Table setting on a budget!

The holidays can be brutal on the bank account! Between the usual bills, presents and other other Christmas decorations, like the tree, ornaments, lights, food, and other unforeseen costs, it’s good to have some tricks up your sleeve when the account has run dry or you’ve run out of time to look for anything and you still have to set the table.

I personally don’t own table cloths or runners or other fancy table setting supplies, so I had to improvise. Luckily, the best trick to table setting is simplicity! You don’t want to overcrowd the table, let the food be star of the table!


Napkins are cheap and disposable, so you can easily get them anywhere at any time in any design. I chose purple for my Christmas table color this year, and got two different sets of napkins, both purple, but in slightly different hues to create some layers. I used the plain purple as a runner on the table. Slightly layer them an inch on top of each other so they don’t slide apart. Instant runner!

To decorate the table, it’s more pleasing to the eye if it varies in sizes, heigh and lies in prime numbers. I found some left over candles in the drawer and used some lids from some gold boxes I had as underlay for the candles. The lids were gold and just happened to match the cutlery I had.


During the season, be on the lookout for cheap (or sometimes even free) flowers. There are many parties and events that begin in november and go all through December, you’ll more than likely attend a few holiday parties. This is a great opportunity to bring home some flowers.

Or, your local store may have a big sale before they close for Christmas. Flowers won’t keep, so they want to get rid of them before the break! (It’s also possible to haggle at this point) I got some left over roses from a party I attended, and picked out a few, cut them short and added them to a small glass to act as centerpiece. (Notice the 3 and 3 colors.)

If you get a hold of some flowers and they’re a little too far gone to be pretty as a centerpiece, then you can pull the petals and sprinkle them along the length of the table instead.


My plates and glasses don’t match, but they fit somehow. It’s a mis-match chic, that makes it less formal. The wine glasses are tinted blue and I got them at a flea market years ago. The pink flower plates go with the roses on the table and the napkins follow the spottet pattern.

A tip to purchasing lasting tableware (especially if you like to change hues or play with your settings) is to go for white. If your backdrop is white, then you can decorate with any color scheme and create new tables for every season with just a few easy and cheap items, like napkins and candles.