The seasonal holidays call for festive table centerpieces — Photo courtesy of Kristen Prahl / iStock Via Getty Images Plus
When it comes to décor for the seasonal holidays, the dining table centerpiece is the star of the show. Table decorations during the holiday season don’t require a degree in floral design and don’t have to break the bank.
A dining table centerpiece can be as varied and individual as its creator and can be customized for any size table or occasion. Whatever your design style or décor, starting with a festive holiday centerpiece is a great way to get into the holiday spirit.
Here are a few table centerpiece ideas that are sure to wow family and friends.
Wreaths make long-lasting, fresh centerpieces
Trade out seasonal decorations and candle colors to use this classic wreath throughout the holidays — Photo courtesy of Lynch Creek Wreaths
One of the easiest ways to create a centerpiece that will take you through the holiday season is to use a wreath as a base. You can use a wreath made of natural grapevine, straw, rattan, pinecones, shells — practically anything!
For a festive centerpiece from Diwali to New Year’s Day, take a traditional wreath and change out the decorative elements to suit the occasion. From ribbon to votive candles to floral arrangements, you’ll have a whole new look for each holiday.
For inspiration on ways to use a traditional wreath made of noble fir, cedar, and pine — which will fill any room with magical smells — look to Lynch Creek Wreaths.
Leverage what you already have
A table centerpiece made of found objects can be quite stunning — Photo courtesy of OlgaMiltsova / iStock Via Getty Images Plus
No time to make a centerpiece for a dinner party? No problem! Grab a tray or charger as a base and fill it with anything festive you have around the house, such as small wrapped presents, ribbon, holiday candy, tree ornaments, or a menorah. Add a few votive candles for sparkle, and you have a stress-free table decoration in minutes.
Use food as the centerpiece
The king cake takes the cake as a Mardi Gras centerpiece — Photo courtesy of Pam Barker
Food often takes centerstage for the holidays, so why not make it the centerpiece? This Mardi Gras centerpiece, designed by Pam Barker, a North Palm Beach, Florida, podcast host and lifestyle guru, uses a king cake as the main attraction. Surrounding table decorations complement both in color and mood.
Pro tip: Invest in a footed cake stand to give your featured food a real boost!
Play to your personal décor
This seasonal holidays centerpiece nods to the creator’s MacKenzie-Childs collection — Photo courtesy of Cindy Robertson
Is your vibe minimalist or maximalist? Do you love traditional or modern? Are you a fan of chinoiserie? Whatever your personal style, you can create a centerpiece to reflect your home’s décor.
Tucson, Arizona, artist Cindy Robertson loves the black-and-white motif of Mackenzie-Childs and has created a seasonal centerpiece that can go from Halloween through Thanksgiving. Use garland as your base and then add items from your personal collections and treasures to create a centerpiece. Embellish with ribbon, feathers, berries, gourds, apples, faux leaves, pine cones, or seasonal flowers for a simple way to display the things you love.
A centerpiece that becomes a gift
Place your centerpiece by the door and ask your guests to take a rose as they leave — Photo courtesy of Deborah Hamilton-Lynne
A simple but memorable centerpiece is one that becomes a gift for your guests when they leave.
For small dinner parties, group poinsettias (or other blooming seasonal flowers) at the center of the table. Intersperse candles with your favorite holiday scents or decorate with festive ribbon. When your guests are ready to leave, the plants and candles become take-home holiday gifts.
Create seasonal holiday candleholders by covering small jars with upright candy canes held in place with a rubber band and ribbon. Place small tea-light candles in the glasses to give your holiday table a festive glow. After dinner, the candy canes can be given to children or used as stir sticks for mugs of hot chocolate.
Another simple centerpiece gift idea is to fill a large, cylindrical vase or crystal bowl with tinsel and holiday ornaments. As guests leave, they can pick a little decorative sparkle for their homes.
Look to history for traditional table decorations
Pure simplicity and fresh elements are hallmarks of this historic style — Photo courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
If you are a traditionalist, there is no better place to look for inspiration on holiday centerpieces than Colonial Williamsburg. Since the early 1930s, Colonial Williamsburg has been showing enthusiasts how to decorate in the traditional style that dates back to the 1700s.
Instructions on how to create centerpieces and other seasonal holiday decorations are included in the classic book, Colonial Williamsburg Decorates for Christmas.
Try this dollar store hack
Try this simple and easy centerpiece that works for any winter holiday — Photo courtesy of Deborah Hamilton-Lynne
Create a centerpiece from seasonal holiday décor and Christmas crafts found at the dollar store. For less than $10, you can fill a decorative tray with faux snow, snowmen ornaments, a tinsel tree, and two blue votive candles. You’ll have a magical winter wonderland for your table in minutes!
Use heirlooms as centerpieces
Heirlooms, holiday china, and figurines complement a traditional centerpiece — Photo courtesy of Susan Nowell
Everything Granny is now considered grandmillennial style for those craving nostalgia in a modern way. Why not use those beautiful silver candlesticks or porcelain figurines passed down in the family as your inspiration for a holiday centerpiece? Interior designer Susan Nowell has created a classic Christmas design inspired by Lenox Holiday china and a large pedestal stand with an heirloom charger as a base for her centerpiece. Complete details for this easy-to-replicate centerpiece can be found on her blog.
Join classes or communities for centerpiece ideas
Up your game during the seasonal holidays by taking a class — Photo courtesy of undefined / iStock Via Getty Images Plus
Heather Lundervold, founder of Christmas Design Institute, is on a mission to help spread holiday cheer through her online classes. Learn how the pros create centerpieces that wow, as well as tricks of the trade for designing the entire tablescape.
Get Ready to Set Your Holiday Table covers seasonal design and centerpieces for fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Another excellent resource for inspiration and ideas is the Beautiful Table Settings Facebook group, which has almost 200,000 members. Here, you can share and discover fantastic ideas and information on everything from centerpieces and china patterns to crystal and linens.