DIY Grocery Store Centerpieces

These five DIY projects can be made in a flash and, best of all, require only materials found at the grocery store. Keep reading to see how to transform your holiday table in just a few simple steps.

Paper Bag Vases

Holiday entertaining can often be overwhelming. After making countless trips to the grocery store, who has time to take on a craft store shopping list as well? As a result, we often settle for whatever decorative elements we happen to have on hand — the same vases we’ve been using for years, filled with the first flowers spotted at the grocery store checkout line. Sometimes the most-interesting decorative elements are made with the most-ordinary materials. In this case, regular brown paper lunch sacks are transformed in one simple step, and when filled with monochromatic bunches of flowers in a holiday color palette, they are instantly taken from drab to fab.

By Camille Styles, photography by Molly Winters

What You’ll Need:

Brown paper lunch sacks, a red ink pad and a rubber holiday stamp are all the materials you’ll need to create this unexpected table centerpiece. The instructions are simple: Press the stamp into the ink pad, then mark all over the paper sack in no particular order. Be sure to do this on every side of the bag so that the final product is pretty from every angle.

Just Add Flowers

Once the ink is dry, carefully roll over the top edge of the bag two to three times to create a cuff. Bunch together your favorite grocery store flowers (we love alstroemerias for their vibrant color, low price and long shelf life) and slide them into a glass jar with a few inches of water. Slip the jar into the decorated bag, then set it in the center of your holiday table.

Coffee Filter Snowflake Runner

Most of us rely on coffee filters to prepare that essential cup of joe in the morning, but because they are so affordable and pliable, and they come in different sizes, coffee filters also make great craft materials! This simple project calls on the old snowflake-making technique we all learned in grade school to create a perfectly seasonal table runner; because this centerpiece lies flat, it’s sure to leave plenty of room for lots of yummy food.

What You’ll Need:

First, flatten a coffee filter with your hands and fold it in half once, twice and a third time. Use scissors to carefully cut geometric shapes into the folded coffee filter, and don’t be afraid to get creative! Once you unfold the coffee filter, a beautiful, perfectly symmetrical snowflake will be revealed. Repeat to make more snowflakes, changing up the cuts to create new, unexpected patterns.

Stick in Place

Measure and cut a piece of butcher paper to fit down the length of your holiday table and set it in place. Arrange the coffee filter snowflakes on the runner until you’re pleased with the design, then use a glue stick to adhere the snowflakes in place.

Paper Straw Flower Vases

Planning to use canned ingredients in your holiday cooking this year? Instead of tossing those empty tin cans into the recycling bin, choose to upcycle them with these fun paper straw vases. The project is easy enough to do in one sitting, and the final product is sure to have your guests asking, "Did you really make those?"

What You’ll Need:

Look no further than the party aisle at your local grocery store for fun patterned paper straws. Choose packs that coordinate with your overall color scheme, then measure and cut the straws to fit the height of your tin can. Carefully use a hot glue gun to attach each cut straw to the tin can, adding one at a time until the entire outside of the can is covered. Repeat with varying can sizes and straw colors, then fill the finished vases with  a few inches of water and tight bunches of your favorite flower.

Cinnamon Stick Runner

From their rich natural color to their unmistakable seasonal scent, cinnamon sticks are a great way to infuse the holiday feeling into your decor. Here the sticks are linked together with a long piece of jute twine and arranged over a greenery garland to add a bit of spice to the overall design. Best of all, this runner can be repurposed as a holiday garland on a mantel, banister or doorway once the dinner party is over.

What You’ll Need:

Cinnamon sticks are available in a variety of sizes, so take time to scour your local grocery stores to find the best selection. Then cut a piece of thick, natural twine to fit the length of your table, plus a little extra to hang off the edges. Tie on individual cinnamon sticks, alternating between big and small, and squeeze a dot of craft glue on each knot to ensure the sticks stay put.

Cupcake Liner Flowers

The baking aisle is bursting with color and crafting inspiration — you just can’t help but feel happy when you’re there! Here regular cupcake liners are transformed to create a centerpiece that’s just as special as a bunch of flowers, but much longer lasting. Keep reading to learn how to make these festive, whimsical single-stem blooms.

What You’ll Need:

Purchase cupcake liners in different colors and patterns — and, most importantly, in three different sizes. If your grocery store offers only two sizes (large and small), create a medium-sized liner by cutting 1/4 inch off the edges of some of the large ones. Flatten the cupcake liners, then use scissors to cut fringe into the edges of each one.

Colorful Layers

Layer the fringed cupcake liners in order from small to medium to large, then punch a brass brad (found in the school supply aisle) through the center of the stack. Spread the prongs to secure the brad in place, then attach the bloom to a straw, skewer or floral wire to create a stem. Place in single bud vases and cluster in the center of the table for a showstopping centerpiece.

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