Rustic Thanksgiving Centerpiece

There are many colors, textures and styles found in Thanksgiving Centerpieces. Everything from the classic fire colors with autumn leaves to Cornucopia styled designs, Della Robbia styled designs, even whimsical designs. In this how-to demonstration Leanne creates a rustic styled design with a primary usage of foraged materials. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Flower School .com video library. I'm Leanne Kesler, director of the Floral Design Institute. Today, I'm here to share with you a fabulous Thanksgiving centerpiece, focusing on and featuring Osage oranges. 

Osage oranges grow naturally here in the Pacific Northwest and other parts of the nation. These were a special gift from a friend of mine, Jim Greg. Thank you, Jim. I love them. Their natural color is this chartreuse, but I didn't want that for my Thanksgiving centerpiece. I wanted to go to the metallics. 

Using a variety of different Design Master paints, I mixed and matched, kind of over sprayed and I have beautiful bronze and gold. Did some silver just so you can see the variation. They hold the paint so well. Then to anchor them in place, just using wood picks, six-inch wood picks. Not going to need the wire. I'll pick that off later. Just pierce straight into the flesh. Do it with at least two because they're heavy and you want to make sure there'll be secure. Then to lock it into place, just a little bit of Oasis Floral Adhesive at the point of insertion and let it dry. 

A classic metallic compote filled with floral foam anchored in place. And while the Osage oranges are sitting to dry, I can clip off their wires, let them wait and go back and add my base mechanics, maybe some beautiful autumn leaves. Hunting them down. Look at that great movement. Can just break and then whittle and place that in, getting it nice and deep in the foam so it will drink well. Another stem coming out the opposite side. Then some beautiful Magnolia. Again, breaking it down, getting it divided out then placing it so that copper mahogany shows. Coming in from both sides and repeating that, radiating around in a circular fashion. 

Banksia are an amazing flower. And they add so much texture, so much drama. The serrated foliage is fabulous. Using these to create focal interest. Again, you can break it or cut it, then placing it down front and center. And then, since it's a centerpiece, shadowing the other behind, facing the opposite side so that you don't have a front or back and it looks beautiful in the center. 

Got the banksia. We've got the autumn color. Now finally, we can add the Osage. Taking the very largest, using it in the focal emphasis area, coming in front and center, a little bit off center and anchoring it in. Then repeating. Finding a perfect spot. Dividing the leaves to fit it in, forcing it down, bringing them to the back side. Out to the opposite and then just placing them throughout. Getting that color, texture and impact all the way around. 

Now, it's just a matter of adding fun, a little bit of texture, a little more autumn vibe. It can be anything that you love. I grabbed some grasses to add a little bit of softness, maybe bring it out to the side, extending outward and repeating that. A little bit of leucadendron for that deep mahogany hue. Possibly even some pieris, andromeda, lily of the valley bush, in the scenes. 

Again, just adding more texture. Then double check. Look at it front and back and all the sides. Make sure that you filled in all the holes. Again, a special thanks to Jim Greg for the Osage oranges. They truly make this arrangement. The recipe, nine Osage oranges, two banksia, 10 of the leucadendron, 10 of the grasses, about half a bunch of pieris, half a bunch of magnolia, and then the leaves, I actually just clipped right from front of the office. 

Now it's your turn. Gather your favorite treasures. If you can't find Osage oranges, you could use real oranges, apples, pears, do it in the Della Robbia style. As you're working, if you've got questions, you can reach us at the website through Flower School .com or pick up the telephone and give us a call at (503) 223-8089. As you create your design, take a picture. Post it on social media and tag Floral Design Institute. That way we all can see your creativity as you do something you love.

  • Fresh Flower Food Individual Pack 10 ounce tub
    Fresh Flower Food Individual Pack 10 ounce tub
  • Quick Dip Individual Pack One Pint
    Quick Dip Individual Pack One Pint
  • Crowning Glory Individual Pack 32 ounce spray bottle
    Crowning Glory Individual Pack 32 ounce spray bottle
  • Oasis Floral Adhesive Individual Pack 3.9 Gram Tube
    Oasis Floral Adhesive Individual Pack 3.9 Gram Tube
  • Standard Floral Foam Pack of Four Bricks
    Standard Floral Foam Pack of Four Bricks
  • Wired Wood Picks Bundle of 375 6 inch
    Wired Wood Picks Bundle of 375 6 inch
  • Waterproof Tape Single Roll 1/4 Inch Wide (Green)
    Waterproof Tape Single Roll 1/4 Inch Wide (Green)