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DIY Tutorial: Mod “Table Tree” Centerpiece

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modern thanksgiving centerpiece

Here are the DIY details for the “Table Tree” centerpiece from the Grateful Mod Tablescape. This tree was inspired by one of the illustrations from the Grateful Mod Printables, and I’m pretty excited about how it turned out! I had originally planned to paint styrofoam balls to use for the tree tops, but with all the Christmas decor that’s out right now, using ball ornaments sounded way easier (and it was)!

Although there are multiple steps to this arrangement, there’s really only one step that’s anything other than “easy” – and that’s working with the wooden dowels. You’ll need to cut the dowels down to size and drill holes into the large dowel. It REALLY helps to enlist a partner to hold the dowel steady while you cut & drill (or vice versa). I know the idea of drilling at all can be a little daunting, but it honestly only took about 10 minutes – so once you get past that step you’re golden! Full DIY details below…


Mod Table Tree Centerpiece

{matches the Grateful Mod Tablescape}

1 large wooden dowel (available at craft stores)
1 small wooden dowel (cut into 3 pieces)
ball ornaments in 2 different sizes
decorative paper circles
hot glue
vase + vase filler
embellishments to decorate the vase (optional)

Cut the large dowel down to desired height, then drill 3 small holes into it that are large enough to fit the smaller dowel pieces (the “branches”). Drill the holes an angle so that the smaller dowels will reach upwards like branches. Tip: It’s helpful to mark the spots you want to drill with a pencil first.

2. Insert the small dowels into the drilled holes. If the fit doesn’t feel tight enough, use a dab of hot glue to help secure it.

3. For the base, fill a vase/container with floral foam or styrofoam. Stick in extra small pieces of foam if necessary to ensure a snug fit. No one will see the foam so it doesn’t need to look pretty! Insert your wooden tree into the styrofoam to stand it up, then cover the styrofoam with a vase filler like the mini orange styrofoam balls (used here), or orange sand, vase gems, etc.

modern thanksgiving centerpiece

4. Use hot glue to combine 3 ball ornaments together into bunches of 3, with the top “hook” parts of the ornaments facing inward towards each other. (I used 3 bunches of 3 ornaments on this tree.)

5. Place the ornament bunches onto the tree branches, using the branches themselves and hot glue to secure them into place. I was able to slide the dowels into nooks in the bunched ornaments for the 2 side branches, and then keep them facing the way I wanted with the help of a little hot glue.

modern thanksgiving centerpiece

6. Use hot glue to add a few more individual ornaments around the tree until you’re happy with how it looks.

7. Punch paper circles from decorative paper with a 2″ craft punch. If the paper you’re using is single-sided, glue 2 circles together to make sure there’s a pattern on both sides. Add a few of the paper circles to the tree, placing them strategically to cover up places where the tops of the ornaments are showing or any other big gaps that need covering. (Do this on both sides of the tree.)

modern thanksgiving centerpiece

8. Decorate the vase with decorative paper and embellishments. I used 2 of the free Grateful Mod paper patterns + the party embellishments here.

modern thanksgiving centerpiece

You’re DONE – Display and enjoy your cute table tree! =)


As I mentioned earlier, this would make a great centerpiece for Christmas too – or even beyond! I’m thinking of other fun materials for the spring/summer “tree tops” already…like colorful twig balls, bellani pod balls, & ginger balls, etc!

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POSTED BY:jenn s.JENNIFER SBRANTI is the Founder and Creative Director of Hostess with the Mostess®, a hip and modern party planning resource.

14 responses to “DIY Tutorial: Mod “Table Tree” Centerpiece”

  1. Ces says:

    Thank you so much! I will try this for Christmas

  2. McKenzie says:

    What a great centerpiece! It’s sweetly reminiscent of the Snow & Graham table that Amy Atlas did!

  3. How fun! The bright colors are wonderful!

  4. Tia says:

    This is so great! Just wondering where you got the orange styrofoam balls for the vase filler?

  5. Paul Byron Downs says:

    I like how you use colors other than the typically ones. Also has a retro Christmas vibe like late 60’s.


  6. Alecia says:

    I love this! I have so many ornaments that I no longer use but can’t part with. I’m going to make one of these for my dining room table and put those old ornaments to good use. This would also make a great hostess gift.

  7. Dre' says:

    The colors are great. I think I’m going to try this for my cousin bridal shower and just use smaller bulbs since her theme is cherry blossoms. Wish me luck!

  8. Katie says:

    I love this idea. It is so cute. I might have to make one for my classroom. Thanks for the great idea.

  9. Canaan Rice says:

    This is awesome, I just got done creating the tree and am trying to use the printables to trim the vase and they won’t downloud off scribd. Anyone else having this problem??

    • jenn s. says:

      Hi Canaan –
      I’m not sure why the patterns are being difficult from time to time but am thinking the file size might be part of the issue – that pdf was 22.5 M, so I just uploaded a new more optimized file onto scribd (which should still print fine) – that’s only 7.5M. You can try downloading it again from there or you can also download it directly from my own server with this link:

      Hope that helps!
      Jenn :)

    • Canaan Rice says:

      Thanks Jenn! I still couldn’t get it to download, but that’s ok. I don’t want you to spend more time on this free download. I will try again tomorrow. The centerpiece looks cute, I just loved the “Thankful” label to put on it. Thanks for doing this, so fun!

  10. Libby James says:

    What a wonderful centerpiece idea. Perfect for the Christmas holiday, although, I like how it can be personalized to fit any event or decor! SUPER DIY project!!

  11. Laura says:

    I made 5 of these for a Mother’s Day Luncheon I co-hosted yesterday, and they turned out great! Got lots of compliments. These were super easy to do, too. I found the little round styrofoam filler balls at Hobby Lobby.

  12. Rose says:

    Just beautiful!!!!
    Love it!!!