Creative Thanksgiving Table Setting Ideas
Flight of Fancy
A sophisticated way to signal the season: with rich russet-toned pheasant plumes ($2 per cluster). Continue the theme with feather-stamped name cards (stamp, $3.50; ink, $4), and tie it all together with a 2 1/2-inch-wide gold satin ribbon ($2.25 a yard) running from plate to plate.
$5.50 each, for six
To set this festive table, scatter reusable parchment leaves ($11 for 20) — or free foliage from the yard — around your best china. Cloth napkins look extra charming cinched in mini grapevine wreaths ($3 for 12).
$1.17 each, for 12
Guests will love this monogrammed place card that doubles as a take-home gift. The notebook's parchmentlike cover complements the Pilgrim-era initial (find free Gothic fonts on fontsquirrel.com; print out letters using your home computer). Cut out each initial as shown and, with a glue stick, secure it to a ¼-inch-wide satin ribbon (49 cents per yard); press firmly onto the book ($9 for three).
$3.16 each, for six
Spice up your holiday buffet with these globally inspired ideas. Tuck flatware sets into embellished water glasses — mix and match from your stash or, if you can afford a splurge, buy Moroccan tea glasses (starting at around $15 for four from eBay and other online discounters). Then, for Bollywood flair, slip child-size Indian bangles ($30 for 102) around pleated persimmon-hued paper napkins ($4.29 for 20).
$2.86 each, for 12
Good on Paper
Want a bold-patterned tablescape, but don't have the right linens? Try this chic trick: Lay lengths of graphic black-and-white gift wrap ($4 per roll) across the table and place plates on top. Write each guest's name onto a black-card-stock rectangle (60 cents per sheet) with a white gel pen ($2.25); slip into fork tines.
$1.35 each, for eight
Prevent little ones from playing with their food by creating a distraction that's way more fun: chalkboard place mats. Pick up 9" by 12" canvas panels ($7 for three) and cover with chalkboard paint ($3.49 a bottle). Add a side serving of chalk ($6 for 24 pieces), wrapped with string, to inspire during-the-meal doodling.
$3.92 each, for six