Each year we have a “Thank You” dinner at our church for all the volunteers. I have been doing the centerpieces and decorating for these events for several years now.

Previously it was held in the spring and so I would use mason jars and fresh flowers. I have been known to trim a few of my neighbors bushes during this time frame. With permission, of course.

Centerpieces on a VERY Small Budget


Not my picture, pretty though.

However, last year it was moved to January.

My budget for this project – pretty much none.

I am working with plastic tablecloths.

With tablecloths included, for 25 tables I have VERY limited funds.

Fresh flowers in January is not going to happen.

Generally, I am not a fan of fake flowers, but desperate times…

Last year I found these brown flowers on clearance.

Centerpieces on a VERY Small Budget

(Yes, all of these pictures were taken with a flash. I am sorry, it was before I knew any better. )

They came with 6 attached in a bundle, but with a wire cutter I was able to break them down to individual blooms to spread them out more.

Then the fun began.


Centerpieces on a VERY Small Budget


This was during the time when my house was being renovated and the painters were using spray guns.

Let me just say, ugghh.

So, I was literally trapped in my basement.

At one point at I had to go out the bulk head door to leave the house.

So, I decided to make 25 of these arrangements.

Centerpieces on a VERY Small Budget

If you look closely you can see the insanity.

Each branch and pinecone were sprayed with adhesive and then glittered.

In the basement.

With no ventilation.

It was an interesting few days.

Centerpieces on a VERY Small Budget

I used dollar store vases, covered and glued with ribbon I already had.

The branches are from my backyard.

The pinecones were retrieved from a friend of a friend’s yard after I put out an “all call for pinecones”.

Luckily there was no snow on the ground in January last year.

The birch logs were cut from our yard and my husband and I took turns on the drill press making the holes for the tea lights.

Centerpieces on a VERY Small Budget

Last year we had a mix of brown and white tablecloths (budget reasons).

Last Friday, we had this year’s dinner and we used the centerpieces again.

This year I got smart and found the best price and bought all brown tableclotha on line.

band concert, julie visit, julie house 027

I also added a larger branch slice under each of the vases.

So, if you need to do a centerpiece on a budget, head outside! But if you live in the Northeast, you are going to have to wait for the snow to melt!

Have a great one, Laura

February 05, 2011 — Laura Putnam