How to Make Your Own Fresh Floral Christmas Centerpieces I: Easy and Cheap
Fresh Christmas Centerpiece with Snowman Tealight.
Fresh Christmas centerpieces bring the smell, the freshness
and the spirit of Christmas into your home like none other can. Place a fresh
Christmas centerpiece in your kitchen or dining room or whenever you fancy and you
will see that it makes all the difference that only a fresh centerpiece can.
However, fresh Christmas centerpieces can be expensive. You just need to check
out the prices at the grocery stores, at the florist or online—they range from $20
(for a skimpy one) to $100, depending on how elaborate it is. If you’re one for
saving money at this time of the year, since there are a million things to buy,
why not consider making your own centerpieces? They are fun to make and with a
few money saving tips given in this hub, you’ll be glad you did. You can easily make one for under $15, guaranteed.
If you’ve read my hub on “Bridal Floral Arrangments,” you know that I’m a little crazy about flowers. I talk to them and allow them to talk to me. I’m not a florist by training—I just love flowers. I do flower arrangements for fun, for friends and sometimes, I make them to raise money for a good cause. So, come Christmas, you’ll find that my kitchen resembles the florist shop, with flowers everywhere, pails of water holding oasis, flower clippers and lots and lots of stray foliage everywhere (imagine the cut hair on the floor of the salon, except mine has leaves and bits of stalks and the whole slew). I make centerpieces to give to friends, to shut-ins and also to raise money for my daughter’s ballet school.
With so many centerpieces to make, I’ve learned a few tricks to cut down on cost, which I’ll share throughout this hub. I will also show you some of the arrangements I’ve made. So, if you’re ready to go, let’s start with some basics.
Colors of Christmas
- Stem Clipper, essential for cutting stems.
Saving Tip: It’s good to invest in a good pair as it will hold up longer.
- Oasis (Floral foam for fresh flowers)
Saving tip: You can find them at Wal-mart, cheaper than at Michaels but if you have a 40% coupon, buy them at Michaels (slightly better quality)
- Floral tape (or if you want to save, get a spool of green tape—they go a long way).
You can get creative with containers. There are endless possibilities:
Baskets of all sizes and shapes—just be sure to line them with waterproof liner if you’re using them as they are or you can insert a leak-proof container inside the basket.
Household containers—footed dishes, urns, teapots, china or glassware.
Vases—glass, ceramic, pottery and tin.
Saving Tip: Scavenge for containers at garage sale. I found a beautiful vase for only 50 cents at a recent garage sale. Save baskets from gifts or ransack your grandmother’s kitchen for pottery castaways. Some food containers look good enough to use once food item has been eaten. And if you’re eyeing a special container at the store, wait till it’s on sale or bring in your discount coupon.
Fresh Christmas Centerpiece with a taper candle.
Bring the aroma of Christmas into your house by choosing Christmas foliage—Balsam fir, Noble Fir, Douglas fir, White pine brush, juniper, Incense cider, holly, blue spruce, silver dollar and Eucalyptus.
Saving Tip: Know the common saying, “Ask and you’ll be given?” This is the season to do that, especially if you want some free Christmas greenery. If you go to any Home Depot, Target or pinery and ask them for discards (they usually cut off the bottom of the Christmas tree and stray branches) and they will be happy to oblige. After all, you can helping them to haul off what they consider “trash,” and what you consider, “precious materials.”
Alternatively, you may have a friend with a pine tree or two in their backyard. Be thick-skinned and ask if they would spare you a branch or two. I have a friend who loves succulents and she has tons of them just wasting away. Every year, I do her the favor of trimming them off, while increasing my stash of Christmas greenery. Or start planting some pines in your backyard and reap the joy of having your own Christmas foliage in a couple of years’ time.
Seasonal flowers include Amaryllis, lily, paperwhite, star of Bethlehem, ranunculus, carnation, chrysanthemum, roses, freesia, static and bouvardia.
If you want fresh flowers and you want them relatively priced, visit the Farmer's market--they carry a wider selection than the grocery stores and they're definitely less expensive than the ones found at the florist.While there, make friends with the sellers and you can even special order flowers they don't carry.
If you have a wholesale license, you can even buy your flowers from the Flowers' Wholesale Market, with enough choices to bedazzle and great prices.
Give your centerpiece even more character and charm by adding accents such as red winterberries, white teardrop berries, Juniper berries, corns, Christmas ornaments, Christmas tealight, Christmas decorations and ribbons.
Let’s Get to It
Let’s get to it—let’s roll up our sleeves, so to speak and get this thing ready for Christmas.
1. First decide if you want a circular centerpiece or rectangular centerpiece. The choice depends on where you want to place your centerpiece. Obviously a circular Christmas centerpiece goes better with a round table and a rectangular one goes better with a long rectangular table.
2. Soak your oasis in water until it’s totally soaked through, about 5 minutes.
3. Place oasis in container of choice. You may have to trim the oasis to size to fit the container. A kitchen knife will do.
4. Fasten with floral tape
5. Insert candles. Make sure it’s sturdy. Alternatively, if you prefer Christmas accents like a snowman lantern or a nativity globe, place on oasis and fasten with tape. I sometimes edge these accents with thicker stems to prevent them from wobbling.
6. Cut Christmas greenery—make sure it’s at least 2 inches longer than the length you desire. Make a basic shape with these cut stems. For instance, a rectangular centerpiece should two shorter stems and 2 longer stems, in line with the four directions—North, South, East and West. From this basic shape, work your way up, with tapering lengths of stems.
7. Fill up the gaps with more foliage until it’s rather full.
8. Insert flowers at desired places, followed by fillers like berries, ribbons or pinecones.
A Christmas Centerpiece with orchids and mums.
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