DIY Gifts That Double as Holiday Table Centerpieces
Posted byErin Ollila
Do you love inviting guests over for the holidays, but stress about ways to decorate your home? Party favors make for excellent DIY gifts that can also be utilized as table decor — making planning so much easier. Use the spirit of the season to inspire your creations, from pumpkins to the cozy aroma of cinnamon candles to cultural keepsakes that can be treasured year after year.
Make your celebrations memorable with these eight table-decorations-turned-gifts you can use to decorate your home from Thanksgiving until the end of the year. Some even double as hostess gifts if you’re the one attending a celebration and not throwing it!
Whether for your formal family meal or Friendsgiving potluck, visit your local pumpkin patch for these two ideas. Spice up your dining room table decorations with mini pumpkins that double as place settings if you’d like to sit your guests in certain spots. If white or orange don’t match your Thanksgiving table decor, spray paint or paint the little pumpkins your preferred color. Then, write the guest’s name on each with a permanent marker or different color paint. Of course, wait until the base layer of paint is dried first.
If you’re looking for a more involved project, try these DIY stuffed pumpkins:
- Hollow out a pumpkin and use it as a vessel for a larger table decoration like a plant, cut flowers or a candle.
- For the main centerpiece, use a large pumpkin filled with a potted hearty plant. Just make sure to keep the lining of the plant covering the roots before putting it in the pumpkin.
- If you don’t need a large decoration, place a smaller vessel inside a hollowed small- to medium-sized pumpkin, such as mason glass jar or a clean, empty can of gravy. Then, fill it with cut flowers or a thick candle.
If you’re attending a Hanukkah meal, embrace the old European custom of sharing coins or money as gifts. Purchase gold-wrapped chocolate coins and arrange them in a tall cylinder or fishbowl vase. To add a little extra umph to the decoration, fill the center first with an empty (and clean) tin can or another smaller glass vase. In the interior vase, place a flower arrangement or tall candle. Fill the remaining space with the chocolate coins.
Looking for a get-your-hands-dirty DIY project for your Hanukkah table? A low glass vase filled with painted or glitter dreidels makes for a nice decoration that can be broken apart into individual take-home gifts.
- To create a glittered look, simply coat wooden dreidels with glue and cover in your favorite color glitter.
- For an alternative look, paint the wooden dreidels, and then use a fine-point marker to write your guest’s name on the dreidels.
- Bonus tip: Do this project over some old newspaper or a drop cloth for easier cleanup!
It can be tough to think of present ideas that all of your guests will love. Decorated candles make for the perfect DIY gifts if you’re throwing a party or attending one and need a hostess present. Wrap cinnamon sticks vertically around a candle and tie twine or ribbon around it to hold it together.
You can stick with the candle theme for your table centerpiece. Small flickering flames really set the ambiance. If you don’t want to worry about melting wax, house the candles in mason jars. Stuff the bottom of a mason jar with tree trimmings and whole cranberries. Fill with water and top with a small floating candle. Don’t forget to pass out the covers so people can easily transport their gifts home at the end of the evening.
There are many easy-to-decorate options for creating homemade ornaments your guests can bring home with them. Clear glass ornaments are the perfect base for DIY gifts. Here’s how to add some pizzazz:
- Fill the glass ornament one-third of the way with store-purchased snow, or even Epsom salt to resemble snow.
- Write the guest’s name on the glass with a paint marker.
- For a different look, include any of the following inside: tree trimmings, holly berries, curled ribbon, popcorn, jingle bells or dried rose petals.
- Place all the ornaments on a small wire tree in the center of the table or put one on each place setting.
Kwanzaa is a celebration of family and the community, so food baskets make for ideal Kwanzaa gifts if you’re attending a party. Since a Kwanzaa table should be adorned with wooden baskets or bowls of fruits and vegetables, your present may even become part of the host’s table centerpiece.
Another Kwanzaa custom requires a kinara to be the focal point of the room. A quick, simple and cost-effective project that will be cherished by your guests for years to come is to create miniature kinaras. Here’s how:
- Using a rectangular block of wood (approximately 6 to 7 inches, depending on your preferred size), drill seven small holes into the top.
- Place one black birthday-cake sized candle in the middle (to represent the people).
- Place three red candles on the left (representing the struggle).
- Place three green candles on the right (representing the future).
- Posted by Erin Ollila
- On December 21, 2016