A Beautiful Tablescape on a Budget-Building the Place Setting - Part 1

Stacy Davis
by Stacy Davis
8 Materials
1 Hour

Are you looking to create a swoon worthy tablescape this year? I spend too much time scrolling Instagram and admiring the beautiful tables. I have never really done a tablescape before now. I believed that those pictures could not be done on a budget by someone who wasn't gifted with the interior design gene. That was, until now. It simply needed to be broken down into pieces and then assembled like a puzzle. Here is how I am starting my first tablescape ever. I had to explain to my husband what a tablescape even was. I am going to calculate the costs based on 4 place settings and then you can double as needed. I am a bargain shopper to the core and it pays to start early because in a matter of weeks, most decor will be picked over. But this decor can also last you many seasons/years. My table cloth will be Part 2 and the final reveal will be Part 3. And you DO NOT need everything that I show, I was just having fun creating layers and an interesting table.

So far, this chalkcloth tablecloth is the closest that I have come to decorating a table for a holiday. I started it Thanksgiving morning one year and didn't even get to finish it because of all the food preparation. icon I wrote down a list of things that I wanted to achieve in building my tablescape. Basically, it came down to 3 things. 1. What can I do to add texture? I love texture and it is so fun to play with different textures on a table. People on Instagram have started adding fall scarves and even small rugs to the tops of their tables. 2. How can I make it interesting? Since, it takes some time to make a tablescape, I want it to take a few moments for the guests to take it all in and realize that I spent some time putting it together for them to enjoy. 3. What will make it memorable? I would like them to think about it at a later time and have some item come to mind. It can be a color, an item or a theme.

The first step in the process is the tablecloth but mine is MIA so I am going to make one and that will come just a bit later. I am going to use some chalk paints to dye it so stayed tuned, it should be delightfully messy! The next step is a placemat, if you like. I really like an area that I am decorating to have texture so this is a good place to add some texture. Round woven placemats are my favorite right now. This one is from Ross and came in a set of 4 placemats for $8.

The next step is a charger, if you like. I picked two different patterns because Michaels only had 2 of the Buffalo check left. But, once I set them up at the table, I loved that having two different designs because it added interest. You want to have interesting items on your table, so when your guests' eyes take it in, they travel around the table taking in all the different items. My chargers are from Michael's and were on sale so the buffalo check were $1.80 each And the white were a dollar more. Chargers for 4 settings would run you about $10 if you hit a good sale like I did.

Next, is a dinner plate and this is from The Dollar Tree. When I was looking for inspiration tablescapes, one had a turquoise plate and I loved it! I looked around the room and my eye settled on the plate that I rest my glue gun on. It was turquoise from The Dollar Tree. When I went over to get enough of them for my table, they didn't have the one I had at home but this one is similar and I like it better. The interesting details around the edge are icon .

Now, this is where it gets interesting. I think you should add a cloth napkin next, but I haven't gotten any yet. So, I am temporally playing with these ideas. This is where I am trying to add a memorable item. I bought a $3 stand of faux greenery garland from Target and I picked up some chalkboard frames from Ross for $1 a piece.

Option 1- No small plate here. But a bit of burlap, a small garland and then the chalkboard frame.

Option 2 - Small white plate (these are our every day plates and they also carry these at The Dollar Tree but I think white plates for catering can be cheaper on Amazon if you need more than six.) Green Garland and Chalkboard Frame.

Option 3 - This is a fun one. Use a piece of colored burlap or any fabric to hold your silverware on top of the small plate. I added a felt flower and button to coordinate.

Option 4 - I added a piece of burlap ribbon down the middle.

So far, for basically 4 place settings, I have spent $8 for the placemats, $10 for the chargers, $4 for the turquoise plates,$3 for the garland, $4 for the chalkboard frames. My total for so far is $29. I already had the burlap and fabric for the other items. When I started this project, I wasn't really sure how it was going to work out. That is why I only bought enough for 4 place settings but now that I have a feel for the direction that I am going, I will go out and buy enough for 8 place settings.

I would love to see your place settings, so please share in the comments. Also, if you have tips and advice, let us know in the comments or if you have a funny story, share that too.

I couldn't find the silverware pouches at Home Goods so I made my own.

So, here is one option I am thinking about. I haven’t received my napkins from Amazon yet so this is a dish towel.

And here is a Christmas place setting idea.

There are so many ideas to customize each setting and make your table memorable. This was a good excuse to go through all my fabric and find some ideas to share here on Hometalk. This could be a scrapbuster project! Here I used my Silhouette to make some fun words to stencil on the burlap.

And here it is with a burlap silverware holder. Which is your favorite idea? Do you think you will be able to use any of these ideas in the future? Let me know if you would to see a tutorial on the silverware holders. They are pretty easy but I do have some tips and tricks when it comes to putting them together.

Here is a little video showing the number of options that you can create just by switching out a few accessories.

More Thanksgiving Table Designs

Create memorable moments with loved ones using these Inspirational Thanksgiving Tablescape ideas.

Resources for this project:
Buffalo Check Charger Plates
Rustic Charger Plates
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