Whether you’re using china, everyday dishes, thrift store finds or dollar store bargains; you can set a beautifully laid table for a special Thanksgiving dinner. Napkins, flowers, candles, place cards, chargers and tablecloths add to the overall look of the table. There’s no need to buy expensive pieces (unless you want to)…using everyday items and what you already have, you can create very different settings to suit the mood and occasion, and lend an individual feel to your table.
Setting a seasonal table with an outdoor feel is easy and inexpensive.
Rich golds, browns and oranges immediately make me think “fall”. I purchased these gold dinner plate at an estate sale for $1.50 each but didn’t buy the saucers because a lot of them were chipped. You don’t have to have all the dishes match, just play off your color scheme as you add pieces. I found this Harvest plate at Goodwill for 99 cents but there was only one so I looked for other decorative smaller plates about the same size…which included a pumpkin plate and a couple of leaf plates and used them for a different “bread or salad plate”-depending on what you’re serving. Regular water glasses with yellow wine glasses my mother-in-law handed down to me, a brown napkin tied with grass blades from my backyard and a centerpiece made of an orange bowl (purchased at a garage sale) filled with leaves, pinecones, pumpkins and seasonal vegetables add to my “outdoor” theme. I found wicker pumpkins at the Dollar Tree and just took the top off and put a votive holder with candle inside for an interesting candle holder.
I like making place cards so that when it’s time to sit down, everyone knows where to go. I found these orange crocks at Michael’s for $1.00 each, just filled them up with pinecones, pumpkins, cinnamon sticks and cloves….and our guests can take these home…..nothing matches, but it all works together.
Here’s an example of mixing pieces of my everyday dishes….I have matching plates and saucers in both the brown and white but wanted some contrast. You can find seasonal spreaders like this turkey sold in sets of 4 at most stores and for some fun, I decided to use them as butter knives. Using brown candles I already owned, placed in leaf candy dishes plays up the colors on my table and again, is just something different. The Dollar Tree sells these glass vases (I got mine at Goodwill for 79 cents)…filled with candy corn (usually on sale after Halloween) creates a fun place card (again, my guests can take these home) and I added orange and yellow flowers to my centerpiece which looks great and matches the colors of the candy corn.
Almost every piece for this setting came from the Dollar Tree….but it doesn’t look like a “cheap” table! The black plate and black glasses all came from the Dollar Tree and are something I’ll use year-round. The “wine” glass is technically a water-glass but it looks like a wine glass and once filled, who cares? I did get the gold charger at Michael’s for $1.99 but saw equally nice ones also at the Dollar Tree. I already had the orange leaves I placed under the glass votives and thought they added a pop of color to the overall look. (The leaves and votives are from the Dollar Tree). I love using holiday picks with the wire stem as napkin rings…these were 69 cents on sale at Michael’s. I picked up 3 orange vases from the Dollar Tree, separated a bouquet of flowers I bought at Safeway for $5.00 and made my centerpiece. One bucket on this size table didn’t look right to me but when I made 3 and spread them around, it was perfect…the black frame (from the Dollar Tree) is perfect for my place card, and something my guest can take home.
If you have china…this is a perfect time to use it! I have china from my great-grandma and mom that I like to pull out for holiday meals, kind of makes me feel they are still part of our celebrations. I don’t have any patterns that are complete for more than 6 settings (things break and chip over the years) so when we have more than that for a meal, I put two different patterns together and it still looks beautiful and planned. I already own a lot of napkin rings so I used the ones I have in silver but a simple ribbon in silver would look beautiful too. I love wine decanters and pick them up at garage sales, thrift stores and at the Dollar Tree (we do have more expensive ones too that my husband and I pick up when traveling), and when filled with the reds and whites of the wine we’re serving, become a party of my decorations. And if you look real close, you’ll see mini salt and pepper shakers that you can also find at the Dollar Tree. I like having smaller ones in multiples when having a lot of guests at the table…makes for less passing.
These juice glasses (that I use as vases) belonged to my great-grandma. I bought one bouquet of white roses at Safeway for $9.99 with a bouquet of baby’s breath. I didn’t use all the baby’s breath in the glasses so I added a couple of small glass bowls (3 for $1.00 at the Dollar Tree) filled with the leftover flowers for an extra touch. Adding pieces of different heights gives your table dimension….These beautiful taper candle holders were a wedding gift (from Tiffany’s). I added pillar candles (placed on small mirrors) and smaller votive candles which add a warm, welcoming glow (when lit). The candles, small mirrors and votive holders all came from the Dollar Tree, along with the glass gems I scattered.
This silver “Give Us This Day” piece was a gift from my mother-in-law that I’m using as a bread/roll basket. The words are appropriate for our holiday meal…it’s nice to have your rolls, butter, salt and pepper on the table.
My name cards are these silver frames I bought at the Dollar Tree.
I hope these examples spark some ideas on how you can create a holiday feel to your dinner table…no matter what your budget is. Heck, even if you’re using paper products, you can give your table a festive feel.
Tammy’s Tip ‘O the Day!
You don’t want tall centerpieces during dinner! When seated, your guests should be able to see one another. Using name cards can help get people seated more quickly (and help keep family/friends separated if there’s any “challenges” at gatherings-with name cards you can plan ahead who’s sitting next to who), the blade of your knife should also face in towards the plate, when using candles on your table, use unscented so they don’t compete with your delicious dinner aromas, and place candles on something so you don’t get drips of wax on your table or tablecloth….just fyi.