Are you hosting a meal this holiday season? By the time I get around to decorating the table for Christmas I am usually feeling pretty tapped. Despite what you see on Instagram, it IS possible to decorate your table at Christmas for $10 or less and still have it look festive and beautiful.
My philosophy with table decorations is simplicity. I truly believe that simple can be beautiful and that what the guests come for is the conversation and not the decoration. I also don’t like to spend a ton because I always have a long list of other home decor things I’m saving for.
Follow this simple recipe for a festive Christmas table this year. It won’t add stress to your holidays and it can be set up in advance.
How can I decorate my dining room for christmas?
You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to get a Christmas look. Here’s a guide to a simple Christmas dining room
use a table runner as the foundation of your table setting
Table runners are great because they are often inexpensive. They can fit almost any size table unlike a table cloth. You don’t even have to buy a actual table runner, they can be made from so many thing. I have used a scarf or even folded up wrapping paper as a table runner.
For great deals on table runners go to IKEA, you can get one for $4.99.
- IKEA black and white table runner for $5.99
- IKEA Vinterfest table runner for $4.99
- IKEA UTBYTT table runner for $4.009
To make a paper table runner cut a strip of wrapping paper 12-14 inches less than the length of your table. Fold the paper under on all sides so it has a finished look. The size should be just large enough that your plates just reach the runner. Then when the meal is over, just throw it away. No laundry required.
add fresh greenery
Did you know you can often get fresh greenery from grocery stores for free? Often they discard branches of fresh greens from their trees and wreaths. These still have the amazing smell of Christmas and you may be saving them from the garbage.
You can also get fresh ones each time you go the grocery store. I like to wrap fresh greenery around my chandelier and put sprigs down my table.
You can also buy bundles of greenery at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s a few dollars.
use ribbon as decoration for your table
Ribbon is a great way to add a festive look to your table. There are so many places you can use ribbon and you probably have some left over from last year. Here are just a few ideas, but it depends on your table, chairs and lighting. There is at least one place where you can add decorative ribbon.
- Tie ribbon around your napkins
- Tie ribbons around candlesticks
- Tie ribbon around the arms of your chandelier
use fresh fruit as a center piece
Pears are a winter fruit and the colors are perfect for a centerpiece. Pomegranates also make a good centerpiece. You can just line fruit up down the center, or if you have a rectangular tray that can work too. I used a wood box that is usually on a shelf in my dining room.
Light up your table with candles
Do you have candles or tea lights? This is probably something you won’t have to buy. They don’t have to be special Christmas candles, any candles will do. Lighting candles at your table is something usually reserved for a special occasion and lighting a candle just makes the table feel special.
If you don’t own any, stop by your local dollar store or Walmart. Walmart has a pack of 100 for $3.97. Ikea also has pillar candles for $1.99 each.
christmas table for $10 or less
You don’t have any of these things on hand to make you table festive on a budget. If you are keeping a tab, here’s how my table broke down.
- Greenery – rescued from throw away pile at Whole Foods (free)
- Table runner – Ikea $4.99
- Ribbon – recycled from last year
- Fruit – I used at Thanksgiving and spent $4.99 for pears and pomegranates
- Candles – I bought a pack of 8 from Ikea last year for $2.99
The bottom line is that you want your table to look festive, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to do that.
Sometimes we get caught up in the Instagram fantasy lives of the people we follow, but resist the temptation to buy everything new for your table. Your table can still have very a festive look by adding just a few inexpensive details.