How to Make Balsam Fir Centerpieces


A balsam centerpiece is a festive adornment for a mantle, table or sideboard. Balsam fir is a fragrant evergreen that is favored for Christmas centerpieces and wreaths. The twigs and branches have needles that stay intact for weeks during the holiday season. The greenery tips are gathered from local trees and used as a base with fresh or dried garden flowers in a centerpiece. Cones, pods and other natural garden elements can be added to the arrangement.

Step 1

Cut 10- to 15-inch tips from the balsam fir trees on your property with pruning shears. Gather an armful for a centerpiece.

Step 2

Cut the florist foam to fit the container. Set the foam into the container. Adhere tape to the side of the container, up over the foam and secure it to the opposite side of the dish or basket. Cross the tape over the foam and adhere it to the two remaining sides securing the foam tightly in place. Pour water into the container to saturate the foam thoroughly.

Step 3

Cut or break balsam tips at a length that will cover the container. Strip an inch of the needles from the end of the woody twig. Insert the tips around the outer edge of the floral foam at a horizontal angle. Continue adding more tips at 45-degree angles from the outer edge in toward the foam center. Place one to three tips vertically in the center. Insert a pillar candle or two to three taper candles in place of the vertically placed tips in the center of the foam for a different holiday look for the balsam centerpiece.

Step 4

Insert an odd number of fresh, dried or silk roses, hydrangea blooms or poinsettia blossoms into the florist foam. Cut the stems of fresh flowers on an angle to give maximum hydration for longer-lasting blooming period.

Step 5

Attach balsam cones, pods or nuts to wired sticks. Wrap the wire around the bottom of the cones or pods. Insert the natural components into the front and back sides of the centerpiece. Add sprigs of berries.

Step 6

Insert a ribbon bow or wired ribbon loops at the front or sides of the balsam centerpiece for a finishing touch.

Tips and Warnings

  • When using candles in a centerpiece, be sure to keep flammable items away from the flame.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Short round, oblong or rectangular container
  • Florist foam block
  • Adhesive waterproof florist tape
  • Fresh, dried or silk flowers
  • Balsam cones, pods, nuts and berry sprigs
  • Florist wired sticks
  • Candles
  • Ribbon bow or wired ribbon loops


  • University of Maine Cooperative Extension: Growing a Continuous Supply of Balsam Fir Wreath Brush
  • Flower Arrangement Advisor: Steps To Make A Christmas Centerpiece

Who Can Help

  • Save On Crafts: Bow Making 101: How to Make Glued and Wired Loops
Keywords: Christmas decor, table centerpiece, balsam greenery

About this Author

Suzie Faloon is a freelance writer who has written online content for Demand Studios and Associated Content. As a professional crafter and floral designer, Faloon owned a florist business for nearly 25 years. She completed the Institute of Children's Literature course in 1988.