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How to Make a Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Creating a beautiful Thanksgiving centerpiece is not difficult, nor should it be expensive. You probably already have almost everything you need in your home. For color, go to the grocery store and pick up some chili peppers, nuts or pumpkins.

Follow these easy steps and you can't go wrong.

  • First, select your container. As long as it holds water, you can really use just about anything. Typically you want to make the centerpiece low enough so you don't inhibit conversation. You can also line a wicker basket with some plastic seran wrap. Place a wide-mouth container in the center. Stuff newspapers around the receptacle, so it can't move.
  • Now soak 1/4 block of Oasis floral foam in water until it is thorough wet and sinks. You can get floral foam at your local arts and crafts store. Put the saturated foam into the container, keeping at least 1" of the foam above the rim of the container.
  • Go to your garden and cut about one shopping bag's worth of assorted foliage. If you have it, nandina, dusty miller, pittosporum, podocarpus, anything variegated is great. Look also for aspidistra or flax.
  • Be sure to rinse the greenery in a bucket as you don't want any creepy crawlers walking around, like spiders, snails or slugs. It's a good idea to lay the foliage on newspaper to dry for about an hour or so.
  • To start the arrangement, you want to make a "collar". This will hide the mechanical part of the arrangement (the Oasis and container).
  • Be sure to cover the edge of the basket.
  • Stick the foliage, stem end first, into the foam, and work your way around the rim of the container. You'll want the foliage to cover the edge of the basket.
  • Now choose a 12-inch piece of foliage and put it in the center of the foam. Continue adding foliage at will until the foam is nearly full.
  • Take some bamboo skewers and stick them into the red chili peppers. You're using the peppers instead of flowers. You can add a few flowers if you want, or just rely on the peppers for your color.
  • Repeat this process with the small squash or pumpkins. You may need to use two skewers for heavier items.

More Tips:

  • If you use your imagination you'll even come up with other ideas that are individual and uniquely yours. To add more variety, choose green beans, artichokes, miniature pomegranates to add to the mix. If it has a tough, waxy surface, it should last a few days without needing refrigeration. A bit of dried wheat stalks add more texture and color.
  • Choose mature greenery. New growth, while tempting, tends to wilt soon.
  • Put water in a spray bottle and mist the arrangement several times a day to keep it fresh.
  • These arrangements make lovely gifts too.
  • For an elegant or romantic addition, add a votive candle in the middle of the arrangement.

Warnings

  • Be sure to monitor the lit candle at all times. Never leave a candle burning unattended.
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling chili peppers. Never rub your eyes or go to the toilet without washing your hands before and afterwards.

Quick Links

Decorating Christmas Trees
How to Make a Thanksgiving Cornucopia
How to Carve a Turkey
How to Roast a Turkey
How to Buy a Turkey
Decorating the Children's Thanksgiving Table
Decorating Christmas Wreaths and Trees?



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