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Holiday centerpiece for less than $30

Do you think you can create a fabulous centerpiece for your holiday table, plus add some other beautiful touches for less than $30?

It's possible, and these two designs prove it.

Just $30 covered all the new decorations. Add your own dinnerware, flatware, stemware and linens and presto! - a holiday table.

TRADITIONAL WITH A TWIST

1. Start with a red votive holder and fill it half way with foam, rocks or marbles (free stuff from your home or outdoor area). Set a smaller, clear votive on top. Insert a gold candle (into the top votive).

2. Purchase a stem of greenery and cut into several pieces. Insert the cut-up greenery into the bottom votive. Next, insert five red Christmas picks into the bottom votive.

3. Grab some pinecones and sticks (free, from your yard) and place them into the greenery. Purchase one long red feather and cut it in half and insert the feathers into the greenery. Choose a colorful ornament (free) from your home collection and hang it from the greenery.

4. For accents, use twigs and pinecones from your yard (free) and place them on the table runner.

5. The napkin holders were made with mini grapevine wreaths and ribbon. Tie some ribbon around the mini wreath, make a small bow and slide your dinner napkin into the wreath.

6. Place card ornaments were used to complete the dinner table setting.

Total cost: $26.09

Red votive holder, $3.99; clear votive holder, $3.39; gold candle, 2.99; greenery, $3.49; Christmas picks, $2.99 for five; red feather $3.50; mini grapevine wreaths, $1.74 for six; ribbon, $1; place card ornaments $3 for six. Items purchased at Michaels, craft and pottery stores.

HOLIDAY GLOW

Surprising shapes and colors in gold and bronze create the perfect modern holiday tabletop.

1. Set your table with your own dinnerware, flatware and stemware.

2. Use a tree skirt, a large scarf or a table runner (free, from your home) and scrunch it around the center of the table. Next, place a candlestick (use your own or purchase one) in the center of the table and place a beaded cone on top of it. (Note: If you don't have a candlestick, try a cake stand or a tall, narrow vase). Two other cones were added to the center of the table.

3. Twist gold leaf garland around the cones to add a traditional holiday flair. You can use your own garland from your holiday tree.

4. To complete the centerpiece, add a charger (free, from the home) on a small plastic plate stand. Insert a colorful ornament into the garland (free from your home).

5. Use your own napkin rings and add fall foliage (free, from their yard).

6. Place small votive holders (from your home) at each setting with tealights.

7. Complete the table with serving dishes (free, from your home). You can copy the look by adding your own stylish candy dishes or an appetizer plate.

8. Dust glitter onto the tabletop for a temporary sparkle.

Total: $28.46

Candlestick, $8.98; beaded cone, $10.50; two more cones, $4.90 and $7; plastic plate stand, $3.99; tealights, $1; glitter, $1. Items purchased at Pier 1, Michaels, Bed, Bath & Beyond, dollar stores

SOURCES: Jackie Fink, floral designer at Michaels, St. Louis, Mo., designers Connie Novotny and Marcia Herrmann

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