How to Make a Christmas Table Centerpiece using a Colander

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How to use a colander, foraged greenery, and extra decorations to make a beautiful Christmas table centerpiece. This is a quick and inexpensive project that sits tall in the middle of your dining or coffee table and is lit with battery-powered lights.


About a week ago, I was washing the dishes and noticed how the colander was sitting on the side. Upside down, it lay flat on the counter with a rounded shape similar to a greenery centerpiece I’d just seen. That’s when eureka struck – the holes in the colander were perfect for threading florist wire through and creating my own.

I had some leftover greenery, holly from the garden, and other colorful pieces in my box of holiday decorations. Thirty minutes later, I was delighted to see that my idea had worked! Using a colander, you can create a beautiful and thrifty Christmas table decoration that costs practically nothing. If I can do it, so can you.

Greenery for a Christmas Table Centerpiece

If you’re getting a live Christmas tree this year, you might need to trim the bottom-most branches. Keep these to make your table centerpiece. Evergreen leaves are your best option for decorating the colander with natural and festive materials. You might even be able to find some in your garden, too. Ivy, holly, conifers, and other evergreens are fairly common, and if you don’t have any growing at home, you might be able to forage for some. Ask friends and family, or head out to the woods for a nature and foraging walk. Remember to be responsible and not strip or damage any plant or tree.

A festive handmade christmas decoration lit with lights and topped with a candle.
The finished colander Christmas table centerpiece

Different Types of Colanders

The reason you use a colander instead of an upside-down bowl for this project is because of the holes. They are incredibly handy to poke florist wire through to hold the greenery in place. I have an ancient plastic colander and an enamel one, and both can be used for this project. Colanders made of metal should work, but I’m unsure if wet greenery would be a good idea for copper. If your colander is a bright color, don’t worry; the decorations will disguise most of it. If the bottom of it (the top bit in your centerpiece) isn’t attractive or rounded, you can set a small saucer or plate on top for the candle. It’s probably best to do this for plastic colanders, too.

Cut fresh evergreen foliage with a pair of secateurs
Use foraged greenery from your garden or neighborhood and trimmings from the Christmas tree.

Berries, Pine Cones, & Oranges

Red berries are one of the prettiest accents in this Christmas table centerpiece. You might be able to find some growing wild while you’re foraging for greenery. I’ve found plenty for Christmas wreaths in years past, but not this year – the birds ate them all very early in the season. It’s probably best to leave berries for wildlife anyway.

An enamel or plastic colander is perfect for the base of your piece.
The colander will sit upside down for this project

Artificial holly, mistletoe, and berries are perfectly fine for this project. I’ve used them myself, and the ones I have are well over a decade old now. Other natural items you can use on your centerpiece include dried fruit, pine cones, popcorn garlands, and dried flowers. Here’s how to dry orange slices if you’d like to make some yourself.

Use optional decorations such as dried orange slices, berry ornaments, and lights.
Some of the extra materials you’ll need to decorate your piece with

I’ve put a homemade tea light with a small hurricane glass cover on the top of my centerpiece. I love how the extra vertical height makes it look even more impressive. You could use a tinned candle as well, but please be careful. The greenery on this piece will dry out quickly and catch fire if it falls into an open flame.

How to use a colander, foraged greenery, & extra decorations to make a Christmas greenery centerpiece. A thrifty & clever project for a handmade Christmas #lovelygreens #greenery #centerpiece #diychristmas
It is almost finished and just needs something for the top

Materials and Tools

How to use a colander, foraged greenery, & extra decorations to make a Christmas greenery centerpiece. A thrifty & clever project for a handmade Christmas #lovelygreens #greenery #centerpiece #diychristmas
Making greenery centerpieces with colanders is an inexpensive and creative way to decorate your home for Christmas.

What to Expect with this Project

Making a Christmas colander table decoration will be easy enough for most adults. The instructions are pretty simple, and you can make it in about 45 minutes. You could even halve that time if you’re speedy and have everything organized.

Once made, the piece will dry out and will shed pine needles. However, keep it on a surface that you can easily tidy, and it will look festive and pretty for a few weeks. Afterward, you can compost all the greenery and save the other decorations for next year.

Watch this video to see each step of creating the project

Make a Christmas Table Centerpiece

I explain the whole process of making the piece in the video above. The steps are straightforward and involve pinning the foliage to the colander and decorating it. Once the holidays are over, you can remove the foliage, save the florist wire and ornaments, and make the piece again the following year.

  1. Trim pieces of fresh evergreen greenery to about six inches. You’ll need a few good handfuls of them, depending on the size of your colander.
  2. Cut the green florist wire into 6″ segments. Bend them in half.
  3. Turn the colander upside down and thread one of these pieces of florist wire through the holes in the colander. Use it to secure a piece of greenery to the side. Repeat until the colander is hidden under the greenery.
  4. Attach holly and pinecones using the florist wire.
  5. Trim the evergreen foliage around the top of the piece to free up an area for the candle. You want to reduce the height of the foliage so that it doesn’t catch fire when you have a candle burning at the top.
  6. Wrap the piece with battery-powered lights and tuck a few dried orange slices behind it.
  7. Decorate with artificial holly berries.
  8. Place your candle feature at the top.
  9. Finished! Now, place your Christmas Table Centerpiece in pride of place and turn on those beautiful lights. Well done! Everyone will be so impressed by your piece.
How to use a colander, foraged greenery, and extra decorations to make a Christmas greenery centerpiece. A thrifty & clever project for a handmade Christmas #diychristmas #christmasdecor

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  1. Cheryl Buttigieg says:

    Love your idea of the colander deco Tanya. Am determined to try it out asap. Wishing you all the best for the festive season and in 2019.

  2. Terri Sidell says:

    Dear Tanya,
    Enjoyed your colander center piece. That is a marvelous idea!! I have some artifical evergreens that I was wondering what to do with. You mentioned the “Fairy Lights” battery operated lights. Can they be turned off & on after the tab is pulled to turn them on??
    Merry Christmas!! Terri

    1. Mine have a button to turn them on and off and the controller fits pretty handily under the colander :)

  3. Tanya, Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones… thanks again for the award… I have just put up a post on that…

  4. Your centrepiece is lovely, and so is your cat. What a cutie.

  5. Thanks Heather :) Little Louis can't resist crawling into open boxes or baskets! I didn't post the other pictures of them but they got on the table later on to have a smell and a poke around…little naughties :)