Forcing Bulbs – Winter Centerpiece

How to force bulbs indoors - perfect for Christmas and this centerpiece using different containers is gorgeous!

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I’ve got turkey on my mind).

Once I’ve eaten my share of carbs, I’ll be focused on decking my halls and sometimes a little planning is in order to get blooms in time for Christmas.

Since I can’t force my kids to clean their rooms (without lots of nagging), I’m thrilled that I can force bulbs into submission.

What’s better than a  winter centerpiece straight from nature.

I love adding bulbs to a few different containers and gathering them together for a unique centerpiece.

They also make the perfect hostess gift – bring them when they are just beginning to sprout so they can enjoy watching them bloom.

What a fun centerpiece! See how easy it is to force bulbs to create the look

I love how the white milk glass and fun naughty and nice mugs from HomeGoods look on my rustic reclaimed wood lazy susan.

Cute car and tree salt and pepper shakers complete this simple centerpiece.

Love the naughty and nice Christmas mugs filled with paperwhites and how fun is that car and tree salt & pepper set!

How to Force Bulbs Indoors

How to force paperwhite bulbs

Bulbs – I used paperwhites
Fun containers – I love old milk glass and a couple of Christmas mugs
Stones – dollar store

1) Fill container about 2/3 full with stones

2) Nestle bulbs – root side down – in the stones

How to force bulbs with rocks

3) Add more stones around the bulbs so they don’t tip

Tip: Don’t cover the bulbs with stones – let them peek above 

Forcing bulbs with rocks and water

4) Add water to cover roots (don’t cover the bulbs) and add water every day or two as needed

5) Put them in a sunny spot then sit back and watch your bulbs bloom

Tip: If the stems start to flop, tie them with a colorful ribbon

How to force bulbs indoors - beautiful in vintage milk glass

It takes about 4-6 weeks for the flowers to bloom so start forcing!

P.S. Make sure to check out my favorite fall centerpiece of all time here – with instructions on how to make your own (and impress friends, family and random strangers)!

Shop the Look

Naughty/Nice mugs – HomeGoods
Car & Tree Salt & Pepper Shakers


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  1. This sounds like a great idea. I have never forced bulbs but know it is not hard, you and your family have a Happy Thanksgiving, and Sushi too!

  2. Hi,
    I was wondering if you have a great place to buy your bulbs? They are very hard to find at a good price here in CT. Thankyou, I like the centerpiece ideas!

  3. Hi! I read your instruction and did it last week. But the water rotted! Is it because I did not put carbon in the bottom? Or mix alcohol intoo? 0

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