Hurricane lamps are glass holders that have a wide base and a flared opening; though they were originally designed to keep a flame from going out in the wind, they can also be used to make visually striking table centerpieces. As you choose centerpieces using hurricane lamps, look for items that will make the most of the shape, size and finish of your lamps to add to the overall room decor.
Start with a ring of floral foam and insert layers of greenery and flowers to create a tall wreath with an empty center. In the middle, place a hurricane lamp with a candle that coordinates or contrasts with the flowers for a lush centerpiece. Choose flowers and candles that coordinate with the season or the event theme. For a holiday party, you can use evergreen boughs for the ring, accented with holly berries and a red, green or white candle; at a wedding, use a selection of flowers in the event colors. As you choose the dimensions for the wreath, consider the table size and settings. For packed tables, consider using a taller wreath with a smaller diameter; on larger tables with plenty of open space, go with a wide, dramatic wreath.
For an elegant and simple centerpiece, find hurricane lamps in different heights and shapes. On each table, arrange a selection of lamps in several heights and place candles in each one. You can choose candles of the same size and height or go with different shapes, sizes and colors for an eclectic look. Increase the reflective surface for the candles by placing the lamps on a mirror tile or add a soft touch by scattering flower petals among the lamps. For extra dimension, fill the lamps about 1/4 full with water and place floating candles inside.
Use hurricane lamps in a nontraditional way by filling them with items other than candles. You can choose seasonal items that coordinate with the event theme, such as flower petals, fall leaves or fresh fruit. For a wedding with a red and yellow color scheme, for example, you might fill alternating hurricane lamps with cherries and lemons. Look for items that will reflect the light, such as beads, glass tiles or sea glass. For an outdoor event or for tables with a natural theme, fill the lamps with loose greens, flower buds, sand or beach rocks. At Christmas, you might choose mixed nuts or holiday candy.
Elizabeth Smith has been a scientific and engineering writer since 2004. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, newspapers and corporate publications. A frequent traveler, she also has penned articles as a travel writer. Smith has a Bachelor of Arts in communications and writing from Michigan State University.