Decorating on a Budget for Church Banquets or Ladies Meetings

Here are some ideas for making inexpensive centerpieces:

  • Make luminaries for the tables. Fill white paper bags ¼ up with white sand. Place candles in baby food jars and place jars in bags.
  • Since real flowers are expensive, use artificial flowers…less expensive and look great.
  • Use helium balloons with fancy ribbons tied to small decorative sandbags.
  • Decorate with seasonal potted flowering plants. Cover pots with foil or pretty paper. Before everyone arrives, place a number under one of the plates on each table. At the end of your meeting, the person with the number can take the plant home.
  • Use themes Stepping Up To (volunteer, mission, bus, etc.) or In Their/His/Her Steps. Collect shoes from friends or thrift stores. Spray paint shoes gold or silver or your theme color. Place flowers in shoes to use as your centerpieces.
  • Place inexpensive flowers in recycled jars. Cover jars with tissue paper and tie ribbons around necks of jars.
  • For fall or winter centerpieces, use free items and natural items such as pinecones, wild berries, acorns or wild nuts or anything native to your area.  Spray paint empty cans and glue items together for a beautiful nature centerpiece. Examples:  Hollow out a small pumpkin and place a pot of marigolds or garden mums and place in a small basket with the pumpkin lid leaning against the arrangement.
  • For Christmas or winter banquets, purchase a package Chinette plates. Turn them upside down and hot glue pinecones around the outer edge of the plates. Take a bunch of the pine branches and pine needles and glue them to the plate. In the center of the plate, place a glass votive candle holder w/candle. Spray the entire plate with fake snow to make it look like it’s just had a light dusting of snowfall.
  • For fall, make “scare-crow” centerpieces. Use old children’s clothing, some stuffing, and hay. Find tiny sized jeans and little flannel shirts at yard sales or thrift stores. Allow some bits of hay to stick out of the arm and leg openings. Stuff the body with old rags or even newspaper until they are as plump. Hot glue the openings shut. Make the head out of an old tan sock with features drawn on and hay or yarn glued on for hair. Place a hat on its head. Place a scarecrow on each table sitting among fall vegetables or pumpkins. Your scarecrow will probably need to lean against something unless you put him on a stick for support.
  • For an elegant centerpiece at Christmas, gather long, thin sticks about 2or 3 feet long. Spray paint them white. Add a bit of glitter. Place iridescent streamers into an old, clear florists’ holder. Arrange Christmas flowers and a few painted branches into the holder. If you can’t find clear containers, try using any kind of container (large coffee cans, anything) and wrap the containers with pretty tissue. Bunch paper up around the container, tie with curling ribbon or any other kind of ribbon. Scatter fake snow or confetti around the arrangement.

To prevent starting a fire: If you plan on lighting the candles you are placing in your centerpieces, always use candles that are enclosed in glass or metal holders.