Christmas Centerpieces that Children Can Make

by Jimmie

Let the children decorate for Christmas with these crafty centerpiece ideas that are easy and inexpensive. Make it a family tradition to create rather than buy your centerpiece.

Yes, letting the children make the centerpiece is going to be much more work than simply buying a bouquet of flowers or some plastic wreath. 
But Christmas is the ideal time for establishing family traditions which build family ties. Think back to your own childhood. How many gifts and decorations can you recall? Probably not many. But what about family traditions? I bet you can name those quickly and that you have some very dear memories attached to them.
Make a new family tradition -- let your children make the centerpiece and enjoy it all season long. Whether you put it on the dining room table or on the coffee table makes no difference. The point is to be creative and make memories.

Candle Centerpiece

Suitable for Ages 9 and up

If you have some evergreen in your yard, this centerpiece can keep the children out of the house for a few minutes while you work in the kitchen.

Hand them some pruning shears and tell them to collect evergreen clippings -- pine, cedar, holly, anything green will do. (Obviously this is for older children and not for little ones. Do the cutting yourself if your children are too young for shears or supply artificial sprigs.)

Use an ordinary plate as your foundation. Then place a pillar candle on a base of florist's foam. Then stick sprigs of fresh evergreen into the foam until it is totally hidden from view. Tie a bow and nestle it down among the greenery.

Optional decorations could be a pretty ornament, pinecones, smaller votive candles, or whole nuts scattered among the green sprigs.

Christmas Centerpiece
Christmas Centerpiece
Christmas Balls
Christmas Balls

Bowl of Balls

Suitable for ages 4 and Up

This centerpiece is so easy that it's almost too good to be true. All you need is a pretty glass bowl and a dozen or so traditional, round ornaments in various sizes. Although these round (and oval) ornaments were traditionally made of glass, using shatterproof ones is a safer alternative since food is being served near them. A broken ornament on the table could mean an entire dessert or casserole being thrown away.

Arrange the ornaments into the glass bowl in a pleasing design. If desired, add embellishments such as 

  • ribbon
  • strands of shiny beads
  • a pillar candle set in the center (Put it in before adding the ornaments.)
  • sprigs of greenery or holly, real or artificial
  • or for a rustic look, some pinecones or walnuts

Centerpiece from an Ornament Stand

Suitable for Ages 4 and Up

Start with a pre-made metal ornament stand that will be sturdy and steady. Then let the children decorate it with ornaments that they create from whatever craft supplies you have on hand:

  • paper
  • craft foam
  • glitter 
  • pine cones
  • styrofoam balls

Have a hole punch and some string handy for making hangers for each ornament. Then assemble the ornaments onto the stand in a pleasing arrangement.

You can also add bows to the centerpiece. Simply cut lengths of ribbon and tie them directly onto the arms of the ornament stand.

For extra glamor, place the ornament stand on a pretty plate or placemat. Or create a small fabric "tree skirt" for it with felt or gingham cloth.

If you have a few days to prepare your Chistmas centerpiece, make cinnamon applesauce ornaments in traditional Christmas shapes:

  • stars
  • stockings
  • gingerbread man
  • Christmas trees
  • bells

Let them dry for a couple of days before adorning your tabletop display with them. These look prettiest strung with simple red ribbon.

Cookie Centerpiece

Suitable for Ages 5 and Up With Adult Help

Make an edible centerpiece that you won't have to store after Christmas is over.

This centerpiece will take several hours to make. First you bake star shaped cookies in various sizes. The kit featured to the right has a set of ten graduated cookie cutters for this project. Let the cookies cool, and then stack them from large to small, using icing to cement them together.

Then let the children decorate the cookie tree with more icing and candies.

Homemade Nativity
Homemade Nativity

Nativity Centerpiece

Suitable for Ages 4 and Up

The original meaning of Christmas -- Christ Mass -- is to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the savior of the world. What better centerpiece than a nativity that tells the Bible story of Jesus' birth.

Print out some templates and let the children color them in. Then have the children cut out the figures and affix them to cardboard bases or repurposed toilet paper tubes. Place the figures onto a tray and surround them with sprigs of greenery.

Free Printable Nativity Cut-Outs

Free Printable Nativity (PDF)
Print this file onto paper, color, cut out and assemble for an easy nativity centerpiece.

Toilet Paper Roll Nativity
Save up those cardboard tubes inside of toilet paper for this cute craft. Free printables at Catholic Icing.

Papercraft Nativity
These boxy templates are already colored. Just cut and assemble.

Making Friends Nativity
I love these printable paperdolls. Affix them to cardboard stands or tubes to make a 3D display.

More Christmas Ideas

Decorate your Christmas tree with ornaments that tell the real reason for the holy day -- the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ.
If your home is tiny and you don't have a fireplace mantle, there are some unique and creative ways to hang your Christmas stockings so they can be enjoyed all season long.
Make a sweet Christmas with a cupcake themed tree this year. Cupcake ornaments are pretty and make appropriate gifts for the sweeties in your life.
Decorate your Christmas tree in traditional red and white with peppermint themed ornaments.
Updated: 02/27/2012, Jimmie
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mulberry on 11/13/2011

Great ideas for kids. Some of my fondest Christmas memories from childhood are centered around these types of activities.

cgreen7090 on 11/09/2011

Love the ideas and that all ages can join in. Great work!

Holistic_Health on 11/06/2011

Love these centerpieces. They're beautiful but simple to make.

sheilamarie on 11/04/2011

What great ideas you've assembled here, Jimmie! I agree -- there's nothing like family traditions to share around the holidays. I hope lots of families take advantage of these Christmas projects.

AJ on 11/03/2011

This page of ideas will certainly keep the youngsters occupied in what seems like an interminable time for them, between when school finishes and it is Christmas Day!

PeggyHazelwood on 11/03/2011

Great ideas for all ages to add to the holiday decorations.

samsons1 on 11/03/2011

I like this and it gives the little ones something creative to do to help...

pkmcr on 11/03/2011

Some really great ideas here that the kids will love being able to create and see being used at the Christmas Table

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