DIY Holiday Centerpiece

November 08, 2016

One of my favorite things about the holidays is gathering around a beautifully set table with friends and family. Creating a beautiful table is only a matter of combining your favorite dishes and linens on the table, but the centerpiece can be another story. For a lot of people, designing a centerpiece can be intimidating and finding the perfect ingredients isn't always easy. That's why we created our DIY Centerpiece Kit that includes everything you need (except the clippers) to create a long-lasting, eye-catching centerpiece. Or, if you prefer to source your own materials, you can recreate our process fairly easily by following the steps below.

1. Assemble your supplies

You'll need a vessel - preferably not glass, as what's inside the vessel isn't very pretty! We've chosen this birch planter for it's sturdy metal insides and rustic outer bark. It's also long and thin, so it's perfect for most square or rectangular tables. We also use floral foam, such as Oasis, to keep the fresh greenery moist and keep the stems positioned.

2. Assemble your botanical materials

A good balanced mix of fresh greenery (you can even cut from your yard), dried flowers (varieties that hold their color well and look the same dried as fresh, such as bright fuchsia cockscomb celosia and mophead hydrangea), and fresh or dried pods and grasses, mini pumpkins, pinecones, feathers and airplants gives lots of texture, color and depth to an arrangement.

3. Soak your floral foam and position it in your vessel

Floral foam needs to be completely soaked to avoid dry spots in the middle where the stems will be. Soak it by submerging in a sink or bucket/bowl of water for at least 30 minutes. If your vessel is water tight (our is) you can place the foam in the vessel and fill it 1/2 way with water. The foam will absorb the water, and excess left in the bottom can be dumped out prior to arranging. If you are using only dried botanicals, you can use dry foam that is available at most craft stores. Cut the brick of foam in half and place each piece with even spaces between and on each end. It's OK to have some space in between as the stems can go into the ends and the top of the foam.

4. Begin placing your greenery and focal flowers

Begin putting in stems of greenery throughout the length if the vessel, pushing stems gently down into the foam to hold them in place. Place stems at a sharp angle with some almost parallel to your vessel, positioning leaves just above the foam, beginning to cover the foam and the inside of the vessel so that you will see greenery when looking into the finished arrangement. Let your leaves go past the edges of the vessel and even cascade over the edges when possible, aiming for a slightly asymmetrical look overall. Once you have greenery throughout the arrangement, place your large "focal" flowers, such as the celosia and hydrangea.

5. Fill in with accents and textural elements

Place grasses and pods at varying heights, filling in the gaps and empty spots. We like to group smaller elements in groups of 2-5 stems and place them together in a small group but at varying heights, creating even more depth and texture than a single stem would. Be sure to place your design elements a different angles and not straight up and down and allow different items to stretch outside the container. 

6. Add accent materials

Pinecones, airplants and pumpkins can be gently set among the other botanicals, tucked down in where they won't fall out, but there is no need attach them. Take a last look around for any "holes" and move elements that you don't love until it's perfect. Enjoy!

Check out our DIY Centerpiece Kit here, or have fun foraging to create your own. 

Note: There is no need to add water to keep the foam wet. The greenery will naturally dry at a slow pace, preserving it's shape and color fairly well. Any greenery that gets droopy or gray can be plucked out and replaced with new material as needed. The airplant is a live plant that needs no soil, but does need a regular soaking or misting. For care instructions, view our airplants.