by TARABELL on DECEMBER 23, 2011

Add a little sparkle to your affair!

Want to make your table look great for the holidays? Here are a few quick (and inexpensive!) ideas to help you get started. . .

Before you begin, make sure your table is large enough to provide adequate seating for all your guests.  If it’s not, round up a few extra folding tables and chairs and be sure and set and decorate these tables as well.

Begin with a good “base” for your decorations

A simple, plain-colored table cloth works beautifully. You don’t want to use one that’s too busy — it will take away from all your decorations. If you don’t have a plain colored table cloth — you can use a sheet or even yardage from the fabric store. For example, this year for Thanksgiving I used a beige faux-satin sheet. People loved it and thought I bought an expensive tablecloth. Thin, shimmery fabrics from the fabric store work wonderfully. Just throw it in the middle of the table and tuck the ends under or if you want, buy iron-on hem tape and finish those edges in just a few minutes with your iron. No sewing necessary.

Now, your possibilities are endless. Just make sure you leave room to actually see your guests and fit their plates, glasses, etc.

Elegant table toppers are all around

  • Look around your house for candlestick or votive holders and vases, something you might want to show off. This is a great time to take out those family heirlooms.
  • Create a dramatic effect by having your table toppers and candles resting at different heights.  You can achieve this easily with the use of cans, books or kitchen storage containers hidden under your table cloth. Obscure these hidden objects with ornaments or greenery.
  •  As I showed in my  post, How to Use Evergreen Branches in your Holiday Decorating, you can use the left-over trimmed boughs from your tree in your holiday decorating. On your table they become a lovely, colorful and fragrant addition by spreading them around your centerpiece. Layer in some pinecones, ornaments, berries, etc. I have even thrown in a white feather boa before! You can make it as simple or as extravagant as you wish. Just keep in mind that there is a fine line between extravagant and tacky.

Don’t be afraid to let your creativity show

A holiday setting. . .for the table

Set your table: Always start with the biggest plates first. Chargers, main entrée plate, salad plate, bread plate, etc. Set-up your silverware.

  • Napkins: Cloth napkins are inexpensive and make your guests feel well-treated. There are all kinds of beautiful napkin rings you can use — even great ideas for those you can make inexpensively. Just use your imagination. Place in the center of each plate.
  • Place your wine and water glasses on next.
  • Place cards add a touch of elegance and make guests (even kids!) feel extra special. You can make or purchase these but either way, place cards are an inexpensive way to give your party that little extra touch that people will remember.
  • To keep the mood relaxed and warm reduce your direct lighting. Your  over head lighting should be dimmed or if you don’t have a dimmer, switch out the bright “every day” bulbs for the lower wattage or soft pink bulbs, that will make everyone feel relaxed and cozy at your holiday bash. Let candles provide a warm glow on your table.
  • Finally open a great bottle of wine and enjoy your guests. Nothing makes guests feel more welcome, than a relaxed host and a good laugh. So make sure you have a great time!