Photo courtesy of Professional Images Photography

Last night I was honored to receive an award at the ISES San Antonio Holiday Tablescape Competition.  Ten tables competed and two awards were given- Best Design over $250 and Best Design under $250.  Let me tell you, it’s much harder to create a show stopping tablescape with a small budget.  You need creativity and a flair for the hot glue gun.  So here my tips to make your holiday table warm, cozy and festive without breaking the bank.

1) Think differently about the table cloths-  You don’t have to use a standard table cloth purchased at a department store.  Blanket and throws can add a personal touch and give your table more texture.

3) Play with Burlap- I love burlap.  It’s so fun and so cheap!  Stencil your favorite Christmas verses along the border to create a special overlay that speaks to you.

2) Look outside your home- Tree trimmings, clippings and herbs make great fillers.  I used rosemary clippings re-potted in silver julep cups that doubled as favors and place holders.  Many Christmas tree lots will allow you to haul off tree branch clippings.  These clippings make great wreaths.  Have a holly bush?  Snip those cute red berries and glue them onto a candle stick.  Add some twine or jute and you have an adorable holiday piece.

3) Napkin rings for pennies- Snip the bottoms off of those pine cones and glue onto cute ribbon.  Tie around a napkin for a unique conversation piece.

3) Menu cards can allow you to really add color to your table.  Mix and match different card stocks found at your local craft store.  Cut and glue together, add a bow and there you have a place setting with personality.

4) Melt your favorite chocolate in a pan, then dip the ends of candy canes for a sweet alternative to a coffee spoon.  Works deliciously with hot chocolate too!

5) Don’t forget the Christmas Crackers!  An old English tradition has been gaining footing here in the US for a while.  They are such fun to pop and see what is inside.  And the kids love them.

Merry Christmas and happy decorating!

Photo Courtesy of Dan Holman Photography

Photo Courtesy of Dan Holman Photography