Christmas Table

Fresh cranberries are the main ingredient for creating these naturally clever place setting, candle, and garland ideas.


'Tis the season for gracious entertaining. To set a showstopping table, look no further than your grocer's produce case.

Place Setting
Enlarge Image Cranberries, candles and wire will make your table shine.

To achieve this artful table setting, choose plates and flatware for their ability to enhance the naturals. Begin with versatile gold charger plates, then layer with cedar springs. Follow with clear glass plates. Flatware with touches of gold and a twisted wire star trimmed with cranberries complete the arrangement.

Mark places with these easy-to-make stars or hang them as ornaments.

What You Need:

(for each star)

Enlarge Image Your guests will see stars!
  • 50 inches of fine-gauge gold wire (available at crafts and jewelry-making stores)
  • 10-inch-long piece of ribbon
  • 5 cranberries
  • Wire cutters
Instructions:

1. Bend the 50 inches of wire in half, and then twist the halves together.

2. Shape the plied wire into a five-point star. Each point on our star is about 3 inches long; the finished star is about 7 inches across. (Note: if you want to make a larger star, begin with a longer piece of wire.)

3. Push a cranberry onto each star point.

4. End by bending the last 2 inches of wire into a loop. Thread the 10-inch piece of ribbon through the loop, tying the ends together. Hang as an ornament, if desired.

Enlarge Image For additional drama, create a special light for each place setting using special pillars.

Everyday candles take on special holiday flair when encircled with cranberry-threaded gold wire rings. To create a grouping with visual interest, shop for candles in different sizes and shapes.

What You Need:

(for each candle)

  • About 20 inches of fine-gauge gold wire (available at crafts and jewelry-making stores)
  • A handful of cranberries
  • Wire cutters
Instructions:

1. Cut two pieces of wire, each several inches longer than the candle circumference.

3. String the desired number of cranberries onto one wire.

4. Wrap the wire around the bottom of the candle and twist ends together so berries are snug against the candle but not crushed.

5. Repeat with the second wire, arranging above the first; adjust spacing of cranberries as desired.

To create a rich treatment for the end of the table, simply string a swag of cranberries and holly leaves.

What You Need:
Enlarge Image This swag looks beautiful at the ends of a buffet table.
  • Two bags of cranberries
  • About three dozen holly leaves or several branches
  • Carpet thread
  • Tapestry needle
Instructions:

1. Thread tapestry needle with carpet thread, and knot end securely.

2. Randomly string whole, unblemished berries and holly leaves as desired.

3. Use safety pins to attach the garland to the tablecloth. Hide the pins beneath leaves or pin from underneath the tablecloth.

4. Knot the thread at the end of the garland to secure.

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