Our series “Get Crafty” gives you the inspiration for creating inventive DIY projects during the holidays and year-round. Crafting and lifestyle expert Julie Mulligan shares a step-by-step guide to creating this festive pear tablescape that may be more impressive than anything else you put on the table.

I love designing with what the season has to offer. Autumn is alive with rich color and texture, offering up a harvest of branches, leaves, pods, berries, and floral. But why stop there? Why not include Christmas fruits and vegetables in your arrangements, too?

A photo of a pear tablescape with a pear on a gold plate with a name tag

Maybe you’re like me and you find produce to be as visually beautiful as any flower. Pears, in particular, really get to me. You don’t even need to add them to anything else to make an arrangement. Just sit them on a plate, add a little cluster of berries on top, and you have a beautiful still life (and a delicious-sounding fruit salad). Put down a place card, and you’re all set.

Another option: Snuggle in a few grapes and pears among the seasonal blooms, and you have a feast for the eyes. All you need to add these fruits to the arrangement are sticks, wires, tape, and clippers. This style design works best when arranged in a container filled with floral foam. Remember to thoroughly soak the foam before starting your designing.

Adding fruits and vegetables to your floral arrangements is a great way to add interest, texture, and color, and helps your floral material go farther. It’s economical, too, since part of your arrangement is edible after your dinner party.

A photo of a pear tablescape with a box of pears and a bunch of grapes on a table with skewers and a pair of clippers

For this project, I am using the most delicious pears I have ever eaten: The Favorite® Royal Riviera® Pears. They are so sweet and juicy that I find it necessary to wrap a piece of tape around the skewer about 1 ½ inches down from the top. This works to stop the pear from sliding any further down the skewer.

If you are using less expensive fruit for the centerpiece, then you can use a larger stick and not worry about preserving the edible integrity of the produce!

Insert the skewer into the foam at an angle. Place heavy or hanging fruit at the base of your arrangement so that it has the support of the container to rest on.

You can use some of the fruit now before adding your seasonal foliage and flowers or leave areas open so that you can easily place your skewered fruit in as you go.

For cluster fruit, such as grapes, make a U-pin from a piece of wire and hook it around the stem of the grapes. Depending on the size of the cluster, you can wrap the ends of the wire together for more support.

Fruit-of-the-Month Club Shop Button

Another one of my favorite and unexpected additions is using succulents as cut flowers. It’s as easy as it looks! Just cut the top part of a succulent that is getting too tall and needs to be pruned, and insert a skewer into the base of the stem. This will last for weeks and can even be re-rooted!

You can also use small potted succulents. Read more about using succulents as cut flowers.

A beautiful display of nature’s bounty like this can effortlessly go from the mantle to the dinner table as a centerpiece.

A photo of a pear tablescape next to a charcuterie board

It also can dress up the dessert table. Doesn’t it look right at home nestled among the pearscheeses, and jams? A feast for the eyes as well as the palate!

Author

Julie started her career in the floral industry over 30 years ago in a small, family-owned flower shop. From floral designer to author and lifestyle expert, her insight has been instrumental in developing the 1-800-Flowers.com brand. Representing the company’s floral lifestyle vision, Julie has shared her talent and passion in numerous television appearances and national magazine features. She is an active fundraiser and longtime friend of IGHL, a group dedicated to facilitating a more independent life for developmentally challenged adults.

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