CRAFT: 2 for 1 Holiday Centerpieces

Lets face it, we Divas want to be Martha Stewart in theory. But really, who has time or money to do some of the ornate and over-the-top craft projects she often shares? The difference with urban domestic divas is that we are creative but thriftier and more realistic. So it's the holidays and you want to make a creative centerpieces for both Thanksgiving and Christmas but don't want to spend a lot, nor do you have a lot of storage space either. Here is a approach that you can get double use out of one main purchase, and actually eat the decorative elements when they have served their purpose! SO multiple uses-that's what I call thrifty!

The main centerpiece elements can be found in a craft store or a resale store. I found the various sized candle holders and candles at our local thrift store, and I scored the tray in the clearance section of our local craft store-as well as the greenery. It doesn't matter what is decorating the tray on top, because in both instances, you are covering it with other stuff.

Get a variety of heights in glass candle holders, and find candles that are slightly smaller than the glass so there is room to put things around the candle in the glass. You can get neutral colored candles to get more use, or get fall colors to tie it all together.  Layer greenery such as Eucalyptus or a combination of fall leaves and pussy willows on a small decorative serving tray. Arrange the glass with candles on top. You may need to readjust your layer of greenery so that it nestles the bases of the glass. In each glass, fill the insides around the candle with various whole nuts. Chestnuts, almonds and hazelnuts are very nice and are the right size. It is OK to light these for your dinner party, the wax just pools around the nuts and it is alright. Just keep an eye on things. After use, I was able to pull out the "unwaxy" nuts, roast them and eat them throughout the month!

Now with your same base elements, arrange as you wish. To cover your tray and glass bases, use decorative snow, ornaments or holly. I used snow in this instance. I changes the candles to be more festive. In the glass around the candles, I purchased bulk starbright mints at Walmart, and filled each glass with either green or red ones. I did not take the wrappers off of them, but if you are going to light the centerpiece, I would take the wrappers off. The plastic will melt and possible catch fire, versus just the candies which will just melt slightly. Again, if you keep the wrappers on, the mints can be eaten in a candy dish after they have served their decorative purpose.

I would imagine you can create a nice centerpiece with whole cranberries in the same manner, other holiday candy or whole spices. Be creative. The glass is a great vessel for anything, just be very careful when lighting the candles that you don't have anything highly flammable next to the flame. Or just don't light it.

Happy Holiday Crafting!



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