How to Make Easy Holiday DIY Cranberry Candle Centerpieces

by Alice Currah on November 13, 2013. Updated November 21, 2013


In my impressionable yet determined teenage years I often fantasized about what it would be like to live in a home decorated as beautifully as they are in the pages of popular home furnishing catalogs. I used to sign up for at least a dozen catalog mailing lists just so I could spend hours imagining myself living in one of these perfectly styled decorated homes. The holiday issues were definitely the best. They always featured the most elaborate table center pieces and settings with everything magically matching and coordinated. Little did I know these catalogs and similar magazines were planting seeds that would someday bloom into a way I could express myself but in a more simplistic way.

The first holiday season after Rob and I were married I came to the sad conclusion the same type of holiday decorating I was inspired by when I was young just didn’t seem as beautiful and grand in our small home. With a limited income and the constant morning sickness taunting me during my first pregnancy I was determined that although my holiday decorating wouldn’t be as stunning as I hoped it would, I could still be resourceful, creative, and make several easy do-it-yourself decorative accents within my budget. I aspired to make our living space feel like a home where family and friends could come over and feel special and at ease. Using items I could find around the house or purchase inexpensively I somehow managed to not only decorate our home, it became a social gathering place. Friends often stopped by unannounced and I loved welcoming them into my festive and cozy home for a cup of coffee and some sort of dessert which was always on hand.

Fast forward nearly 14 years later and the same desire I had all those years ago to make my home a place for holiday cheer are still served in my home today. My decorating philosophy is still much the same. I keep it simple, elevated, inviting, and inexpensive.

cheesecake-and-candlesToday I am eager to share with you how to make these Easy Cranberry Candle Centerpieces I’ve been assembling every holiday season for over a decade. Made with a hurricane vase (found at craft stores or 2nd hand stores for very little), floral black river rock, laurel bay leaves, fresh cranberries, and an ivory colored votive candle, these centerpieces add a touch of holiday elegance without costing a fortune. They look absolutely stunning during the day with pops of vibrant red and green. In the evening the soft illumination from the softly flickering candlelight provides relaxing ambiance without being too distracting. Only taking minutes to assemble, these Cranberry Candle Centerpieces make a great weekend project to prepare for the holidays. They also happen to make the perfect decorative accessory to the Black Tie Cheesecake I shared with you recently. Both the centerpieces and the cheesecake are very easy to pull together and will leave you feeling very accomplished with your family and friends relishing in your hospitality.

If you ask me, I think this cheesecake and the centerpieces are very cover worthy of any home decorating catalog or magazine.

I invite you to check out this beautiful interactive holiday room video I filmed in NYC making the Black Tie Cheesecake featuring these beautiful Cranberry Candle Centerpieces.  It might just give you the visual inspiration you need to make this year’s holidays extra special.


Brought to you by Philadelphia Cream Cheese/Kraft Foods

For a fun twist on a classic centerpiece and some serious “wow” factor, try this
Cranberry Candle Centerpiece.

1. Get your hands on a couple of glass hurricanes, vanilla votives, black river rock, floral greenery and fresh cranberries.

2. Place a candle in each holder and add river rocks around it.


3. Arrange the greenery around the outside of the candle, tucking stems into the rocks.


4. Add fresh cranberries to the arrangement and fill each hurricane with water, leaving an inch from the top of the candle.


5. Rearrange the elements to make sure the candle is level before lighting, and enjoy!

A safety precaution: Make sure the greenery is tucked in along the glass nowhere near the candle to avoid the the leaves from catching on fire.


As we approach Thanksgiving and Christmas, I invite you to explore the interactive Philadelphia Cream Cheese Cheesecake Cheer site ( for more holiday cheesecake ideas along with great entertainment tips from Sandra Lee of Semi-Homemade, Bri Emery of designlovefest, and myself.

This home decorating tip was sponsored by Philadelphia Cream Cheese/Kraft Foods.

You can find Philadelphia Cream Cheese on their social media channels:
Pinterest: SpreadPhilly
Twitter: @lovemyphilly
Facebook: Philadelphia Cream Cheese

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria Kollision November 13, 2013 at 12:26 pm

These are super cute! One question: how long do the cranberries stay good?


Alice November 13, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Hi Maria,
They last quite awhile, up to a week without looking weird. One thing I do is remove the cranberries between gatherings and freeze them and put them back into the vase before guests arrive. Reusing them is something I do a lot.


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