Divine Dinner Party

Cheap Centerpiece Ideas:
12 Dinner, Holiday, or Wedding Centerpieces on a Budget

Just because you don't have a big budget for table decorations doesn't mean you want any cheap centerpiece ideas you use to look cheap. And if you opt for some of the ideas here, they don't have to!

With a little creativity, cheap table centerpieces can look just as good as their more-expensive cousins... and without a lot of work. All you have to do is, so to speak, think outside the vase. You have a lot more options than you might think!

You'll also find some great ideas for creative centerpieces submitted by other visitors at the bottom of this page... or you can submit your own awesome ideas & photos!

12 Cheap Centerpiece Ideas (with Photos!)

The 12 cheap and creative table centerpieces below are perfect for a holiday party, a dinner table, or for wedding centerpieces on a budget! But you'll find more ideas for setting up and decorating a table here:

1. Make Your Dessert the Centerpiece

Cheap and Easy Dessert Centerpiece Idea
This is such a simple idea for a table centerpiece, and it doesn't require a lot of planning or extra materials. After all... you were going to make dessert anyway, right?

How to do It: In the photo here, cupcakes are used as a table centerpiece, with a pretty display of apples on the bottom. Think you have to go out and buy a fancy cupcake holder to make this cheap table centerpiece? Nope. The one here is simply made from cheap plates glued to clear water glasses-- really! Or you can buy an inexpensive reusable cupcake tree online. Whatever you like!

A bonus to this cheap centerpiece idea? Having your guests staring at their dessert all through dinner will insure that they're drooling by the time they get to eat it!

2. Make a Statement Candle Centerpiece

Inexpensive Unusual Candles for a Table Centerpiece
Flowers are, of course, the most traditional table centerpiece idea out there. But they also tend to be the most expensive. But candles are just as pretty and festive, and a lot cheaper! Unfortunately, the price of nice candleholders can really add up.

A fun option? Make the candles themselves decorative, not the candleholders... and not just the light they give off.

How to do It: Run down to your local import store and pick up some interesting-looking designer candles and use those as dinner or wedding centerpieces on a budget. Still too expensive? Pick up plain white or colored candles, and paint your own! Just be sure to use a non-flammable paint, or tint them with colored, melted wax.

3. Let Your Sweet Tooth do the Decorating

Party or Dinner Centerpiece with Fun Candy- cheap idea!
Almost nothing is brighter, more cheerful, and more fun to look at than candy! And as a bonus, it's one of the cheapest things out there to buy. When thinking up cheap centerpiece ideas, most people overlook the idea of candy... but it's often the perfect --and most creative-- table decoration idea that will get your guests talking and interested.

How to do It: Simply arrange your candy in a container that matches the mood of your other table decorations. For a display like the one pictured, it's best to have candy of different heights, just as you might do with flowers. Or you can glue wrapped candy to a ball of Styrofoam to make a candy tree. Have fun with it! You can really get creative.

You can also choose your candy table centerpiece to match a dinner table theme. The cheap centerpiece pictured here is for a 1980's party. But you can get Shop at the largest online candy store, nostalgic candy for a 1950's themed party or wedding, or colored candy to match a particular color theme. The sky's the limit.

4. Branches and Lights Centerpiece

Candle Tree Easy but Elegant Cheap Centerpiece IDea
Flowers can cost an arm and a leg, but the cheap centerpiece idea pictured here isn't just cheap... it's almost free. Because you can just go wandering around your neighborhood or local park and find branches to use!

How to do It: Place your sturdy-but-slim branches in a vase or other container (you can stick them in florists foam, but if you use a slim-necked vase that shouldn't be necessary), and decorate them as you like. You can do something like an egg tree for Easter, a gumdrop tree for Christmas, or hang small plastic candle holders/lanterns from it to make an elegant and inexpensive table centerpiece that all your guests will be talking about.

Want to turn this idea into the perfect wedding centerpiece on a budget? Add a few Polaroids (or digital photos printed to look like Polaroids, more likely) of the bride and groom to the centerpiece to give it a romantic feel. One of my favorite elegant but cheap centerpiece ideas!

5. Fruit and Candles Centerpiece

Candle Centerpiece Cheap with Fruit
Tall central centerpieces are always dramatic looking, but some of the best and easiest cheap centerpiece ideas are longer displays, like the one pictured. This one arranges fresh, bright oranges and tealight candles randomly on a long tray. The effect? Ultra chic, and ultra cheap, too.

How to do It: You can pick up a tray like the one pictured, or place your candles in small, inexpensive holders and simply line them up across the table along with your fruit. Play around with different colors of fruits in similar sizes: oranges, different varieties of apples, lemons, you name it.

This is a cheap table centerpiece that your guests will definitely remark on... and that you'll hardly spend a penny putting together.

6. Nutty Floral Centerpiece (and Edible!)

Nuts Used for a Cheap and Creative Table Centerpiece IdeaSome of the best cheap centerpiece ideas are also edible... and this one is, too!

How to do It: Pictured here, you'll see a spread of whole, in-shell walnuts as part of the dinner table centerpiece. But you can also use a variety of nuts, fruits, or whatever you want. It's kind of a fun idea to have something guests can snack on while they wait to eat-- or wait for dessert.

In the picture of this cheap table centerpiece, you'll see vases of flowers included, as well. I love the idea of making mason jar floral centerpieces and filling them with rustic-looking flowers: daisies, wildflowers, greenery, baby's breath, etc. Would be a great look with a gingham tablecloth for a casual, rustic table decoration.

7. Carve Out a Candleholder Centerpiece

Vegetables Carved into Candleholders for a Dinner Party Decoration IDea
This is one of those cheap centerpiece ideas that makes me wonder why more people don't do it. Carving out a small pumpkin for an autumn centerpiece (or, say, a green apple for a spring centerpiece) to use as a candle holder is so easy and so cute --and so cheap!-- it seems like an obvious choice for anybody looking for dinner, holiday (like Thanksgiving!) or wedding centerpieces on a budget.

How to do It: The fruit or vegetable candleholder centerpiece here is shown on its own. But you can also carve your fruit or veggies into containers to hold a small glass vase for a single flower, or a carve shapes into the side (like you would when carving a Halloween pumpkin) to make little table lanterns for a cheap centerpiece. The options really are limitless!

You'll find more ideas for cheap fruit and vegetable centerpieces here!

8. Double-Level Leafy Vegetable Centerpiece

Vegetable Vase Table Centerpiece Cheap Idea for a Wedding or Dinner PartyThere's something so understated about this cheap table centerpiece, it elevates it from something inexpensive to something really elegant, thoughtful, and clever. Both pretty and amusing-- and a great centerpiece idea for a casual holiday dinner or wedding reception. It's also a great idea for a cheap Thanksgiving centerpiece!

How to do It: To pull off this cheap centerpiece idea, all you need is bright, fresh root vegetables with attached greenery. In the example here, you'll see carrots and beets-- they look great together! It's best to get them from the farmer's market, where you can be sure they're fresh.

Fill a clear and very simple vase (or a mason jar!) with water and place your vegetables (you can also add sliced fruit!) inside so they're clearly visible. Let all their greenery spread out luxuriously at the top... and you have a really interesting, amusing, and creative cheap centerpiece that is perfect for a casual party.

9. Flowers, Snacks, and Sliced Fruit Centerpiece

Tall Table Centerpiece with Sliced Citrus and Snacks

I love the way this cheap centerpiece idea takes a few very inexpensive flowers and elevates them into something really special.

How to do It: Simply with the addition of a few slices of citrus in the tall, clear vase, the colors in this very inexpensive floral arrangement really POP-- especially if you choose a flower or two that matches the color of your citrus. You can make this with sliced lemons, orange, limes, blood oranges, grapefruits, or even berries like blueberries or cranberries.

Arranged around the square-based vase are a few little snacks for the guests to pick at while they wait for dinner. It's best if the snacks match your dinner or decorative theme.

10. One Bouquet, Many Centerpieces

Long Table Centerpiece with Individual Bud Vases Inexpensive Table DecorationHave enough cash to buy one bouquet of nice flowers, and really want to stretch your budget for your centerpieces? Turn that one bouquet into six different arrangements.

How to do It: The cheap centerpiece idea pictured uses only one or two short blossoms per small vase-- and runs the arrangement straight down the table (which makes it the perfect cheap table centerpiece for rectangular rather than round tables). The effect is minimalist, elegant, and very pretty-- it looks much more expensive than it really is!

You can pick up little vases like this at the craft store or dollar store for about a buck each. Or to save even more money on this cheap table centerpiece, simply use short, clear water glasses! Who can beat that?

11. Crazy-with-Candles Creative Centerpiece

Lots of Candles for a Cheap Table Centerpiece with Drama and RomanceThis is one of the best cheap centerpiece ideas if you're looking to create a lot of romance and drama without dropping a lot of cash. It's also a great dinner party, holiday, or wedding centerpiece on a budget because it's not tall-- your guests will actually be able to see and speak to each other!

How to do It: Simply pick up a lot of different (short, not taper) candles in different sizes. Place them in candleholders of different sizes and shapes, the tallest in the middle, the shortest on the outside. Place the whole arrangement on a mirror or cloth, and decorate with clear marbles or leave it plain and minimalist. Lots of light, lots of drama!

Pictured, all of the candles and candleholders are the same color, which lends it a really elegant effect-- but you can also go for a dual-color or multi-colored theme!

12. Rustic Blooms, Unusual Containers Centerpiece

Small Blossoms Rustic and Inexpensive Dinner Party or Wedding Reception Centerpiece
I love this pretty, simple, and rustic idea for any picnic-themed dinner or wedding centerpiece idea on a budget. It's sweet, it's different, and because it's understated and elegant, it also looks more expensive than it is.

How to do It: To put this cheap centerpiece idea together, simply purchase a bouquet of pale-and-pretty roses or rustic-looking wildflowers. Then place one bloom of roses or a few wildflowers in all sorts of different containers: vintage wine bottles, old mason jars, small water glasses, bud vases, you name it. It gives the centerpiece a wonderful shabby chic feel that's really fun and authentic.

Perfect for an outdoor dinner party, picnic, or reception!

Other Visitors' Ideas and Photos

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Elegant winter centerpieces for practically nothing!  
Beautiful, elegant yet easy and very inexpensive centerpieces can be made with items from your local Dollar Tree and things found in your own backyard. …

Christmas Formal Dinner Table 
Some clean and elegant ideas for Christmas table decorations... these ideas are super simple and really look great on your Christmas table. 1. Use a …

Chocolate Heaven: Chocolate Fountain Centrepiece Idea  
Big chocolate fountains are always a huge hit at parties, like the one pictured here. But I love the idea of making your chocolate fountain into a centrepiece, …

Super Cheap Living Goldfish Centerpiece Idea 
For this centerpiece idea, you grab a couple of fishies. The non expensive ones. For example the tiny goldfish. To make an alive centerpiece, fill …

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