When decorating for the holidays, don’t forget the table—the most popular gathering place for guests. Tablescapes are not only beautiful, they’re perfect for setting the theme of the party. And the best part is, you can make them yourself. We asked pros nationwide for tips on creating their favorite holiday centerpieces. Follow their inspiration and you’ll have guests raving as much about your table décor as your menu.
Gazing Ball Centerpiece
What’s more elegant than this large, silver gazing-ball centerpiece featured in Joy: An Entertaining Lifestyle by Jane Smith, owner of JSDesigns? To make it, place a wreath, intertwined with a string of LED lights, on a pedestal serving dish. Position the gazing ball on the wreath. Fill out the wreath with assorted leaves, berries, nuts, pinecones, or twigs.
BloomNation florist Jill Gaynor of City Girl Flowers, creates edible centerpieces that are perfect for a breakfast buffet. On the far left, repurposed mason jars, garnished with fruit and fancy straws, serve as beverage glasses in this eclectic beverage station. Add a rich bouquet of flowers and a crystal pitcher for a surprising touch of understated elegance.
Stealing center stage is a yummy Christmas donut tree. Start with a pedestal tray, then arrange donuts in increasingly smaller circles to create an edible display. Garnish with flowers or colorful ball ornaments and you’re done!
To the right of the donut tree, Gaynor combines single stems of white carnations, a bright yellow lemon, green ivy and a silver bowl of red strawberries for a fruit station that looks as good as it tastes.
Rose, Peony, and Artichoke Centerpiece
This elegant centerpiece by DIY wedding planner Anastasia Stevenson begins with a 14-inch grapevine wreath. Thread the sprigs of eucalyptus into the wreath, followed by peonies and roses clipped to 3- to 4-inch stems. Place in center of table. Fill three cylinder vases with water. Add berry sprig and floating candle to each. Position cylinders in center of wreath. Lay eucalyptus stems down center of table, and then nestle artichokes and cut flowers in greens on either side of wreath. Position four crystal candlesticks with taper candles in greenery down the table. To keep your flowers fresh, prepare them no more than four hours ahead of time.
Pumpkin, Pinecone, and Berry Centerpiece
Food and crafting blogger Maria Provenzano creates an inviting fall centerpiece using fruits, pinecones, and leaves. First, fill a wreath with small pumpkins. Then, add a few pinecones, apples, and branches of berries. Finish with a sprinkling of leaves.
Poinsettia and Lollipop Centerpiece
Provenzano created this whimsical Christmas arrangement, using three to five small pots of poinsettias, to which she added ribbon bows and striped lollipops. Finish by placing votive candles between the pots of poinsettias.
Cotton and Candle Centerpiece
This easy-to-make Christmas tablescape by Provenzano starts with a snowy layer of cotton down the center of the table. Top with assorted candles, ranging from votives to tall candlesticks.
This winter wonderland diorama is a favorite holiday centerpiece of Paul Lowe, a GoodHousekeepingTV contributor, master crafter, and editor-in-chief of Sweet Paul magazine. “It looks great surrounded by votive candles and paperwhites,” he says. “I love making small nature scenes with bottlebrush trees and plastic animals. Cute and festive at the same time.” To re-create this centerpiece: drill small holes in a wooden disc; insert the trees; superglue other figures in place; and re-create a snowy covering using flakey sea salt.
Greens and Ornaments Centerpieces
As owner of Three Tree Point Bed & Breakfast, Penny Whisler designed this centerpiece to be fun, whimsical, and natural. “Start with a pedestal tray (we used this 20-by-10-by-7-inch elephant tray), layer it with natural greens, then top with 16 Christmas ball ornaments,” she says. Complete the look with a couple sprigs of garland.
Garland and Animals Centerpiece
Perfect for a long table or mantle, this Whisler tablescape starts with a decorative mesh runner topped with whimsical animals. Finish by intertwining LED lights and sparkly silver garland for a presentation that guests will love.
Cocktails and Candles Centerpieces
Party designer/planner Judith Accilon creates this beverage table centerpiece using a mirror base and an ornament-filled martini glass. Stemmed tealight candleholders flank the glass. Ornaments, festive greens and Christmas nutcrackers garnish the mirror. A whimsical bottle stopper is on hand for corking wine.
—Karen B Gibbs