Fresh Flower Centerpiece
Bands of scrapbooking paper and strings of bells add interest to these store-bought vases. Cut a strip of scrapbooking paper long enough to wrap around your vase and slightly shorter than the height. String bells, buttons, beads, or other embellishments onto embroidery floss, wrap several times around the vase, and tie it to hold the scrapbooking paper in place. Fill the vase with fresh flowers of the season. Line up multiples down the center of your table, or place one at each place setting.
Painted Flower Place Mat
This striated pink place mat is tightly woven so it accepts paint easily. To create the confetti pattern on the flower center and napkin, simply dab paint with the tip of a brush.
Pink Rose Centerpiece
This centerpiece is as elegant as it is simple. Wrap a length of ribbon around the vase and cut to fit. Place double-sided tape on one side of the ribbon to secure it.
Cute Fabric Coasters
These coasters are made from two round, contrasting pieces of fabric stitched together. Using pinking shears or other decorative-edge scissors, cut one 4-1/2-inch circle from cotton fabric and one 4-1/2-inch circle from felt. Put the cotton circle on top of the felt circle. With embroidery floss, sew a running stitch about 1/2 inch from the edge of the coaster. Place a coaster at each place setting, or set them around the room for guests to use.
Place Card Holders
Make pretty place card holders from home store finials. If the finials have a dowel at the base, snap off the dowel using pliers. Use a handsaw to cut a slit for a card, and sand the finials smooth. Paint in fun colors. Set out extras to display photos.
Fabric Napkin Holders
To make a personalized napkin ring, cut two 4x2-1/2-inch fabric strips; fold and press all edges under 1/4 inch. Place the pieces together wrong sides facing and sandwiching a same-size sheet of fusible web between them. Press with a hot iron. Top stitch 1/8 inch from edge on both edges. Glue rickrack to the back of the strip. Attach a keychain ring to the rickrack. Write a name on a metal-rim tag and attach it to a second keychain ring that is secured to the ring on the fabric strip. Tie the strip around the napkin with string or ribbon.
Polka-Dot Place Mat
Take plain place mats and add some fun. Using fabric paint, dip a pencil eraser in paint and make polka dots all over the place mat in an even pattern. Let dry.
Beaded Place Card
To make this place card, string baby-bracelet beads onto jewelry wire (both available from a crafts store). Punch holes in a folded card and run the wire through the holes, curling the wire ends.
Personalized Wine Glass Markers
When the gang's all present, personalize each wineglass with a pretty tie-on. Press an adhesive initial on a vellum tag and thread on cording with metal charms from scrapbooking supplies. If desired, use adhesive dots to tack the trims in place.
Creative Candle Idea
Nestle a candle into a vase filled with corn for a creative and quick fall centerpiece idea. Choose a theme and try other items such as jelly beans, buttons, or pennies.
Lunch Box Blooms
Glass bottles take on vintage status when striped with red and yellow rubber bands. Place the bottles in a lunch box, fill each bottle with water, and snip a few mums to stand in the bottles to complete the composition.
For a simple tablecloth, simply fold raw yardage of blue ticking and drape it over your table. At each end of the table, gather the cloth, tie it with twine, and tuck a sunflower into the knot.
Floating Candles Centerpiece
Any watertight container can be used as a vase. Combine a few floating candles with fresh-snipped blossoms for a centerpiece that's delightful for evening entertaining. For a special touch, add hollow glass spheres to reflect the glimmering candlelight.
Painted Leaf Place Mat
Kiwi, cream, and tangerine set this exotic table. Use painter's tape to evenly space the napkin stripes. Leave the tape in place while you paint to get crisp edges; peel back each strip a bit as you paint if you want a freehand finish.
Pretty Fall Centerpiece
Attach mums to pumpkins with a little hot glue to make this beautiful autumnal centerpiece. Sprinkle colorful leaves and small gourds around the pumpkins for added interest.
Falling Leaves Tablecloth
Dress up a simple white tablecloth by wrapping 1/2-inch-wide ribbon around the edge and securing it with double-sided tape. Find leaf shapes by searching for free leaf clip art on the Web, or gather actual leaves. Trace around the leaves on different colors of construction paper. Cut out and randomly place the shapes around the corners of your table with double-sided tape.
Family Tree Centerpiece
This pretty olive tree becomes the family tree in this photo-covered centerpiece. Use office clips to hold pictures, then tie twine, string, or ribbon through the hole at the top of the clip and tie to the tree branches. Include a photo of everyone attending your event or hang old photos of special shared memories.
Autumn Candles Centerpiece
Garnish plain pillar candles with semitransparent leaves for an elegant and understated display. Determine placement of leaf skeletons. Coat the backs of the leaves with decoupage medium and smooth in place on the candle. If necessary, use tacky white crafts glue to hold the stems down. Cover the sides of the candle and the leaves with one or more coats of decoupage medium.
Tiny Wreath Place Card
A small purchased wreath (from a crafts store) is tied up with a pretty ribbon and attached to a chair back. Add a name card to each one so guests can find their spot.
Autumn Table Wreath
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
-- Fine-gauge wire
-- Wire snips or old scissors
-- Purchased grapevine wreath
-- Dried flowers in desired colors
-- Cake plate
-- Clear glass light shade
-- Votive candle
Wrap several inches of wire around one end of each pinecone. Wire the pinecones to the wreath. Place dried flowers between the pinecones in a random fashion. Position the wreath on the cake plate. Invert the glass shade in the middle of the wreath. Set the votive candle in the center of the glass shade.
Natural Name Card
A green-striped cushaw pumpkin and an inscribed leaf combine to create a pleasing natural place card. Using a metallic marker, write names on various leaves and tie them to the pumpkin stems with short pieces of twine.
A Tailored Place Setting
Stack square white dishes on gorgeous-in-green place mats made from medium-density fiberboard rectangles decoupaged with damask tissue paper. Crown the setting with a napkin wrapped in green velvet ribbon run through a rhinestone buckle.
Greenery Wrapped Centerpiece
Glue greenery around the outside of pretty glass containers so that it stops at varying heights. Place a candle inside to combine freshness with the welcoming warmth of candlelight.
Wintertime Place Setting
Fashion playful place settings by layering alternating red and white dishware atop large purchased paper snowflake mats. Give plain bowls a temporary wintry facelift with the addition of snowflakes punched from red paper and glued in place.
Leaf and Candle Centerpiece
Leaves of gold and bronze reflect the candlelight of this centerpiece. Begin with a waterproof tray or bowl, place leaves in the bottom, and fill bowl with water. Float several candles on the water.
Gerbera Daisy Place Card
Fill buckets with fresh-cut flowers, or use silk flowers for a gift that will last. Cut a tag from card stock, pink one edge with pinking shears, and tie onto the bucket handle with ribbon or twine.
For the Kids' Table
Teach children how to set the table with help from these cheery place mats. Colorful construction paper cut in the shapes of standard dinner essentials and glued to place mat-size paper is a guide for correct placement of fork, knife, spoon, plate, glass, and napkin. Laminate the finished product at a copy center.