Need a quick, low-cost holiday centerpiece? This year, why not dig out Grandma’s vintage silver coffee or teapot from the back of the china hutch? Then repurpose it for a silver and rose centerpiece.

Or, for a more casual look, arrange limes, cranberries and apples into a delicious edible tabletop display.

To give you ideas, we asked two Twin Cities design pros to fashion easy-to-make merry centerpieces for dressing up a sideboard, buffet, foyer or dining table during the holiday season.

The festive arrangements mingle materials, from reindeer moss to cheery jingle bells, all of which are easy to find at craft stores, garden centers and grocery stores. Or try experimenting with things you already have around the house.

“When you take time to dress the table,” said Kim Yeager of Lark Nest Design, “it makes your guests feel special.”

For Jeralyn Mohr of Full Nest, designing a table vignette from recycled stuff makes her feel nostalgic. “I have lots of good memories of making centerpieces with my mother when I was growing up,” she said.

Here are ideas for three easy DIY tablescapes. Once you’ve gathered the pieces, it takes only about 15 minutes to assemble each one.



Created by: Interior designer Jeralyn Mohr, Full Nest,


The centerpiece: Mismatched glassware from Goodwill, mixed with fresh fruit, arranged across a fabric remnant. When dinner is done, “squeeze the limes into a cocktail, and use the cranberries and apples for dessert,” said Mohr.

How to make it:

• Bunch up sparkly or sequined neutral-hued fabric so “the food pops,” said Mohr. She used a remnant from Artscraps in St. Paul.

• Flip over clear glasses of different heights and styles.

• Place 3-inch white candles on the stems.

• Trim the bottom of each lime in order to make it flat. Use your finger to create a hole for flowers. Fill it with about a teaspoon of water.

• Place one or two white lily blooms inside each lime.

• Buy carrots with stems attached, cut a bunch of stems, and pair with lilies in the lime as a textural accent.

• Arrange green apples around the glassware.

• Lastly, scatter handfuls of red cranberries across the fabric.



Created by: Kim Yeager, decorator and owner, Lark Nest Design,


The centerpiece: Cream-colored roses add elegance to vintage silver servers encircled by delicate reindeer moss and incense cedar greens.

How to make it:

• Yeager arranged mismatched silver and a silver-plated coffee pot and creamers on a silver serving tray, found at vintage shops.

“Don’t worry about polishing it,” she said. “The patina gives it depth.” Or raid your china hutch for assorted vases or cocktail glasses.

• Places sprigs of fragrant incense cedar around and inside the serving pieces. The tiny seed heads add wispy texture.

• Mound chartreuse reindeer moss inside clear glass votives. Or simply fill the votives with cranberries.

• Scatter cranberries across the silver tray. “Take them cold from the refrigerator, and pile them up so it doesn’t look so flat,” said Yeager.

• Weave in a string of battery-operated LED white “seed” lights. Look for the kind with copper wire.

• Keep it simple — or dress it up with clusters of cream-colored roses tucked inside the pots.

• If accenting a buffet table, gather fabric that repeats the colors in the centerpiece, for a festive backdrop.



Created by: Kim Yeager, decorator and owner, Lark Nest Design,


The centerpiece: Light bounces off glass and cool-hued reflective ornaments. “This color scheme would also work for New Year’s,” said Yeager.

How to make it:

• Gather assorted empty perfume bottles, fancy bottles (such as Chambord raspberry liqueur), or containers used to hold balsamic vinegar, in different heights and shapes. “Soak in hot water to remove labels,” said Yeager.

• Arrange the bottles on a dressing-table mirror tray or any framed mirror — as long as it has a raised lip.

• Spread ornament balls of different sizes and finishes, such as matte red with shiny silver, pale blue and aqua. Leave the edges of the mirror exposed.

• Wrap jingle bells on wire — typically found with gift wrap — around the necks of the bottles. Or string bells yourself on wire, twine or ribbon.

• For a final flourish, place an ornament as a stopper on the top of a bottle.

• As a backdrop, use a solid-colored tablecloth, such as silver, red or white, which won’t compete with the shiny ornaments.