10 Cheap and Easy Ideas for Decorating the Table

published Nov 11, 2008
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If you’re having people over this month, no doubt you’ve spent a good amount of time considering the guest list and what you plan to cook. You’ve probably started cleaning in advance and have a lot of details you’d like to take care of. Don’t forget to have fun dressing the table and making it festive and inviting for guests. Don’t worry we don’t like a formal fussy table, but planning out what you want to do ahead of time will make it easy and fun. Plus the ideas below won’t cost you a lot of time or money:

Use Fruit as a place setting and seat assignment. As a bonus, these can be taken home and enjoyed later.

Use Living Plants to decorate the table. Guests can take these home or you can just put them back in the garden when you’re finished. Check out an herb centerpiece on re-nest. Bonus points if you use succulents!

Find Branches Outside and use them as a centerpiece. If you already have some simple vases, this is a cheap and easy way to make the table feel a little festive.

Use Found Jars and fill them with votive candles (a bag at ikea will cost you around $3 and last you a couple of years). Clustered together they make beautiful light and lend themselves to a simple, intimate dinner. The jars pictured are old glass yogurt containers that we recently saw adorning the table at a fancy new restaurant in venice.

Keep it Simple and stick to all one flower arrangements like these Sunflowers from Domino. This creates a great focal point and the time and energy that goes into it is minimal!

Use All White flowers and candles to make a winter-y tablescape. These from Martha were made with votives, candles and lace!

Mix and Match different old tins and different kinds of flowers to create a boho, informal but festive table.

Use Fall Gourds and Citrus to make a sustainable arrangement. Add some small votives to the display above for something more dramatic, and mix and match the colors you want to use on the table. The smaller pictures, from old issues of
Blueprint show how a pop of winter citrus can make a great centerpiece when partnered with bold blue and white bowls and how winter gourds can make a dramatic, formal centerpiece. Bonus: eat the citrus for dessert or let the guests take them home!

No Fuss arrangements: find a beautiful flower that can stand on its own like peonies) and put it in any container you can find (here it’s a spice jar, but you can use any glass or container from around the house. Check out some cheap fall flower recommendations.

Wrap presents and stack them on the table. This is from last year’s window display at Anthropologie but it’s full of ideas for a festive table: wrap presents (or empty boxes) and put them in a jolly stack atop some cut out paper snowflakes.

Do you have any favorite go-to arrangements for the table?