Joanna Gaines' budget centerpiece hack brings the outside in — and it's free

The interior designer's leafy hack is perfect for bringing nature into your place

Joanna Gaines budget centerpiece hack
(Image credit: Courtesy of Magnolia Network)

Interiors expert and star of Fixer Upper Joanna Gaines has shared a simple way to make a striking centerpiece. It's so easy to do and is perfect for bringing nature into your home without the expense.

In an episode of the home renovation show, she revealed how to do her a thrifty centerpiece hack, which uses glass vases and single leaves cut from the front yard to add a touch of green to a dining table or coffee table. This is low-cost as you don't need to buy specific plants for this — you just need ones from your own backyard, along with display jars. 

If you're looking for small living room ideas and love this trick — I'm here for you. I've tried out the hack myself, so I can show you exactly how to do it. Completely optional, but if you do want to go a little further to curate the look, I have picked out some buys to create a high-end aesthetic.

Joanna Gaines' leafy budget centerpiece hack

Joanna Gaines' budget centerpiece hack demonstrated on a coffee table - showing leaves places inside of glasses, with a floral arrangement on the side, and a sofa beyond

(Image credit: Future)

Ready to get started? This is a really great idea that will work in homes that are cottagecore-themed, or even ones that are modern and would benefit from a touch of greenery. We tried it out for ourselves — and spoiler alert, we were super impressed.

How to do Joanna Gaines' budget centerpiece hack

leaves placed in glasses of different heights on a coffee table, Joanna Gaines budget centerpiece hack

(Image credit: Future)

Adding a centerpiece to your table is a great way to create a focal point in a room. “One of my favorite things to do is set a table,” Joanna Gaines says in Fixer Upper. “With a centerpiece like this, I think the simplicity of it goes a long way. In this case, we went outside and cut some greenery from the lawn,” she adds. “Literally one single leaf goes in. I think it's the pop of green that really makes a statement here.” 

Given just how simple it looked, we gave it a go. To recreate Joanna's centerpiece, we went outside and foraged some seasonal leaves from the garden. If you don't have a leafy outdoors area or would rather have long-lasting leaves, you could opt for faux foliage.

We also tried placing some blossom in the glasses, but this just didn't look right. This hack definitely has more of an impact if you have large, striking leaves to work with. A glossy monstera leaf would definitely look nicer than the ivy leaf we found in the garden, but we weren't willing to take the clippers to our best indoor plants on this occasion. Investing in a good pair of plant clippers is not only useful for DIYing decor but also for maintaining your plants effectively.

Joanna Gaines budget centerpiece hack demonstrated on a dining table, with leaves placed in glasses

(Image credit: Future)

Joanna uses nine glasses for this hack, and we definitely recommend using multiple ones when copying this idea. That said, we were surprised at how effective the trick was for the price tag.

We were limited by our collection of glasses and empty jars at home, and we'd recommend trying a large glass vase like Joanna used for a more striking look. You could also grab some patterned jars (like these Sunflower-embossed ones from Amazon) to add to the look's style. Or, if your budget is tight, try browsing your local thrift shop. Though, even if we say so ourselves, among a beautifully set dining table with your best dinnerware, the vases would be a pretty modern dining room idea.

Once you've got all your leaves, you can then place them in your jars and vases and lay them out on your table. They look beautiful by themselves, but to elevate the look you could also wrap fairy lights (like these from Amazon) around them or surround them with your best candles.

We love how the centerpiece idea honors the season you're in. We imagine that a fall version with rich orange and red hues would look be a stunning Thanksgiving table decor idea.


What is the Joanna Gaines budget centerpiece hack?

The Joanna Gaines budget centerpiece hack is placing a leaf cutting inside a jar and placing it on a dining table or coffee table. This is an easy way to bring nature into the home and is low-cost thanks to the materials.

What do I need to do the Joanna Gaines budget centerpiece hack?

To do the Joanna Gaines budget centerpiece hack, you will need leaves (either real or faux) and glass containers to place them in (either jars or vases).

Now that you've copied Joanna Gaines' centerpiece hack, you might be wondering what other ways you can decorate your table. Coffee table books are smart, stylish, and provide a great talking point for guests.

Millie joined Real Homes in early 2021 as a homes news writer. When she isn't writing about trends, makeovers and houseplant care, she spends her free time making tweaks to her rented flat in North London. Her next project is a very basic armchair reupholstering job to help create a cosy reading nook in her living room. She loves browsing antique centres, tending to her small front garden, and is never without some fresh flowers at home.

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