One of the homemaking skills I am working on with our daughters is the ability to set a nice table – both functionally and beautifully. In the day and age where dinner is done in a dash, and paper plates are the name of the game, there is just something about real plates, silverware and cloth napkins that not only makes mealtime memorable, but sets the tone for a welcoming home.
A tip I encourage in my frugal living workshop is to try and go with less paper products. I teeter back and forth on my own advise during football season, but right now, we are putting our well water to good use.
I have always loved Emily Post’s acrostic reminder for how to set a basic table.
F-fork, O-plate (the shape), K-Knife, and S- Spoon (yes, for you type A friends, you must just forget the R). 😉 I also love to remember that the blade of the knife points towards the fork because it’s protecting the spoon.
Basic Place Setting – Description and diagram
I’ll leave the formal settings for a day when I actually partake in a formal dinner. 🙂
I had great hopes of doing some special napkin folds, but ran out of time (that’s going to be another Tasty Tuesday post). Instead, I sent my son out to cut some daffodils, and the effect was just as grand.
Centerpieces can be elegant and fancy, fun and festive, simple, yet beautiful or a combination of all three.
Based on what I found when I “shopped my house,” I went with simple, yet beautiful. I used some of the yard sale fabric that I was given free as my “runner.” My newly spray painted tea tray served as the perfect base for my candle holder, which sat on top of one of my yard sale dishes. Blooming daffodils from my yard adorned the white vases I bought for a quarter.
My girls love getting creative and thinking of unique things to do (which typically involves many, many candles.) I was thrilled to pull all these things together quickly and simply.
I layered my daily white plates with the turquoise Mikasa set that I bought for a steal at a yard sale. When I purchased the complete set (with all the additional serving pieces) which serves eight, it was a want, not a need. But this $20 “entertainment” purchase has given me such delight by mixing and matching with my dinner table and decorating.
Instead of using the glass water goblets that I typically use for entertaining, I stuck with the new milk glasses that I bought for $5/set. It kept the clean, yet casual, brunch atmosphere that I was desiring.
I love how it truly is the little things that are the big things.
So after you have conquered the “candlelight challenge – creating ambiance, try setting your table and see what fun you can have. It’s another simple way to make meal times memorable without having to spend a lot of money or stress over a lot of time.
And just so you know what my true beauty and bedlam table really looked like…this is reality. I wasn’t about to unhook the whole computer just for brunch, so on the buffet it went. 🙂
I just love seeing all of your inspirations every week. So what have you been up to in the kitchen?
Jen, your table always looks so beautiful! I love that you are teaching your daughters how to properly set a table. I wish we had a table to set so I could teach my girls too. Setting the table and giving it little special touches is such a great memory from my childhood.
Those diagrams are fantastic too! I’m going to have to print those off and take them with when we go visit my family in two weeks. I’ll give the girls a crash test in table setting!
Beautiful indeed! 🙂 Thanks for keeping this table art alive and teaching it to the next generation. I think beauty matters a lot.
Thanks for the wonderful table tips Jen! Your table looks beautiful and I love that you keep it real at the same time! 🙂
Your table loos WONDERFUL!!! Thanks for the great tips.
Your table setting is lovely!
Neat post! My grandmother was very particular about her table and she used to send me little booklets and cut-outs that she’d find about serving/setting the table, etc. It’s so nice to know how to do those things. 🙂 I need to be better about it!! Thanks for all the pictures!!
I linked up today with a “Not-So-Amish” Cinnamon Bread recipe. Good stuff!
I love your table setting!! This is such a helpful post! I think we should throw some dinner parties together 😉
How lovely! You have such unique pieces to work with!
Your table setting is beautiful! I feel like we are always in the middle of football season at our house and we don’t play football! Once Cora is a bit bigger I hope to work on this skill, that and the skill of getting my boys to use napkins instead of their shirts.
Love the diagram! I am really struggling with whether or nor to home school my children. I have 2 boys that are 4 and 2. I am former teacher and stay at home with them now.
I am praying about this as we speak as my oldest will be school age in 1 year.
I am so thankful to have stumbled upon your blog.
Last night, I used cloth napkins and placemats and had fresh flowers as the center piece. My husband came home and said he loved the way the table looked. He said it made him feel really special.
Your posts confirms it too!!!
You always have such great ideas! Thanks for sharing and thanks for hosting too!
Great table along with some great tips!
That is a gorgeous table. We’re hitting our first day of garage sales this week (yipee) and I’ll be on the lookout for some pretty table things.
Your table looks beautiful. I love how you mix and match, using what you have to make your own style!
cuuuuute!! I love how your table looks in the picture – very romantic.
My grandma taught me that the FORK goes on the LEFT because the both have four letters. And the KNIFE and SPOON go on the RIGHT because they all have five letters. I was super young when she told me that, but I STILL think about it nearly every time I set the table 🙂
I posted a few yummy summer recipes earlier this week – a summer salad, homemade tortillas and homemade lemonade… I totally forgot about the Tasty Tuesday… can I link to them in the Mr. Linky even though they were posted late last week?
Your table setting looks beautiful. I don’t entertain at all and my home is nice enough for a display like that but I’m sure your guests would enjoy a table setting like that. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for sharing this! My mom was always a stickler for a nicely set table, and now I am, too. 🙂 I think it’s a dying art. All we can do is teach our children to do the same, and hope that they some day will.
I can’t express how beautifully simple this all is. The fact that you really put this together with yard sale finds makes this a shoe in for HGTV. What an inspiring way to share meals with your family and friends. This motivates me to do more in my own way.
My kitchen and dining area have a Tuscan/Cafe’ theme. Any special thoughts there?
Hi everyone. I wanted to encourage the other blissful chefs out there to stop by Momtrends on Friday. I have a new Mr.Linky for Friday Feasts. Feel free to post something yummy from the week! Here was last week’s post:
I linked back to your event here:
What a neat site! I agree with the others who said that setting the table is a dying art! I’d like to link this post on my site, primeonadime.com one of the things I had thought of addressing, but you did a wonderful job~ Keep it up!
so enjoying tasty tuesdays! thanks so much for hosting…
This was great! I will post a link to this for my friends to see on Facebook. The funny thing is, I have been teaching my 3 year old son how to do a basic table setting. When he gets older… I cannot wait to teach him more complicated settings :D. Too much fun!! Thanks for sharing this post !!
It’s really lovely. I love the beautiful white vases.
We too are anti paper people… until I have a great night and all the dishes are put away and the kitchen is clean and my kids reach for a plate. That’s when I scream… “USE PAPER!” I just like my hard earned results to last a little longer than 10 minutes!
So glad someone is teaching about setting the proper place. We’re still working on our kiddo’s and I hadn’t heard the FORKS idea. I’ll have to trickle that down to kiddos.
I’m having trouble with your blog for some strange reason. Don’t know what’s going on….I did add a link to a post about morels…
I love how more & more people are getting back to basics such as setting a beautiful table and not using so many paper products. I'm trying this in my household too, but hard to break old habits.
I love that post! what awesome inspiration