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Published: Sunday, December 23, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Candle centerpieces easy final touch on festive decor

  • A candle centerpiece is an easy way to dress up your holiday table.

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    A candle centerpiece is an easy way to dress up your holiday table.

  • Sparkly pears are used for a vase filler.

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Sparkly pears are used for a vase filler.

  • A large Mason jar can be used as a vase with greenery and birds as filler.

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    A large Mason jar can be used as a vase with greenery and birds as filler.

  • Frosted pinecones are used for a vase filler.

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Frosted pinecones are used for a vase filler.

Tree up. Check. 40 million cookies baked. Check. 20 million pounds of frosting removed from walls and floor. Check! Cards sent and shopping done and gifts wrapped, etc. times infinity. Check check check.
Yet somehow, you are missing a little something. A centerpiece. Something for the guest room. A little decoration, maybe with a candle, for the coffee table.
It's not too late.
Here are some examples of last-minute decorations that can be pulled from items you probably have at home. It's basically four steps:
Find a vessel. We used, variously, a hurricane candleholder that has been ignored since it lost its mate in a tragic accident that was really no one's fault; a crystal Tiffany bowl that lives year-round in the china hutch and never sees the light of the dinner party table; and a giant mason jar that usually serves as a canister for sugar.
Add a candle. We used drugstore pillar candles in red and green; the white candle in the big mason jar is a flameless one.
Of note: Flameless candles are great -- and safe -- but you have to be able to get to the switch on the bottom. If you have to disassemble your lovely creation to turn the candle on, it's not very practical.
Trim. The hurricane lantern is filled with sparkly miniature pears, actual "vase filler" from Pottery Barn. The fillers come in all sizes and shapes, including pomagranates and lemons, cranberries and apples, stars, twigs, pumpkins, dice and leaves. Hint: You can probably find a deal on vase filler after Christmas and you'll be all set for next year.
Pinecones, both glittery and frosted, surround the candle in the Tiffany bowl, and bits of berries snipped from a larger garland are twined around the candle in the mason jar.
Finish. Some items, like the hurricane lamp with the sparkly pears, are complete. Replace "finish" with "admire."
The bowl and the jar, however, seemed to need a foundation. If you have a shiny gold or bronze or red charger or a big, flat platter, use it. Just plonk everything on top.
We thought the mason jar could use another little doodad. We positioned a couple of vintage ceramic birds inside the jar and knotted a piece of red twine countrystyle around the rim.
A few red berries circling the bowl of pinecones added a festive finish.
Light the candle. Be merry and bright.

Story tags » Interior decoratingChristmas

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