DIY Decor, Holidays

Use What You Have: Crafting a Simple Centerpiece

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I love having people over for dinner, lunch, holidays, movies – I like being in a group with people I love.  I think my favorite part is eating and laughing with my friends.  It is also fun to plan the menu and set a table that is interesting or pretty.  Creating a centerpiece for different occasions without breaking the bank can be a challenge.  I am fortunate to live in an area that is plentiful with sticks, foliage, and woodsy elements.  Running outside and trimming a tree here and there and gathering a few pine cones saves time and money.  For my wedding, I incorporated the outdoors into our rustic elegance theme and it worked beautifully and the cost savings was HUGE.  Using what I had available was the best way to go.

Simple Centerpiece

The effect I wanted was a theme of rustic elegance with elements from the outdoors incorporated with many, many candles.  I started by cutting branches and twigs from trees in the yard.  The wedding was in April so I was fortunate that the leaves had not yet begun to grow on the trees where I live.  I cut them a few weeks ahead of time so they would dry out and not be as heavy.  If you use a solid vase, the weight shouldn’t be a big issue.  The vases came from IKEA, they are 27 inches or so tall.  I loved the effect and the arrangements allowed everyone to speak across the table with ease.


I also collected pine cones from outside to fill the vase and cover the cut edges of the cut twigs.  The florist came along and added gorgeous greenery and ivory flowers to the top of the vase.  Janna is amazing, her talents is utterly stunning.  Thanks Callista Designs!  Purchasing the vase and adding the (free) woodsy elements saved so much money and made the centerpieces extremely affordable – especially for being almost five feet tall!  Whether or not you add flowers or greenery is up to you.  

Rustic & Elegant

My table top obsession is candlelight.  I love candles and wanted many candles in different shapes and sizes.  I found an online wholesaler that charged pennies for tea light candles and the pillar candles were more than reasonably priced.  


The candlelight was elegant and gave the room a warm glow.  We didn’t use light other than the candles.  I think candlelight gives everyone a warmth to their skin and makes us all look beautiful.

Warm Glow

By using what I had available for no cost, the look I wanted was achieved at a discounted price.  The centerpieces were sublime and added the perfect touch to the table settings – and they were easy!  Creating something gorgeous and elegant does not have to cost a fortune or take hours of your time.  

The dining room before the reception


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Julie, The Effortless Girl, is from a small (teeny tiny) community in the Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina. The Effortless Girl was born out of a desire to challenge herself to find accessible, unique lifestyle ideas with cost savings in mind. LEARN MORE >

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