Rustic Woodland Centerpiece

This is the centerpiece that is going in the middle of my table for Thanksgiving.  It is really quite easy to make, doesn’t take a lot of time and other than the glue sticks, is practically free with upcycled materials and help from mother nature!

Rustic Woodland Candle Centerpiece

Gather pine cones, acorns, seeds, nuts, anything organic.  Have the kids help.  If you are lucky, like I was, you will find a stump where Mr. Squirrel dispatched a couple of pine cones looking for the nuts!  It’s so much easier that way. Otherwise, find a few large pine cones and snip off the scales with heavy duty scissors, or rip them off with pliers.

Rustic Woodland CenterpieceThe other parts to this project are a base and a candle holder.  For the base, I used the round cardboard that comes under one of those we-make-it-you-bake-it kind of pizzas.  You can make the base any shape you want, but circles, ovals and rectangles are easiest. You can also use wood or even posterboard, though the posterboard might be a bit floppy.  The bigger candle holder is simply a washed tin can that used to hold chicken breast meat. This size holds those jars with candles in them.  You can see in the picture that you can also use a tuna can, which holds a pillar candle. Caution:  never leave a burning candle unattended – especially around these flammable items!

The first thing to do is glue a rim of the pinecone scales around the top of the can.  You can glue them next to each other or overlapping, which ever you choose.  The scales I am using came from a Ponderosa Pine.  Some call it Yellow Pine. I have also used Sugar Pine before.  Make sure you glue the scales at least 1/4 to 1/2 inch above the top of the can. Then, after finding center of your base, glue the can down.

Note:  You can use white glue on this project – especially if kids are helping – it just takes a bit longer to dry.  If using white glue, put a rubber band around the can, then slip each scale under the rubber band with a dollop of glue.  The rubber band helps keep the scale on the can until the glue has dried.

Now you will want to place the pinecone scales all around the edge of the base.  I let mine hang over about 1/2 inch so the cardboard won’t show.  This is where a lazy susan would come in handy.  Wish I had one!  😀Rustic Woodland Centerpiece

Now you glue the actual pinecones around the rim of the can.  You can make them all stand up like tin soldiers, or let them tilt a bit this way and that. Sometimes they have a mind of their own, but it doesn’t matter because imperfection is beautiful…  right? 😉

Then glue pinecones around the edge, covering the ugly side of the scale.  Don’t worry about some gaps showing here and there.  Those will be covered later. Rustic Woodland Centerpiece

Finally, fill in the middle with the rest of your pinecones.  Most of the pinecones I used are from a Douglas Fir tree, which I find to be the easiest to work with.  No sharp spiny points to prick my fingers, but you can see a few little prickly devils in the mix.  I like the variety!

Rustic Woodland Centerpiece

Now, gather all the rest of your woodland finds.  These are what you use to fill in the gaps. This is where the magic happens…  when it starts to look really lovely!  I wish I had some eucalyptus buttons – those are beautiful on this centerpiece project, but I just couldn’t find any this time.  Incense Cedars make beautiful fleur-de-lis like things, junipers make the beautiful silvery-gray balls.  Of course, there are several colors, shapes and sizes of acorns you can use – with and without caps.  I have even used liquid amber balls, seed pods, walnuts, hazelnuts, clove pods and star anise before (I have made several of these). Just make sure it is “natural”.  Have fun with it and keep filling in until you are satisfied with the results.

Rustic Woodland Candle Centerpiece

You may want to glue a piece of felt or thin cork underneath, which protects any finish below the centerpiece.

These can be saved year after year, but don’t be surprised if you find little pieces of stuff that looks like sawdust about and around the centerpiece when you get it out of the box next year.  It won’t hurt anything – it’s just the remains of the sawdust from the worms in the acorns (that have long since died)!  Turn the whole thing upside down and give it a few pats, or use your blowdryer to blow it off, replace any pieces that fell off, and enjoy!

Too late to make this for your Thanksgiving table?  That’s okay.  Just spray paint it silver or gold, or add sparkly ornaments, or glitter, or sprinkle on some fake snow.  Or all of the above! Then, you will have a beautiful Christmas centerpiece!

Rustic Woodland Centerpiece

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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51 thoughts on “Rustic Woodland Centerpiece

  1. For all of us who make rather than buy our holiday gifts, I thank You!!
    That is easy, beautiful and ” usefull”!! The three things that are essential to making gifts that people actually want to receive. Thank you.

    • Upcycling is great, isn’t it! From a lowly piece of pizza cardboard and an old tin can to a beautiful centerpiece – what could be better! Thanks for stopping by, Jackie, and for your kind comment!

  2. This is beautiful and I can’t imagine anyone not liking this as a gift. I would love someone to make me one. I have made ornaments with pine cones before and they were very pretty. There are so many things you can do for the holidays with pine cones and a little imagination. Visiting from Wildcrafting Wednesdays.

    • Good morning, Marla. Thank you! I enjoy crafting with pine cones and acorns, especially since I have so many of them! Just filling a beautiful vase with pinecones and glass bulbs makes a gorgeous decorative winter decoration – and so quick and simple! Thank you for visiting today!

  3. oh wow lovely! kind of scary with the ‘rip it with pliers’ part lol. I love how easy this would be to customize for any size, shape and natural ingredients you might have in your area too! Great craft for any skill level and not only would this rustic woodland centerpiece look good on your own table but anyone I know would love it! best of all, technically you could leave it out all year!! Thanks for sharing Vickie!!

    • Yes, I have been known to bring mine out at different times of year because you can customize it for the season! Stick silk flowers and/or feathers in it for spring with a little bit of moss tucked in here and there, etc., let your imagination run wild with this one! Oh yes, the ripping off of the pine cone scale? It’s a great way to take out your aggression. 😉 Start at the bottom and once you get a row or two off, it becomes much easier. After all, that’s what the squirrels do! Have a great Hump Day!

  4. Wow! What a fabulous idea! Especially since we are running over here with pine cones, and various pine tree droppings – this is a great idea to put them to good use! Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you for the invitation to your party! Too bad you don’t have time to make one for your Thanksgiving table, but Christmas is coming and you can glam it up any way you want to! I’ll see you over at the party 😀

    • Thank you, Jann. It does make a wonderful Christmas centerpiece! It can also be made in a long rectangle with two, three or even four candles, for long tables or even a fireplace mantle!

  5. This is just beautiful! It looks like something you would pay quite a bit for 🙂

    I have a round cardboard piece AND I have a bag full of pine cones so I believe I am all set to make one. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful creation with us.

    Hugs and blessings to you!

    • Have fun, Stephanie! Once you make one, you will see how easy it really is. Then, you can tackle a bigger one with several candles! Hugs and blessings right back at you – and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    • My mother was very crafty and we used to make things like this when I was a little girl – especially at Camp Fire Girl’s Camp! Thank you so much for your kind compliment, Deb!

  6. Hi, this is truly beautiful. We have retired to the mountains of NC and I have seen a similar idea where pinecones and acorns were glued around a mirror. That would really fit in with our mountain/lodge theme. I’ve also seen them glued around a picture frame, too. But, yours is by far the prettiest I’ve seen. It’s absolutely perfect & I love the way you bordered the edges of your can & also your pizza cardboard. Ever thought of selling these on etsy? Happy Thanksgiving, Bev

    • Hello, Bev. Thanks for your nice words! You know, I did think of selling them on etsy, but the shipping costs would be killer! Once the centerpiece is done, it’s a little heavy. Not like a brick, mind you, but heavy enough to cost 8-10 bucks to mail! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Bev!

  7. Love this centerpiece. What a beautiful addition to your holiday table. I just collected some pine cones this past weekend, and may have to change up my design for them after reading your post.

    • Oh, I hope you make one of these! It’s really quite soothing after a hectic day! I like to sit at the table with some pretty music on, a good cup of tea by my side, a glue gun in hand, and get swept into craft heaven!

    • Gum nuts? Is that what I call eucalyptus buttons? I love the smell of eucalyptus – especially the ones that grow near the ocean – so clean yet spicy! Thanks for stopping by!

  8. I love bringing nature inside and your arrangement is lovely! Love all the variety of cones and such. Thank you for sharing at What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great weekend!
    Blessings, Deborah

  9. I love this centerpiece! I am so glad you shared your post on our Thankful HomeAcre Hop, hope to see you again tomorrow for our regular HomeAcre Hop. I am going to feature your post on my blog tomorrow! I love the use of natural materials to create such a beautiful centerpiece! – Nancy
    The Home Acre Hop

  10. Pingback: Adopting a New Kitty & The HomeAcre Hop #98

  11. Thanks for thinking to share this with us at the creative challenge – something from nature! I love this woodland centerpiece and it fits the theme perfectly! I still want one, so many things on my to do list, so adding this again!! Hope all is well there on top of the mountain!

    • Thanks! When you think about it – save one of those round cardboard thingys that pizza comes on – that’s your base. Then save and wash out either a tuna can or something that will fit a pillar inside – or even one of those glass candles! Then, the next time you are out in nature start gathering! Actually, I saw something very similar to mine, except it was made with nuts in the shell! Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts – you get the picture. You can get all of those just going to the grocery store! Things are going well up here on the mountain – just slower than I anticipated! Everything seems to take twice as much money and three times as much time than was planned! We’ll get there someday!

    • Thank you, Audra! I hope you make one for yourself! The pinecones and acorns are starting to drop in our area, so it’s probably time to begin collecting!

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