heat gun. You can also write the name with a paint pen. Let dry.
  3. Wrap the end of each bulb with narrow, wire-edge ribbon.
  4. Coil the ends of the ribbon.
  5. Tie the bulb place card around a folded napkin with another length of matching ribbon.

Blooming Gift Boxes
Delicate paperwhites in gold wrapping paper highlight these beautiful holiday wedding centerpieces or Christmas table decorations. By dinnertime on Christmas Day, all of the packages under the tree have been opened and the pretty wrappings have been discarded. Enjoy the sight of pretty packages a while longer by creating this lovely arrangement.
  1. First, chose a color theme for the wrapping paper, ribbons and flowers, making sure the colors work with your dishes and table linens.
  2. For an elegant look, we chose green and gold wrapping paper and ribbons. Then we selected pretty paperwhites to pop out of the packages.
  3. Next, look for boxes in varying sizes. We made three stacks with two boxes each. The largest boxes were used in the center of the display.
  4. Then find narrow glasses or vases that are roughly the same height as each stack of boxes.
  5. For each stack of boxes, wrap the top and bottom of the largest box separately. Then wrap the bottom only of the next largest box. Set the smaller boxes on top of the larger boxes.
  6. With tape or a stapler, secure ribbons at the top and bottom on each side of the stacks.
  7. With a utility knife, cut a large "X" in the bottom of the top box and through the lid of the bottom box.
  8. Carefully fill each glass or vase with floral marbles if desired and water. Insert the glass or vase into each stack of boxes, making sure it's resting within the bottom box. Add flowers.
  9. In the top box of each stack, fill in with tissue paper and gold angel hair or raffia, covering the glass or vase as much as possible.
  10. To continue with the gift box theme, we set smaller decorated boxes at each place setting. The boxes could be empty or filled with a party favor, such as an ornament or candy.

Dressed-Up Dishes
Everything looks prettier tied up with a bow, even your holiday table settings. Christmas guests will ask you to take a bow for presenting these pretty place settings!

First, set a dinner plate on a ­charger of your choice. (Options include gold, silver, wicker and colored.) Make sure the dinner plate fits in the indentation of the charger. Top with a coordinating salad plate.
Unwrap your creativity and tie a wide ribbon around the stack. Then make a bow. (Or attach a purchased, pre-made bow.)
This place setting cleverly ties ­into the gift-giving season.


Christmas Card Centerpiece
Reuse old Christmas cards for this simple and inexpensive holiday centerpiece. With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, busy hosts often don't have extra time to set eye-catching tables. These pretty place cards, no-fuss napkin rings and sparkling centerpiece are quick and inexpensive, too.

Simple Centerpiece
Make the most of this year's holiday greeting cards by displaying favorites on your dinner table. To create the appealing centerpiece shown in the photo at right, you'll need a bowl, a wire photograph holder, Christmas cards, ornaments and a garland.

We selected items to match the colors of our place setting. We picked a silver bowl, a silver wire photo holder, metallic glass ornaments and matching bead garland.
When choosing cards for your arrangement, consider ones that work with your color scheme and have appealing designs or sentiments. To keep your centerpiece from looking too busy, select cards that focus on simple artwork.
  1. First, place the photo holder in the center of the bowl. To keep it from tipping, use reusable adhesive (like Fun-Tak) to secure the base of the photo holder to the bottom of the bowl.
  2. (If you don't have any reusable adhesive, use florist's clay or do without, taking extra care when moving your centerpiece.) Then arrange the ornaments in the bowl around the photo holder and drape them with the bead garland.
  3. Next, arrange your cards in the arms of the photo holder, placing the smaller cards in front. To avoid a crowded look, don't place a card in every arm. Our photo holder had 10 arms, but we displayed only five cards.
  4. Because this arrangement is one-sided, you may want to place similar-sized Christmas cards back-to-back, so the arrangement is pleasing from both sides.
 Feel free to adapt this idea to birthdays, graduations and other special events throughout the year.


thingsforboys said...

the wine bottle lights are so pretty...need to give this a go

Anonymous said...

love the wine bottles! what an amazing idea!

Prasad Kumar said...

Wow, amazing! I love these Christmas table decorations especially the dressed up dishes. I think I'm gonna try that one. Mesh would work best with that.