9 Ideas for Unique (and Easy!) Centerpieces

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Who says centerpieces have to break the bank? With a little creative thinking, you can fill a room with beautiful and unique centerpieces that cost less than they look.

Read on for our ideas:

1. Think in color. Various shades of the same vivid hue, when mixed and matched, can make a striking centerpiece. For example, find three or four fruits or vegetables in the same color and group them together into one centerpiece. They'll look amazing by themselves, or you can combine them with a matching bloom or two.

Here's a look we love: Create a centerpiece of green pears, green apples and green limes with a few sprigs of basil. We also love eggplants of deep purple, purple plums and blood oranges. Or, what about lemons interspersed with bright yellow roses?

2. For a rustic wedding, tomatoes - especially organic ones - are rich in color, and when you set them out on a table, their varying sizes and shapes will resemble a sensual, sculptural still life. Add some pizzazz by mixing in a cluster of basil and a few bright red chili peppers.

3. Try a test-tube style centerpiece made from clusters of self-adhesive tubes packed either with herbs or with a single bloom. (For maximum effect, we recommend showcasing at least a dozen test tubes. You can find them online.) You can even fill each tube with a different fragrant herb, including rosemary, thyme, basil, and flat leaf and curly parsley.

4. Tulips & asparagus - a match made in heaven? Take a six-inch-wide frosted glass vase and fill with tulips. To cover the vase, take two rubber bands and stretch them around its diameter, then take two-dozen asparagus spears and tuck them inside the rubber bands. Wrap the bands with twine--the end result (or illusion) makes it seem like the vase is created out of asparagus, with flowers growing from within.

And now, a few DIY techniques…

5. To give a burnished look to soft fruits such as grapes, use a light dusting of gold or silver powder or spray paint. For hard fruits such as pomegranates, applied gold or silver leaf works well.

6. To make sugared fruit for centerpieces, separate an egg and paint the fruit with the egg white using a brush. Roll the fruit in crystalline or extra-fine sugar and let it dry. Grapes and small fruits such as peaches, plums, and long-stemmed strawberries work best with this treatment.

7. To age terra-cotta pots, sponge them lightly with varying shades of green and off-white paint. Dab them unevenl with a light coating of glue and roll them over some floral moss. Let them dry overnight. New clay planters will look like they have been in a potting shed for ten years.

8. Inexpensive plaster containers may be given a patina of age by spray-painting them gold, then using a sponge to add mottled shades of brown and olive green.

9. Create an organic look for your floral containers by spreading them thinly with glue or using a hot-glue gun, and applying a thick coating of floral moss. Alternatively, glue galax or lemon leaves all over each container by using spray adhesive on the leaves and applying them to the container one at a time.

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