Christmas Tablescape Ideas

I'm sharing 5 easy and affordable ideas for decorating a beautiful and classic Christmas table.
Christmas table

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Today I'm excited to partner with several talented home decor bloggers to share our CHRISTMAS IDEAS TOUR, full of ideas for decorating your home this Christmas!

My family was looking at me with crazy eyes when I started taking down the Thanksgiving decor and setting the dining table for Christmas! On November 15! They know what I do for a living, but they still don't completely get it! πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰

My Christmas table was decorated on a big time budget! And while I know we don't hoard exactly the same things, my hope with sharing my ideas is that you get a light bulb moment (or two) and are inspired and motivated to use some of these ideas to pull off a gorgeous and affordable Christmas tablescape of your own!

Christmas dining room

I'm going to break it down for you into manageable chunks, because my dining room is a rather small space and filled with Christmas decor from the ceiling to the floor and wall to can feel kind of overwhelming for a decorating newbie.  

How to set a gorgeous Christmas dining table on a BIG TIME budget!

𝆕𝅘𝅥𝅱 Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start π†•... (total aside...I went into labor with my firstborn while watching "The Sound of Music" so it will always hold a special place in my heart!)

1. Start with a Fabric Foundation

Set the foundation for a beautiful Christmas table by using fabric. A covered table always looks more elegant and pulled together. Start by clearing everything off your table (if you're like me, that will mean removing a lot of stuff!). Give your table a good clean while you're at it. Open up the table if you will need additional leaves for your Christmas guests.

My mom had a tablecloth for every occasion. I can't remember the last time I used an actual tablecloth, I usually prefer to use a table runner, but for Christmas, I decided to cover the entire table with fabric instead of a tablecloth!

πŸ’‘ You don't need to cover your table with an actual tablecloth! 

You just need a piece of fabric large enough to cover your table. That could be a vintage quilt or a clean curtain or even simply a piece of fabric! I used 2 yards of black ticking fabric that I washed and dried. The ticking fabric is cotton and has that casual farmhouse look that I love, while still creating the feeling of elegance and a pulled-together table.

Tip: Washing raw cut fabric is a great way to get some frayed hemming or sewing required!

Christmas table with red

2. Set the Table with Layers

Before I add a centerpiece, I like to set the table with the dishes and silverware and glasses that I'll be using. That way, I know exactly how much room I have to work with when I go to design the centerpiece.

Christmas table setting

I had my heart set on wood chargers, but couldn't find any for the right price. I love a layered look so instead of chargers, I used dishcloths!

πŸ’‘ Use dishcloths in place of napkins and chargers

I purchased a couple packages of new Christmas dishcloths to use as napkins. They are a great size, were very inexpensive, and I love how the vibrant Christmas colors anchor the rest of the place settings...just like chargers do.

I simply folded the dishcloths so the ends draped over the table, then added a dinner plate (my white ironstone dishes from the thrift store have saved me SO much money!) and a lunch plate. These lunch plates and the water glasses were a dollar store DIY that I'll be sharing soon so keep a lookout for that project!

3. Add a centerpiece 

Now that my table settings are in place, it was time to think about a centerpiece. I knew I wanted to add some Christmas magic with candles and greenery. I already made a set of mason jar frosted Christmas luminaries that I wanted to use on my Christmas dining table.

Christmas centerpiece

I love using live greenery down the center of the table, but we live in Texas. It's hot here and Christmas greenery does not grow in my back yard! Normally I get greenery from the Christmas tree lot, but they're not even selling trees yet. This forced me to get creative...

πŸ’‘ You're not limited to Christmas greenery; any greenery will do!

I placed a large glass hurricane right in the center of the table. I had some silver dollar eucalyptus and grabbed a few stems and laid them down the center of my table, tucking the ends on either side of the hurricane and overlapping the stems with the leaves of another stem. You could also use a garland of greenery! I set my frosted luminaries on either side.

4. Add something colorful

I still needed something to hide the ends of the eucalyptus branches, and I wanted a nice punch of color so I purchased a few big and beautiful pomegranates when I was grocery shopping. This is such an inexpensive way to decorate and I know you've seen large bowls and glass urns filled with lemons and limes in decorating magazines. I also found some red berries growing in my yard so I clipped a few of those for extra color.

πŸ’‘ Decorate with produce!

You don't need much to make it look beautiful. You could also use fresh cranberries, oranges, cinnamon sticks or even dried orange slices! Not only does it look beautiful, it smells amazing!

pomegranates in Christmas centerpiece

Christmas centerpiece with greenery, candles and pomegranates

5. Use Fairy Lights

Part of the magic of Christmas is all the twinkling lights and candlelight. I love it all! I'm especially fond of fairy lights because they are affordable, and a little goes a long way. I stuck a string of fairy lights in the hurricane centerpiece, and used another one along the garland. It adds a sparkly look for very little money. Mine are a few years old and battery operated (I just tuck the battery pack into the decor), and must be turned on with a switch, but you can also buy remote control fairy lights!

Christmas table decor

That wraps up my 5 tips to a beautiful, easy and affordable Christmas tablescape. I'll be sharing more details of my dining room and Christmas tree in another post soon.


Christmas table decor

Here are several additional ideas from the Christmas Ideas Tour to decorate your mantel, porch, table, plus handmade gift ideas and gift wrap ideas. Be sure to visit everyone to see all the details. 


mantels decorated for Christmas

Top Row : Worthing Court  // Hearth & Vine

Porches & Decks

porch and deck Christmas decor

Tablescape Ideas 

ideas for decorating your table for Christmas

Handmade Gift Ideas

handmade Christmas gift ideas

Gift Wrap Ideas

Christmas gift wrap ideas

Pin for Later!

Christmas home decor ideas

happy decorating!

This blog's content is for entertainment purposes only and is not professional advice. By reading this blog and attempting to recreate any content shared on it, you assume all responsibility for any injuries or damages incurred. Read my full disclaimer here.


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  1. What a lovely table you set and your tips are so good! I love the idea of using dish towels as napkins or as chargers like you did on your table. Using fabric as a tablecloth is another great idea, especially since it is so hard to find a tablecloth that fits a table just right and isn't costly. I look forward to seeing everything that you share this Christmas season!

  2. Cindy, your table is so bright and festive as is the entire dining room. I love your fabric as a tablecloth idea. Sometimes it's so hard to even attempt to find the right tablecloth and the prices. Using tea towels instead of chargers and your luminary centerpiece are both inspiring ideas as well.

    1. Thanks Patti! I'd rather save my money to spend on gifts πŸ˜‰ but still have a beautiful home!

  3. What a pretty table, Cindy!! I love your entire room. It's so festive and welcoming. I'm a big fan of fruit on the table, I think that's a great tip. I haven't added twinkle lights yet, that's a neat idea. Might have to try that one! Thanks!

  4. Hi Cindy,

    We share the same 'shop your home' mindset! And you showed just how to make it all the reminder to use any fabric as a 'tablecloth'. It is often so much more affordable!

    Thanks for all the inspiration .



  5. I much prefer fabric for a tablecloth, too! So many more options, no storage or ironing, and you can use it for something else after! I also love using fresh fruit and veggies in the centerpiece; totally what I did for Thanksgiving. And let's hear it for fairy lights; give me the multipack of double AA's! Beautiful tablescape; love the whole room!

    1. Haha, YES to everything you said Lora!! Happy December!

  6. As usual everything looks beautiful. You've got the touch and I'll bet guests always feel welcome at your home.

  7. Love your table! The white and black combo with the pops of red are the bom diggity. It's clean and crisp and warm and cozy all at the same time. Now....let's do lunch....I'll bring the chicken salad. LOL...

  8. Cindy, your table is gorgeous! I love all of your tips for saving money. The tablecloth idea is genius. And the dish cloths are so clever! Love it all!

  9. Your tablescape and your tips are just perfect! I love finding my table fabric while at the thrift store, such a cost savings and different than everyone else's store bought tablecloths.

    1. Thanks Laurie, it's such a great way to get a unique look for less!

  10. So pretty, Cindy! I love the use of fabric instead of a tablecloth. Great tips for setting the table affordably!

    1. Thank you Suzy, I love the challenge of decorating in a thrifty way!!

  11. Your blog design is gorgeous! I adore your tablescape and dining room. That tree is so unique and creative!

    1. Thanks Christy, that's so sweet of you! Merry Christmas!


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