Make stunning greenery centerpieces using found and foraged materials
How to use a colander, foraged greenery, & extra decorations to make Christmas greenery centerpieces. A thrifty & clever project for a handmade Christmas. Watch the video at the end for full DIY instructions
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 colourful pieces in my box of holiday decorations. Thirty minutes later I was delighted to see that my idea 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.
Materials and tools you’ll need to make Christmas Greenery Centerpieces
- A Colander. This green enamelware one is perfect
- Florist wire
- Secateurs or heavy duty scissors
- Fresh greenery: sprigs of conifer, holly, ivy, and other evergreens
- Dried decorations: oranges, pine cones
- Fairy lights
- Red berry pins
If you’re getting a live Christmas tree this year then 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.
Different types of Colanders
I have an ancient plastic colander and an enamel one. Both can be used for this project. Colanders made out of metal should work but I’m not altogether sure if wet greenery would be a good idea for copper.
If your colander is a bright colour, don’t worry, the decorations with 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.
Berries, Pine cones, & Oranges
One of the prettiest accents in this piece are the red berries. You might be able to find some growing wild while you’re foraging for greenery. In past years I’ve found plenty for my Christmas wreaths but not this year – the birds ate them all very early in the season. It’s probably best to leave berries for wildlife anyway. 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 could use on greenery centerpieces include dried fruit, pine cones, popcorn garlands, and dried flowers.
I’ve put a homemade tea light candle 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 will catch fire if it falls in an open flame. Have you seen a dried Christmas tree burn before? If not, let me assure you that it goes up with a WHOOSH.
An easy project with big impact
Making a greenery table decoration will be easy enough for most adults. The instructions I give in the video below are fairly simple and you could easily make it, start to finish in about 45 minutes. If you’re speedy and have everything organized then you could even halve that time.
Once made, the piece will dry out and will shed pine needles. Keep it on a surface that you can tidy easily and it will look festive and tidy for a good couple of weeks. Afterwards you can compost all the greenery and save the other decorations for next year.