Do you browse the beautifully set tables on Pinterest and wish you could set something that beautiful? It’s easier to do than you think, even on a budget. Over the last 5 or 6 years, I have been collecting items that now make it a cinch to create beautiful tablescapes for any time of year.
1. Table linens.
Determine what your style is. Do you prefer tablecloths? Do you like table runners? Place-mats? I have found that table runners typically don’t work well for me on the table so I don’t have many. Place-mats enable me to put pops of color all over, pretty cheaply.
I purchase table linens from Kmart, Walmart, Target, and sometimes I’ll even find a smokin’ deal at Younkers during the end-of-season clearance. I typically purchase napkins, tablecloths and sometimes place-mats. Stick to pattern-less linens so that you don’t feel like you are putting out a Christmas tablecloth for Valentine’s Day, for instance. Start small and pick one color for each season, preferably one that will work for another holiday. I usually use red, gold, purple, white, or off-white.
2. Candles & Candle holders
I like having a set of sturdy glass containers in sets of 3. I have put things like glass jewels, table scatter, small Christmas ornaments and such in. I may or may not put a tea light on the top of the filler. The glass containers & glass jewels are easy to find at the dollar store. I’ve found that Target’s Dollar Spot has awesome table scatter for about $2.50 a box. And as a bonus? The little ones love to play and sort them. In fact, we’ve taken to calling them floor scatter :). You could also use pretty votive candle holders and votives or even embellished pillar candles. Again, these are all easy to find in the dollar store or in the discount store.
Plate chargers come in a rainbow of colors and are super easy to find this time of year. If you watch the sales, you can get them for $1 each or less. I got mine at Michael’s last year on a super sale for something like $0.50 each or something ridiculous. Again, pick colors that coordinate with your linens and can be used for another holiday. You can always buy one set a year until you get all the colors you want. I have gold, purple and red chargers now which work for most holidays in our house.
This is a totally optional one, but one that is one of my pet projects. A few years ago for Christmas, I finally purchased a set of matching white dishes. Two of them actually. Each of them had a platter and serving bowl with them – they were about $35 total at the Walmart for both sets around Christmas. And then last year I purchased a set of china off of Craigslist. Sixteen 7-piece place settings plus serving pieces for $200. I’ve been searching for a large set of affordable china for years so that I didn’t have to worry if the kids broke pieces. My intent is to USE them.
I also purchased a set of wine glasses in all three sizes because we entertain clients occasionally (neither of us like wine), but our regular drinking glasses are pretty plain but classic and fit into any place setting. I also purchase serving pieces when I find them, both in white and color. If we are having a more plainly set meal, the colored pieces add a pop of color. If I am going all out, the white goes with everything. Again, these are totally optional, but they are something I’ve LOVED having.
Like with anything, if it’s not important to you, don’t bother! I have a love for all things formal and matching. I’m the kind of person who loves sending Christmas cards, thank you cards and invitations, and hand addresses everything and prays over them all. I love matching (or at least purposefully coordinated) dishes, color-coordinated family pictures each Christmas, and dressing up for church. None of it is to impress anyone; it’s just something that makes me happy!
If you are wanting to set a beautiful table, you just need to have the basic pieces. With a plan and a LOT of searching (I won’t lie), you can even find what you want on a budget!
What are your favorite pieces do use in making tablescapes? Where do you find them?