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Five Easy Ways to Improve Your Holiday Dinner Table Aesthetics


  1. Handwrite Your Place Cards

This is a beautiful touch to the dinner table really goes a long way.  You can buy oak tag or scrapbook paper at any crafting store nearby.  No need to buy expensive calligraphy pens, sharpies or magic markers work great!  On each downstroke of a letter, thicken the line.  Then on the upstroke, hold the marker lighter to make a thinner line.  There are tons of calligraphy how-to guides and videos online that can help you out.  This is such a beautiful and thoughtful touch that really adds something special to the dinner table.  Also, writing out place cards means you get to set place cards- an added bonus if you know sitting next to your third cousin will drive you crazy.


  1. Use Real Foliage For Your Centerpieces

The morning of Thanksgiving, take a break from your pie decorating and potato mashing and wander around outside.  Greenery to look for are spare branches, evergreen leaves, pinecones, and those beautiful fall-colored leaves.  First of all, this is way cheaper than ordering centerpieces from a florist or buying fake flowers can get to be really expensive.  Second, it’s so easy to arrange these natural elements down the middle of a long table, or in a wreath-pattern for smaller circle or square tables.


  1. Mix and Match Your Drinkware

Nothing is worse than hosting a Thanksgiving and realizing that you don’t have enough glasses for your guests.  An easy and cute fix for this is at your local thrift store!  Mix and match your glasses, but keep them in the same color scheme.  Different sized, shaped, or textured glasses can add an interesting element to every place setting.   


  1. Get Funky With Your Napkin Folding

Typical tables have a boring rectangle or triangle napkin fold.  Google around on the internet to find some new and enticing ways to present your napkins on the table!  Some tutorials can show you how to fold your napkins into animals, flowers, or just cool geometric shapes!  Just a little something to catch your guests’ eyes while they’re finding their way to their place setting.


  1. A Little Crafting Goes A Long Way

I am a firm believer that less is more, and I feel this same way with crafting.  Going for a simpler craft is easier, less time consuming, and more complimentary to the table rather than distracting.  Try spray painting a pumpkin white and maybe painting the stem a metallic color.  For a pop of color, put branches of bittersweet in a glass vase with dried pinecones.  If you’re looking for a low centerpiece that won’t get in the way of conversation, arrange four to five low sitting candles in the middle of a medium to large sized tray.  Around the perimeter of the candles, fill the tray with cranberries.


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Phoebe is a third year at the University of Maine double majoring in Child Development and Family Relations & Psychology in the Honors College. One day she plans to get her PhD in Child Clinical Psychology. She enjoys going to Celtics games when she's home in the greatest city on Earth (Boston), playing with her puppy, and spending time with her sisters of Alpha Phi.
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