When your centerpiece needs some height to make it stand out and showcase the items in or on it, a riser is the answer. Simple risers, made with everyday items such as books, dessert plates or drinking glasses, can be decorated to fit any theme or decor. Whether you make your own or use risers that are commercially available, keep the riser and its base in proportion to the size and weight of the centerpiece. You can add weights, such as rocks or sand, to the riser base if it needs more stability.
Found Object Risers
The easiest centerpiece risers use objects you already have on hand, such as flower pots or serving bowls. Just turn them over, place them on the table and set the centerpiece on top. Stacks of books with attractive covers or stacked dessert plates make equally effective risers. For a large centerpiece, cluster four or more identical drinking glasses turned upside-down. Match the riser to the theme of your gathering -- flower pots for a garden party, for example, or stacked books for your book club's annual brunch.
DIY Decorated Risers
Decorate ordinary boxes and cans to serve as centerpiece risers that match the theme of your party. Cover empty, clean coffee cans and large soup cans with any kind of material desired, from wrapping paper to fabric to coiled twine or rope. For an elegant look, thread small beads to cover a wire and wrap the wire around a can, using hot glue to secure the ends. Sturdy boxes can be covered with fabric or wrapping paper and used as risers.
DIY Cake-Stand Risers
Let a cake stand elevate and "serve" your centerpiece. To make your own cake stand, use plates, a candlestick and a glue that's suitable for adhering smooth surfaces such as glass and ceramic. Glue the bottom center of a plate to the top of the candlestick. Unless the candlestick has a wide base, add stability by adhering its base to the top center of a larger plate. After the glue dries, you can spray paint the assembly if desired, using several light coats to give full coverage.
Purchased risers -- clear acrylic boxes or cylinders ordered from retail display suppliers -- are a good investment if you entertain frequently or host formal affairs. Floral supply outlets offer tall centerpiece risers that look similar to a cake stand but with a tall, narrow pole supporting the top plate. Floral risers come either assembled or as kits with interchangeable parts that snap together. This riser design allows for floral arrangements in the top and bottom plates, creating an attractive, formal look for your table.