Create nature-inspired centerpieces with twigs, leaves, and candles
Peter O. Whiteley
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Build a tablescape
Start with slender but sturdy dried plant material from your garden or a craft or florists' supply store.
1. Select your base: a piece of plywood or wood, or a slate or terra-cotta floor tile. 2. Lay out a geometric hole pattern around the candle(s). For safety, ensure that nothing is too close to the flame. 3. Use an electric drill with a wood or masonry bit that is slightly smaller than the stems' diameter. 4. If holes are too small, whittle stems with a craft knife. Glue in place if desired. 5. Position candle(s); votives should be in glass surrounds, but larger candles can sit directly on base. Use long-necked gas igniters to light.
Here, tiny holes drilled into a slate tile make snug footings for 30-inch twigs.
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Tree-like twigs edge a stream bed of green pebbles running down the center of a sealed 30-inch piece of redwood 1-by-4.
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"Skeleton" or "fossil" leaves (available at craft stores) overlap to form a pair of gossamer screens, flanking votive candles centered on a 12-inch square of black-painted plywood.
Position leaves so they curve outward, making sure they’re at least 2 inches from the candles.
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Concentric circles of mini cattails surround a 4-inch-diameter candle. The outer cattails stand about 14 inches tall, while inner ones are 21 inches.