DIY: Make An Incredible Holiday Centerpiece for Under $15

The beauty of supermarket flowers is that they are dirt cheap. The trouble comes when you get them home, relieve them of their packaging, and they slump over into the vase. Not cute.

But it doesn’t have to be that way! A few floral design tricks and a little sleight of hand will help you create a holiday centerpiece (or really, a floral arrangement for any holiday) that you’ll be proud to prominently place on the dining table. Or alongside the gravy on your Thanksgiving buffet, whatever the case may be.



‘Tis the season. Gift the creative in your life something special – check out our curated holiday gifts

Chrysanthemums encompass a whole variety of flowers (Wikipedia says countless) and they happen to be dirt cheap and abundant at the market. Mums also come in a crazy array of colors which makes them a perfect seasonal companion because you can always drum up a few mums that match the decor of the holidays.

For Thanksgiving and other Fall-time feasts, collect three bunches of mums in assorted but complementary colors. The trick to a good arrangement is to have one focal flower. Football mums and spider mums are good candidate because of their large size. Your smaller blossomed flowers are supporting players and shouldn’t be of equal size to the leading lady.

Next, pull together some filler. If you are lucky your supermarket sells small bunches of greens with a few interesting elements thrown in. Buy two of those – you are going to need it. Alternatively you can scour the neighborhood.

Filler material is required to add volume to arrangements and it literally fills the space between the flower stems so they don’t slump against the sides of the vase for support.

For this batch of Thanksgiving arrangements we collected cedar branches, some pine-y stems, and Podocarpus trimmings as the filler. A walk around the neighborhood or even your backyard will reveal a surprising number of good candidates for filler material. Of course, you’ll always want to verify its okay to take a few clippings and keep your eyes out for spiders and the like.

Filler Flowers

Now the trick to getting your arrangement to look great in the vase is to have some “mechanics” to work from. For a simple and cheap arrangement, your filler materials are the ones for the job.

Simply add each piece of filler, one by one, so they cross over one another and create a “web” in the vase. The web is the key getting your flowers to “stand up” in the vase. Now that your filler is in place you can add your smaller accent flowers throughout the arrangement. You want to have repeating pops of color throughout the arrangement so your eye moves through it rather than getting stuck in one place. The crossed stems of the filler give the flowers something other than edge of the vase to lean on.

Focal flowers are your big blossoms. For this arrangement the burgundy mums are intended to take center stage. If your focal flower is looking a little lost you can give it some extra emphasis by leaving their stems slightly longer than its counterparts or grouping the focal in bunches of threes for more visual impact.

Final DIY flower arrangement

If you have any holes pop a couple more stems of filler or accent flowers in and enjoy!

‘Tis the season. Gift the creative in your life something special – check out our curated holiday gifts

Rachel Gregg FOLLOW >

Rachel is the content marketing lead for the CreativeLive Craft Channel. Her side hustle is floral design and her day job is awesome. @ms_gregarious.