Arabian Nights is all about warm, sensual colors, exotic designs and lush decor. To make a centerpiece for your Arabian Nights dinner party, you could of course spend a lot of money, but you can also create it with things you probably already have at home or that are easily available in a DIY store. Unleash your inner magpie and gather all things gold, red, sparkly, shiny and bright.
Take a wide bowl with a flat bottom. Put an upturned sturdy glass tumbler in the middle. Cover it loosely with a large shawl -- or any other large piece of fabric -- in rich, warm colors. Drape the fabric carefully all around the bowl and over the glass, so that the scaffolding of your centerpiece is well hidden. Then fill the bowl with fruit suitable for Arabian Nights, such as pomegranates, figs, oranges, melons, red and white grapes.
Raid your Christmas decorations box for additional sparkle. There are bound to be some baubles in red and gold that are not purely Christmas-themed. Everything with stars and swirls can double as an Arabian Nights decoration. Arrange the baubles in your bowl together with the fruit and take care that the mountings for the hooks are hidden. On top of the upturned glass, you have space for a homemade lantern. Color an old glass jar with glass paint in red or orange. Apply paisley ornaments, stars or swirls with golden puffy paint and glue some red glass pebbles around them. Light the lantern with a tea light.
Give your guests a peek into Aladdin's cave with a treasure trove centerpiece. With any luck, you will find a suitable box in your children's playroom. If not, take a wooden fruit box or even a cardboard box, stuff it with old newspaper and drape it with an appropriate fabric in warm colors. There should only be about 1 centimeter space left, which you then fill with costume jewelry, golden chocolate coins, decorative glass pebbles and any other pretty flotsam you may have in your house. Let some long necklaces hang out. Generally, aim for an impression of overflowing abundance.
Cover the bottom of a transparent glass bowl with colored glass pebbles. For Arabian Nights, choose them in red, orange and yellow. Half fill a tall glass jar with the same colored pebbles -- and some real ones to add weight -- and put it up in the center of the bowl. Then carefully fill the bowl with water. Watch out that no water gets into the jar. Put a spice-scented tea light into the jar. From the outside, it will appear as if this light is under water. Add big, bold flower heads and red, swimming flower-shaped tea lights to the water. Light the tea lights and enjoy a magic illuminated pond.