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Floating Candle Holiday Centerpiece

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I’ve always loved the look of Christmas centerpieces with cranberries and greenery. There is just something about the traditional rich red and green mix that catches the eye. I usually mix up some kind of concoction like this during the holidays. I have made snow globes to set on a coffee table using cranberries and I have made a similar centerpiece for our Christmas breakfast table last year. I imagine this is probably not the first time you’re seeing jars with cranberries and candles during Christmas. In fact, you may have already seen this one in our simply seasonal holiday hop. I thought it would be fun to share my take and tutorial on how I made it.



The combination of the rich red and green is just stunning and will make a lovely holiday centerpiece. It works really well on a kitchen island, breakfast, or dinning table. This centerpiece is it’s own kind of decor and does not necessarily need to ‘match’ a different holiday home color scheme. It’s just simply beautiful and does not cost much. I spent about $3 between the cranberries and the floating candles. I have some floating candles on hand but they are in orange and red. I chose not to use the red because I wanted them to contrast with the cranberries. A pack of white costed around $1. The ribbon I had for other projects. I really don’t know much about fake cans of snow but I bought a can earlier just in case I found a reason to use it. In total, it may cost about $5 – $6 if the materials including the optional ribbon and snow has to be all new purchases but still not bad for a DIY centerpiece. It’s beautiful, cheap, and will only take a couple minutes. Have you seen the price of ready-made centerpieces lately? They are so pricey and most are of the same style. Not very appealing to me. Here is what you need to make this one:

  • Food jars (Mason/Ball/or empty glass bottles)
  • Fresh whole cranberries
  • Greenery
  • Tea Light candles
  • Decorative ribbon (optional)
  • Fake snow (optional)
  • A food charger/plate/tray


Step1. Make sure the jars are clean then add a bit of greenery to each one. snipped off some branches from a White Cedar (I think) tree out front. I got them just in time before the heavy snow covered them!! Don’t just put one little piece of greenery. Use enough to go all around the jar so it won’t look scanty. If you don’t have a tree like this in your yard, use something similar and that won’t go bad quickly or change the color of the water in the jars.


Step 2: Add a handful of cranberries to each jar. Add enough so that the candle (when added) could be cradled tightly between them.


Step 3: Fill the jars with water, leaving about an inch room from the top. The water will cause the berries to float to the top and the branches to float somewhere in the middle of the jars. The cranberries and greenery are not heavy enough to sink. I just love how everything floats right up once the water goes into the jars.


Step 4: Set a tea light or floating candle on top of the cranberries. It will float on the water and be cradled between the cranberries. It’s a simple science but so stunning! At this point, the jars are basically done. But to make them prettier, check out optional step 5.


Step 5 (optional): Tie decorative ribbon around the mouth of each jar. It is not necessary, but the ribbons make the jars prettier especially ribbon that contrasts against the red and green. Aren’t they gorgeous?!!


They are even more beautiful once the candles are lit! Nothing like a soft luminary on a cozy day while eating a delicious meal. Or just relaxing with a good book.


To make the centerpiece, I set a wood slice charger in the middle of the table. Then I added greenery around it. Next, I placed each jar on top of the charger then lightly sprayed around them with fake snow for a wintry effect. It was like the icing on top of the cake once the snow was added. Snow on trees are always look great together.

Note: A plate or tray could be used in place of the wood slice. But the wood paired with the snow, cranberries and fresh greens make it feel like a piece of nature on the table. I guess it is actually. Gotta love nature.


How easy was this centerpiece? Christmas centerpieces really do not have to be pricey to be beautiful. There are so many variations and creative ideas out there; anything could be made into something lovely for a table. For more DIY holiday centerpieces, see my roundup of some creative ones here.

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What do you think of this centerpiece? Do you make your own? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

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26 thoughts on “Floating Candle Holiday Centerpiece

  1. The simplest things are always the prettiest! I’ve made similar in the past and have loved them too! Very inexpensive too. Great post!

  2. Cranberries are so beautiful and I love to use them to decorate during the holidays. I just love your floating candle centerpiece. The wood slice is perfect and the faux snow brought it all together. I love that it’s so easy, yet looks so festive. Beautiful!