Looking for nice, but cheap centerpieces for about twenty tables.
Anything green, red and gold, or silver gives the Christmas spirit.
My best advise is to use evergreen branches or holly if that is available. If they are not you might be able to find artificial greens at a reasonable price.
Buy cheap bowls, plates or platters at a Thrift shop. They don't have to all be the same. (They also make mirrored plastic serving dishes that will hold up pretty well.)
Using a glue gun, glue the greens down to the plate, platter or bowl. Make sure you use the cooler glues if you are using plastic dishes. Then put a candle or two in the middle. These can be votives, tea lights, or tapers. Make sure that the candle has a holder or some protection so you don't start a fire with the greens. Also make sure there are no greens above where the candle will be burning.
For decorations you use some of the following:
I hope this gives you some ideas.
Here is a good link for making centerpieces using cat food cans:
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