Skip to main content

21OAK may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

3 amazing outdoor table centerpieces for your next get-together

As the oppressive heat and humidity of summer give way to crisp fall nights, there’s still plenty of time for outdoor entertaining before winter moves dinner parties back inside. The fall brings a riotous array of colors and delicious comfort foods made with a veritable cornucopia of pumpkins and recently harvested produce. This makes it a wonderfully cozy season to host friends and family outdoors.  

Whether your outdoor dining setup is rustic and casual or sophisticated and elegant, you can pull from all the nature around you to create seasonal and stylish centerpieces. These DIY pieces are sure to delight your guests as you celebrate the harvest season over sweet potato pie and freshly picked apples.

Preto Perola / Shutterstock

A basket of bounty

For a centerpiece on a budget, you can’t beat the simple beauty of a decorative rattan or wicker basket filled with the season’s most stunning bounty. After apple picking, display your haul for all to see, or substitute apples with pears, oranges, mini pumpkins, gourds, or piles of pinecones you gathered from the yard. Fall produce tends to follow the yellow, brown, and orange color palette, so add fresh-cut greenery from the garden for a pop of bright color.

You can find baskets at thrift shops and craft stores, but we love this rattan option from Wayfair. Because the color of the material is pretty dark, try to pick bright and brilliant hues for the filling. 

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Mums the word

With floral centerpieces, you can incorporate colors that complement your table setting as well as the season itself. Celebrate the fall with a basket or vase full of Chrysanthemums, mums for short. With their autumnal hues of cranberry red, brilliant gold, and rusty orange, mums capture the ever-changing colors of the season. 

Whether you cut the flowers from your own yard or purchase them at your local market, mums are affordable and colorful, making them a great anchor for your creative floral arrangements. To add visual interest, pair them with zinnias, wildflowers, and other flowers of varying heights. This prevents the arrangement from looking too boring or stiff.

A decorative vase is just what you need to tie this whole look together. We love this bronze decorative pedestal bowl, which is so distinctive that it’s practically a centerpiece all on its own. Finish it off with tapered candles around the table to create a more romantic and magical feeling to the table.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Pumpkin pickings

Vases and baskets are simple and easy decorations that make a large impact without requiring much effort on your part. However, if you’re willing to put a little more energy into your table setting, think big. Start with a focal point, like an oversize vase bursting with tall, golden wildflowers and greenery. Choose a vase that’s rustic and natural-looking, perhaps even a galvanized steel pitcher, or any other bold pieces that immediately draw the eye.

Fall is practically synonymous with pumpkins, so take a trip to your local nursery and pick up an array of pumpkins in varying sizes, colors, and shapes. Place groupings of pumpkins on wooden pedestal stands and set others across the table in careful clusters. To put a spotlight on your centerpieces, add a table runner or long woolen scarf in autumn shades of orange, gold, or rust.

Complete your outdoor table centerpiece with some genuine fall leaves, carefully chosen from your yard or gathered on a walk around the neighborhood. Choose only those displaying the most vivid shades of red, gold, and orange, and scatter them on the table for the perfect finish. While these colors all look great together, piling too many stereotypical fall decorations on one table can start to look busy and kitschy. Instead, pick one or two pieces that are representative of the fall season, and decorate the rest of the setup with neutrals.

Pulling together a DIY centerpiece is as easy as grabbing foliage from your yard or taking a quick trip to your local nursery. The important thing is that you incorporate the best parts of the season, like autumnal foods and colors, into your table setting. As long as you put your personality into what you create, you are certain to wow your guests from the moment they arrive. 

Editors' Recommendations

Kim Renta
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kim has written for Bloomingdales, Movado, and various e-commerce wine sites. When she's not writing about wine and…
Get that perfect Christmas tree aesthetic with these easy gift-wrapping hacks
How to wrap a gift: Make wrapping a breeze this year with these easy tricks
Person holding gifts wrapped in brown paper.

If you're anything like me, you love to give a gift but hate the thought of wrapping it. It takes time, patience, and can get tedious if you cut a piece too small or the gift is odd-shaped; never mind if you run out of tape (or patience). Gift wrapping can be made much easier if you have a couple of tricks up your sleeve to make it fun and easy. Luckily, the Redditors at the r/lifehacks subreddit agree, and posted this video with a few simple tips that will make wrapping presents easier.

Here are a few ways to deal with some of the gift-wrapping challenges we all face during the holiday season.

Read more
These Christmas table decorations are the perfect backdrop for your holiday meal
Take your Christmas table decorating up a notch with these fun ideas
Festive Christmas table setting

'Tis the season to send our tastebuds on an adventure. From turkeys and hams to unique side dishes and desserts made from recipes passed down throughout the generations, food certainly takes center stage this time of year. However, who says your tastebuds have to have all the fun on Dec. 25?
Christmas table decorations can provide a feast for the eyes (and make your family and Instagram followers swoon). While some may think of it as another item on their to-do list, you may love getting your creative juices flowing by curating a gorgeously arranged tablescape. Allow these ideas to serve as inspiration.

Tell your turkey or roast to move over. Making room on your table for a centerpiece will draw attention to the table (rather than smartphones). You have plenty of options, from subtly beautiful assortments to statement pieces. Consider these ideas:

Read more
These Halloween dessert ideas take your party to the next level
The easiest Halloween-themed desserts to serve your costumed guests
Table with colored candy, apples, and cake for Halloween party

Halloween is one of the most exciting times of the year. Who doesn't love watching kids and adults alike dress up as their favorite superheroes, witches, princesses, and movie stars? Even better are celebrations centered around candy and other sweet treats. While the kids go door-to-door getting candy from neighbors, you can take the time to craft your own show-stopping desserts. 

Why settle for ordinary cupcakes when you can make monster cupcakes? Why serve boring cakes when you can decorate one with edible ghosts, tombstones, eyeballs, and more? For your next Halloween party, make your guests shriek with delight first with the decorations, and then with the dessert! These recipes will surely inspire you to expand your culinary repertoire and try out a creative Halloween dessert.

Read more