DIY fruit and flower centerpiece


I like to decorate simply for holidays, and one way I often do that is to gather bit and pieces from my own yard to create centerpieces for tables, the mantle, etc.

Inspired by this lovely image at StyleMePretty, I decided to also incorporate some fruit for our Thanksgiving tables this year.

Here are some of the components I used…
Top left: twigs with berries off a flowering tree in our front yard, whose species I don’t know. Hawthorne, possibly.
Top right: a $4.88 bunch of carnations. Small mums would be lovely, too. In retrospect, I wish I’d picked something more golden to help the color palette lean more toward autumnal colors, but oh well! Not a big deal.
Lower: greenery from my yard — on the left, a small-leafed variety of trailing euonymus; tendrils of vinca minor on the right. If I were doing this for a Christmas table, I would definitely use some evergreen sprigs, too.
I also purchased some clementines and small Gala apples. I was hoping to get plums, since I loved the darker hues in my inspiration image, but alas, no plums at the store today. I would have liked to include pears as well, but they were too big for this arrangement. 
Now to the steps…
I started with a large pasta bowl, and placed in the center of it a votive candle holder, filled it 3/4 full with water, then arranged three apples and three clementines around it in an asymmetrical pattern. (Top left image.)
Next, I snipped the carnations down till they were just long enough to sit in the votive of water with their heads resting on the fruit, and tucked them into the votive holder until the blossoms filled the space. I used three or four, depending on how full they were. 
Then I pruned the euonymus down to just one or two bunches of leaves, so that they functioned more like a flower. I tucked a few of these in between the carnations, just barely peeking above them.
Then I tucked a few berry sprigs in around the perimeter, as well as a few pieces of vinca, then stepped back to assess (the lower right image in the montage above). Hmm… definitely needs more filling in around the perimeter.
So I kept adding things in. I tucked a couple flowers into the especially bare spots, and gathered some more and longer strands of vinca, and kept adding till I was happy with the fullness. The photo above shows it from directly overhead, so you can see how things are arranged. As you’re making an arrangement, be sure to assess it from all angles that it will be seen from. A table centerpiece needs to look good from all sides, while something to go on a mantel, sideboard or buffet has a more limited view.
We have two tables, so two arrangements are needed. And because these arrangements are going on fairly narrow rectangular tables, I made the vinca only extend out on two sides of the bowl. 
Here are the finished pieces. I’m very happy with how they came out!
I also love the price! Here’s how it breaks down…
  • Bowls, votives, berries and greenery: Free; I already had them.
  • Fruit: Total of about $4. The apples were three for $1, so two bucks there, and probably about the same for the clementines. I’ve tossed the package, but it was a two or three pound bag, and under $7. I only used about a quarter of the bag.
  • Flowers: Less than $5.

So my two arrangements came in under $10. — for both of them! Sweet!

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