Try something new with your Christmas decorating this year with a fun, easy and inexpensive project. I call this masterpiece my “Poinsettia Bowl.” It makes a wonderful centerpiece for your dining room table, or you can place several around your home for a truly festive feel. And for those plant lovers on your shopping list, the poinsettia bowl makes a great gift!

Poinsettia Bowl

A finished holiday poinsettia bowl makes a great hostess gift!

Photo Credit: Lynn Means

Poinsettia Bowl materials

It takes only a few ingredients to create this beautiful centerpiece.

Photo Credit: Lynn Means

Pinecones and seed pods

Secure the first layer of plants around the bowl with a little tape, then evenly space your pinecones or seedpods.

Photo Credit: Lynn Means

Start with a large to medium bowl. The wide, low ones work the best: 10-18 inches in diameter and 2-4 inches or more deep. (Fruit bowls or potpourri dishes are great examples.) If you don’t have one around your home, head to your local craft store – there’s usually lots to choose from there.

Now it’s time to get inspired. Walk around your winter landscape looking for plants and other natural items with texture – like pinecones or big seedpods. The weirder and more unique, the better. Take a close look at your shrubs and perennials – anything that’s evergreen or has interesting foliage or fruit is fair game. Use your pruning shears to cut long strands of ivy and short (6-8 inches) branches from any variety of holly, camellia, boxwood or Indian hawthorne. Take cuttings from anything with dense, leafy tips to give your poinsettia bowl a nice, full look.

Also take about half as many cuttings of a different variety of evergreen for interest, contrast and texture. You’ll use these as accents to your creation, so think outside of the bowl. Consider the bright foliage of juniper and cedar, or find some eleagnus for pizzazz. There are no rules or limits for your poinsettia bowls, so get a little crazy. Whatever you choose, the end result is sure to look amazing.

Gather your backyard findings in a basket or bag and bring everything inside. Then give it all a good soaking or rinsing in the sink to freshen up the material and remove any uninvited multi-legged guests.

Once your materials are dry and ready to go, set your poinsettia in the middle of your bowl (place the entire pot – 6 inches or larger – into the bowl), and keep it in its decorative foil vapor barrier. Next, pour about 1 inch of water into the bottom of the dish to help keep your cuttings fresh.

Select one type of cutting for the main decoration of your poinsettia centerpiece and secure it to the bowl. If you use ivy, for example, lay each stem in the water and tape the rest of it to the upper inside edge of the bowl at regular intervals, allowing the leaves to curl over the outside edge. Then position your pinecones or seedpods on top of your ivy, spacing them evenly all the way around.

You can use some of your other evergreen cuttings to create a layer around the pinecones. Simply place them with their stems pointing downward into the water and allow the tops to fill in the spaces between the pinecones or seedpods. Use any berries, herbs or other fresh findings from your garden as additional accents. Space them evenly, or try bunching them together near some pinecones for a final flourish. Then place your masterpiece in the center of your table for all to enjoy!

With just a few materials, you can transform your common holiday poinsettia into something truly sensational for everyone to enjoy. What’s more, this quick-and-easy craft is a wonderful opportunity to use some old-time resourcefulness from the garden, bringing a little more life and cheer into your holiday-filled home.