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
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.
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.
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.