Fall Tablescape on a Budget

Thanksgiving is almost here and today we want to share with you how to create a fall tablescape on a budget. Taking the time to properly set a table really helps create a wonderful ambiance as you share a meal with your loved ones. It’s even more satisfying when you can use what you already have in your home to make something extra special.

Sourcing Budget Friendly Tablescape Decor

Some of our favorite things in our home have come from thrift stores and charity shops. Our local Goodwill and thrift stores often have a special holiday section set up for each season. Sometimes you can even get a baggy of seasonal decor goodies for a dollar or two. 
Grab bags are also a great place to source fun decor items for a tablescape. Freebies from friends and family are always a plus! Even if you don’t like everything someone has for the Goodwill pile, it certainly doesn’t hurt to grab a few things that catch your eye. And use your imagination! We would not normally choose brown, amber, or orange pieces to decorate with, but for an autumn table, those colors are perfect. Think outside the box.
fall tablescape for thanksgiving candles and place setting

Check out Facebook Marketplace for decorations on the cheap. Fall is often a time for autumn themed weddings and you may even find someone trying to get rid of decor for free. Walmart and Hobby Lobby usually run great sales for fall decorating items as well. Check out local grocery stores for marked down gourds and pumpkins after Holloween.

Get Creative with Your Fall Tablescape

One of our favorite channels on Youtube is Chateau Dairies. On the show, the owner and hostess, Stephanie Jarvis, suggests using a flat sheet as a table cloth if you don’t have one. Isn’t that a great idea? Everyone has a flat sheet. 
Autum tablescape with tea lights gourds and acorns

Use tea lights to make the table feel warm and glowy. Ikea has packs of 100 tea lights for $3.49, which is just an amazing price. If you don’t have great candle holders, use cut glass drinking glasses, or juice glasses. The light will dance in them. Tall, clear flower vases can be used as hurricane candle holders. Goodwill always has tons of those, usually around $.50 or a dollar. To reflect even more brilliant light, use mirrors as the foundation of the tablescape. They add that extra bit of magic to the table lighting!

Adding bright colored goodies like Worther’s Originals or Hershey Kisses also makes a fun addition to a tablescape. Your guests will enjoy an extra little snack as well.

Bring the Outdoors In

We love to grow gourds in our garden every year. Their fun shapes and colors make an autumn tablescape even more beautiful.

fall table setting with ceramic pumpkin acorns gourds and gold mercury glass

Acorns from an oak tree are great to add to the table, making it feel more authentic. Acorns can be collected and baked at 175 degrees for 1.5 to 2 hours to ensure there are no bugs or worms living in them. You can also spray paint the acorns gold or put glitter on them.  

Collecting dried leaves from the yard is always a great addition to a fall table. Some sugar maples leaves or oak leaves are just so pretty.

How to Set a Table

As a rule, it’s best to always set the tablescape in odd numbers like 3 or 5. It makes for a great balance for your eyes to be drawn to. That’s the reason we like to use 3 mirrors as the foundation of most of our tablescapes. Smaller items can be placed around those foundational pieces.

We suggest using real napkins, silverware and plates when you set a table. Not only do they make the occasion feel more special, but it also helps reduce waste. Having the tactile experience of touching real cloth napkins and real plates and silverware is just something we enjoy. And there’s a reason we have dishwashers and washing machines!  

fall themed table with place settings candles gourds leaves and acorns
To set a table, placement from left to right goes as follows: napkin, fork on top of the napkin (smaller fork on the outside, larger inside), plate, knife (facing inward), spoon (larger soup spoons go on the far left). Glasses go on the upper right side of the plate, above the knife and spoon.

Add Ambiance to Your Fall Tablescape

Besides some beautiful colors and candlelight, be sure to add some great dinner music to your special occasion. We suggest some Billy Holiday, Harry Connick Jr, or Diana Krall. And lastly, of course, a delicious home cooked meal! You and your family will be sure to have a wonderful time enjoying all of your senses at this beautiful table. 

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