I’m adding an extra layer to the challenge this week.
In addition to making a centerpiece that costs $20 or less, I also want a centerpiece that can be made ahead but survive until Thanksgiving...
Dried flowers were my answer and when I set out Googling, I found a ton of inspiration!
I especially loved the use of birch bark vases to bring in texture and a fall-time feel. The problem was when I really started digging, I discovered that the oh-so-cool wood vases cost anywhere from $10 to $60.
I also thought that dried flowers would be relatively inexpensive, but any arrangement of dried flowers from a florist started out at $20!
I loved the arrangement above for the color and textures, so I set out to hack this look for a lot less.
And my hack for the birch bark vases was to buy a sheet of decorative paper from the craft store for $3.99 and hot glue it around old peanut butter jars.
I made three, with plenty of paper left over for more!
I bought dried lavender ($3.99 a bunch) and a purple flower ($2.99) that I forget the name of at Trader Joe’s for a total of $11.
I wanted to buy silver dollar eucalyptus, but it would have put me over budget, so I clipped some sage and rosemary from my garden and hung it upside down for three days to dry.
This summer I bought four brass candlesticks and glass votives at a thrift store for $1 each. I didn’t have to buy them for this challenge, but since I’m using them in the centerpiece I figured I should add their cost to the total—$4.
I also used a few amber bottles that I found while thrifting. They are usually $1, so that’s $3 more.
Lastly I added some large paper doilies under the arrangement. Crocheted ones like my grandmother used to have would have been preferable, but in an effort to stay true to the budget challenge, I had to compromise.
A pack of ten paper dollies was $1. I used three, so does that count as 30₵ or $1? Let’s be really fair and say $1 since I didn’t add the cost of the tea light candles above.
The total cost to produce this make-ahead centerpiece was roughly $23.
So it was a little more that a Jack$on, but still a total success in my book—especially when you consider the fact that this centerpiece can be used all fall!
Plus the purple is really pretty and a nice change from the oranges, golden yellows, and browns of my traditional harvest decorating.