One of my favorite centerpieces is to use a large hurricane or clear glass bowl. Set a wide candle inside and fill the bowl partially with whatever you’d like. For Christmas-time, fill the bowl or hurricane with small glass balls, pinecones, fake snow, etc. For a Mexican fiesta-themed party or meal, use Serrano peppers or grape tomatoes. You get the idea. I got this idea from my mother-in-law who during the fall used hurricanes with orange candles surrounded by filbert nuts.
Before you go out and buy anything, take an observant walk through every inch of your home. See if anything you already have could double for a centerpiece or other type of decoration. For instance, maybe you have some small mirrors that would look nice laying flat on the table. Be creative with what you have, even some old canisters or jars could provide the inspiration for a unique centerpiece.
For a simple (and cheap!) way to make a table look nice, make copies of some sheet music and scatter it along the table. You could cover it with a sheet of glass, transparent fabric, or just put your serving dishes directly on top of the paper. You might want to consider which music you lay down. For something romantic, choose a song in a foreign language like Italian. Or you can choose a song that fits the theme of the season or event.
For a family event, make copies of black-and-white photos of grandparents or ancestors. Place these in picture frames that you already have, or put them underneath a piece of glass on the table.
– Other ideas for Christmastime:
1. Wrap different-sized boxes with nice wrapping paper and arrange on table. You can wad up some tissue paper to put around the packages if you’d like.
2. Snip off some short branches from your Christmas tree just before your guests arrive. Put these in a vase with some water and tie a festive bow around the vase.