The countdown to the holidays has officially begun! I can almost taste the pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes already. The holidays are such a fun, exciting, and memorable time for my family, but they can get a little hectic too, traveling to see all the family and making sure you have everything checked off your holiday to-do list. Do you ever feel that way too?
I know that I’m a complete Type A control freak, so over the years I’ve learned to keep things as simple as possible. The K.I.S.S. theory, if you will. I love seeing photos of the big, elaborate holiday table settings with giant bouquets of flowers, candles scattered everywhere, and a huge stack of plates set on top of perfectly pressed linens, surrounded by 8 different forks, knives, and spoons… per person.
But let’s get real… that’s just not me. I don’t have the time to wash that many eating utensils, let alone iron everyone’s napkins. I’m lucky if I get the food on the table without any major disasters like forgetting to take out the turkey innards or burning 3 different batches of rolls! Not that those things have ever happened…
So today I’m sharing with you a simple rustic table setting idea that you can do quickly, easily, and inexpensively. I think you’re going to love it!
The inspiration for this table setting came from some gorgeous West Elm plates that I saw on Just Destiny’s blog last year. It wasn’t in the holiday budget to purchase these pricey plates, so I got creative and came up with a solution with a much smaller price tag. I picked up some small clear plates from the store (I’ve seen lots of different stores carry them) and used black cardstock to create a pretty “chalkboard” design underneath the clear plate. It looks like the design is printed right on the plate, but guests can easily remove the paper when it’s time to load their plates up with food.
Yes, I did do the lettering by hand, but I had a little help! Here’s my easy trick:
- First, I cut the black paper to the exact size and shape of the plate. Then I used my computer (Microsoft Word) to create different sayings such as, Welcome Home, So Thankful, or Glad You’re Here. You can find all kinds of pretty fonts that you can download for free, but here are the two that I used for mine: Antrokas and Amatic.
- I printed out the design and placed it on top of the black paper. Then I traced over the outline of each letter, creating an indent in the thick cardstock. Make sure you press decently hard to get nice lines on your paper.
- Then I removed the top piece of paper and traced over my letter outlines with a white paint pen.
- After letting the paint dry for a few minutes, I set a clear plate over the black paper and added it to my table setting.
In keeping with the rustic look, created simple place card holders by trimming a couple branches from my yard and using hot glue to attach two small branches together. Then I used a small piece of the black cardstock from my plates and the paint pen to write my guest’s name on the paper. Simple, easy, rustic, beautiful!
I finished the look with a simple white tablecloth, white dinner plates, linen napkins, and a sprig of thyme from my garden. I think this look is cozy and inviting, yet simple and sophisticated.
This whole table setting was created using things I already had at home, except the clear plates which I purchased. But since the plates are clear, I can re-use them for ANY occasion, swapping out the black paper for a different paper to fit the theme or season. You could use a pinecone or ornament in place of the thyme for Christmas… the possibilities are endless!
So tell me what YOU think! What’s your holiday decorating style? Do you go all out with fancy china or keep it simple with paper and plastic? I’d love to hear your thoughts and best holiday tips!
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But this post isn’t finished just yet! I know you’re craving more holiday inspiration, and I have TONS to share with you! 24 of my blog buddies put together their own beautiful holiday tablescapes, and you can find them all at the links below!
My Fabuless Life |Live Laugh Rowe | Brepurposed
The Crafted Sparrow | Anderson & Grant | Julie Blanner | Shabby Creek Cottage
City Farmhouse | Eighteen25 | Love Grows Wild | A Night Owl Blog
Homey Oh My | Blooming Homestead | Delineate Your Dwelling | Primitive & Proper
Ella Claire Inspired | Design Dining & Diapers | The Golden Sycamore
Lolly Jane | Clean & Scentsible | Unskinny Boppy |Thistlewood Farms
At The Picket Fence | The 36th Avenue | Persia Lou
I hope you’re feeling inspired for the holidays! Stop back by for more holiday fun coming soon!
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I really like this! Simple yet very charming. Always trying to think ogre ally quick ways to set the table so I can concentrate on the food. Wouldn’t wNt to ever leave the innards of a turkey in it for baking and burning the gravy … Nope, never happened here!!
Happy almost Thanksgiving
Haha! I’m glad you’ve never done that! We’ve had some interesting holiday cooking moments in our family over the years, that’s for sure. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
The herb & cinnamon stick place card are simple, but beautiful touches. Gorgeous!
Thank you so much, Julie!! I really appreciate you stopping by!
Love this! What a clever idea! I love the square glass plates, too!
Have a great day rock star!
You, my dear, are the rock star! Thanks so much for stopping by, Karianne! 🙂
Love and adore this, Liz! SO pretty. I’m with you on simple! I don’t own a formal table setting and probably never will (:
I agree! I have some hand-me-downs from my hubby’s grandparents, but they usually stay hidden away in a box. This family full of rowdy boys isn’t quite the “formal” type. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by!
Those place card holders couldn’t be more precious! Pinning, great table!
Thanks, Amy!! Gotta love free and easy decorations, right? 🙂
Love these! I love the simplicity and the branches.
Thank you, Carrie! I love grabbing little bits of nature out of my yard and using them to decorate! So glad you could stop by. 🙂
Woah, I had no idea those were clear plates! They look phenomenal 🙂 The little branches are the perfect little touch of fall too!
Isn’t that a neat trick? I just love these little clear plates can’t wait to re-use them again! Thanks for stopping by, Breanna!
That’s really pretty. I don’t go all out myself. Wish I had time to fuss, but that is just not me.
I always have good intentions, and I can never live up to them. Just to busy this time of year. I love those plates. I would love to try making some. We’ll see, 🙂
I’m the same way, Marijean! I wish I had more time to fuss over a million decorations, but for me, simpler is better. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by!
Simple, yet gorgeous! Love all of the neutral colors too!
You are too sweet, Erin! Thank you!!
i love this setting- the cinnamon sticks as place card holders are my favorite!
Thanks, Cassie! I love using things around the house to decorate with!
Super cute idea, I adore the rustic touches!
Thank you so much!!
This is absolutely lovely! I love the simplicity of it all and how clean and fresh it all looks together 🙂
Thank you so much, Erin! I’m all about simple these days… it keeps me sane! So glad you could stop by!
Such a cute idea, Liz! I love the little place card, too!
Thank you, Allison! Love when I can create with things I already have around the house!
Looks like you’re ready for ME! Super cute! 🙂
Most definitely! Come on over, Kristi! I’ll save you a seat right next to me. 🙂
Beautiful and simple, now that’s perfect! How did you get the flat black paper to so nicely take the shape of the square plate?
Thank you, Marisol! The black paper is actually just resting underneath the square plate laying flat, so it just looks like it is part of the clear plate! I’m so glad it came across the way I envisioned it would! 🙂
I was shocked to see that those were clear plates! You came up with such a fantastic (and easy) way to get an expensive plate. I love how simple and rustic your whole place setting is!
Thank you, Jamie!! It’s nice having a few easy tricks up the sleeve. 🙂 Glad you could stop by!
I love this! So simple, yet gorgeous.
Thank you so much, Maryea!
This is such a great table setting! So pretty, I love it. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Thank you, Emily! I really appreciate you stopping by to see it! 🙂
Ooh, I love this! So simple and Neat
Thank you so much! 🙂
Looove the simplicity of this! So pretty, Liz <3
Thank you, Amy! Simple is so much better for me around the holidays… too many fun things going on to stress about a fancy set-up! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
So simple and beautiful. I love it all.
Thank you, Megan! Hugs!
I like the idea of the name cards. I thought they were cinnamon sticks. But i found out they were two branches glued together. Great idea! but I think to save hunting for sticks and glueing, i will use cinnamon sticks instead. The sticks already have a slit in them where i can put the name cards. And will make the table smell good too!
That’s a great idea! I had plenty of sticks laying around the yard, but cinnamon sticks would be a lovely touch! So glad you could stop by. 🙂