Easy 20 Minute Decorating: Pine Cones & Rag Balls

Easy 20 minute decorating: sweet pine cone & rag ball centerpiece that is perfect for transitioning from fall to Christmas decor. Budget-friendly & quick!

pine cone rag balls centerpiece supplies

Recently, I have been bouncing back and forth between Thanksgiving and Christmas…but today’s post requires no bouncing at all. The project I’m sharing today can be used for either holiday. Welcome to another edition of 20 Minute Decorating, a monthly feature that focuses on quick and easy decor that can help you update your home in no time.

pine cone rag balls centerpiece hands

This centerpiece idea hardly even requires any instructions…but here are a few tips to get you going. Begin with a tray or a basket with low sides. It can be any size and any shape, as long as it fits your table. 

pine cone rag balls boxwood on platter

Gather some pine cones, small snips of greenery, and another element that will add interest and color. I chose to make rag balls with some vintage fabric I had on hand. Other ideas for the third element are:

  • small apples
  • small cloved oranges (like clementines)
  • moss balls
  • round neutral-colored ornaments
  • small votive candles in glass containers

The nice thing about the rag balls is that you can customize them to match your decor or tablescape theme. 

Click for the rag ball tutorial

traditional dining room table centerpiece

The greenery element can be whatever you have in your yard, or whatever you can get easily at your grocery. The boxwood worked great, but other good choices are short needle pine or eucalyptus. 

pine cones on platter centerpiece

centerpiece and pitcher

There are so many things to like about this centerpiece. First, it’s super simple and can be assembled in much less than 20 minutes. Second, it sits low enough so your guests can see each other across the table. Third, you can use elements you already have on hand, or that are easily obtained at a grocery or discount store. Fourth, it can be made well in advance of your event. Last, but certainly not least, it’s cozy and charming.

So…that’s a wrap for Fall 2019. I’m a little sad that it flew by so quickly, but I’m very much looking forward to sharing new and easy Christmas ideas with you. My Christmas Preview is coming on Thursday, so stay tuned for that!

pine cones rag balls centerpiece closeup

Easy 20 Minute Decorating Shop & Source

Blue border platter | burlap table runner | pine cones | diy rag balls | blue plaid fabric (similar) | frayed linen ribbon

Now take a look at the decorating projects my friends are sharing!

French Country Cottage | DIY Fresh Holiday Greens & Oranges Wreath 

DIY Holiday Citrus Wreath FCC

On Sutton Place | Pine Cone & Rag Ball Centerpiece

Pine Cone Centerpiece from On Sutton Place

Shabbyfufu | Christmas Ball Ornaments

ways to decorate with Christmas balls besides a tree

StoneGable | Easy Christmas Centerpiece


Thistlewood Farms | Easy and Inexpensive Christmas Decorating Ideas

Christmas centerpiece

Designthusiasm | Easy Shortcuts for Simple Christmas Decor

Christmas decoration ideas simple tabletop tree

subscribe box christmas

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  1. Dwana Adamo says:

    5 stars
    Hi Anne,
    I just read your comments and pictures of your earlier post regarding your transition to a small Christmas tree. Thank you for giving me permission to do the same. Last year we bought a “small” live tree (it was only 5ft. tall) and a real downsize from our 9 ft. artificial tree. The whole thing was so much trouble, it wouldn’t stand up straight, it fell over after it was decorated, broke a lot of my glass ornaments, and created even more work. This was all before Christmas even arrived. My husband felt sorry so he brought up the big tree from basement, and we managed to put it together and decorate 3 days before Christmas. He hurt his back in the process and with all the aggravation I just don’t think it is worth it anymore. So thank you! I am a mother and a grandmother just doing the best I can which is still pretty darn good!!!!

  2. Alexandra says:

    I always appreciate how restrained your centerpieces are. On so many other blogs, I find the tablescapes are just too over the top. They can be beautiful, but I wonder where the food goes!

    I’m looking forward to seeing your Christmas decor for 2019.

  3. Ann,
    I just love the plaid rag balls!
    How do you make the frayed ribbon out of fabric?

    Thank you for a great year!


    1. Ann Drake says:

      If you use a cotton material it should rip in straight strips. That’s what I did…I just ripped a piece of fabric into strips. Happy Holidays!

      1. Constance Williams says:

        That should be easy enough!! Thank you so much.
        Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  4. I have lots of fabric scraps, so I love this idea of rag balls. Thanks for posting this simple project!

  5. Ann, I love your rag balls done in blue!

  6. Keeping it simple, love the rag balls.

  7. Love this fast idea for such a busy season!

  8. Diane M Wicks says:

    Ann, As usual, a beautifully simple and elegant idea! I love your style.

  9. Love those buffalo plaid rag balls! I’m going to have to make some to match my décor.

  10. Thank you! This is a practical centerpiece and pretty at the same time! Love it!

  11. Thanks for the beautiful ideas! I love anything Christmas. The tag balls are precious.

    1. Oops, darn spell check. Rag balls.