An investment of just 20 minutes and 20 dollars can result in a holiday centerpiece that will impress your guests without breaking the bank.
Homeowners, decorators and florists from around the Miami Valley employ a variety of methods for making quick, affordable decorations for the holiday season.
In early December Susan Gayle, 61, took part in the inaugural Grafton Hill Historic District Holiday Home Tour. She takes pride in accessorizing her home for the holiday season, but having an event that showcased her home and her decorating took it to the next level.
“My idea for my dining room table is to have a floral oasis with hidden greens inside of it. I collect Christmas tree toppers and plan to use those to create a forest look and finish by sprinkling fake snow,” she said.
To save money, time and to add a personal touch, Gayle repurposed items from around her house to make her centerpieces and to decorate.
Katie Lunne, a five-year resident of Grafton Hill who also participated in the home tour, prefers to shop for free using natural objects like pine cones, leaves or sticks to make her holiday centerpieces.
“I try to make things with found objects from inside and outside the house,” she said.
Lunne finds that being creative helps her the most when coming up with holiday centerpiece ideas. This year she took ideas from Martha Stewart Living magazine and stacked old books on top of each other, topping them with a red bow for a simple end table centerpiece that mimics the shape of a Christmas tree.
In order to make the greatest impression on guests, Lunne suggests using the entire space with a large, unexpected focal point instead of staying low to the table.
Wendy Poli, 50, is a flower designer for The Flowerman who conducts holiday centerpiece workshops at the 2nd Street Public Market. Poli says table decorations can be simple and made on a budget, but still have a “wow” factor.
Her staple item for each centerpiece is a $1 brick of Oasis Floral Foam that can be found at stores such as The Flowerman or Hobby Lobby.
“It’s a fabulous base that if kept watered like your Christmas Tree can last up to 6 weeks and you can change it throughout the holiday with different flowers or ornaments,” she said.
Poli focuses on the “do it yourself” aspect of decorating because it’s affordable and more personal. The average price for four bunches of flowers from The Flowerman is $12, which can create as many as three separate centerpieces, she says.
“You’re looking at close to $100 if you decide to buy a pre-made centerpiece compared to less than $20 for one big piece that you can claim your own,” Poli said.
Nicole Eccles, who has a shop on the Etsy website called Sunny Skye Creations, uses everything from cookie sheets and muffin tins to old family photos to design her own holiday centerpieces.
Eccles suggests using layers to add height to a centerpiece for a dramatic effect. Using a glass jar with glittery ribbon as a base and different colored ball and snowflake ornaments as fillers, Eccles created an easy and inexpensive centerpiece to present her handmade paper flowers to customers at a recent craft fair.
“You can go lots of different routes, but remember to be creative and cute,” Eccles said.
Centerpiece decorating resources
The holidays are a perfect time to teach children how to help out with decorations around the house and can make for some fun family traditions. Websites such as http://crafts.kaboose.com give activity suggestions for families like handmade Christmas globe centerpieces or miniature gingerbread houses.
The holiday section of the website www.squawkfox.com lists strategies to have a beautiful holiday dinner table using objects from around the house.
Expert tips in the holiday section of www.hgtv.com offer instructions on how to make handmade gifts, table centerpieces and crafty decorations for your home.
Better Homes and Gardens’ website — www.bhg.com — has images and tips for “simple Christmas centerpieces” in the indoor decorating section of 100 Days of Holidays.
Visualizing how things are made can be helpful when decorating. Visit www.realsimple.com for a how-to on holiday centerpieces as well as other tips and ideas for the season.
The Holiday Entertaining section of www.marthastewart.com offers tips and tricks on how to dress up your dinner table this season.