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How to Style Your Holiday Table in 5 Minutes

Content, Photography, and Video by Skaie Knox of HomeJelly.com

When hosting a holiday meal, there’s an opportunity to create wonderful and often times lifelong memories. The delicious aroma of home cooking and baking, the sounds of familiar laughter, and as my Aunt Mim always taught me, the decorative details of a styled holiday table that envelops your guests in the magic of the holidays the moment they arrive.

But, with so many tasks to tick off our lists these days, styling your table may be low on your list. However, with just a few items, a little bit of preparation and this simple how-to-style tutorial, you’ll have an enchanting holiday tablescape to wow ‘n woo your family and friends.

We’ve put together three fully decorated tables to choose from, along with five place settings. Choose the one best for you and your guests…and enjoy!

Sweet & Simple Citrus Table

Supplies:

  • white tablecloth
  • off-white or cream colored linen runner
  • white napkins
  • white plates
  • white candles
  • clementine oranges (cuties)
  • eucalyptus and/or assorted greenery
  • fall leaves (faux or real)

Preparation:

Cute Clementine Name Tag

Supplies include clementine “cuties”, toothpicks, craft glue, a pen (we used a white one), specialty or colored cardstock paper.

  1. Cut your specialty paper into a leaf shape.
  2. Write your guest’s name, then add glue to the leaf’s stem.
  3. Finally, roll the stem around the top of a toothpick, then insert into clementine.

Instructions:

  1. Lay out your white tablecloth. White is a wonderful way to allow nature to pop!
  2. Center the table runner on your tablecloth. Runners add texture and a special focus – it’s the “red carpet” of tables!
  3. Add candles. We paired medium and small candles together for variation.
  4. Add eucalyptus and greenery. It’s very hard to go wrong here. However, less is more.
  5. Add clementines.
  6. Add plates, napkins, and silverware.
  7. Add leaves onto plates, then your cute “cuties” clementine name tag.

Gourds ‘n Flowers Table

Supplies:

  • white tablecloth
  • orange runner
  • colorful napkin (fall or winter colors)
  • white plates
  • white candles
  • mini pumpkins/gourds
  • flowers
  • assorted nuts in shells
  • silver glass candle holders
  • blue ribbon
  • unique wooden utensil holder

Preparation:

Bow Tie Napkin Holder and Name Plate

All you need is a piece of ribbon, hole punch, pen, and specialty paper.

  1. Simply fold your napkin into a rectangle.
  2. Cut your specialty paper into a tag and create a hole using a hole punch.
  3. Write your guest’s name on the tag, then string the ribbon through the hole.
  4. Finally, tie the ribbon around the center of the napkin and pull tight.

Instructions:

  1. Lay out your white tablecloth.
  2. Center the table runner onto your tablecloth.
  3. Center your wooden box or utensil holder onto your runner.
  4. Fill utensil holder with fresh flowers. Begin with rice or pasta, then add assorted nuts as a unique decorative touch. Fill with flowers. If you’d like, you can add a small vase with water, then cover with the nuts.
  5. Add mini pumpkins and gourds. Start from the center then outward to the ends. This will allow you to layer evenly.
  6. Add candles. Place them amongst your pumpkins and gourds.
  7. Add individual flowers amongst the pumpkins, gourds, and candles. Flowers and greenery always add life to ordinary items. You’ll notice the pop – just wait!
  8. Add plates and silverware.
  9. Add napkin and nameplate.

 Cran, Pom ‘n Art Table

Supplies:

  • white tablecloth
  • wood runner
  • colorful napkin (we used peacock blue)
  • white plates
  • gold charger plates
  • white candles
  • cranberries, pomegranates and artichokes
  • assorted nuts in shells and acorns
  • eucalyptus/greenery
  • glass jars
  • medium tall candles
  • blue ribbon

Preparation:

Cotton and Lace Napkin Holder

All you need is a piece of cotton stem, specialty paper, lace ribbon, and tape. We found our gold lace ribbon at Anthropologie.

  1. Fold napkin into a rectangle, then fold again.
  2. Wrap a piece of specialty paper around the ribbon, secure with tape.
  3. Wrap a piece of lace ribbon around the paper, secure with tape.
  4. Finally, tuck a piece of cotton stem underneath the paper.

Mini ‘I am thankful for’ Twig Signage

This added touch can be used for any kind of holiday. You’ll need twigs, specialty paper, pen, and glue gun. Optional: we found a super cute stamp and spray painted the ends of our twigs gold to make it a little more special.

  1. Cut twigs about 4” long. Optional: spray paint ends.
  2. Hot glue together by placing a dab on each end. Note: do not place it along the entire surface, as you need your paper to slip through.
  3. Cut or tear your paper just under 4” long and about 2” wide.
  4. Write a message or stamp your specialty paper, then insert in between twigs. It helps to tear the bottom corners so the middle section can slip through the twigs easily.

Cranberry Garland

This cute garland is the fruit version of stringing popcorn! All it takes is embroidery thread, embroidery needle (or just a big sewing needle), and cranberries.

  1. Cut off about 5’ of embroidery thread, then thread your needle. Tie a knot in one end.
  2. String on cranberries through their middle.
  3. Knot off the end.

Instructions:

  1. Lay out your white tablecloth.
  2. Center the wooden table runner onto your tablecloth. Any scrap piece of wood will do – it adds such wonderful warmth, texture and unexpectedness!
  3. Add candle ‘n cranberry filled glass jars. Tie a blue ribbon to “tie in” your napkin colors (oh, yeah, I just did that.)
  4. Add pomegranates and artichokes. We paired them together along the wooden runner.
  5. Add cranberry garland. The more haphazard, the better. Think wabi-sabi.
  6. Add assorted nuts and acorns. We brushed some gold onto the nuts and blue onto the acorns for some extra color.
  7. Add some eucalyptus/greenery for filler.
  8. Add charger plates, plates and silverware.
  9. Add napkins to plates and ‘I am thankful for’ twig signage.

 Wildflower Place Setting

Supplies:

  • gold charger plates
  • white plates
  • wildflowers
  • white and gold ribbon
  • white or cream cardstock
  • gold pen or stamp

 Autumn Sage Place Setting

Supplies:

  • gold charger plates
  • autumn style plates (we found these on sale at Pier 1 for $3.99 a piece)
  • white napkins
  • twine
  • fresh sage

 

 

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