After all of the Pinterest browsing I’ve been doing recently I’ve decided I want to get good at setting tables. I could spend all day looking at pretty tables and never get bored. I’ve decided to start my mission on the first holiday of the fall season: Halloween. My goal was to try to use as many things from around the house I could. This would (a) keep it cheap, (b) prove that other people can do this too, and (c) give me the chance to use a bunch of things around my house.
I went on a mission for things and here’s what I came back with:
- Yellow paper napkins
- White cloth napkins
- Fall-colored ribbon
- Small candle holders
- Halloween salt and pepper shakers
- Empty coconut water bottles that I made my co-workers give me when they were done with them so I could turn them into vases
And then I went to Trader Joe’s and bought:
- 4 little pumpkins
- 1 bouquet flowers
The first thing that I did was make use of my new “vases” and separated the flowers into three groups. My plan was originally to separate them into two, but I realized that they only gave me one of the one on the right in the photograph below, so I decided to stick it in a vase of its own.
The next thing I did was choose how to fold the napkins. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at cool ways to fold napkins and I knew I wanted them to add some dimension to the plates. I decided accordion-style would be fun, and it turned out to be pretty easy to fold. (Here’s the tutorial I used: How to Fold a Napkin into a Standing Fan by Howcast.)
I couldn’t decide how weird it was to put a pumpkin on the plates that people were going to eat off of, but I ended up going for it because putting it on the table made the runner feel too crowded. Maybe in the future it would be good to put some kind of coaster under the pumpkin. Also, while it might seem silly to use two types of napkins I liked the pop of color that the yellow added.
I also decided that I wanted to add some scrapbooking paper to the table to make it a little bit more festive since it didn’t seem like there was enough attention on the candles.
After I had set the table originally, Ben and I looked at it both thought it was a little too “bright” to be a table decorated for Halloween. We decided to darken things up by adding dark bottles of beer directly to the table.
And of course I had to use my Halloween salt and pepper shakers that I bought over 5 years ago and still haven’t had a chance to actually use. I like the fact that I was able to set a festive looking table without too much Halloween decor, which means that it should be easy to switch the basics in and out for each holiday. I hope to continue doing this with Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthday, New Years, and Valentine’s Day as well.
I ended up tying the colorful ribbon around the top of my new vases to add a little pop of color!
My next “professional development” step that I’m going to take towards being better at this is trying to learn how to make simple flower arrangements. I feel like I could definitely add a little somethin’ somethin’ to the table by making the flower arrangements a little more elaborate. That said, I do like keeping them low so that you can see the other people across the table.
And here is the obligatory view from the top of the table. Would you believe I ironed that table runner? I swear I did. Maybe next time I’ll bring the steamer down.
Overall, I had a lot of fun setting the table. It was fun to think through what was going to work and what wasn’t going to work. It was also fun to go through the house to see how many things I could use that I already owned. That said, I’m already starting to add a few things to my shopping list:
- Fun gold charger plates that can be used for any holiday
- Napkins that are any color other thank white
What do you think? Does it look like something you could do? Do you have any suggestions for next time? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.