We were stopped cold when we saw this inventive centerpiece from Serge Péloquin, artistic director of the Hotel de Glace (a resort made entirely of ice and snow) in Quebec, Canada. All it takes to create custom ice vases is a few milk or juice cartons and a little help from the freezer. Fill cardboard cartons with water. Dip a thin, circular object, like a wooden spoon handle, into the center (to create a hole) and tape it in place. Freeze overnight. Remove, then peel away the carton. Place flowers into the hole of each ice block and set on rimmed plates to catch any melting water.
David Tutera, event planner and host of WE TV's My Fair Wedding, is known for transforming events from mangy to magnificent. No surprise that he was bursting with clever ideas for making over our bare dining table. His idea: Place a block of floral foam on a cake stand and prick stems of leaves, vines and greens through it. Add a few colorful flowers in between the greens, and top with a glass dome for a terrariumlike effect. Have leftover blooms? Lay them on small saucers or bread plates around the table.
Armani Leaf Bowl Centerpiece
Follow style icon Giorgio Armani's lead and create this gorgeous placecard holder centerpiece.
South Carolina boys and authors Matt and Ted Lee have made a career of getting back to good old American basics. To wit, they created this centerpiece from the canned-foods aisle. To re-create the look, choose retro-looking cans from your own market, empty them -- to make a pie, perhaps -- and fill them with small bunches of flowers.
Take the Plunge
Tired of blooms that wither and droop in the summer heat? Try this easy but elegant design by professional home stager and HGTV guest contributor Kate Hart (hartstaging.com), who uses it to give flowers staying power during all-day open houses. Use it to dress up your next outdoor cookout. Kate's idea: Place your favorite flowers -- either as single stems or bunches -- into vases that are tall enough to just cover them. Then fill the containers with room-temperature water until the flowers are submerged. Replace the water every other day and the buds will stay perky for up to a week. (Tip: If your flowers float, tie the stems together with light-colored string and press a rock into the center to weigh the bouquet down.)
How To Make a Martini Glass Centerpiece
Watch our how-to video and learn how to make a martini glass centerpiece. Tip: Use flowers instead of candy!
There's no reason to hide your mismatched stemware in the back of the cabinet anymore! With just a few flips of the glass, designer Annie Selke -- owner of home furnishings company Pine Cone Hill (pineconehill.com) -- created a modern candle-and-flower arrangement that we're just crazy about. Her idea: Place your goblets upside down on a table, tuck large blooms underneath and top with colorful votives. It may only take a few seconds to pull together, but the elegant impact will last all night.
Inverted Wine Glass Centerpiece
Watch us make this perfect-for-your-old-wine-glasses centerpiece in our how-to video. Tip: Mix and match flower hues to fit your color scheme.
Sock It To Me
It's a shame that cute socks are always hidden inside a pair of shoes. Thanks to fashion and home designer Orla Kiely, our favorite toe-toppers (even those pesky orphans we pull from the dryer!) finally take center stage. Orla's idea: Mix and match socks of different colors and patterns, and slip them over jars, glasses or small plant pots. Snip off the sock bottoms so the pots stand flat on the table, and fill with flowers or herbs. Try this trick with infant socks and juice tumblers to create a mini, coffee-table version.
Sock Vase Centerpiece
Watch us make this sock-tacular centerpiece in our how-to video.
Daring designer Genevieve Gorder worked decorating miracles on The Learning Channel's Trading Spaces, and she did the same with this month's centerpiece: Her arrangement comes together for about $6! The ingredients: a cheap bunch of supermarket flowers, a bag of colorful dried beans and some tall glasses from your cabinet. Fill each glass with a 2- to 3-inch layer of beans and add a few tablespoons of water. Trim one flower stem to fit inside each glass, then arrange the "vases" down the center of the table.
Fashion designer Liz Lange has a knack for pleasing moms. When we asked her for a centerpiece, she came up with this smart idea: arrange flowers in a teapot, and give them extra height by standing the pot on a cup.
Dr. Quinn has a new career -- in home decorating. Actress Jane Seymour, a mother of five, is also a painter, which inspired this bright idea: Cover the table with butcher paper, bistro-style, and put out art supplies. It's sure to get the conversation going.
Poinsettias are holiday staples, but a bit Captain Obvious. For a fresher take, trim those leafy stems and cast away that flimsy foil container, says floral designer and author Jane Packer. Jane's Idea: Stack two or three cake stands, cover the tiers with red votives and snipped poinsettia leaves, and top with a red pillar candle. We love the goth look of black stands, but you can lighten it up by using white or cream-colored ones.
Designer Lulu Guinness (luluguinness.com), famous for her whimsical accessories, put her usual flair on the table when she came up with this centerpiece -- votive candles and a vintage mirror with lavender roses. To re-create the look, use your favorite flowers and any candles and mirrors. If you're worried about having food stuck in your teeth, a glance at the table will reveal all.
How to Create a Floral Centerpiece
Construct the perfect flowery table topper with the help of our how-to video.
Shell it Out
Vern Yip -- designer and host of HGTV's Deserving Design -- has created the perfect hiding place for Easter eggs: a grassy centerpiece. Poke small holes in the eggs, drain the yolks and fill each shell with water. Add a few wildflower stems and nestle the eggs in a flat of wheatgrass.
Here's a good excuse to splurge on sewing supplies: David Stark -- event designer and author -- slips spools of embroidery thread over test tubes to create homespun bud vases. Mix and match, or stack up a single color for dramatic effect. Either way, you'll have this centerpiece all sewn up in minutes.
We've seen it jiggle for decades -- finally, Jell-O gets to play a bigger role at the dinner table. Evette Rios, one of Rach's go-to design gurus, elevates the translucent dessert to art with this nifty trick: Combine six boxes of Jell-O powder with half the amount of water specified, chill the mix in a glass vase for half an hour, then just push flowers into the semi-firm gelatin. Design your own -- in any color!
How to Make a Lentil Centerpiece
If you're worried about faded flower centerpieces, try this timeless centerpiece accented with dried beans for a pop of color on your table.
Hostess Gifts with a Twist
You've got the skills to host the perfect party, but it's just as important to play perfect party guest. Bring the hostess a little something to show her how much you appreciate her get together. Take a look at our favorite gift options!