Home Hack

I’m Dreaming of a… Holiday Tablescape!

Perhaps a big Christmas tree isn’t your thing – or maybe you like to deck every hall, nook, and cranny. Either way, creating a fun tablescape is sure to make your meals feel even more magical! We will be showing you ways to build your table decor using Amazon below, but there are deals and finds everywhere – including The Dollar Tree and your local Goodwill! Keep an eye out! You can also build your tablescape over time to save money. Collecting something new for your tablescape every year can be a fun way to start celebrating the season.

holiday tablescape ideas

Choose your decor theme. An old Christmas village can become an instant tablescape. Assessing decorations you already have on hand is a great way to save money, and reuse things you may have forgotten about or couldn’t find a good fit for in the past. However, for our example, we are creating a “winter wonder woodland” – so think pine trees, woodland creatures, snow, twinkle lights, etc.

Thrill, Spill, Fill.

Those are the three keywords for creating a great tablescape. THRILL: These are items that are thrilling to see – your show stopper features – which would include your main centerpiece, and even your dinnerware. SPILL: These items add depth and movement to your design. Think things that “spill” over the edges and along the lengths of your table. Table runners, garland, and twinkle lights are good examples of “spill.” FILL: These are the decorations that “fill-in” your design. For example; ornaments, little knick knacks or figurines, LED candles, tiny trees, pine cones, etc.

Where do I start?

SPILL: I’d start with a runner. It should be long enough to drape over the edges. Ideally, it would be fluffy or flowy to simulate snow, if you are using a Christmas Village. Garlands and lights are a good next step. Lighting should be easy to access and small, like these battery operated smaller-than-mini LED twinkle lights. They’re just the right amount of sparkle for the table, and even have versions with remotes. Opt for led candles that flicker and have a remote control so you can turn them on and off easily, without any threat of fire or melting wax.

table runner ideas

LED candle bulbsPRO TIP: Swap your current Christmas Village light bulbs and candlestick bulbs out for the LED versions. LED bulbs come in all different styles (including the candle style and nightlight type bulbs) and give off little to no heat so you rarely have to worry about them getting too hot. LED bulbs cost less to run, come in warm and cool tones, and usually last longer too!


Next, THRILL: Choose a place setting. You could do this with solid color dishes in the holiday color theme of your choosing, or with dedicated holiday dinnerware. If you want to use your regular everyday plates, consider purchasing festive chargers and complimenting napkins to keep the design cohesive. Napkins and placemats should be subtle (more plain) especially if you have a lot going on in your tablescape. Try to coordinate the colors in your decorations to the plates, chargers, and napkins.

SAVINGS TIP: We found gold, green, and silver plastic chargers at The Dollar Tree that worked perfectly! Can’t beat $1.00!

holiday table setting ideas

Then choose coordinating elements to create a centerpiece.

centerpiece ideas

PRO TIP: Consider adding a name card to the plate settings. It’s a magical little touch, as everyone loves seeing their own name nestled into such a pretty setting. It can be as simple as a folded card or as fancy as write-on ceramic figurines like the ones below.

name card ideas

FILL: How many decorations should I buy to fill in my design?

decoration fill ideas

PRO TIP: Those random snow globes you keep receiving as gifts over the years make a great “fill” item!

When in doubt of how many you should get of a particular item, we like to stick to odd numbers. Typically one, three, or five items of each kind. One “thrill”, for example, and three or five “fills.” If you’re creating groups of items, try it in ones and threes. This is also true of breaking up your display – either have one main focus (centerpiece) or three focus areas with the middle being just a little fancier than the ends.

cloche and cake plates

PRO TIP: A cloche or hurricane glasses and cake plates are great for creating little miniature scenes or protecting items.

May all of your meals be Merry and Bright! Share your holiday tablescape photos, ideas, and tips in the comments of our social media!