Holiday tablescapes that won’t tip the bank

We are just two days before Thanksgiving, and if you’re hosting friends and family and want to create a gorgeous tablescape for your turkey and dressing – you can still pull it off without spending too much time or more importantly, money. Liz Morgan with Goodwill of North Florida is here to share some tips for creating a beautiful tablescape with second-hand items.

1. Start with a color scheme. If you’re thrifting, it’s uncommon that you find matchy matchy sets of linens, china and glassware. It looks great and increases your odds of finding items if you first start with a through line of color for your table – for fall holidays like Thanksgiving, think burnt oranges, deep cranberry, rich browns and golds that kind of reflect nature.

2. Mix similar patterns. I found this cool vase with a jumping deer on it, and just liked the look, so I put it my cart. Then I found this small fall-themed topiary and the base has the same diamond pattern as on the vase, so these two things now work together.

3. Center It. Anchor your tablescape by building from the center and out. I found these straw cornucopias, gourds and pumpkins in all textures and colors at Goodwill, and all of these was about $10. Put your tallest items in the middle, than build out. More is more.

4. Lighting. Try to add some ambient lighting to your table. This vase, with it’s stained glass is going to set off beautiful twinkling light if you put a flameless candle in it. Tip: Avoid scented candles always so they don’t compete with the aromas of that food you worked so hard on.

5. Dishware. Sometimes, you find entire sets of dishes. In fact, a couple weeks ago at the Goodwill in Mandarin I found TWO UNOPENED boxes of Thanksgiving china from Williams-Sonoma. But today, I’m using these gold chargers for underneath with these plates that pull in the leaves from our center piece. I found all these serving dishes as well. Tip: when you find holiday items even off-season, snag them and hold on to them. They won’t be there when the holiday rolls around.

6. Glassware. Finish with glassware and utensils, we found these great goblets, that are sort of a grey/green for 99 cents each, and they work.

7. Think Outside the Box. So when you’re secondhand shopping, try to look at things beyond their original intention. Like this pitcher, you could totally use it as intended – but how about as a vase? Here’s a little hack – if you’re using something like this and you find a chip or it’s not water tight, take your flowers, cut them at an angle under water and put them in a Ziploc bag with water and flower food, tie with a rubber band at top.

8. More is more. Go over the top. Make your table explode with color and whimsy. It shows your guests how much you cared about them by setting a special, not your every day table. And you can do it for about $50 or less!

9. Every item you buy at Goodwill saves millions of pounds from landfills, and gives back by providing job training for your neighbors.