An attractive variation of traditional flower and vase centerpieces uses an unusual container such as a soup tureen, small ice bucket, wooden salad bowl or teapot to hold blossoms, Real Simple suggests. Another option places purple flowering sweet peas in vases hidden inside actual purplish-greenish cabbages.
Plant-based centerpieces are sometimes adapted to match the time of year. At the harvest, a hollowed-out pumpkin makes a great flower vase, recommends Real Simple. In fall or winter, a glass container such as a vase, trifle dish or large jar can hold pine cones that have been spray-painted gold or silver. A bright ribbon tied to the container's stem completes the look.
Switching to fruits, bright green Granny Smith apples can be floated inside large clear vases half-filled with water. Fruits of similar color but different sizes and shapes -- for instance, plums and pomegranates -- can be piled into a neutral-colored bowl. The stems of white daisies can be trimmed and put in colored straws, and the straws pushed into the centers of oranges so that each flower hovers just a few inches above its orange. Several oranges can be arranged on a pedestal platter.
Menu offerings also work as centerpieces. Brightly-colored bottles of soda or juice can be arranged on a tray, for example. A dessert option has foil-wrapped chocolate candy sitting in a large, clear glass vase that doubles as a serving bowl.