Editor’s Note: We are taking a break from our usual recipe-driven ‘from scratch holidays’ posts to concentrate on your holiday tablescaping creativity! We’ve never ventured into the crafting world, but who better to educate us than newbie swapper & lifetime crafter, Lauren of Craft My Life Away! I’m excited to share Lauren’s 3-part series that will be running today, Saturday & Sunday. -Christina
I want to steal a bit of your time to guide you through how I get ready for hosting Thanksgiving, with a focus on setting your table. I am by absolutely no means a pro, as this year will only be my third year hosting this amazingly yummy holiday dinner. I hope that maybe some of my OCD tendencies for party planning in general will help your Thanksgiving go off without a hitch!
This will be a three-part-series running today,tomorrow & Sunday, and I will cover all of the topics below in the series, but only Items 1, 2, and 3 today.
HOW TO: THANKSGIVING TABLESCAPE
- Choosing the “Theme”
- Planning the Menu
- Taking Inventory of Your Dishes & Decor
- Go Shopping!
- Craft Your Life Away :
– Slubby Linen Runner,
– Simple Linen Napkin,
– Framed Scrapbook Paper
- Setting Your Table – Step by Step
1 – Choose Your “Theme”
In general, I am not a theme person. I never had a Barbie bed set when I was a kid, no Disney characters on my lunch box, no Sesame Street or Muppets anything. My Mom was very… particular. I guess I would loosely define Choosing Your Theme as Choosing Your Look & Feel for the Holiday.
This Thanksgiving I want my look to emulate ‘Rustic Elegance’. I know it sounds corny, but that is the only way I could describe it.
I took a minute to jot down a list of the first few things that came to my mind when I thought of ‘Rustic Elegance’: linen, leaves, wood, metal/iron, candlelight and meat.
2 – Plan Your Menu
Good God I love Thanksgiving Dinner. And leftovers. And food in general, if we’re being honest.
The Key to having a well-planned Thanksgiving Table is to plan exactly what you are serving for appetizers, dinner, and dessert ahead of time. If you have a list of everything you are serving that day, you can plan ahead and make sure every last tasty bite has a home on the table as well as a serving utensil.
Every family has their Thanksgiving staples: Turkey. Gravy. Mashed Potatoes. Stuffing. Cranberry Sauce. Spiced Apple Sauce. When thinking about how to Marry Your Food & Your Theme, is there any way you can make small changes to your menu items to better reflect your theme?
This year, I will be making small tweaks to Our Thanksgiving Staples. I took a minute to think about what feelings ‘Rustic’ food evoked. I got the obvious feeling of earthiness, and I immediately thought of actively trying to use Herbs & Spices more robustly throughout my dishes.
The goal here is to try to theme your food, or at least have a constant thread between your dishes. I am using herbs for this meal, but you could try cranberry, citrus, ginger, chestnuts, etc. Try it out!
3 – Take Inventory of your Dishes & Decor
We had quite the incident at our New Years Eve Party last year. We lost a few good soldiers after someone knocked over the entire buffet table full of food * GASP *. I am still recovering. I am also still cleaning the shrimp smell from my brand new pottery barn rug *GASP AGAIN*.
Last year’s mishap meant that I really had to re-evaluate what dishes I have to use. I know that I usually put cranberry sauce and apple sauce each in matching bowls…well… one of those bowls was a casualty last year, so I have to figure out which two matching bowls to use. Yes, matching. I have to. I have OCD, remember?
So, the goal in life is to always spend as little money as possible, right? Take a stroll around your own house, and gather EVERYTHING that reminds you of your ‘theme’.
I absolutely LOVE the idea of Going Shopping in Your House.
Remember, I thought that linen, leaves, wood, metal/iron, candlelight and meat were in keeping with the ‘Rustic’ theme? Well, I went into both Hunter- and Gatherer-mode to round up everything, along with the pictures above here’s what I gathered:
As you can see, I have a lot of stuff! I did just get married though, so that is why we have sooo much.
That concludes the first installment of the Thanksgiving Tablescape series.
Check back tomorrow for Parts 4 & 5 – Going Shopping and Crafting. Craft On!