This weekend, I’m presenting at the Holiday Expo at McLean Bible Church, just outside of DC. (I shared the details HERE, if you’re interested in attending.) With a sick kid, I was a little behind with getting my presentation together, but I’m going to the set up and rehearsal tomorrow, so I needed to get myself in gear today!
As I’ve been thinking about what table setting I want to present, I found my head swimming with ideas. Too many ideas for one table. Idea overload. I don’t usually feel that way, so I was very indecisive about which direction I would go.
In that moment of feeling overwhelmed with all the possibilities, I realized that a lot of blog readers and Pinterest lovers must feel that way.
This expo is about bringing Pinterest and Etsy to life, so I felt like I should share ideas that are popular on those sites. I decided, instead, to gear my table setting towards the people who feel overwhelmed by all of the ideas. I wanted to show how setting a table in a simple way, with beautiful things, will result in a beautiful table.
I didn’t use any crafts or hard-to-find products. I used things that can easily be found and put together following this simple recipe. Not over-styled, not overdone, just simple and pretty.
Okay, I actually did do one project, but it’s only because the terra cotta pots were looking too orange and springy to me.
I painted them in a wash of MMS Milk Paint in Grain Sack.
They fit the look I was going for much better.
So, with this table, I started with a piece of fabric to use as the tablecloth. Just about any textile can be used as a tablecloth, so think outside of the box! I then layered a runner over it. Mine is an antique grain sack that had the side seams ripped, but again, you could use any kind of long, narrow piece of fabric. Maybe a scarf, or a line of tea towels or even a roll of paper.
I used white plates, since that’s an easy thing to find and then topped each one with a white soup bowl and mis-matched tea cups. The napkins are linen, folded long-ways and tucked under the saucer. It’s simple, but a little more interesting than just folding it under the silverware.
I tucked moss and a pine cone in each one. The cups can be removed when it’s time to serve the food and the saucer keeps any little bits of moss or pine cone from littering the plates you’re about the eat off of!
I set up a small plate with a knife at each setting for rolls and butter. Sometimes I get called out for having my napkin in the wrong place or my knife is facing the wrong way, but I’m really over the idea that there is a right or wrong way to place something on a table. I know there are rules of etiquette that dictate how a table should be set, but as Kirste put it, “We’re not on Downton Abbey!”
Setting a formal table should be fun and it’s a great way to interact with your guests to tell them your thoughts behind why you put out a certain fork or plate. So, don’t stress about where to put what.
For the centerpiece, I used two rosemary topiaries. I ordered mine online (I order everything online from toilets to tile to topiaries), but I have picked them up at the grocery store and Lowe’s or Home Depot before. You can also use mini evergreens or even a vase, pitcher or canister filled with fresh cut branches from your yard.
Just be mindful of height and scale, so your guests can actually talk to one another across the table! I liked these because they were thin and petite, but still made a statement and added height.
In the middle of the two topiaries, I put a glass jar with some moss, pinecones and mini LED lights. I bought a string off Amazon for $7.
They are battery operated, so I just nestled the battery pack in the moss. They look pretty and festive and it was so simple!
This isn’t a part of the table setting, but did you notice the sweet wool stars hanging along the window?
I saw them in the Restoration Hardware Baby & Kids catalog and bought a few when they were having their 20% sale. This would be an easy, although time-consuming, DIY project, but I didn’t think I could make them for the price.
I’m not decorating for Christmas, yet, since we use fresh greens and a live tree, but I’m really getting ready to!!
I’m excited to share some of these simple ideas and more with the ladies who come to the Expo this weekend.
And, speaking of Christmas, if you’re a long-time reader, you may remember my “merry & bright” glittered banner that I made years and years ago. I made one for my tree and sold the rest. And they were a hit!
The bummer was that I couldn’t find the chipboard letters in the font I liked, with the ampersand any longer. And trust me, I looked everywhere.
Well, a few weeks ago, I found a supplier for custom-cut chipboard letters. She was able to cut exactly what I designed. So, I decided to put a few kits together to sell in my online shop- the letters and the glass glitter, for those who want to make one this year.
This is one Kriste & I made…
If this first round sells well, I’ll order some more. If you’re interested, you can buy a kit HERE.
And, if you’re local, we are having a glass glitter workshop at the studio on Saturday, November 21, and there are still slots available. We’ll listen to Christmas music, have yummy snacks and glitter the day away.
The cost includes letters and ornaments to glitter (that you can take home) and one jar of glitter to take home to glitter even more. You’re also welcome to bring things from home that you would like to glitter. We might even break out some milk paint. It should be a lot of fun and I hope it’s a full class!