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Three Budget-Friendly Tablescape Ideas


Tablescaping, a term coined by television chef Sandra Lee in 2003, is the art of setting a themed table to reflect a holiday, celebration, or time of year, or to capture a mood or theme. Whether it be for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any day in between, decorating a table in festive style has never been easier. And, contrary to popular misbelief, it doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, folks can save money by creating welcoming tablescapes using items around the house that they already own. Here are three cheap tablescape ideas that can be done in easy steps:

  1. Repurpose a mirror. First, place a thick tablecloth down to protect your table surface. Second, lay a long, narrow mirror or smaller group of mirrors on top of the table toward the center, leaving room for individual table settings (placemat, plates, glasses, silverware, napkins, etc.). For a large and long table, consider centering a full-length mirror down the middle of the table to serve as a reflective table runner. Third, distribute some greenery clippings tied in festive ribbon. Last, intermingle candles in between the clippings. *For safety, especially if children are present, consider using battery operated candles in lieu of lit ones.
  2. Add pinecones and twigs. Head outdoors with the kiddos or grands, baskets in hand, and ask them to go on a treasure hunt to find an assortment of pretty pinecones and rustic twigs. Once inside, first, place an attractive natural fiber table runner on your table. Second, scatter pinecones and sticks across the runner to add a rustic vibe, leaving ample room for table settings. Third, add some battery-operated candles for ambiance. Tip: Should you wish to up the glam, consider spray painting the pinecones and twigs in glittery gold or shiny silver. Rather than use a natural fiber table runner, match it with a glittery gold or coordinating silver one.
  3. Go eclectic. First, gather bric-a-brac, miscellaneous items of low value from around the house, such as empty vases, greenery, stacked books or candle sticks. Second, gather assorted placemats, plates, cutlery, fabric napkins, and glasses in different styles and patterns. Third, lay down placemats and build visually attractive table settings by stacking dinner plates over salad plates and by distributing colors together in an eye pleasing way. Play around with it until you are happy. Last, disperse the interesting objects you gathered across the center of the table.

Albert Einstein said, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” Other than enjoying yourself, there are no steadfast rules to creating a delightful tablescape. Creativity doesn’t require any specialized skills nor does one need to spend money a lot of money. Simply make your dinner table special by picking a theme and going with it, thinking outside of the box, using what you already own, and being a bit bold, daring, and vibrant in design.

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