Home & Garden

Center of attention: Already-owned item can make for inexpensive holiday setting

Do you think you can you create a fabulous centerpiece for your holiday table, plus add some other beautiful touches for less than $30?

"It's possible," says Jackie Fink, floral designer at Michaels.

In fact, Fink did it for $26.09.

Designers Connie Novotny and Marcia Herrmann of The Final Touch did it for $28.46. Just $30 covered all the new decorations. Add your own dinnerware, flatware, stemware and linens and presto! -- a holiday table.

Jackie Fink

Fink created a traditional holiday centerpiece with a modern twist. She decided to use a candle in her centerpiece to create a soft and soothing ambience. Follow these easy steps to mimic Fink's centerpiece and other holiday styling:

1. Start with a red votive ($3.99 at Old Time Pottery) and fill it half way with foam, rocks or marbles (free stuff from your home or outdoor area). Set a smaller, clear votive on top ($3.39 at Old Time Pottery). Insert a gold candle ($2.99 at Michaels) into the top votive.

2. Purchase a stem of greenery ($3.49 at Michaels) and cut into several pieces. Insert the cut-up greenery into the bottom votive. Next, insert five red Christmas picks ($2.99 for five at Michaels) into the bottom votive.

3. Grab some pinecones and sticks (free, from your yard) and place them into the greenery. Purchase one long red feather ($3.50 at Michaels) and cut it in half and insert the feathers into the greenery. Choose a colorful ornament (free) from your home collection and hang it from the greenery.

4. For accents, use twigs and pinecones from your yard (free) and place them on the table runner.

5. The napkin holders were made with mini grapevine wreaths (29 cents each, $1.74 for six at Michaels) and ribbon ($1 a spool from Michaels). Tie some ribbon around the mini wreath, make a small bow and slide your dinner napkin into the wreath.

6. Placecard ornaments ($3 for six at Michaels) were used to complete the dinner table setting.

Note: Flatware and stemware from JCPenney Home Store. Red dinner napkins available at Macy's.

Total: $3.99 + $3.39 + 2.99 + $3.49 + $2.99 + $3.50 + $1.74 + $1 + $3 = $26.09

Marcia Herrmann, Connie Novotny

Both are designers at The Final Touch in Columbia, Ill. Novotny and Herrmann created a holiday table adding new pieces from their own homes. Surprising shapes and colors in gold and bronze create the perfect modern holiday tabletop.

Re-create the holiday glow:

1. Set your table with your own dinnerware, flatware and stemware.

2. Use a tree skirt, a large scarf or a table runner (free, from your home) and scrunch it around the center of the table. Next, our designers placed a candlestick from their home (we found one for $8.98 at Pier 1 Imports) in the center of the table and placed a beaded cone ($10.50 found at Michaels on sale) on top of it. (Note: If you don't have a candlestick, try a cake stand or a tall, narrow vase). Two other cones ($4.90 and $7, at Michaels on sale) were added to the center of the table.

3. Gold leaf garland (from their home) was twisted around the cones to add a traditional holiday flair. You can use your own garland from your holiday tree.

4. To complete the centerpiece, the designers added a charger (free, from the home) on a small plastic plate stand ($3.99 at Bed, Bath & Beyond). Novotny and Herrmann inserted a colorful bird ornament into the garland (free from their home). You can use your own special ornament (from your home).

5. The designers used their own napkin rings but added some fall foliage (all free from home and yard) to the napkin ring.

6. Small votives were placed at each setting (from their home) with tealights (find a box of tea lights at dollar stores).

7. Novotny and Herrmann completed the table with leaf-shaped serving dishes (free, from their home). You can copy their look by adding your own stylish candy dishes or an appetizer plate.

8. Our designers bought some glitter (found at at most dollar stores) and dusted it onto the tabletop for a temporary sparkle. If you're looking for holiday decor suggestions, visit www.shopthefinaltouch.net.

Total: $8.98 + $10.50 + $4.90 + $7 + $3.99, $1 + $1 = $28.46