Party planning should be fun and easy, so get things done in 15 minutes or less.

The 15-Minute Party Planner's blog breaks down basic party-planning tasks into simple actions that take 15 minutes or less. We're not here to make you the next Martha, we're here to help you be crafty quickly!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Centerpieces in 60 seconds

Centerpieces are probably the easiest part of party planning, since you can make them as simple or as lavish as you'd like. We here at the 15-Minute Party Planner are, of course, fans of simplicity. Here are a dozen centerpieces you can create in just a minute.

Head to your local dollar store or simply root through your cupboards to find some candles. Then, try one of these simple centerpiece ideas.
  • Three is a magic number; anything in a set of three is easily arranged and easy to make look good. Set three identical pillar candles on a tray or piece of wood for a simple centerpiece. You can decorate the tray (if you wish) with items that coordinate with your theme, such as polished rocks, seashells, buttons... even walnuts (in their shells) or fresh cranberries.

  • Arrange a dozen or so candles of varying heights (in a single color scheme) on a round platter or tray for a cozy centerpiece.

  • Set tea lights afloat in a glass bowl for a shimmery centerpiece. (Be sure to use tea lights that are meant for water; regular tea lights won't work.)
Whether you're using fresh flowers or good-quality faux flowers, decorating with blooms brightens up any table.
  • One simple standby? A dozen or more flowers artfully arranged in a beautiful vase. (If you don't feel like you can arrange them yourself, simply order a bouquet from a local florist problem solved!)

  • Mimic the floating tea light centerpiece (above) with the heads of flowers floating in shallow bowls and vessels. Wide, sturdy flowers work best in this case.

  • Buy large-blossom, long-stem flowers (like gerbera daisies) and set a single stem in each of several long-necked vases; then, place the vases in a line down the center of your table.
Mother nature is a whiz in the color department; fruit and vegetables showcase vibrant colors to make a table pop.
  • Fill a large glass bowl with bright citrus fruits (lemons, limes, or oranges) or colorful peppers (the shinier the better).

  • Candy adds a beautiful pop of color to any table. Use jellybeans in place of pebbles on a tray of candles or fill glass containers with bright gumballs, candy sticks, or gumdrops for a sweet dash of color.

  • Make dessert do double-duty. Arrange cupcakes, pastries, or other treats on a multi-tiered dessert stand for a centerpiece good enough to eat.

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