A step-by-step guide for making a natural fall centerpiece that is perfect for the autumn months.
I’ve had a few requests to break down my process for putting together centerpieces and flower arrangements. I’m saving the flower arrangement process for the new year, but with the holidays coming up, I decided to share my centerpiece process. This natural fall centerpiece is easy and can be put together in just a few minutes…once you gather your elements. Let’s go!
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Natural Fall Centerpiece: A Step-by-Step Guide
1. Begin with a tray. You’ve seen this tray many times before and it measures 22 inches x 15 inches. It’s from Pottery Barn and is a few years old. The Water Hyacinth Tray that’s available now measures 20 inches x 14 inches.
2. Place a greenery garland around the perimeter of the tray. I am using the DIY Eucalyptus Garland I made in the early fall. If you don’t have a natural garland, a faux garland will work perfectly. There are some very realistic options available at craft stores and online.
3. Next it’s time to add a few candles. I am using the birch candles I showed you in my fall home tour. Now…clearly I won’t be able to light these candles because of the dried eucalyptus. A good solution for that would be LED battery operated candles. I have tried a few different brands and really like the candles from Pier 1. They are reliable and can be used with a remote that makes turning them on and off super easy. (I have them in my dining room lanterns.) Another option is to use tall candles that safely rise above the dried eucalyptus.
4. Now it’s time to add some height. I used a tall, clear footed vase on one end of the tray and filled it with mini white pumpkins. You’ll be able to see this better when we get to the photos of the finished tray.
5. To go along with the natural, neutral theme, I next added some bigger pumpkins. Again, I chose white so everything blends softly together. I sat one pumpkin upright, but tilted the other two on their sides for a bit of added interest.
6. The last steps are filling in the middle with dried hydrangeas and adding a tiny bit of color with fresh bittersweet. That’s it! Make sure to take a step back and tweak anything that looks a little off. I had trouble keeping my vase level because the tray doesn’t have a flat surface. After I moved it around a bit, it settled and if not completely straight, at least it was better!
Tip: If you need to prop or level an element in a centerpiece, here are a few things that make the job easier:
- small pads of paper
- book or box of matches
- folded cardboard
- small bowl or plate turned upside down
If you’re just buying pumpkins, don’t forget to give them a bath before using them in your decor. If you do, all your pumpkins and gourds should last until Thanksgiving. The pumpkins used in this centerpiece were all purchased more than a month ago. They are still mold-free and firm. If I’m lucky, they will last until Thanksgiving!
This natural fall centerpiece is the first step in putting together my Thanksgiving tablescape for our Styled & Set event that’s happening next week. My table will be simple with just a touch of farmhouse charm. I hope you’ll join me for that.
If you have never attempted a custom centerpiece, here is your chance! Just remember to make it your own and make substitutions so you can use what you already have.
- If you don’t have a tray, use a wood cutting board or even a cookie sheet. You can disguise the surface with the elements of the centerpiece.
- If you don’t have a garland, clip branches from your yard and lay them around the outside of the tray.
- If you don’t have a tall vase, use any sort of vessel…and it doesn’t have to be clear. An ironstone bowl filled with pumpkins would be lovely. Another way to get height is to stack the pumpkins.
- If you don’t like (or can’t find) white pumpkins, use orange.
- If you don’t have dried hydrangeas, pick up a bag of gourds at the grocery and layer them around the pumpkins.
I think you get the point. Oh and remember…enjoy yourself. It doesn’t have to be perfect!
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