Thursday, December 17, 2009

Creating A Centerpiece To Go From Season to Season

A couple of weeks ago I ran across a tutorial for a beautiful centerpiece by Applestone Cottage. I knew I wanted to recreate one for myself only with a bit different style, so I rummaged around and gathered up what I had and someone else had mentioned using canning jars and so it went from there.

Here is a bit of tutorial on how to get one started using things that you have around the house that suits your style. I've also decided that I'm going to keep this centerpiece out year round and tweak it up differently for each season, so keep an eye out as we progress through the year.


3 canning jars--varying sizes if possible. I used blue, but clear would look great or look for other interesting glass containers that you might have floating around.

Tray--A tray or base to hold everything. I had an old enamel tray that I found at a thrift store years ago. Other things might be an old frame with glass in it or add a piece of thin, but sturdy board to it. You could even use a cardboard flat and drape it with fabric.

Epsom Salt
(Kosher, Rock or Sea salts will work too)
Candle Cups
Cinnamon Sticks
Strips of Homespun Fabric
Rusty Jingle Bells
Cranberries (fresh)

This is the tray that I used for my base it measures 11 x 16

Fill the jars with Epsom salt--add about 3 inches or so.
Kosher, Rock or Sea salts will work too. Epsom salt just happened to be what I thought of.

The jars are filled and I tilted them a bit so the salt would look uneven. It's supposed to be snow ya know.

Then using a pair of kitchen tongs I lowered the glass candle cups into the salt and pushed them around until they sat stable.

NOTE: I highly advise using the glass candle cups, because otherwise your votives will melt right into a big puddle and mix with the salt and make a mess. Ask me how I know. What was I thinking!

Add the candles to the cups

Scatter the cinnamon sticks around the tray.

I plan at this point to keep this as my very basic centerpiece that I will build on for each season through the year--but of course that may change too.

I had also considered adding salt around the tray before adding the cinnamon sticks, but I wasn't sure if it would react with the tray and pit it or not, so I skipped over that thought.

Add a few sprigs of greenery over the top of the cinnamon sticks.

I cut mine from the ugly juniper bushes right outside the front door.

This step I probably should have done earlier and you may want to, but it works either way. Cut some thin wire long enough to dangle the jingle bells on---I slipped the bells onto the wire and with my finger just curled and squished (it's very technical I tell you) and made a little curly cue, so the bells wouldn't all fall together.

The I placed the wire around the neck of each jar and twisted the tails in back and then squished the wire around until it hung nicely. We're not going for perfection here--otherwise I would have said to manipulate the wire instead of squished. It's more fun that way.

After the bells are added take 3 strips of homespun--ripped about 2 inches or so wide and however long--at least 10 inches I'd say. Wrap the homespun around the neck of each jar and either knot it on the front or just do a criss cross of the piece and depending on if you have enough either go around the back side and knot or just tuck the ends up underneath itself. Told you it was very technical.

Now sprinkle on some cranberries for a spark of Christmas color. These can be changed out if they start to shrivel and dry up.

And voila!
Light the candles and enjoy!

I liked this so much that I'm thinking on ways to change it up for each season and holiday and I'll post each seasonal change as the year progresses.

Simple and cheap! I spent 6.48 on this:
Candles and candle cups at the dollar store 3.00
Epsom salts 1.00
Cranberries 2.48

If you make a centerpiece I'd love to see it and if you post a photo on your blog I'll add your link here, so everyone else can enjoy it too.