The holidays, while filled with tidings and good cheer, can be a total and utter cluster. Let’s all be honest, we have dreams of a Martha Stewart holiday, but more often than not the stress of it all can leave us overwhelmed and exhausted.
One thing I find a lot of my clients always request is centerpieces. While I’m more than happy to oblige, I always tell them, truly, they are as simple as they can be.
Below are the steps to an easy, beautiful holiday centerpiece that your guests will be drooling over, and as you sip your martini while mashing potatoes you can just smile and say “oh that little thing? I made it!” (Smirk. Sips martini.)
Begin with: Have a foraging adventure! Head out with your scissors or garden shears and get snippin’. Once you start looking, you’ll find opportunities for materials everywhere. Get creative! Shrubs, pines, fir, cedar, weird sticks, bark, pine cones, etc. they all add an awesome element. I foraged everything you see pictured here in seriously ten minutes while I let the dog run around the farm. I found some boxwood, pine, cedar, berry whatever and red sticks (double bonus for these). HINT: Look for texture. Try and avoid everything you forage being in the pine family. Different textures and shades of green are crucial. Also pictured: floral tape – if you feel a lot of sap on your hands, you might want to tape off the ends of your cuttings, totally up to you. Finally, our lights (that is coming later 😉 ).
Next up: Start with a totally blank canvas, clear the table of everything. It’s a lot easier to style in your candlesticks and accessories once your greens have been ‘woven’.
Get to work: Start with something that lays relatively flat. I’m going with my cedar here. Lay your ‘base layer’ and start your shape. Remember that since you’re working with natural materials a perfect circle or rectangle would look weird. Feel free to SHOW movement in your placing here.
Next, I add pine: The pine branches add height. When you stick everything in, weave it into place, tucking branches in underneath your cedar.
Boxwood time: I chose this for layer three because it’s the lightest of the greens, so it’ll break up the color. Fun fact: when in doubt, arrange in threes.
Time for mega texture: I add our red sticks and berries. Once these are in place, it’s time to add our lights. String them on the greens whichever way suits your fancy.
Next up, accessorize: This step is totally optional, but I found these sparkly trees in a box of Christmas decorations at my mom’s house. A few additions to the centerpiece can help bring height and weight. Other ideas here are candlesticks or ornaments.
TA DA! Centerpiece. Check. In all honesty, this can take you thirty minutes start to finish, including your foraging adventure! Remember this isn’t a stressor, its supposed to make your life easier! Merry Christmas! Enjoy!
“Rice Lights” can be found at any generic craft store or online home retailer store.
Don’t live near nature? Fear not, most home improvement stores/ grocery stores have bundles of fresh greenery to play with this time of year.
Careful with votive candles in these. Since votives are low, it takes barely anything to light this entire centerpiece on fire, while the smell of smoldering pine is nice, losing your dining room is not. Stick to candlesticks here, or flame-less candles.
Your centerpiece should look fresh for four, full days. A light mist with water will help prolong its life.
Kalin owns Stems & Sprigs, a boutique floral design company in Northern Michigan. She specializes in floral for weddings and outdoor soirees. When she isn’t working on flowers, her and her husband are rehabbing their old farmhouse, hosting dinner parties and drinking wine.
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