Try This: Fall Centerpiece

Build a graceful centerpiece that won't hide one guest from another.
September/October 2004
http://www.motherearthliving.com/DIY-Projects/try-this-fall-centerpiece.aspx
A graceful centerpiece that won’t hide one guest from another, this trough-style vase can hold limitless combinations of dried flora. Autumn leaves make an intriguing arrangement, as does a forest of twigs or grasses.


Photo By Susan Wasinger

As green foliage turns to brown and seeds take flight, autumnal plants are at their most sculptural. This linear vase relies on two dimensions to highlight the intriguing shapes of seedpods in the armature of vegetation. Simply constructed of 1-by 4-inch beetle-kill pine held together with bolts and wing nuts, the narrow trough can be filled with florists’ foam to hold the dry plants. Or better yet, we lined up those annoying Styrofoam peanuts that can be replaced with the next arrangement. (If the aesthetic of the Styrofoam peanuts offends, cover them with a layer of sand or grass seed.) Use your imagination and an obliging meadow or garden for plant material. Experiment! The combinations and permutations are endless.

1. The vase can be whatever length fits your display area or table. We cut two 1-by 4-inch boards to 28 inches long; the two 1-by- 4 end spacers are 3 inches long.

2. Sandwich the spacers between the two long boards and clamp. Drill a hole through all three layers at the top and the bottom of each end for the 3-inch-long bolts. Thread the bolts through the holes and attach the wing nuts.

3. You can leave the wood raw or finish it with a nontoxic sealer. We rubbed on a thin coat of sea-green flat paint (we used a zero-VOC product by Safecoat: AFMSafecoat.com) then let it dry before buffing the vase lightly with beeswax.

4. Attach cork to the bottom of the box with tiny brads. This holds the foam and plant material in place and protects your tabletop from scratches. Be sure to sink the nailheads slightly into the cork.