Ideas for Inexpensive Centerpieces

Sally Painter
cheap and easy to make centerpieces

Ideas for inexpensive centerpieces include a wide array of materials, colors and textures to create the ideal ambiance you want for not just special meals but also for everyday dining.

Ideas for Inexpensive Centerpieces

You can buy a centerpiece, but you may discover it's fun and much cheaper to make one. You can make a centerpiece by using many of the items you already have in your home.

  • Take margarita glasses and use as flower vases or float votive candles in colored water. Fill the glass with colorful glass pebbles, add a candle and a few flowers or greenery such as ivy, cascading over the rims for a fun look.
  • Fill large scallop shells with sand and add a votive candle and some tiny colorful flowers, or fill a basket with seashells from your summer vacation.
  • Use a clay water tray from a flower pot and fill it with lemons and limes, Gerber daisies, and a large pillar candle in the center. A grouping of small potted plants makes another great look.
  • Invert a large hurricane glass shade and fill with a mixed of two or three fruits, such as apples, pears, oranges, tangerines, lemons, and limes. Place the arrangement on a colored saucer or salad plate, and then surround the base with fresh daisies or carnations.

Food Centerpieces

You don't have to wait for Thanksgiving and a cornucopia (Horn of Plenty) to use food as a centerpiece. There are many ways you can use fruits, vegetables and nuts in a centerpiece and what makes it such fun is that once you're finished with the centerpiece, your family can eat it

  • Vegetables: Show off your garden bounty with a bowl of tomatoes, peppers, crook neck squash, cucumbers, and other vegetable straight from your backyard garden. Place a basket as though it toppled over and the vegetables have spilled out onto the table. Sprinkle fresh-cut flowers from your flower beds to complete the colorful display of your hard work.
  • Fruits: Apples, pears, peaches, lemons, limes, bananas, grapes, and other fruits are popular choices for a centerpiece. You don't have to simply place fruit in a bowl; use your imagination and create a unique look. Take several empty boxes of varying sizes and place in the center of your table. Use three or five boxes, making sure you use an odd number for better design results. Drape fabric over the boxes, letting it fall in folds around the shapes of the boxes. Satin or crepe fabric works best for this type of display. Add ribbons and lace if you want to create a formal look. Color is important, so take some time to consider the effect you want. Are you going for romantic and dramatic, or do you want to keep the color scheme light and summery?
  • Pears in Glasses: Try something different with those margarita glasses. Place the pears in the glasses and fill the remainder of the glass with shredded coconut. Add some raspberries and blueberries. Place magnolia leaves along the bases of the glasses. Add three or five taper candles for an elegant finishing touch.
  • Bowls: Fill a favorite bowl with fruit and flowers. If making a fall centerpiece, then fill it with pine cones, nuts and acorns.
  • Food Towers: A cupcake tower in the center of your table is a great birthday centerpiece or simply a fun way to display your baking skills. Spread confectioner sprinkles of various shapes, sizes and colors on the tablecloth, along with curly streamers for a festive touch. Add small colorful balloons and have a party!
  • Imitation ice cream cones: Make intimation ice cream cones by using shortening. Use an ice cream scooper and the shortening will hold its form. You can add sprinkles and even chocolate syrup if you desire.
  • Melon Bowls: The classic carved melon bowl filled with fruit balls and melon flower shapes is always a hit. Toss in some strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries for color and texture. Place the melon bowl on palm fronds, adorn with some large tropical flowers and light a few pillar candles for a memorable centerpiece.

Other Items You Can Use

There are other items you can use to create unique and artistic centerpieces.

  • Kitchen gadgets: Many of your kitchen gadgets make cute centerpieces, such as a handheld grater with carnations and other flowers appearing to bloom from the center and above the grater handle.
  • Ice forms: You can make various ice forms that can float in a shallow bowl or tray of colored water with floating candles. Freeze colorful flowers in various ice shapes and place in tall glass vases filled with water. Add mint and other herb sprigs and flowers. Place various sizes of pillar candles around the vases so that the flickering lights reflect in the glass, water and ice forms.
  • Zen: Take your Zen practices to the table with a centerpiece made from a plate or serving platter filled with smooth flat rocks and three pillar candles of different heights. Add a bamboo sprig and you're set for a Zen dining experience.
  • Baskets: A basket collection can be used to create a home-styled centerpiece. You have a limitless choice of things you can use to fill the baskets.
  • Ceramic Collections: If you collect figurines or other ceramics, you can create a centerpiece using one, three or five pieces from your collection. A large ceramic hen placed on a nest of Easter grass can be surrounded by decorated Easter eggs for a unique focal point. A mirror surrounded by Irish moss transforms into a lake ready for strolling miniature figurines. Add rocks to imitate boulders and scatter small flower blossoms over the mirror. If you have figurines of ice skaters or snowmen, substitute the moss with cotton batting and use small bare twigs for trees around the snow-banked pond.

Be Creative and Explore

Successful ideas for inexpensive centerpieces incorporate natural creativity and a willingness to explore ideas outside traditional boundaries. Unleash your creativity and imagination to discover a new world of dining fun.

Ideas for Inexpensive Centerpieces