Christmas Party Table: Ideas, Tips & Tricks

The holidays are about family, which for us, also means hosting a party for our friends, who truly are another part of our family.  It’s a fairly large party crammed into my not so large house, so I have to accommodate a lot of food, but also keep as much space as possible open  for seating and moving around. I had to solve a few dilemmas with this table to achieve the look I really wanted.
1.  I love to entertain, but it’s usually very casual, therefore, I don’t own very many table linens, especially ones that hang all the way to the floor, which is a must for me.  If there’s anything I hate, it’s a beautiful setting with folding table legs showing because the table cloth is too short–it ruins everything for me.
Solution: Search around your house and get creative.  My perfect table cloth came in the form of the comforter off of the bed in my guest bedroom.  Sheets and quilts work great too (there’s a white sheet under my “tablecloth”), and if you can’t find anything in your house, a drop cloth for around $5 or $10 is an awesome option.  Think neutral: whites, tans, greys…then you can add in your color with accessories and use them for any holiday.  If you’re in the market for new flannel sheets, these pillow ticked ones from Target are super adorable on the bed {we have them in my daughters room}and would be yet another great tablecloth option.

I will admit that because this blanket is white, it made me a little nervous to use it as a tablecloth, so in an attempt to protect from spillage, and because it’s just cute, I added a kraft paper runner made with a roll of $1 store wrapping paper. I’m happy to report zero spillage, but my carpet wasn’t so lucky.  Any brilliant tricks for red wine and carpet?  Anybody????
Dilemma #2: My buffet, which has prime party backdrop real estate, is too small to accommodate the amount of food we had, so I opted to use that as the bar.  This left me looking for a place to put a large table and still allow people to move freely.  And, of course, it still needed a cute party backdrop even if I didn’t have the luxury of a wall or partition.
Solution: Just because you can’t place your table on a wall, doesn’t mean you can’t create a backdrop and a little separation for your serving table.  It’s about height and distracting the eye. In my case, I also had to disguise the fact that my table was in sort of an offset, odd location.  {See that quilt on the back of the couch? Also would make a great tablecloth if you have something like that.}
Branches turned little trees are a perfect option to flank your table and add height and separation from the room behind. I pulled together some branches rescued from the fire pit in my grandma’ backyard, and a tree branch {same as the one used on my “mantel”} kidnapped from outside my office {does a rescue cancel out a kidnapping?}and put them in mismatched “vases”.  I draped the branches with some leftover sequins from my simple garlands and then hung some metallic ric rac in between the two “trees” {purchased in the ribbon section of Hobby Lobby}.  Red $1 store ornaments at the base of one of the trees add a little festive color.

As pointed out above, the table is backed up to my couch, which is upholstered in a pretty distracting pattern, so the neutral quilt draped over the back helps to keep your eye drawn to the table and not to the couch and what’s in the living room.

Finally, to create a little added separation between the table, and the living room behind it, I set a rectangular chalkboard on a picture stand.  It gives it a little of that partition feel without having an actual partition.

The chalkboard is made from an old cabinet front I picked up at the ReStore for about $1, then painted and distressed, and painted with homemade chalkboard paint.

Finally, if you are setting a table between two rooms, it’s a bonus if you can pull things in that look good from all sides so that when you move into the next room, you’re not staring at the ugly backside of the table.  In my case, the trees looked good all the way around and the back of the chalkboard is just stained wood, so it all looked great from any angle.

Of course once I had it all set just the way I wanted, this little lady was determined to throw a wrench in it.  Someone was enjoying that they had full access to the table via the couch, and didn’t want to get out of my pictures, so everyone, meet Winslow the Puggle.  Soooo annoying, yet soooo lovable.

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  1. says

    So pretty! I’d love for you to share this or any of your great ideas at the link party going on now (and every Saturday – Tuesday) at ‘Or so she says …’ We’ve also got an exciting giveaway going on now that includes a chance to win a BlendTec. Hope to see you there!

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