Festive Holiday Tables
Add holiday cheer to Christmas meals with these quick and easy ideas for festive table place settings.
Mix and match
To decorate her table, this Illinois homeowner starts with a base of cedar clippings or a garland nestled around mismatched brass candlesticks, linen napkins, and antique glassware. Her favorite cut flowers for the holidays are white and black anemones and white hydrangeas, mixed with sprays of feathery seeded eucalyptus.
Silver and sparkles lend glam appeal to natural elements. Here, seasonal greenery tucked into a mercury glass votive holds a handmade place card-and doubles as a take-home gift for guests. Ferns, succulents and moss on the table look elegant on silver platters and glass cake stands.
Faux berry sprigs, spray-painted white branches and pinecones, and tiny cardinals create a red-and-white winter scene on your tabletop.
A collection of vintage dishes, ornaments and bottle-brush trees makes a sweet holiday tabletop. Tucked between pink Depression glass plates, a vintage-style greeting, photocopied from a Christmas card, centers the table setting. A vintage brooch doubles as a napkin ring.
When you want to dazzle your guests, bring on the gold and silver. Here, gift wrap serves as an inexpensive table runner. A pretty silver bow ties up a table setting of a gold charger, striking salad plate and white dinner plate.
White-tipped pinecones atop napkins hold place cards. The soft colors repeat in white candles wrapped with fat green velvet ribbon attached with pearl-headed pins. More ideas for natural holiday decor
Our casual place setting shows simple can be beautiful. Its personality started with a cleverly folded "pocket" napkin. Then we added artfully arranged silverware, a $2 place mat, layered dishes and a frame of grapevine twigs—all on a table runner cut from bargain burlap.
Create woodland animals inspired by old-fashioned mechanical toys-they're perfect for embellishing napkin rings, wine bottles and packages. To make, print images onto a stiff paper, cut out the shapes and attach moveable limbs with brads.
A frozen environment inspired this serene tabletop in organic colors of gray and winter white.
To set the scene, fill a simple centerpiece bowl with rocks and faux snow, and then add some bare branches. Free-form plates paired with frosty glasses and flatware continue the icy theme. Reinforce the idea of a winter landscape with a place mat and accent plates in bark and tree branch motifs. A notched birch branch holds a place card. The prowling polar bear (found in the toy section of a crafts store) feels right at home in this habitat.
Add sparkle to your tabletop with these easy-to-make candles. Just wrap velvet ribbon around silver votives, and glue on mini pinecones to add a festive touch!
Tuck silverware into small stockings to create festive place settings. Any small purchased or handmade stockings will work. If you want to make your own, draw a 7-inch-tall stocking shape and cut stockings out of scrap fabric. Glue or sew the sides together and, if you have extra time, cross-stitch a design on the front.
Inexpensive gold bells on a snow-white tablecloth start this modern scene. Sprinkle glittery "snow" onto foam trees wearing a light coat of spray-on glue; add bells as treetoppers. An upside-down wineglass filled with shredded tinsel is another sparkly tree shape. Pine boughs in glass vases filled with the same sparkly "snow" make an easy centerpiece. Fold white napkins like trees and add garlands of gold ribbon. For a take-home gift (and place card) fill a glass ornament with tiny bells and tag with your guest's initial.
Easy set up
Enjoy a casual table for holiday meals all month long. Deer-motif dish towels make nifty place mats. Buy two sets so you can leave the table set while the dirty towels get washed.
Wrapping paper accents
Turn colorful, graphic designs into bargain Christmas decor for your table.
Easy napkin rings: Fashion wrapping paper scraps into simple, seasonal napkin rings. Mount paper to card stock. Cut 1x10-inch strips. Starting 1-3/4 inches from one end of a strip, create a 1-1/4 inch slit. Wrap strip around a napkin, pulling the opposite end through the opening. A felt snowflake adds finishing frill.
Colorful name card holders: Wrapping paper scraps can make merry place card holders. Glue paper to both sides of a 3x5-inch piece of card stock. Fold in half, leaving a 1/2 inch lip to fold up as the card holder. For extra cheer, write names in holiday colors, or "give" guests names from classic Christmas tales and let them pick their seats.
Tiny tree table
Out-of-the-ordinary vessels will make tiny evergreens stand out.Here, foot-high yews, with root balls nestled in moss, look fresh lined up in a galvanized tray. Anchor with white and purple eggplants for an all-natural look. Use eggcups with tiny juniper sprigs to create "trees" at place settings; fill the cup bases with spice berries and pinecones. Linen napkins wrapped with green ribbon complete the organic look. More ideas for decorating with tiny trees
Dress up chairs
Add to the appeal of your holiday table by dressing up chair backs. Here, we draped the chair with a yard of soft white fabric tied in a square knot, added a purchased twig wreath, and held it all together with a fat red ribbon and glued nametag.
Edible place cards
Eye-catching fruit like these Anjou pears makes a perfect platform for place cards.
Keep it super-simple
White plates provide a pretty contrast against a red charger and red tablecloth. A simple striped ribbon adds just the right touch of color to the white napkin.
For a quick and easy casual presentation, fold napkins into a square and top with an evergreen sprig and a pretty ornament, such as this crocheted star.
For a fragrant chair-back decoration, bundle bay leaf, thyme, rosemary and marjoram with twine. Bouquets can be made several days in advance, then refrigerated. Once dry, use them for cooking!
Red-and-white all over
Centerpieces of red-and-white carnations set the tone for this table. Complete the setting with clear glass jars filled with mints, peppermints scattered on the table, red-and-white ornaments and more.
Create cute letter shapes for your place settings with red-and-white pipe cleaners. Add a sprig of fresh greenery for color.