26 Beautiful DIY Table Setting Ideas for the Holidays
Outdoor dinner table setting
Credit: Deborah Jaffe
Fill tiny tin cups with fresh-cut blooms and place at each setting for sweet-smelling ambience.
Outdoor dinner table setting
Start with a design theme (like cozy and rustic, complete with “log cabin”), then follow it through with all the elements―including napkins, centerpieces, and tablecloth.
Family-friendly table setting
Outdoor table setting
Natural elements can be surprising additions, whether as centerpieces or tucked into a pretty ribbon fastening the silverware.
Dinner table setting
A whiteboard makes a clever charger-slash–place card―not to mention the perfect receptacle for dinnertime doodling.
Whiteboard place mats
Look to the craft store for inexpensive decorating materials, like red felt rectangles used as place mats, and matching lengths of ribbon.
Table setting with red felt place mats and a wooden bead centerpiece
Scatter votive candles about the table to set the mood simply.
For an eye-catching place setting, rest a bold colored napkin in between stacked white dinner and salad plates.
Formal table setting
Even a casual setting can have a hint of drama, here supplied by geometric-patterned salad plates.
Place setting for an informal lunch
Refreshingly different place cards for summertime entertainment: personalized flags anchored in zesty limes.
Limes as place holders
A pretty table runner laid down the length of a table can serve as both decoration and place mats.
Get playful with seating arrangements by using alphabet magnets to mark each guest’s spot.
A table place setting with alphabet magnet accent
Awning-striped “menus” add a bright, summery note.
Striped notebooks on table settings
Plastic place card holders are a good low-cost investment for future parties.
Eraser as place card holder
Cut chalkboard paper into place mat–size pieces―and be sure to provide each guest with chalk.
Place settings with chalkboard placemats
Ideal for windy outdoor dining, printed rubber bands prettily secure napkins and silverware to plates.
A place setting
Sum up the evening for your guests in fun and imaginative make-your-own place mats.
Make place cards that are favors too, like this one using an inexpensive seed packet.
Seed packet as place card
Even on its own, a splashy place mat creates an interesting setting.
Place setting on bright place mat
A generously sized place mat in a graphic pattern serves up visual interest in a minimal arrangement.
Surprise guests with small treats that act as both placeholders and favors.
Dramatic table setting
For a little French-bistro flair, turn a colorful dish towel into a shared place mat.
Yellow dish towels as placemats
A properly set table has an array of glasses―one for water, one for white wine, one for red.
Place setting for a special-occasion dinner
Use stamps to mark card stock with pretty designs for an instant place card solution.
Place card at table setting
Simple variations on a color are an easy way to pull together a table.
Green place setting
A combination of florals―a pretty quilt repurposed as a tablecloth; dinnerware; and straight-from-the-garden blooms―turn an outdoor dinner party into a lush affair.
Mix and match table setting