Making your holiday table sparkle!

Holiday Table Decor

by Dollar Stretcher Contributors

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Holiday Table Decor

I'm responsible for planning a big holiday dinner gathering. We'll have around 100 people at the dinner. Does anyone have some good ideas for holiday table decor? I don't have a large budget, but would like the tables to be festive. Any suggestions?

Start with Natural Beauty

For both Thanksgiving and Christmas, start with natural beauty. Tables look wonderful embellished with all types of yews and evergreens, along with pinecones, dried grasses, acorns, etc. You can add candles, but be sure to use votive candles in containers that are tall enough that the flames can't reach the greenery. Then, for the "wow factor," try shiny ornaments of various shapes and sizes. You can often find collections of matching ornaments at a dollar store. Finish it all off with some beautiful holiday fabric ribbon (from a dollar store as well). With very little money spent, you'll have wonderful results!

Check Pinterest!

You'll find great table decorating ideas on Pinterest. And, a lot of these ideas can be done with things from a dollar store.

Create a Lovely Centerpiece for Little Expense

Paint a basket red and fill it with greenery, such as pine. Dip pinecones in white paint, hang them to dry, and then add them on top of greenery. You can add battery-operated lights in the greenery along with holly berries. Put a big bow in the handle, and you have a lovely centerpiece for very little expense.

Get Most Bang for Buck by Going Simple

Gather some jars from thrift stores or dollar stores. Fill with brightly colored ornaments that can be purchased in large quantities for cheap. Then go natural and cut some boughs from evergreens. Check thoroughly to remove any bugs (usually not many this time of year), lay them on the table, and nestle the ornament filled jars between the boughs. To add even more emphasis, purchase inexpensive 36-inch wide calico in seasonal colors, pink the edges with shears, and lay under the boughs and jars. This can be done very inexpensively. The jars needn't match. Vary the heights of the jars for visual interest. Tie a ribbon or twine around the threads of the jar lids to camouflage if desired. You can go country or upscale with this presentation, depending on your use of calico, snifters versus mason jars, and simple gold and silver ornaments as opposed to multicolor ones.
JD in St Louis

Safe, Edible and Washable Holiday Table Decor

An inexpensive, yet festive centerpiece for a holiday table could be as simple as a tumble of fresh fruits (apples, oranges, grapes, cranberries) mixed with fresh nuts in the shell all spilled across the (paper or cloth) tablecloth. Add some extra sparkle by using food safe gold or silver spray that is available at major craft stores or online. Just spray some of the nuts or spray over the fruit.

Turn Down the Lights and Enjoy

Tape some small Christmas tree light strings along the edges of the tables and add candles, so you can turn down the lights when eating. If you scallop the strings of lights, you can also stick on a fake poinsettia every so often. You can get inexpensive Christmas decorations at a dollar store.

Glitter Makes It Pop

If this is a Christmas dinner, I suggest you purchase vases at the dollar store and then tape around the top about two inches down. Paint the vase with glue and immediately roll it in glitter or pour glitter on it while turning. The vase becomes glittery. Remove the tape and your glitter will be evenly placed on the vase. Then cut some tree twigs and do the same to them. Place a battery-operated tea light inside, and you will be amazed at the lovely centerpiece each table will have.

Sweeten Your Holiday Table Decor

Pick up clear glass containers at thrift stores and fill with candy in appropriate colors for the season. Use red hots, peppermints, cinnamon disks, and red licorice for Christmas. Use candy corn, butterscotch discs, lemon drops, and chocolate stars for Thanksgiving. Use different containers for interest. Plus, you can use the candy for snacking afterward.

Childhood Memory of Beautiful Holiday Table Decor

We did not have a lot of money growing up. I remember one year my father made a beautiful centerpiece using driftwood he scavenged from the beach. He washed the foot long piece of driftwood, glued pinecones, holly berries and cinnamon sticks to the wood, and added a small bird purchased at a craft store. He also added a light dusting of glitter and a taper candle. The centerpiece only cost a couple of dollars, but it was very festive.

Use Craft Paper as Your Base

A great option for a table runner is craft paper. Buy a large roll and run it down middle of the entire length of your table. It's a great neutral color, looks good on top of any other type of table covering, and serves as a wonderful base for any holiday decorations. Simple white candles (or battery operated ones) along with leftover pieces of pine (you can get these for fairly inexpensive or possibly even free from anywhere that sells fresh holiday wreaths or garland) make a beautiful holiday table that is sure to impress everyone! You could also run a long piece of red ribbon through the pine from one end of the table to the other.

If you're looking for place settings, charger plates, napkins, etc., I would definitely check your local dollar store. I'm always surprised at the treasures I find there for just $1 each! Basic white is always available in any type of dinnerware and looks so nice with the red and green holiday colors!

Employ Other "Designers"

Wrapped and stacked boxes make lovely centerpieces. Using plain colors keeps it from getting too busy, and you can usually find inexpensive plain paper and ribbon at the dollar store. For boxes, use anything, even cereal boxes.

Another idea is to recruit a handful of attendees to each do a centerpiece that reflects their family's holiday traditions. You don't have the uniformity of doing it yourself, but it takes work off of your shoulders and creates some awesome conversation points before and during dinner. When we did this, we made a small place card at each table to credit the "designer."

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