Over the years, my family has gone increasingly casual with our holiday dinners. We've downgraded our beautiful dining table to a buffet spread on Thanksgiving. We grab food and plant ourselves on the couch to marathon through Christmas specials.
While there is perfectly fine to relax and indulge - we don't get to do so often - I would like to see a return to elegance during family gatherings in some way. But where to start? Centerpieces.
Centerpieces aren't at the top of the list of priorities on Thanksgiving Day, after all there is a lot of cooking to be done, but adding one can revive whatever taste has been lost over the years. It can refocus the family and remind us of the beauty and harvest of the season.
Below you'll find some of the easiest DIY Thanksgiving Centerpieces that'll bring plenty of charm to your dining experience this year. The best part is that they require very little time and thought to put together.
Sometimes the most elegant centerpieces require as little work as possible. Simply use a large china plate as a base, then alternate with teacups and miniature plates as pictured. Place orange flowers on each tier and add ribbon, foliage, or fruit for that extra something.
If you have some leftover pumpkins from Halloween, this idea will work great. It's easy and playful, a perfect DIY to do with children.
**What You'll Need:** - 7 pumpkins, preferably of different sizes and shades - 6 sunflowers (cut stems) - greenery (feel free to snip them from your garden) - optional: a few yellow mums **Instructions:** Place the largest pumpkin at the center of the table and add the smaller pumpkins on either end. Alternate colors. Add the sunflowers in a zig-zag fashion as pictured and fill in any significant gaps with whatever greenery and mums you have available. Trim stems as you see fit.
If orange clashes with your interior, try this jewel toned centerpiece. It's my personal favorite.
**What You'll Need:** - a golden or metallic centerpiece vase - foam form - grocery store flowers (Rachel of Shades of Blue Interior used seeded eucalyptus, white roses, burgundy flowers, and hydrangea) - edible selections: plums and blackberries - 2 encyclopedia-sized books **Instructions:** Set foam in vase and arrange flowers as desired. Snip stems whenever necessary. Slide plums and blackberries onto skewers then add to wet foam. Elevate your centerpiece with oversized books.
Wheat makes for a subtle and symbolic centerpiece that allows your dishes the spotlight they deserve.
**What You'll Need:** - 2 bunches of wheat - 1 foam form - scissors - glue gun - decorative vase or container - optional: jute **Instructions:** See video below.
For a combination of romantic and rustic, try out this centerpiece. Though this option can get quite pricy, you can modify it with a smaller bowl.
**What You'll Need:** - several dozens of red carnations (recommended: 8) - wooden salad bowl **Instructions:** Cut stems to about 3-4 inches each or what fits your bowl best. Set a glass dish inside for water.
You can trust even the clumsiest members of your family with this one. Use a bell jar or glass cloche to encase a bunch of miniature pumpkins. Add a few branches with leaves - red adds a perfect pop - for color.
White pumpkin centerpieces are effortlessly elegant and unique.
**What You'll Need:** - long breadboard - long linen towel - 6 white pumpkins - free [printables] made by Kristen Whitby of Ella Claire Inspired - thin twine - brown kraft card stock - branches with red berries and leaves **Instructions**: Print leaves onto kraft card stock and tie them onto pumpkins with thin twine. Feel free to make your own, especially if you're an aspiring calligrapher. Spread out linen towel along the middle of the table, then place the long breadboard on top. Line up pumpkins on the breadboard and dress it up with branches. : https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9RkuBEkvfwDV1JZQ2xoZDRDYVk/view
Bring fall foliage to the table by setting it in a glass vase. BHG recommends maple, oak, sweetgum, dogwood, or persimmon leaves for the brightest bouquets.
A grape centerpiece will make you feel like royalty. I recommend adding a few bottles of wine for "decoration."
**What You'll Need**: - dogwood (alternative leaves OK) - glass bowl - grapes **Instructions:** Drape dogwood or other leaves over the edge of your bowl, then carefully place bunches of grapes to give a 'runneth over' effect . If you plan on making it an edible centerpiece, make sure to clean bunches thoroughly. Add large candles for a fuller look.
You can do this one with your eyes shut. Make a stack of three large pumpkins and another with two miniature pumpkins. Add a glass cloche or vase and finish it off with an arrangement of leaves and grape vines.
Let your imagination run wild with this one! Start by spreading a burlap table runner as a base. Spray gold onto a mix of synthetic and natural pumpkins. Fill the rest of your table with gold votive holders, gold glittered pinecones, and Christmas garland if available.
If you've got an even tighter budget this season, don't buy anything. You can make this beer bottle centerpiece with items you already have. If you don't, a kind neighbor can probably lend them to you.
**What You'll Need:** - 4 brown beer bottles - acrylic paint - fine paint brush - twine or ribbon - hot glue - candles **Instructions:** Wash empty bottles and remove labels. Paint the appropriate letters on each bottle, paying close attention to ensure evenness. Once dry, begin wrapping twine above and below each letter as pictured. Secure ends with a bead of hot glue, then insert candles.
Green centerpieces are rare but no less beautiful. If anything, they give you more flexibility when decorating the rest of your table.
**What you'll need:** - produce (gourds and pumpkins); recommended: lumina and jarrahdale pumpkins, and hubbard squash - tray - small potted kales, cabbages, and foliage - candles **Instructions:** Bring your tray when shopping for produce so that you don't overspend. Add the larger gourds and pumpkins into the tray first, then add the small potted kales, cabbages, and foliage around them. If you'd like, cut at the base stems of the cabbage and kales to remove them from the container. Cleverly hide the stems in between the produce. Add miniature gourds on top. It's the perfect, green harvest look.