Dine in style.
As you plan your fall dinner parties and Thanksgiving menus, add an extra personal touch to your table with a couple of easy DIY centerpieces (that won’t put you over your budget). These ideas utilize things you likely already have laying around your kitchen, as well as items that you’d typically throw away. Make a quick stop at your local craft store or dollar store to pick up a few additional decorative accents like lace, linens, or ribbons that will bring the entire table together. After all the time you’ve spent in the kitchen preparing a meal for family and friends, presenting it on a well-decorated table is the perfect finishing touch that will reflect your hard work and personal charm.
Spruced-Up Wine Bottles
Instead of chucking your wine bottles in the trash or recycling bin, save a few for a low-budget centerpiece with chic appeal. Wrap your bottles in burlap twine from the spout to the bottom of the bottle and secure it with a little glue from a hot glue gun. A fresh coat of gold, white, or silver spray paint does wonders to a wine bottle and instantly adds a modern vibe to your table. Create a few decorative accents by wrapping strips of masking tape around the bottle before spray painting it to achieve varying stripes. Alternatively, you can simply get a handful of fresh flowers from your florist, and use the wine bottle as vases for a charming rustic aesthetic.
Pumpkins come in a wide range of sizes, and depending on the size of your table, mini to large pumpkins can work great as fall centerpieces. Mini pumpkins are easy to move around and rearrange on the table, and they are ideal for using as seasonal placement card holders for seating. You can also cluster a bunch of them in the center of the table to create your own tiny pumpkin patch. A thin coat of spray paint, in metallics or colors like baby blue, beige, or yellow can brighten a table easily. After the paint dries, use a paint pen to write single-word messages on each. If you have a larger pumpkin to serve as a centerpiece on a large table, try adorning it with silk fall foliage (found at a craft store) such as leaves, acorns, and tree branches. Take plaid, orange, or brown ribbon to finish the pumpkin with a festive bow.
Mini Wooden Crates
Most craft stores will carry mini wooden crates that you can fill with fall themed goodies. You can go the traditional route with in-season flowers, or fill with dark leafy greens that provide a rich textured look, such as dinosaur kale or Swiss chard. Cauliflower and Romanesco broccoli also have great texture and color to place in the crates. You could also stuff however many crates you deem appropriate for your table(s) with a handful of decorative hay and a few white and brown eggs for a farmhouse feel. Or line each crate with linen and fill with apples, cranberries, cinnamon sticks, and star anise for a more warm, cheery vibe.
Recycled Pasta Sauce Jars
It’s always good to hold onto your old large glass jars, such as pasta sauce jars, to use as accents on your table instead of having to purchase brand new mason jars. Soak the empty jars in a hot water bath with bleach to allow the paper and glue to soak off. Once they’re clean of labels, you can fill the jars with dried goods that are already in your pantry such as split peas, kidney beans, corn kernels, or black beans to create a layered harvest look. Speaking of layering—layered sand is always a fun activity for kids to play around with and allows them to contribute to the table. You can find bags of sand at the craft store and color them with food dyes to create an array of colors to layer in your jars. Another option is to grab a bag of floating candles from the dollar store and fill your jars with water, then place a candle in each jars for a intimate low-light dinner party. Place a layer of pebbles or marbles at the bottom of the jars before filling for an added touch of customization.