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What to Do with Leftover Cranberries (Simple Decor and More)

How are your holiday plans coming along?  For Thanksgiving, we normally host about 20-25 family members but this year it’s just the four of us.  As I planned our meal, I realized I could simplify a few things this year.  For instance, usually I make homemade cranberry sauce ahead of time but I decided to go with the easier canned version.  (My guys prefer that anyway!)  Of course, then I had to decide what to do with the leftover cranberries I had purchased. 

Ideas for Leftover Cranberries:

So, I gathered up some ideas of what I’ve done with cranberries in the past.  I’ll share them below with links to the full projects.  Just yesterday, I tried a new-to-me craft…I made some mason jar luminaries for Christmas!…

Mason Jar Luminaries for Christmas:

bowl of cranberries, greenery and mason jars - ideas for leftover cranberries

Here is What You Need to Make Mason Jar Luminaries:

  • Mason Jars
  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Evergreen clippings
  • Floating candles or tealights
  • Ribbon (optional)  I ended up not using mine.
  • Water

Mason jar luminaries

Instructions for Luminaries:

Simply stuff the evergreen clippings into the mason jars.  Top with cranberries, fill with water and place a candle on top.  You can tie a ribbon around the top too but I ended up liking mine without the ribbon.  Plus, I’m not very skilled at making decorative bows…so there’s that.  

Mason jar luminaries with leftover cranberries

By the way, I filled my mason jars with so many cranberries and green clippings that I didn’t even need floating candles.  Instead of actually floating, the candles just sat on top of all the fillers.  Of course, you could always use less “stuff” and more water if you want more of a floating effect.  

*Tip – Tealight candles will float if you remove their metal base.

Anyway, this was a super easy craft that could be used for a centerpiece, across a mantel or even to light up a walkway to your home.

You could even line the luminaries up on your window sill.  For even more window sill decorating ideas, read – Easy Kitchen Window Sill Decorating Ideas for Every Season.

Here are a few more ideas if you don’t know what to do with leftover cranberries:

Create a Simple Centerpiece to Decorate Your Table:

Glass hurricane with cranberries on Christmas table

As you can see, this centerpiece is an even easier version of the mason jar luminaries.  I just filled a glass hurricane with a candle and cranberries, then placed it all on a mini wreath.  If you want to see more details from this table, pop over to – Colorful and Festive Christmas Table.

In the past, I’ve done similar centerpieces with leftover cranberries:

Glass hurricane with candle and cranberries on Christmas table

Christmas Table with Red and Black

When I decorate a table, I always try to use some natural elements.  Fresh cranberries always look so festive in a glass hurricane!

If you happen to have leftover dried cranberries, add them to a salad:

Arugula salad with cranberries

For this salad, I simply combined arugula with dried cranberries, feta cheese, walnuts and olive oil. Yum.

If you love arugula like I do, check out my 3 Simple Ways to Make Arugula Salad.

In addition to my ideas, I found even more creative cranberry projects from around the internet…

Now, you should have plenty of ideas of what to do with leftover cranberries! 

Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!  

So, what are your favorite leftover ideas?


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  1. Great ideas Shelley! I love the floating (or non-floating) candles. Such pretty ways to use the extras from the huge cranberry bag! Hope you’re having a lovely Thanksgiving weekend!

    1. Thanks so much Barbara! I’ve always wanted to make those luminaries and they were so easy! Enjoy your weekend!

    1. Thanks so much, Alexandra! It’s the first time I’ve tried them but I’ve read that they last a couple weeks. We’ll see!

    1. Thanks so much Cindy! This was the first time I tried it and now I’m patting my self on the back for being crafty – ha!

  2. I love these decorative ideas, I adore to see natural decorations taking over from the plastic non eco-friendly ones in the stores. You’ve given me some wonderful ideas for brightening up the home this festive period.

  3. ********************************************************
    Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn

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