Creating a beautiful holiday tablescape has never been in my wheelhouse. In fact, at the first extended-family Thanksgiving my husband and I ever hosted, I didn’t even know that decorating the tables was a “thing.” I thought I was done when the tables were set ... until my husband asked if we had any flowers to “add color to the tables.” I looked at the white plates upon the white table cloths with white napkins perched atop, and I saw his point. But with only minutes before the guests were to arrive, I wasn’t sure what we could do. It being fall, we sent our enterprising 12-year-old boys to the park to gather as many nice, colorful fallen leaves and acorns as they could find. Those, along with some dark brown, polished river rock and pillar candles I already had did the job.
That said, I am from a family of clever, decor-minded women, and each holiday brings on ever more table-setting ideas. My sister, Denise, has been known to take burlap, plastic fruit and a bed sheet and create a table fit for royalty. And my sister-in-law Karen’s table decor leaves you feeling as though you’re feasting in a space created by a professional set designer. Even peanut butter and jelly amid such fanciness tastes Michelin-star quality.
Over time, I’ve learned to step up my game, thanks to my handy friend, Mr. Internet. I’ve figured out that one very simple way of glamming up table decor is to add place cards for the guests, each in its own special place card holder. If you are, however, like me and dread putting a lot of time and energy into something that will get used just once (place cards necessarily change with the guest list), have no fear: I have a solution.
Go online to www.fresnobeehive.com for the instructions to make fall-inspired wine cork place card holders, along with some simple place cards that can be used — and reused — every holiday. The trick? Chalkboard tape and a chalk pen.