Affordable Holiday Table Settings

You can find gorgeous holiday table settings without spending a small fortune. While there are plenty of themed accessories available for every occasion that can transform your dining area into a festive holiday retreat, these items can add up quickly.

Instead of taking the holiday theme to new limits, use just a few themed pieces and choose less costly fabrics and accessories that can be coordinated with these items. For example, instead of purchasing an Easter-themed tablecloth, placemats, linen napkins, napkin rings, dishtowels and potholders, choose one or two themed items and select other items in pastel solids or prints that will complement them.

You might choose linen napkins in a neutral color and purchase themed napkin rings for each holiday, instead of purchasing both for every occasion. Or you can skip the napkin rings altogether and simply tie your napkins with strips of ribbon.

It's a great idea to purchase rolls of satin and wired ribbon in various colors and prints when they go on sale. You'll be surprised by all the things you can do with ribbon.

You can also make an inexpensive tablecloth from affordable fabric sold by the yard or from a remnant. All you have to do is hem the sides. You can embellish the edges with lace or trim if you desire. To make a solid tablecloth more festive, purchase a small piece of holiday themed fabric to make a table runner (you can purchase only what you need instead of paying for a full yard). Alternatively, you can purchase just one holiday placemat and place it in the center of the table to anchor centerpieces or as a backdrop for salt, pepper, sugar bowl and creamer.

When setting the table, use inexpensive items that fit the holiday or everyday items that you have around the house. Use boiled eggs decked out in Easter colors with pretty bows tied around them, or nestle them in a bundle of bunched-up ribbon atop each dinner plate. Another idea is to place small glass bowls that you already have beside plates. Fill them with curled ribbon and pretty, foil-wrapped candies.

Making affordable centerpieces also helps set the festive mood. Place a pillar candle on a glass plate and surround it with bunched-up wired ribbon. Insert a few decorated eggs around the plate. Fill in the empty spaces between eggs with egg-shaped candies, like brightly colored malted milk balls. Add tiny silk flowers or ribbon roses here and there, and sprinkle with a bit of glitter.

Alternatively, you can fill a basket with inexpensive silk flowers in colors that match your holiday decorations. Wrap some of your wired ribbon around the basket handle, and tie a large bow at one end of the handle. Curl strips of ribbon and place them so they are peeking out between the flowers at various intervals. Pop a few miniature eggs or bunnies into the mix.

Adapt these holiday decorating ideas for each occasion.

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Whether you are hosting a fancy dinner party or just want to decorate your table for the holidays, a centerpiece can quickly become the focus of the room. Go beyond a bouquet of fresh flowers for some truly original ideas to make your table look outstanding with these table centerpiece ideas.

Not only do place cards make seating guests easy, but they also make family, friends and guests feel special by adding fun and elegance to any table setting.

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After you know who should sit next to whom at the meal, you'll need to design and make place cards that will give your guests direction and still look good on the table.

Don't worry, no one will laugh if you don't know which fork is the salad fork. In fact, you might not even need a salad fork. Proper table setting is easier than you think if you follow a few basic guidelines.

Set a vibrant table for your next dinner party by mixing and matching your table settings. Do what's pleasing to look at and what goes with the theme of the party for success. When you follow a few rules of thumb, you can come up with endless appealing place settings that will come together in a striking display of table art.

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