Because the "over the top - no, I can't just do something simple-me" makes its annual appearance along with Turkey Tom. I have over the years learned a few tricks to having a beautiful table that help the hurt when it comes to dishing out the cash right before Christmas. Here are a few of my faves.
Go Shopping in your house! I mean it! Get a cart (i.e. laundry basket) and start in the room farthest from your dining room. Keep an open mind. Put anything in the basket that goes with your colors, theme or style. Use anything that is consistent how your vision. You may find vases, flowers, books, knick-knacks, etc ... You will be shocked at what you can find.
The bird above is going to make an appearance this year on my table. It has been sitting on a book shelf in the spare room for a while. His color is perfect!
Use food. It tends to be cheaper and after all, you can eat it so you don't feel like it's going to waste. I filled this hurricane lamp with apples and layed it on a bed of berries. Plums, oranges, lemons, apples and pears all look great together. Don't toss those Halloween pumpkins and gourds out...they make great centerpieces when grouped together. Acorn and butternut squashes are also great.
Dress up hurricane lamps and vases with ribbons and floral picks.
Spray paint...spray paint...spray paint. I spray painted this cake stand the same color as the pumpkin on top. Use spray paint to spruce up any cake stand, platter, frame...even a pumpkin!
Go Natural! Use branches, acorns and leaves. I cut some branches from my back yard and made a "family tree" with photos hanging from ribbon. On the bottom photo, I doubled a vase and filled the space between with acorns. Both branches and acorns spray paint great by the way!
Do place cards. They always look great on a table and usually are inexpensive. Find some festive card stock and use any word document to create a fun place card. Play around with font style and colors and print! Put them on fall picks or stick them in any decorative knick-knack!
For the kids table, use roll white paper or butcher paper as tablecloths and tie together some crayons for their enjoyment! I used craft rafia here. The kids love being able to decorate their own tablecloth or place mates. Keeps them a little busy too, so you can enjoy the adult table!
I love this mayflower craft for the kids table. Sew two pieces of stiff brown felt together, print out the name on a 4X4 square piece. Hole punch the top and bottom and stick a dowel rod to anchor. Fill with candy!
I love this fun idea for napkin rings. Just layer a gold and black rectangle on a black wrap. Cheap...cheap...cheap...