Centerpiece: Pour layers of different colors of dried beans and seeds into cheap clear glass containers, like vases or empty pasta sauce or jelly jars. Amanda of My Hearts Desire blog, recommends layering with split green peas, dark red beans and kennels of popcorn. For extra fanciness, insert a pillar candle after the initial layer, and tie around the filled container with a string or ribbon. Use a larger jar as a centerpiece, or set smaller jars around on a mirror or wooden tray.
Place cards: Take a walk in nature or send your kids outside to collect big dry leaves – one for every place setting on your table. Spread the leaves on cardboard or an old sheet and spray a thin layer of gold paint. Make sure you’re in a well ventilated area when you do this. While drying the leaves, cut small tags from cardstock paper and handwrite the name of people dining. Punch a hole on the tags and use jute string to attach the tag to the stem of the leaves. If you place them in a food storage bag after the guests leave, they can last over a year, says Liz Woody, from the blog Naptime Decorator.
Menu: Place a framed chalkboard with the serving dishes, with a welcome greeting, quote, or holiday menu. A Happy Place Called Home, says it’s simple to change a discount picture frame into a chalkboard with special chalkboard spray paint that you can find at most home improvement shops. Get rid of the glass and cardboard backer from the frame, paint the cardboard backer and put it back in the frame. Make sure to prime the chalkboard by rubbing the surface with a piece of chalk and leaving it on the board overnight.
Buffet: Use clear, drinking glasses that you can find from thrift stores, yard sales, or in the back of your cupboard. Stencil on a seasonal world such as, boo for Halloween, thanks for Thanksgiving, or merry for Christmas- onto the glasses, one letter each glass. Fill each with a single tea light candle or seasonal bits such as acorns, pinecone pieces and cinnamon sticks.
Eye catcher: Lay a festive garland at the base of a decorative ceramic pumpkin and place it on a cake stand. The garland gives texture to a simple centerpiece. Kate Striegel, from the blog, Chic on a Shoestring Decorating, suggests putting a decorative tray under the ceramic pumpkin and stand for more emphasis.