November 20, 2017

$5 Candy Cane Tablescape for the Kids

You ladies crack me up.
Many of you inquired as to what decorating inspiration hit me for my
washing machine dilemma.
Can I mention that reading your comments was a highlight – you are some funny women!

My husband got home right before my friends arrived, but he assured me that having the oven and dryer right where they were was just fine.
( I left out the part about our oven also having been replaced. I’ve been cooking on only two burners for two years – it was about time. That oven was on our back deck…yep, it was.
Just tellin’ ya – had to have a bit of confession time).

Across the dryer, I spread out a long table runner with an accent napkin, and then lit a beautiful jar candle. It was glamor at its finest, and such a cozy welcome.
Some thought it was a memorial, and others responded, “only at Jen’s.” ๐Ÿ™‚

On to better things….
My quick and thrifty Tablescape.

I must preface my post.
Typically, when we have family gatherings, we line up the food like a feeding trough and herd them on through. I mean… line up in a single file line and help ourselves buffet style.

Christmas Eve, we were going to have a very small group since two of my three brothers’ families were not joining us. Seating, and serving 19 is a breeze, and I really wanted to make the kids feel special with their own themed table.

At their table, I went with the candy cane theme since I could put it together in five minutes.
I already had the red table cloth on the table, and I purchased all of the candy cane candles (ten in all) at two different yard sales this summer at the staggering price of $0.05.

That’s right…five cents a candle, and they were brand new.

The elevated glass bowl – $2 – yard sale.

I am going to say something about the tacky plastic covering glaring through the camera lens.
First of all, it’s not very noticeable in real life.
Second of all, a few true designers read my blog and will CRINGE in contempt at what I am going to say.
Adding this to my daily table was a great decision. I know, stop throwing tomatoes.
I thought it was going to seem like I was taking up residence in an ’80 tacky diner as well, but it’s not so bad…at all!
This comment is for those ladies with small children.
I LOVE a pretty table and tablecloth. I change them out nearly every month and have different themes that go along with our varying traditions, but life, kids and cloth covered tables were NOT cutting it until I splurged on this top of the line addition.
Now I can decorate to my hearts content and just wipe the spills right up. Yes, my kids have stopped cringing in terror every time they drop taco dip from their plate.

Recently I came across the Candy Cane Sleigh idea and I love that. I will have to add this next year because the candy canes are a new tradition. ๐Ÿ™‚
Candy Cane Sleighs
I did double duty with the dining room.
First, for my family, and then for the ladies who made it past the warm “dryer” greeting.

My table doesn’t compare to many of the gorgeous tablescapes that were being shown around blogland, but this was done quickly, simply, inexpensively and with much love. ๐Ÿ™‚
Any one can do it in minutes, and that’s literally all the time I had to give.
I was singing for our Christmas eve services which meant I would be gone from 2:00 until my company came.
It’s amazing how one simple touch makes all the difference.
My girls loved folding their napkins for the candy cane table. ๐Ÿ™‚
I love cloth napkins.
People don’t use them on a regular basis anymore and you can find them in droves at yard sales for pennies.
Check out the easy napkin fold post, complete with video for you visual learners.

I wanted to show you the Christmas present I bought for myself….at a local thrift store.
I had been eying these dishes since Thanksgiving, but knew they were a want and not a need – even though they were dirt cheap, so
I passed.
And then the week before Christmas, I did a big U turn when I saw a sign out that said all Christmas merchandise was 50% off.
Yes, even at a thrift shop.
I thought there was no way she had any left, but SHE DID.
Brand new…in boxes.
Do you really want me to tell you? It may make you covet?

(oh yikes – the plastic table looks really 80’s dinerish with the flash).
Focus on the bowl, people.
I got complete place settings for 12 people (dinner plates, salad plates – 16 of those, bowls and mugs) $20.
I know hate me.
It was such a highlight, and I feel the Lord just gave me a big bear hug for waiting.
I am thrilled that both of my tables, and all the decorations, from candles/candlestick holders to napkins, came together for literally pennies on the dollar.
With a bit more time, I would have added greenery and a table runner etc, but this shows you what can be done with little money and little time. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now here is the bedlam behind the scenes (although, when your doing dinner by candlelight, I don’t think bedlam moments are possible). Did you catch it an earlier picture?

You see, my dining room has been taken over by my school room.

One of these days, my beautiful buffet will not be surrounded by a little plastic desk and school books. And I am not even showing you the wide angle….whew!
Thanks for joining me.
Here’s a great big “Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year” from Santa.
I mean my dad – the Patriarch of our family.
Shouldn’t he do Santa some year? He’d be the best.
He’s even told the Santa at the mall to call him if he got sick


  1. Imperfect says:

    I’m all for special Christmas plates. How neat that you were rewarded for your patience. And I love the silver arrangement. Just beautiful.


  2. Vintagesquirrel says:

    Oh, I am jealous of your thrift store score. Those plates are so sweet! And, I think the plastic tablecloth cover is a very practical idea. My friend does this and I think it looks great. Happy New Year!


  3. All of your table decorations are beautiful. I’d love Christmas dishes.

    I wish I was more creative. Hmmm. Maybe a New Years resolution. ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. HeathahLee says:

    Those dishes! AAAAAHHHHH!!!! $20!!!??? I NEVER find stuff like that at my thrift stores!

    Okay, now that I’ve had my jealous fit, let me say that your silver tray was beautiful! Well, all of it was, but I love the compote with all the siver balls and garland surrounded by your silver service. Gorgeous!


  5. Sandy Toes says:

    Wow..everything is just beautiful!!! I love the “candy cane” theme!

    Yes, your “dad” would be perfect at “ho Ho ho”!
    -sandy toes


  6. Southerner says:

    I love your table. Please tell me what setting you put on your camera. How did you do the ones by candlelight? I have a Nikon D40 and don’t really know how to use it.
    The link is She said that she stocked up for 3 years before attempting to live off her stock and what she could buy through rebates and EBCs and coupons and the $800.00. I think it is so cool to dream that one day we could have enough stocked up to do this. I don’t know if it is on her blog or on Hot Coupon but there are photos of her stock- amazing!


  7. *Just Jen* says:

    Gosh! You are SO creative!! What a great deal on the yard sale and thrift store stuff!

    Oh and BTW…..I left you a little bloggy love in my blog today. ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy New Year!!!


  8. I absolutely love the dishes and what a major deal!!! Beautiful.

    Lisa Q


  9. aww, you did a wonderful job Jenn!! i love it. Your family is so beautiful!! Hugs and Happy New Year!! LA


  10. I bought a new table about 3 years ago. And then I promptly ran to WalMart and got a large sheet of vinyl to put over it. I also covered the fabric seets of the chairs. Best $15 I ever spent!
    I never thought to put the tablecloth UNDER the plastic. HMM.


  11. Beautiful family pics in the post below!!

    Your tablescapes looked so good! I love everything. Great steal on those dishes!!! Beautiful!


  12. Hi Jen,

    You did beautiful tablescapes!! Great job on both of them! I LOVE, love, LOVE those dishes and yes I am coveting them ๐Ÿ™ I can’t believe you only paid $20.00….I think I would have gone for the $40.00!! Your patience was definitely rewarded! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


  13. Your tables look great! I think the plastic is an excellent idea. Otherwise, you’d be having to use plastic table cloths. This way, you can use beautiful tablecloths without having to worry about them. I can’t believe anybody would be selling those brand new candy cane candles unused at a garage sale. You obviously go to better yard sales then me! And that Christmas china at that price – well, you’re right, I am SO jealous. It is so pretty. laurie


  14. "Just Me - NC Beth" says:

    Wow! You are so creative! And I do not have not one bone of creativity in this body!! And neither can I find bargains!! Ever!

    Your tables were beautiful!!


  15. Wendy Blight says:

    It’s Wendy Blight. I LOVE your blog. Your arrangements are beautiful. I wanted to write and thank you for the encouraging words you left on my blog today about my Proverbs 31 New Year’s Day devotion. I am new at this blogging thing, and your comments blessed me so! Thank you again for visiting.




  16. How beautiful. I love thrift stores, I have bought so much stuff. If it looks great who cares. I love your idea, thoughts and tips. Keep them up.
    Press On,
    Katie <><


  17. The Pumpkin Pink Cottage says:

    I love the plates, great photos, looks so pretty,,,Happy New Year, Lisa


  18. Jen,

    Everything was just beautiful. I absolutely love the candy cane candles. I am really missing out by not going to yard sales. Your Dad could definitely pull off being Santa. :o)


  19. Josh 'n Katie says:

    what a great deal on the place settings! They are beautiful! Also, I love cloth napkins too! They make the table so fancy and pretty!
    And your singing at service was a blessing- so thank you for giving up family time to do it. ๐Ÿ™‚


  20. please don’t be shy about your tables…they were beautiful! I love when people add beauty and practicality to one table! That’s the best!:) Happy New Year to you too!


  21. Thrift stores are Awesome!! Great job holding out for the 50%. I love the deer jumping/ and the gold trim. Wonderful job on the decorations. Thanks for the laughter reading about your washing machine!


  22. Jennifer P. says:

    that DOES look like Santa! oh my!

    and I wouldn’t have even noticed the red plastic tablecloth because everything else was so durned pretty! I need to find some of these yardsales you southern gals are always coming across. I LOVE those candles!

    Glad you had a Merry Christmas, and I wish you all the best in the New Year!


  23. Kitty Scraps says:

    I love your table and your new thrift’d dishes, how pretty!

    Lots of people come in where I work to buy the clear vinyl to cover their tables with so you are not alone and if the designers don’t like it, who cares? It works! *smiles*


  24. Visiting from SITS. You have such beautiful decorations and it looked like a wonderful evening. Happy New Year!


  25. southerninspiration says:

    oh, I DO love your Christmas dishes, and OH WHAT a deal!!! good job, girl! Your blog is oh so inspiring. Thanks for visiting my blog, too!
    Keep up the inspiring work. I do go by thrift stores occasionally but never seem to find such bargains as you!


  26. You have decorated your table beautifully. I also like your colour theme with everything matching perfectly. I’m sure all your family and guests appreciated being seated at such a gorgeous table!

    Greetings from Germany



  27. Carolina Mama says:

    Oh you did great! It is all so beautiful and I have to tell you that I love the cover idea. That is reality. Now just go ahead and tell those of us who do not know better, where do I find one of those beauties? ๐Ÿ˜‰


  28. Parisienne Farmgirl says:

    I swear we are kindred spirits! I LOVE that you still make things pretty with small children – it sure puts a whole new (plastic) spin on things that some of our other tableskaping friends may not understand though!
    Your table looks lovely! I did no junking at all last year (besides my Craigslist sofa find, see upcoming post!) I hope to hit the garage sales in full force this spring – maybe I’ll find some candycane candles too! Thank you so much for your prayers and support. It means alot to me,


  29. Stacey @ The Blessed Nest says:

    Jen, what beautiful tables!!! Everything looked so pretty, I’m sure it was a great time :)! I’m with you on the tablecloth idea LOL, and those dishes…WOW!! Thanks for sharing these pics with us!


  30. Smelling Coffee says:

    Jen – Everything looks beautiful!!! And, I celebrate with you over the dishes! I love dishes and have collected until we have run out of room to store them! Congratulations on the gift from God in that beautiful dinnerware. (And about the plastic table cloths: I confess… I too use them when I’m setting a table for the kids.) ๐Ÿ™‚

    Happy New Year to you and your family…


  31. Vern ~ Inspired says:


    I did not even notice the plastic tablecloth. BUT I did notice the amazing tableware!!! I have to admit I am jealous and need to go repent!

    Happy New Year my friend!



  32. Everything looks so beautiful! Especially all the red and candlelight. I love your Christmas plates!


  33. RockerWife says:

    Fab, fab fab! And the plate? Most are so tacky – they are absolutely lovely. You do well, my dear. Extremely well!


  34. Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality says:

    Ok, YES! I’m officially jealous over those thriftstore dishes, what a steal! I’d love to find some like that to mix in with my white with gold rims. You scored!


  35. Debbie Y. says:

    I absolutely love The Food Network, and your tablescapes make me think Sandra Lee and that is a great compliment. I think she decorates devine on very little money. The candlelight makes the whole room sparkle, even the books in the bookcase and the plastic table covering. I didn’t cringe, it is simply practical with young children involved.


  36. Hello Jen, Please forgive my boldness. I am doing a bit of blog surfing to invite people over to my blog to tell them about my giveaway. This isn’t a gimmick. It’s just my way of celebrating two years of blogging. I am giving away a free caricature drawn by me. I’d be honor if you’d come over and check it out.


  37. Scooterblu's Whimsy~Rhonda says:

    Those candy cane candles are fabulous, Jen!!! I love them! And what a true bargain! Both tablescapes turned out very pretty! I used to use plastic tablecloths when the children were small. In pretty colors, and with a cute table arrangement, it wasn’t bad at all! And clean-up was so much easier! ๐Ÿ™‚ ~hugs, Rhonda


  38. Scooterblu's Whimsy~Rhonda says:

    Oh, just read your post below, and a word to the wise, think long and hard….very hard about telling friends and family about your blog! LOL! Everyone around knows I have a blog…word of mouth. Word travels very fast and I heard that people I don’t even know, know have a blog, through people that we know mutually! There are some things I want to post but don’t because I don’t know now who all will be reading it locally. Does that all make sense! LOL! Anyway, just something to think about! ๐Ÿ™‚ ~Rhonda

    Your family picture is great! ๐Ÿ™‚


  39. Thank you for visiting my blog. I am so glad you left a comment, it brought me to yours and I love it. I read through your past posts and was laughing over the only blogging for 6 months and bloggers now feel like close friends!!!! thats me… i’ve been blogging for 4 months and my husband is laughing at me as I’,
    calling such and such blog my friends! they don’t get it… but we do!!!! Can’t wait to read your posts in ’09!
    Happy New Year,


  40. love it! we went to the salvation army in montreal, canada while we were there and all of their Christmas stuff was half off. Unfortunately nothing that I wanted badly enough to haul back in my already crowded suitcase having come straight from celebrating Christmas with my in-laws. Kelly


  41. Hi Jen,

    Followed you over from one of my homeschool yahoo groups. I have so enjoyed reading your blog this morning.

    Love your beautiful table. I do the vinyl cover over the tablecloth too. You know what's fun? Putting maps & stuff for school under there during the week!

    I have a whole kindergarten bulletin board on my wall, so I feel your pain about school stuff in the dining room, but I figure someday I'll have a pretty, elegant dining room with no little reminders of school anywhere so…wait that's making me cry, never mind, I'll put my grandkid's stuff in the dining room! heh-heh

    Do you use a tripod for your low light photography? It is really beautiful!

    I am supposed to be doing other stuff right now, so I have to quit talking to you and get busy.

    I've bookmarked you though so I can come back and read more.

    โ™ฅ Melissa~
    Pink Paper Peppermints


  42. Our Complete Family says:

    Your table decs are beautiful!!!
    Loved seeing them!


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