Simple summer centerpieces
Forget fancy flowers. Show off your backyard blooms in bright pantry finds instead. Tin cans with bold colors and graphic images make unexpected vases for freshly picked garden flowers—mix and match a bunch to create a simply stunning centerpiece perfect for any summer gathering.
- Assorted empty cans
- Fresh-cut flowers
- Ribbon or twine (optional)
- Metal tray or mirror for display (optional)
- Scour your kitchen for pretty cans with bold colors and graphic images. Shelves out of stock? Take a trip down the specialty-food aisles of your local grocery store or hit up an ethnic market. Cans that come from other countries tend to be colorful and striking and often seem vintage (even when they’re brand-new). Gather a variety of shapes and sizes with whatever look appeals to you—tiny peas on a background of modern silver, whole Italian tomatoes or artichoke hearts. Empty the cans (bonus points if you can pull together dinner with the ingredients from your collection!) and wash with warm soapy water to remove any debris or bacteria.
- Cut flowers from your yard with a pair of garden shears. We like ranunculus, dahlias and hydrangeas, but nearly anything—even overflowing honeysuckle vines—will be beautiful. For a manageable (yet divinely free-form) shape, tie the stems together with ribbon or twine so that the buds form a slight mound. This will keep the bouquet in a bundle and prevent it from looking unruly (fresh-cut flowers tend to have minds of their own!). To draw attention to a graphic design that you particularly love, use just one type of flower per can.
- Mix and match a multitude of tin cans for a stunning centerpiece. Give your chosen collection a new home on top of a vintage metal tray or a mirror. We like to let the brightly colored cans play at random, but you can create a more modern look by grouping identical tins together. Whether you strive for whimsy or a more classic composition, this is a stunning centerpiece for any summer party. Want to take your display to greater heights? Simply stack two cans: Put one that’s unopened on the bottom and one that’s been transformed into a flower holder on top.