Creating a great look for less

Inexpensive Holiday Table Decor

by Shaunna Privratsky

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You don't have to be wealthy or a decorating genius to set a gorgeous holiday table. All it takes is a little creativity, a few festive touches, and a dash of holiday spirit, and you can have great looking inexpensive holiday table decor.

First, decide on a theme or tone. Is it a homey get together or an elegant affair?

Go for the gold! Start with a fancy tablecloth, like white with a gold pattern. You can make a plain white cloth sizzle with gold trim; just attach the trim with dots of hot glue. Create a dazzling centerpiece by spray-painting fruit gold and then heaping in a crystal bowl. To evenly coat the fruit, stick a toothpick into each one and affix to a chunk of foam. You can add candles on each side or a touch of greenery. Finish with gold napkins, gold fruit rings, and gold place card holders. For a fast place card holder, spray paint clothes pins gold.

A more traditional holiday motif could start with a pretty red tablecloth. Use a small wreath as a centerpiece. Top it off with a green or red pillar candle, a vase of white or red flowers, or a clear vase of bright Christmas ornaments. Tie pretty holiday ribbons in bows for napkin holders.

Choosing a monochromatic look is simple, but timelessly elegant. Grace an old-fashioned table with a lace tablecloth. A white poinsettia makes a fine centerpiece. Add white candles and ropes of pearls. You could do this with any color like red, green, blue or silver.

Use your imagination when selecting your table linens. A treasured quilt is an excellent conversation piece. A designer sheet, fabric that matches your decor, or even a large scarf or shawl can make a fabulous base for an unforgettable table setting.

Protecting grandma's quilt or other precious cloths from food or wine spills is easy and affordable. Purchase a clear, plastic shower curtain liner for a dollar at a dollar store. Cut off the strip with the holes. You can shape it to fit your table and reuse whenever you want. If it becomes too soiled, run through the washer with a load of towels. Hang to dry over the shower rod.

The centerpiece sets the stage. A trio of candles on a terrific tray adds a warm glow. A pot of blooming flowers gives a burst of color to a casual luncheon. Miniature Christmas trees with tiny ornaments sparkle. A large bowl of pinecones, draped with pine boughs, fills the house with the scents of the season. Set a large ceramic snowman on the table, surrounded by snowball candles. The point is to have fun, use your imagination, and try something a little different.

Think outside the circle. Not all plates, bowls or glasses must be round. Browse antique shops, thrift stores, or garage sales for an eclectic mix of unusual or pretty plates and glassware. Layer different shapes or colors for added appeal.

Remember the power of presentation. Your food will taste twice as nice in a beautiful setting. Add food, friends and some cheer and your holiday table will shine, all dressed up for dinner.

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