Thanksgiving: Centerpieces

Williamsburg, VA has a holiday decorating tradition where the houses are adorned with only natural elements, such as pine boughs, fruits, seed pods, and nuts. These beautiful creations inspired my Thanksgiving centerpiece for this year:

Cranberries and boxwood sprigs nestle between fresh apples, pears, lemons, and clementines, crowned with a baby pineapple. A wreath of newly-picked magnolia leaves creates the base.

My creation is not 100% natural - the fruit is all real, but the boxwood sprigs are snipped from a floral spray bought at Michaels. Everything is skewered into a 12" foam cone. This is my third year creating a centerpiece like this, and if you'd like to try one yourself, here are a few tips. It took me a little less than an hour to assemble.

-buy the smallest fruit you can find, and look for good strong colors

-use 1/4" dowels or hefty bamboo skewers broken down to 3" lengths to firmly attach the larger fruits to the foam

-working on a sturdy plate or charger, start by poking the magnolia leaf stems into the base

-Moving from bottom to top, randomly place the large fruit around the cone. Put the biggest of the fruits on the bottom.

- fill in the gaps by attaching cranberries to the foam with toothpicks. Boxwood sprigs are tucked in to conceal any foam. You can skewer a boxwood sprig with a toothpick then anchor it on with a cranberry over the end. Try to leave some longer sprigs at the top to create a nice transition to the pineapple. They also help to support the pineapple.

-place the pineapple on top (I even used an artichoke once). This may be skewered on, or I've used a long screw twisted up into the base of the pineapple, then ram the head end of the screw into the foam. You want to avoid an embarrassing moment during Thanksgiving dinner when the pineapple rolls into Uncle Eddy's mashed potatoes, like this:

Transporting the centerpiece: not an easy task, but since this one will be a hostess gift, it must be done. I wrap plastic wrap around the entire thing as tightly as I can. The pineapple can be carried separately and attached right before the presentation. The whole arrangement weighs a lot, so be sure you have a very sturdy plate underneath!

1 comment:

  1. well done.
    happy thanksgiving to you and yours.