Party Pointer: Create Simple Summer Centerpieces

Do you have summer parties on your horizon–graduations, family reunions, neighborhood cookoutsm, family birthday parties? Well, the decorating for these events does not have to be difficult, elaborate or expensive. Create simple summer centerpieces by using your imagination and things you might have around the house.

The first thing you need to think about when making table centerpieces is what kind of gathering are you having and what feeling you want for your event. Is it a birthday celebration or a laid-back adult cookout?  Is it formal? Is it casual? Is it country? Are you going for elegant? Thinking about these things will help you focus your ideas.

Then decide if your centerpiece will be used on a bare tabletop or on top of a tablecloth, runner or mat? Knowing this will help you make decisions about the colors and textures you will want to use.

Once these things are established, you can decide on a container for your centerpiece. Look around your house and garage for things you already have. You are sure to have something that would work. If you think you need to buy a container, check with your friends or your local thrift or discount stores–there is no need to spend a lot!

There are so many options for containers– the sky really is the limit! Some ideas for centerpiece containers would include…
Vases
Hurricanes
Lanterns
Flower Pots
Tea Pots
Terra Cotta Clay Pots
Tea Cups
Watering Cans
Old Boots
Large Sea Shells
Sand Buckets
Summer Gift Bags
Summer Purses or Totes
Baskets
Fish Bowls
Bowls
Colanders
Coffee Mugs
Glasses (water, wine, margarita, martini)
Decorative Tins
Tin Cans
Mason Jars
Glass Bottles
Boxes (wrapped in gift wrap)
Trays
Plates

And the list goes on and on!

Now that you know what kind of container you will use, you need to decide how you will fill it. Flowers from your yard or the grocery, grasses, greenery,  cacti, succulent plants, candies, fruits, vegetables, shells, river rocks, glass marbles, sand, tissue paper or balloons are just a few suggestions.

Candles are wonderful accessories for centerpieces, especially for entertaining in the evening, either indoors or out. Use multiples of large pillars, tapers, or votives–and remember that battery-operated candles are inexpensive, reusable, and safer to use, especially when children are around.

Several different sized pillar candles look great on a platter with sand, shells or river rocks. Votive candles can be alternated down a long table with little pots of succulents, ivy or flowering plants. Instead of putting plants in little pots, put candies, trail mix or nuts in little pots or bowls for your guests to nibble on before and after dinner.

Remember that if you are using centerpieces on outdoor tables, you may need to weight down the vases so that they won’t blow over if the weather gets windy. Gravel or glass marbles work will in the bottom of vases to give them ballast.

Some containers will need an extra smaller container inside if you plan on using fresh flowers. Place a cheap vase or glass down inside your container if it’s not waterproof, and then put your water and flowers in the inside vase.

Centerpiece ideas for tables can be as simple as shells from your vacation beach trip in a pretty basket or Mason jars tied with a bit of raffia, with some shells and votive candles on each side.

You can use a group of balloons tied to a festive balloon weight. Or you can set the weight down in a pretty gift bag and add tissue or gift basket shreds for color.

Use your imagination! You can create simple summer centerpieces without spending hours or money on it; it’s just a matter of a few elements put together, and you have a lovely centerpiece to enhance your entertaining this summer!

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