With Halloween out of the way (and the candy trail in its wake), it’s time to clean up the cobwebs and bring some pretty, fall color and comfort into our homes. I have a real love-hate relationship with fresh flowers on the table. On the one hand, nothing cheers up a room quite like fresh cut flowers. On the other hand, a cut bouquet takes quite the bit of time and maintenance to arrange in a vase, keep looking fresh, and cleanup the spillage from fallen flowers and greenery. It also gets pricey to keep fresh flowers on the table. An orchid or non-floral item can make a nice substitute. However, this year I put together a centerpiece that combines silk foliage, fresh fruit and pinecones, and inexpensive floral bouquets to make a Thanksgiving centerpiece that can last the entire Fall season! I’ll show you how to create the building blocks of this long-lasting centerpiece – then, you can simply change in and out inexpensive, cut flowers to keep your arrangement fresh and gorgeous week after week!
9-12 pieces of silk flowers/foliage
tin canister (or other vase/pitcher of your choosing)
hot glue gun/hot glue sticks
(All of these items are available at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores – browse their floral department here)
small fruits such as miniature apples, pears, pumpkins
2 fresh cut flower bouquets (I buy small $4 bouquets from my local supermarket)
Let’s begin with the fresh fruit and pinecones. I’ve been fascinated for years with bouquets that have unusual or non floral items added to them. Hardy fruits, pinecones, nuts – they add such visual interest and also last quite a while in a bouquet! The first step in building your centerpiece is to create these fruit skewers! Look for miniature fruits/vegetables at the grocery store. Tiny apples, colorful pears, large nuts, pomegranates (if you can find a small variety), and miniature pumpkins would all work nicely.
The little apples and pears are a cinch – simply take a wooden bamboo skewer (the kind you use on the barbecue in the summer) and gently poke it into the bottom center of the fruit. Twist the skewer until you think it is about 2/3 of the way into the fruit – don’t poke it all the way through the top! Heavier fruit items may require a heavier skewer, but my tiny apples and medium sized pears worked well as is.
Since the pine cones can’t be pierced with a skewer, we will use wooden dowels hot glued to the base. This simply requires a blob of hot glue on the flattest part of the bottom of the pine cone. Place the end of the wooden dowel as perpendicular to the pine cone as you can and hold it steady until the glue cools. Add more glue if needed.
Great! Now we’re ready to gather all of the supplies and build the centerpiece. When choosing your pieces for the arrangement, try to work in odd numbered groups – groups of 3 or groups of 5 work best for this project. This will help maintain balance in the arrangement. For the fluffier silk foliage, I worked with pairs because they spread out so much (and they were buy one, get one free!) Start with the taller silk foliage – use wire cutters to trim the stems off to the desired height. You can always trim more off to make them shorter, so don’t overestimate upfront!
Begin placing like stems into the canister. Position them to opposite sides as you work.
Use floral clippers to trim down your fresh flowers. I added three shorter sunflowers around the sides and then the remaining two at a taller height in the center. I also added three yellow silk sunflowers to the bouquet – I don’t think you can tell the difference between the fresh and silk sunflowers.
After the silk foliage and the larger flowers are all added, use the smaller bouquet of fresh flowers (roses are great, especially these little ones!) to fill in around the outside and bottom edges of the arrangement. Add a few of the smaller flowers into the taller center of the piece.
The last step is to add in the fruit and pine cone skewers. Remember to work in odd number sets – I used three larger red pears, five tiny apples, and three pine cones. The heavier pears looked best closer to the base of the arrangement. Step back and then rearrange your centerpiece until it looks fairly symmetrical and to your liking! Now ENJOY!
What’s great about this piece is that the silk flowers just blend right in with the fresh flowers and make a larger, lush arrangement without the expense of buying a fancy centerpiece that’s just going to die off after a week or less. When your fresh flowers get droopy, pull them out, change the water in the vase, and add a new spray of flowers.
What do you think? I hope I’ve inspired you to make a nice, little piece to cheer up your home this season!
*This Thanksgiving inspiration post is sponsored by Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. Opinions, ideas, and inspiration is my own.*