This spectacular centerpiece offers consumers great value with the opportunity to refresh and transition it throughout the fall and winter seasons by changing out the fresh botanicals as the original ones fade.

Floral design, photography, and text by Renee Tucci, AIFD, CFD, PFCI

Presented by Melrose International

“When I think of autumn, I think of botanical bounty, warm hues and candlelight, to usher in the shorter days and longer nights,” shares Renee TucciAIFD, CFDPFCI, and floral designer and educator based in Chalfont, Pa. “I embraced all of those in this centerpiece, created around a beautiful rustic lantern from Melrose International. But this design offers many more possibilities than just a fall decoration. The reusable structure I created with grapevine wreaths and test tubes enables consumers to easily replace the fresh flowers—which they buy from you—as they fade and add whatever seasonal foliages, dried materials and/or adornments they choose, from either their personal collections or your shop—or even their backyards or nearby nature area. With simple adjustments, this versatile centerpiece idea can easily grace one’s home continuously from fall through winter—and the concept is just as applicable for spring and summer, as well. It’s a great idea that will generate multiple future sales, and it’s easy to sell, especially when you point out value of having a reusable design base that can be changed out and utilized year-round—as well as the fun your customers will have creating their own personal arrangements.”


Step 1

Bind two 18” grapevine wreaths together, one atop the other, with brown paper-covered wire.

Step 2

Wrap dried angel vine strategically around the grapevine wreaths to add dimension and to obscure the transition between the two wreaths, helping make them appear as one. 

Step 3

Place the lantern, from Melrose International, atop the grapevine wreaths, and then bind the four corners of the lantern to the wreath base with brown paper-covered wire.

Step 4

Insert two hyacinth stakes or 6-inch wood picks into the bottom of one of Melrose’s faux pumpkins, and then position the pumpkin in the design by inserting the stakes/picks into the wreath base. 

DESIGN TIP: For maximum security, dip one end of each stake/pick into hot-melt (pan) glue before inserting it into the pumpkin. Similarly, dip the opposite ends of the stakes/picks into hot-melt (pan) glue before inserting them into the grapevine wreath base.

Step 5

Stretch an adhesive dash and adhere it to the center section of a glass test tube. Twist a length of brown paper-covered wire to the top and bottom of the stretched adhesive dash; you will use the resulting ties to attach the tubes to the wreath base. Wrap the center section of the tube with orange yarn. Repeat this step for as many test tubes as you want to use in the design.

Step 6

Bind the glass test tubes vertically to the interior and exterior perimeters of the grapevine wreath with the paper-covered-wire ties.

Step 7

Tuck sections of Melrose’s Fall Gingko Leaf Garland into the grapevine wreath, around the interior and exterior perimeters and across the top. Dip the stem ends into hot-melt (pan) glue before inserting them into the wreath base.

Step 8

Fill the test tubes with properly proportioned flower nutrient solution. Arrange fresh flowers into the tubes and dried botanicals into the grapevine wreath. Dip the stem ends of the dried materials into hot-melt (pan) glue before inserting them into the wreath.



• Rosa spp. ‘Nina’ (hybrid tea rose)

• Leucospermum spp. (pincushion)

• Celosia argentea var. cristata [Cristata Group] (crested cockscomb, brain Celosia, woolflower)

• Anigozanthos flavidus (kangaroo paw)

• Alchemilla mollis (lady’s mantle)

• Hypericum androsaemum (tutsan, St. John’s wort)


• Amaranthus cruentus (prince’s feather)

• Typha latifolia (pencil cattail, pencil bulrush)

• Armillaria mellea (honey mushroom, honey fungus, sponge mushroom)

• Nelumbo nucifera—pod (lotus, sacred lotus, Indian lotus)

• Phalaris canariensis—seed head/flower head (canary grass)

• Muehlenbeckia complexa (angel vine, maidenhair vine, wire vine, mattress vine, necklace vine)

• Vitis viniferous—wreath, 18” (grapevine)

Photo:  Tucci 3 Renee Tucci.jpg


• Lantern (#82651; 8.75” x 22.5”; Wood/Glass)

• Simplux LED Designer Candle (#82665; 3.5” x 7.75”; Wax/Plastic; 4- and 8-hour Timer)

• Fall Gingko Leaf Garland (#83678; 5’; Fabric)

• Pumpkin (#83789; 4 asst.; 5”, 5.5”, 6.25”, 9”; Foam)


• OASIS Bind Wire (Brown)

• OASIS® UGLU Adhesive Dashes

• OASIS® Hot-melt Glue

• Glass test tubes with lips (5” or 6”)

• Hyacinth stakes or wood picks

• Yarn

melrose pots