DIY

I Made a DIY Holiday Centerpiece That’s All About Cheerful, Festive Fun

by Desirée O

When the holidays roll around and it’s time to indulge in the holly jolly vibe, I want it ALL. I’m not talking about presents (although those are nice too), I’m talking about decorations. If I had a bigger budget, I would set up a display on my front lawn that would rival any over-the-top installation. I would put up a Christmas tree in every room of my house, wrap garland around every possible fixture, and cover every surface with festive trinkets.

But since I’m not related to the Kardashians and can’t match their level of awe-inspiring seasonal extravagance, I have to keep things on a slightly smaller scale — which is why I decided that this year, I would make myself a DIY holiday centerpiece. Both affordable and something that I can fit on my dining room table, it seemed like a reasonable yet adorable option, which made it an irresistible activity that I couldn’t wait to try.

When I glanced at the internet to find some inspiration, there were seemingly endless seasonably-themed versions that would suit every preference and any budget. If you were so inclined, you could focus on a snowman-filled scene that is centered in a winter wonderland. Or you could re-create the North Pole and feature Santa Claus and his elves making toys in the workshop for all of the children on the nice list. You can design a centerpiece that includes anything festive, from candy canes and reindeer to Christmas trees and tiny presents.

Frankly, there were so many options that I felt a little overwhelmed while trying to plan out my centerpiece ahead of time, so I decided to ditch any hardcore preparation and keep things more spontaneous. Although I wanted my end result to look good, I primarily wanted this to be a fun activity that I would not only enjoy but hopefully want to do again.

With that in mind, I set off to find the items that I would include in my DIY holiday centerpiece.

Items I Started With

Items I Started With
Desirée O for LittleThings
  • Glass Vase
  • White Display Plate
  • Festive Flowers (I went with fake ones so that my display would last longer)
  • Candy Canes
  • Red and Green Christmas Garland
  • Christmas Party Poppers
  • Christmas Photo Props
  • Tiny Decorative Presents
  • Nutcracker Salt and Pepper Shakers
  • Red and Green Pom-Poms
  • Felt Snowman Ornament

Setting Up My Foundation

Setting Up My Foundation

I started by placing the glass vase in the middle of the white display plate. I knew that I wanted the vase to be in the middle of the centerpiece, and thought that I would probably end up building everything else around it.

Putting Garland In The Vase

Putting Garland In The Vase
Desirée O for LittleThings

I knew that I was going to put the fake flowers into the glass vase, but didn’t think it would look very nice if the flowers’ plastic stems remained visible, so I decided to use one of the strands of garland to fill the vase. I opted for the green garland because I thought that might mimic the green stems. I also considered wrapping it around the outside of the vase, but that might make the entire display too busy. In the end, I definitely think I made the right choice by popping it inside.

Arranging The Flowers In The Vase

Arranging The Flowers In The Vase
Desirée O for LittleThings

I was lucky enough to find an assortment of fake flowers that were perfect for the holidays. Some looked like lovely red poinsettias with little pinecones poking out, and others were big white puffs. A few of the petals were glittery, and I was even able to include some of the flowers that I had used for my fall floral pumpkins.

Placing The Red Garland Around The Plate

Placing The Red Garland Around The Plate
Desirée O for LittleThings

From there, I grabbed the second strand of garland and placed it around the white plate, wrapping it around the vase. I wanted to cover the surface of the plate while being sure not to flatten the garland too much so that it would add a little height to the bottom of the centerpiece.

Making Candy Cane Hearts

Making Candy Cane Hearts
Desirée O for LittleThings

I knew I wanted to hang the candy canes from the side of the vase, and at first I was going to just place them normally (like in the first pic). But while two of the candy canes were lying on the table, I noticed that they made a sweet holiday heart. So I took a little Scotch tape and taped the bottom of two candy canes together, and then hung them around the four sides of the vase.

Adding The Tiny Presents

Adding The Tiny Presents
Desirée O for LittleThings

Next, to hide the tape that I had used for the candy cane hearts, I attached the tiny presents to the bottom using a little Scotch tape on the back. I had two gold presents as well as one red and one blue present, so I put the gold ones on the front and back and used the blue and red for the sides.

Placing the Christmas Party Poppers

Placing the Christmas Party Poppers
Desirée O for LittleThings

I then put the party poppers on top of red garland around the base of the vase and angled them so that they would match up diagonally. I felt like they not only looked nice, but also gave my display a fun, playful element. And, yes, we’ll really be using those poppers on Christmas Day!

Popping In The Christmas Photo Props

Popping In The Christmas Photo Props
Desirée O for LittleThings

I had also found adorable photo props that I just couldn’t resist adding to my centerpiece. Along with the poppers, I felt like these would be so much fun to use on Christmas Day for some cheeky holiday photos. The green garland in the base of the vase made it easy to keep the props in place when I added them in. The only thing I had to do was spread them out a bit so they wouldn’t look too crowded and confuse the eye.

Items I didn’t Use

Items I didn’t Use
Desirée O for LittleThings

I still had a few items left over that didn’t quite make it into my centerpiece. I decided not to use the felt snowman, the Nutcracker salt and pepper shakers, or the pom-poms, because they didn’t really add anything to the display, and I was already pushing the limit of an over-the-top setup.

Final Result

Final Result
Desirée O for LittleThings

I was so ridiculously happy with my centerpiece! It’s adorable, fun, and fabulously festive. And while I know that I made it to be partially played with, I’ll be a little sad to take it apart when we use the poppers and photo props. Thankfully, it will still look lovely with the garland and flowers. And even better, I can make it again next year.

What I Would Do The Same

What I Would Do The Same
Desirée O for LittleThings

I loved the idea of making the centerpiece interactive so that my friends and family could enjoy it fully. If you’re having a party, it would be a great icebreaker and conversation starter. You could also change it up slightly to make it even more kid-friendly with little games and tiny toys, or you could make it more mature by adding mini bottles of Kahlua and Baileys.

What I Would Do Differently

What I Would Do Differently
Desirée O for LittleThings

Next time I think I’ll try to use smaller pieces of tape so that it looks a little cleaner. Or if I were making a centerpiece that I wanted to keep forever, I might even opt for a glue gun. I also think that it would have looked cute to add rolled-up scrolls of classic Christmas carols to the display if your guests are the kind who might enjoying some seasonal singing.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts
Desirée O for LittleThings

Creating this centerpiece was so simple and so much fun. A lot of the items I used were things that I already owned, and I spent very little on the other knick-knacks and decorations that I picked up.

I love that you can design whatever your heart desires in order to create a centerpiece that suits your own particular personal style, or you can switch it up to go along with a theme. You can keep it small or make it massive. You can use things you find around the house, or stock up on cute new seasonal bric-a-brac from the craft store.

Let your creativity go wild! And while you’re at it, have a happy holiday!