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Simple Centerpieces

This time of year brings a joyful whirlwind of visitors and parties. And for most holiday gatherings, it's likely that everyone will get together around the dining room table. These ideas will keep your tabletop looking beautiful and needing only quick, easy adjustments before any occasion. The arrangements can carry you through a simple soiree, a fancy holiday feast, and then well into the new year. -Alicia K. Clavell

Natural Instincts



Choose one of these two tabletop tray arrangements filled with potted plants to make a lovely statement year-round; you can replace the plants as needed for a seasonal look.

 

Note: You’ll need to remove the plants from the tray for watering.

 

For the centerpiece shown above, apply two coats of white primer to three terra-cotta pots. Allow to dry between coats. Fill each pot with a pretty plant, such as an orchid or poinsettia, and display the plant in a wooden tray that has been primed and painted white. Center the tray on your table, and accent it with assorted ornaments.


terracotta pots


To create the centerpiece pictured right, apply two coats of stain to three terra-cotta pots. Let dry between coats, and wipe off excess stain for a smooth surface. Fill each pot with a plant, such as a cactus or bromeliad, display the plants in a wooden tray (See how-to instructions on building the tray), and then accent with river rocks and candles.

 

Note: Never leave burning candles unattended.

 


Artful Assortment

planter

With an elegant planter and colorful poinsettias, it’s a snap to make a classic holiday vignette. To create this look, choose a planter appropriate in size for your table or buffet. Use brown paper to anchor a paint can inside the planter—this will raise your poinsettia to the proper height. Gather an assortment of houseplants that will provide a variety of colors and textures. Remove each plant from its plastic pot, and place the root portion inside a zip-top plastic bag. This will allow the plants to fit in the planter with the poinsettia. Use decorative moss to fill any holes or to camouflage visible soil or plastic.


poinsettia

Place a curtain panel on the table under the planter, and then add a few colorful ornaments. Make your arrangement last longer by misting the plants weekly, or remove the bagged plants for regular watering. You can replace the poinsettia with a seasonal houseplant after the holidays.


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Related Projects & Articles

Project Details - Project 1

  • Rough Cost Estimate: $90 (Does not include labor costs or applicable taxes, which vary by market or the cost of the tray.)
  • Rough Time Estimate: 1 day
  • 3 8-inch terra-cotta pots
  • White spray primer
  • 3 orchids
  • Assorted glass ball ornaments

Project Details - Project 2

  • Rough Cost Estimate: $70 (Does not include labor costs or applicable taxes, which vary by market or the cost of the tray.)
  • Rough Time Estimate: 1/2 day
  • 3 8-inch terra-cotta pots
  • Olympic Traditional Mahogany stain
  • 3 potted plants, such as succulents
  • 4 packs of polished stones
  • Assorted candles

Project Details - Project 3

  • Rough Cost Estimate: $70 (Does not include labor costs or applicable taxes, which vary by market or the cost of the tray.)
  • Rough Time Estimate: 1/2 day
  • Large round planter
  • Gallon-size paint can
  • 3 to 5 small houseplants
  • 1 to 2 poinsettias
  • Large round planter
  • Drapery panel
  • Large round ornaments
  • Brown paper
  • Zip-top plastic bags

About This Article

  • Publish Date: 09/01/1999