Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tabletop Tuesday - Tablecloth Alternatives

I thought today I would post some ideas on what to put underneath your beautiful centerpieces and table settings, because what covers your table can add just as much drama as what you put on top.

Most of us have tables that need to be covered because a) they're too ugly to show or b) we *finally* just bought new furniture and don't want it to get ruined. So, this is where tablecloths come in. Unfortunately, fine linens are expensive (and don't you know that somebody is going to spill something on it the first time you use it) so I'm listing some tablecloth alternatives - creative, more affordable options for covering your tables.

Look in your bed linen stash - Use quilts, blankets, and sheets as fast and easy options. They're already hemmed and are a nice option if you have a longer dining table. Quilts bring a punch of color and blankets can turn your table into an upscale picnic (no more ants and sore bottoms...)

Write on it - One of my favorite dinner entertainment ideas (especially if you have little ones who may get bored with the adult conversation) is to let guests write on the table coverings. You can use a cheap cotton one and provide fabric markers or use butcher paper (any color would work, but I like white, brown packing paper, or even black) and use crayons or neon gel pens if you're using black paper. You can write people's names above their plate as place cards and enjoy seeing what your guests doodled when you're cleaning up. If you use a fabric cloth, it would be great to bring it out the following year for the same occasion so people can walk down memory lane.

Fancy it up - Using either a simple bed sheet or a cheap cotton tablecloth may not seem special enough, but why not add a scarf as a topper or a runner? This will add a punch of color and instant pizzaz.

So next time you serve lasagna and you're afraid to use that special tablecloth you got from your grandma as a wedding gift, shake things up and try something new.

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