9 Holiday Table Decorating Tricks: Using What You Have

Everyone loves a beautifully set table for Thanksgiving and Christmas family dinners, we just don’t love the price tag.  Instead of planning the meal and spending family time during the holiday season, we are stressed over table covers and napkins, chargers and dishes, table runners and centerpieces!!  So, this year we are going to ENJOY the seasons of Gratitude and Jesus’s Birthday!  9 Holiday Table Decorating Tricks:  Using What You Have. 

Want to see more Fall and Christmas decorating ideas?  Try Fall Home Tour 2019, Fall Home Tour 2018, Christmas Dining Room Navy + Red, Fall to Christmas Decorating.


9 HOLIDAY TABLE DECORATING TRICKS: 

USING WHAT YOU HAVE

One of my favorite things to do is shop my own home (LOL), and find new uses for ordinary household items.  Yes, I know I am a little crazy!!

But you can really save A LOT of money by re-purposing items you already own, and creating beautifully decorated spaces at the same time.

So today, I am sharing my favorite tricks, tips, & let’s just be honest – hacks – that I use to decorate for the holidays without spending a dime.

Who’s ready??!!


9 HOLIDAY TABLE DECORATING TRICKS: 

USING WHAT YOU HAVE

FIRST THINGS FIRST:  

I am showing Thanksgiving and Christmas themed tablescapes for the timing of this post, but you can use all of these tips for Easter tablescapes (and other holiday seasons) also.

SECOND:  

I tried to use the same dishes and decorations (as much as I could) so you can see I am using a more limited supply of items.  I also chose not to show stemware or flatware in my tablescapes – so that you can picture your own items in the actual decoration.


9 HOLIDAY TABLE DECORATING TRICKS: 

USING WHAT YOU HAVE

9 HOLIDAY TABLE DECORATING TRICKS:

  1.   Curtains for Table Covers & Runners
  2.   Yard Clippings for Greenery
  3.   Picture Frame for Tray
  4.   Angled Shower Curtain for Placemats
  5.   Curtain Rings for Napkin Holders
  6.   Chalkboard Place Cards from Construction Paper
  7.   Wreath for Centerpiece   
  8.   Sugared Fruit for Accents
  9.   Pillow Sham for Dining Chair Slipcover

9 HOLIDAY TABLE DECORATING TRICKS

DECORATING TRICK #1:  Use Curtains for Table Covers & Runners

Curtains are a perfect option to us as table covers for almost all dining tables (sizes).  They are usually 54″ wide and typically 84″ long or 96″ long. 

And most dining room tables are 36″- 40″ wide and roughly 60″- 78″ long (6-8 people).

Which means most curtains will be just wide enough to cover the width of your table, and long enough if you need to add in your table leaves (or extensions).

I had 2 choices (in my House) to choose from:  this blue and white patterned curtain that used to be in our living room, or a white solid linen curtain that used to be in our bedroom

But this navy one was calling my name!  Just use something you already own that can fit your holiday theme.

My curtain is 54″W x 96″L.  

I do not have either of my 2 table leaves in the picture below, but the curtain would still cover them if added.  I just wanted to give you an idea of how the curtain looks on the actual table.

I probably should have ironed it first – LOL – but you get the idea – right?? haha!

 

  • RUNNER:  If you want to use your curtain as a table runner, just fold it in half longways, and then fold it again.  More pictures in tip #3 with the curtain as a runner.

DECORATING TRICK #2:  Yard Clippings for Greenery

Using your own yard clippings is a great way to save money and add a natural element to your holiday tablescape. 

I used 2 crepe myrtle branches, cut into small sections, for my accent greenery.

Here is a before picture of the Fall/Thanksgiving centerpiece without greenery.

And here is a picture with the greenery cut into pieces.

If you want to use something like this for your Christmas tablescape, just exchange the white pumpkins with Christmas ornaments – easy peasy!!

Top view:


DECORATING TRICK #3:  Picture Frame for Tray

If you don’t have a tray that you can use for a holiday centerpiece, or one that doesn’t match your decor, use a picture frame.  It works great to keep things looking orderly, and gives a little more formal look to your tablescape.

I have had this open frame forever – got it at Hobby Lobby like 10 years ago – and still love it.  But if you have one with glass, gently take the glass out.

Or you can put lighter items on top of the glass (or mirrored frame) also.  

  • Here is my curtain – now turned table runner – for this display.  

So, I will add in those same decorations as before, minus the 2 white bowls.  

Now with the greenery.

And here it is from the top view so that you can how it looks compared to the other configuration (without the tray).

The picture frame “tray” would work great when you have a small table or there is a limited amount of table space (when stemware and/or serving platters are added).

You could also use 2 picture frames to spread out the table decor, if you have a really long table.  Just play around with your table decor and dimensions, to find the best configuration for you!!

And now with the greenery added in. 

 

Looking for coastal farmhouse dining tables?   Check out my new post.


DECORATING TRICK #4 Angled Shower Curtain for Placemats

If you want placemats under your dishes, but don’t have any on hand, turn you shower curtain or curtain to make a diamond shape.

Since shower curtains are normally 72×72 inches (square), they will actually form a true diamond-square shape.  I didn’t have an extra one on hand, so I used my curtain again.

This worked for my table without the leaves.  So, if you’re table is larger, you might have to use the angled curtain as a centerpiece only.  

Click here for more information on navy blue and white rugs.

Here it is top view.

*** If you have a matching pair of curtains, put one on your dining table, and the other one on your breakfast table to have a coordinated look. ***

Here is what it looked like – angled – between 2 chairs.


DECORATING TRICK #5 Curtain Rings for Napkin Holders ….. and

DECORATING #6 Chalkboard Place Card from Construction Paper 

If you can’t find any napkin holders for your place setting, try using wooden or metal curtain rings (with or without clips).   I have both of these on hand, but chose the dark wooden ones for this display.

*** You can also use extra shower curtain rings for this look. ***

Both of my rings had clips attached, but you don’t have to have them.  You would simply tie the jute string (or ribbon) around the little “eye” ring.

They will work with flat napkins and fluffed napkins.

 

And I I already had the actual chalkboard place card name tags, but I made one from black construction paper so you could have one too!!  

Dimensions:  2″W x 3 1/8″L – angle begins at 2 5/8″L.

Just punch a hole, grab some chalk, and you’re all set.

And here they are side by side….pretty close right??  Plus, your construction paper place cards will ALL be the same color.

Top – chalkboard.  Bottom – construction paper.  

True chalkboard place card.

And the construction paper place card below.

 


DECORATING TRICK #7 Wreath for Centerpiece

Using a wreath for a holiday centerpiece is probably my favorite tablescape decoration.  I love that you can change the entire look of the table by just changing out wreaths.  Can’t get any easier than that!!

I did 3 different looks so you can see how the wreath “makes” the entire table.  And you’ll notice that if you just slip a cake plate underneath it, you get a little more depth + drama!!

Thanksgiving & Fall Tablescape

 

Christmas Reds Tablescape

 

Christmas Frosted Pastels Tablescape

And top views.

 

 

*** Don’t forget that you can use a Spring or Easter wreath for you Easter tablescape also.***


DECORATING TRICK #8 Sugared or Frosted Fruit

One of the prettiest decorations to use during the holidays are sugared or frosted fruit.  Use whatever fruit you have on hand, and add a little sugar to give it a seasonal sparkle.  

Cranberries, grapes, pears, apples, raspberries, and blueberries come to mind.   Of course, you can always use fruits not frosted, or pumpkins and gourds also.  

I have to admit that the frosted cranberries, pears, and apples I am showing are fake (already had these).  But just frost or use what you already have.

And don’t forget – these are not only beautiful – but edible too!

Bold colors.

  

 

I put my berries in some clear martini and margarita glasses that are different heights – just to add a little interest and movement.

For the apples and pears (below), I just set them directly on the runner.  But if these were real, I’d put them in glass bowls just so that the sugar wouldn’t ruin the velvet.

And softer colors.

 

 


DECORATING TRICK #9 Using Pillow Shams for Dining Chair Slipcovers

This trick will sound VERY crazy – but it should work – and it is my favorite hack!! 

Take a pillow sham and slide it over the back of your wooden dining chair to give it a slip-covered look.  Leave it hanging down so that it looks more formal, or tuck it under to make it more modern.

*** I used a king-sized pillow sham for mine, but a standard-sized pillow sham works also.  I also found that a quilted sham (thicker) works better, and looks a little nicer. 

But a linen sham or even a pillow case can work. 

Here are the 2 wooden chairs that I am using to slipcover.

Take your sham and slide it onto the back of the chair with the good side facing away from the table.

This sham has ties, but I know most of them have an “envelope opening.”  You will just have to pin it with stick pins or safety pins.

Here is what the long version will look like with the tail hanging down to the floor.

For the shorter slipcover, just take the excess sham and tuck it around the wooden portion (back of the chair).  It will be a little bulky, but just flatten it out the best you can.

A standard sham will work easier for this style because there is less sham length to tuck – FYI.

This one I was able to tie on the sides, when flattened out.

 

Ok, so now let’s see what they actually look like in the room.

BEFORE – just the 2 wooden chairs, no slipcovers.

 

AFTER – with short slipcovers.

AFTER – with long slipcovers.

Want to add some wreaths? (not on tricks list, but just for fun)

After – with wreaths.

Hope you found a couple of tips and tricks that you can use to make your holiday table decorating easier, so that you can spend more time enjoying your family!! 

Click here for more information on coastal farmhouse dining tables and here for navy blue and white area rugs.

Have a Blessed Fall & Christmas Season!!

Love & Hugs 🙂 

Want to see more Fall and Christmas decorating ideas?  Try Fall Home Tour 2019, Fall Home Tour 2018, Christmas Dining Room Navy + Red, Fall to Christmas Decorating.

 

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