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Everyday items spice up your holiday centerpiece


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POSTED: Sunday, December 13, 2009

If you're fretting over a centerpiece for the holidays, look no farther than your back yard or your neighbor's green waste. Twigs typically destined for the compost heap can be set aside to embellish floral arrangements. Ti leaves and foliage can be used to enhance color schemes. Rocks can be used to add natural elegance and charm.

Simple centerpieces were the focus of a recent demonstration at the Plantation Home Decor store in Kapolei. One featured a lau hala pillow wrapped in ribbon and embellished with berry sprigs and recycled ornaments. Any small pillow or gift box could be used—the more interesting the shape, the better.

A standard silver bucket found at a local hardware store served as the base for another centerpiece. The bucket was filled with sand; shells, colorful or glittery floral picks and ribbons completed the piece.

Votive candles placed in brown paper lunch bags—a sand dollar attached to each one—surrounded the bucket. Other embellishments suiting your party theme could be used in place of the sand dollar.

ONE OF THE EASIEST ways to dress up a table is to add candles to reflect the light, said Plantation Home Decor owner Mary Kamoe-Durrett. A glass vase filled with colored gravel or sand is another inexpensive option. Adding candles with scents reminiscent of the holidays—pine, cinnamon or cranberry spice—can also help set the mood. And vellum wrapped around candleholders can provide a soft lighting alternative.

Kamoe-Durrett also showed how a grape vine or artificial wreath can be used as a centerpiece base. One easy example involved starting with a grapevine wreath decorated with berries. Place a glass vase or jar in the center (you might have a ready supply in your pantry, or look for one at local department or thrift stores). Fill the vase or jar with colored sand or gravel to hold a taper candle in place. Add a matching table runner.

Tree branches can be painted white, or left in a natural state, to enhance any centerpiece. Combing the beach for seashells or searching the back yard for unique twigs can even provide the one thing you need most this holiday season, a quiet Zen moment.

”;Handmade”; will present a simple craft idea for the holidays each Sunday through Christmas. E-mail Nancy Arcayna at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).