12 Holiday Centerpieces That Will Spruce Up Any Tablescape

Photo: Lennart Weibull

It's almost time to gather around the table and prepare for your delicious annual feast. Much of the holiday season is spent enjoying festive treats and mixed cocktails, but your tabletop matters, too. To elevate your tablescape, turn to elegant place settings, gleaming glassware, and, of course, beautiful holiday centerpieces.

These focal points are essentially the glue that holds a holiday party together, marrying essential elements of dinner duties with style. You'll have ideas for sophisticated place settings, festive napkin folds, and gleaming china and serving sets at the ready—but these holiday centerpiece ideas will become the star of a fantastic spread.

Florals are always welcome for the holidays, and a classic is shown here: fresh paperwhites. But Christmas celebrations also give hosts a chance to play with more vibrant colors and materials that only come out once a year. From glowing candles and ornaments to edible candy displays, all of the following holiday centerpieces embrace some of the most creative tactics known to interior designers. Our editors share the very best holiday centerpieces and how you can nail the concept in your own home.

01 of 12

Sparkling Trees

party hats snow glitter green
Jessica Antola

Here's an idea you'll tip a party hat to: Plant these conical conifers on your holiday table, sideboard, or mantel. Drizzle their tops with clear gel glue, let it drip down the sides, and dust with white glitter. Then arrange them on a blanket of faux snow.

02 of 12

Cloche Ornament Centerpieces


Your holiday centerpieces don't need to be fresh and floral: You can line your tabletops with one of the most identifiable motifs of the season (ornaments!), instead. Using a mix of cloches—including dramatic oversized iterations and cheese domes—pile in a myriad of vintage pieces for a gleaming focal point that can be easily transported from the table to a console to a mantel.

03 of 12

Birch Vase

Lisa Hubbard

Bring the outdoors in with a winter-centric arrangement. This one was inspired by a snow-filled landscape and features birch bark, which was wrapped around glass cylinders filled with timely plants. We finished the setup by adding holiday tree trimmings and scented geranium leaves.

04 of 12

Moss and Flowers


An amaryllis and orchid in complementary hues makes for a cheerful display when nestled on a buffet table. The blanket of moss hides the individual pots, so the plants appear to sprout up from the ground.

05 of 12

Christmas Tree Toppers

Christmas tree toppers as a centerpiece
Ashley Poskin

A tree topper is a quintessential Christmas decoration. Instead of keeping your extras in storage, put them on display on a metallic tray, like we did here.

06 of 12

Greenery-Filled Compotes

floral green holiday tablescape

Welcome guests with this elegant assortment of greenery. The terrarium-like setups feature an array of plants and fresh blooms in open bowls and glass cloches. To make a closed flower cloche, place floral clay on the bottom of a flower-pin frog to secure it inside of a small, sturdy cup. Fill the cup 3/4 full of water. Set a glass cloche next to it, so you know how high the blooms will be, then cut flowers and greenery, and stick them onto the pins. To finish, set the cup on a plate and cover it with the cloche. Check the water daily—the display can last about a week.

07 of 12

Sequined Christmas Trees

sequined christmas trees
Pia Ullin

A gleaming grove of triangular trees makes an enchanting centerpiece. Cut from pearlized card stock, the trees are trimmed with loose sequins and small paillettes. You'll need to cut two triangles out for each tree; find the midpoint, fold it using a bone folder, and join the two triangles with glue. You'll then let it dry before adding sequins and other features on the tree's exterior.

08 of 12

Mini Conifers

mini christmas trees
Ryan Liebe

Make your mantel look amazing with a colorful assortment of vintage and inexpensive evergreens. The bottle‐brush variety are readily available online and at crafts stores; the miniature ones were plucked from a model train set. Votives make the snow-dusted landscape sparkle.

09 of 12

Seasonal Deer

Holiday Reindeer Table
Sang An

Even the smallest dollops of red (in this instance, a few ranunculi, miniature roses, and parrot tulips) will stand out when set against ivory walls, pale wood, white china, and silvery ornaments. Gray-green eucalyptus pods and pine needles create a muted backdrop for this festive centerpiece.

10 of 12

Tree-Shaped Candles


You don't need to melt any wax in order to make these candles; both taper and topper are made with beeswax sheets, available online and at crafts stores, where you can also buy wicking.

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Painted Glass Votives

Glass Votive Candles

Create a trail of brilliantly lit candles with this simple DIY addition to a votive holder. Tape off the top outer edge of a clear glass with masking tape, and starting at the top and working downward, squeeze a thin coat of glass paint over the entire surface. The paint drips evenly down sides while drying. To dry, snip an inch off a paper-towel roll, and set the bottom of the glass on top of it, so the paint doesn't accumulate along the base. Let paint cure according to manufacturer's instructions.

12 of 12

Candied Mushrooms

Mushroom Candy Display Centerpiece
Anna Williams

While this frosted centerpiece isn't actually edible, your guests wouldn't guess just by gazing upon its crystalized appearance. Cut styrofoam balls in half to create mushroom caps and place them on pipe cleaner stems; you'll need to frost them with glitter, and then cut out moss to fit upon smaller gift boxes. Glue the moss to the top of your boxes and place your "candied" mushrooms atop it all.

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