Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanksgiving Table - White House Quality on a Dollar Menu Budget

One of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving growing up was the fact it was one of the few times we got to use Dad & Mom's china. It made everything seem so special.

Unfortunately, I don't have the money to go all out on fancy dishes for with one little helper, I came up with a tablescape/setting for $0! 

That helper? A gold pen I got last year to address Christmas cards. 

Let's start with the table BEFORE - (I'm sorry...but I'm gonna make you scroll all the way down to see the AFTER) ;p

Just ordinary white plates (Crate & Barrel that I got at Goodwill). 

I wanted some swanky dessert plates but didn't have any. Enter a leftover stash of white plastic dessert plates. They needed some bling bling, though...

I wanted to write something on the plate but wasn't sure how "health friendly" that gold pen would be underneath all the food. I decided to write it on the backside so you'd still see the word but it wouldn't be touching the food. 

Problem was...I didn't know how to write backwards. I used wax paper as my stencil & traced over it. It turned out great & was really easy. 

After I traced "Thanks", I used the gold pen & glammed up the edges. I feel like this is something JLo would be proud of, for some reason. Gold = Glam = Jenny from the Block...I don't know. Anyways...

Next, I had several mini pumpkins I had used to decorate for Halloween. 

They got an Edward-like makeover (you know from lover Mike always tells me that if you have to explain jokes, don't say them. But that would mean I'd never ever tell a joke the rest of my sorry for my lack of funny. ;p). I spray painted them white with some leftover spray paint. 

Using my handy dandy gold pen, I colored the stems gold then I wrote different things I was thankful for  on each pumpkin. 

Family, Gods Love, Health, Husband, Friends, Home...& one more thing I'll share at the end. 

See those leaves around the pumpkin? I gathered those from our backyard & outlined them in gold...

Can you tell how tight my gold pen & I are getting? :p Just wait...

For the napking rings, I used twine I had left from the wedding & wrapped it several times around the napkin then tied it in a bow. We have GOBS of acorns around our yard so I picked up a satchel full & painted the belly part with my buddy, the gold pen. The whole time, I'm wondering what my neighbors are thinking...1) She's such a lazy butt...she goes & picks up a few leaves then lets her husband rake the rest 2) What is she picking up? (Enter husband of neighbor) Probably their dogs poo. But with her bare hands? Disgusting. 3) She seems so interested in leaves in her yard, why doesn't she plant grass so our neighborhood looks better! (There's an actual story behind this...maybe I'll share later...I can see you nodding off so I'll stop. ;p)

I wanted to add a lot of candles but dress em up a bit. So I decided to do poor man's gold crackling on some extra glass tealights I had. 

I've seen tealight holders like this at West Elm & Z Gallerie. It was so fun to recreate them & not spend a dime! My buddy goldie (the pen) is permanent so I can use these for years.  

Let's see the Before one more time...

Plain Jane


Those white candleholders I got at Goodwill ages ago for $1 for both & have used them for all kinds of things. 

I also wanted to see what it would look like without the leaves. I added the leaves because I felt it needed some color but I think I'm really digging this classic look. 

What do you think?

Me & goldie glammed up some more acorns to add to the candlescape. 

If you're wondering about that pretty white cake stand...I got it from Wisteria back in the spring when it was on clearance. 

I love to look at our dining room table. It makes me smile & makes me think of all the things I'm truly grateful for. One of those things is...

I'm not just saying that. I really am. When I started this blog last New Years Eve, I knew I loved to plan parties on a budget but I never knew anyone would read this. ;p Your encouragement, comments, support (with the Better Homes & Garden contest) & just plain reading this thing...makes me smile bigger than a teenager getting to meet Justin Bieber. :-) Thank you!

I've got another post I'll post this week, then I have an awesome guest blogger for next week. So much fun stuff to come! Happy Thanksgiving! 

One Artsy Mama


  1. Heidi! I love this! it looks ah-may-zing!

  2. Very nice ! You are awesome! :) happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Thank you so much Sarah & Lori! I really appreciate it! Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. I think the chargers look beautiful with the white plates and I love the napkin rings. Very nice job!

  5. that turned out really cool I need to find myself one of those gold pens I'd love it if you would add this to my blog party at

  6. Great ideas!! I like how you wrote on the bottom of the plate, and I love those napkin rings. Would you share here?

  7. Lisa...Thank you so much! Marissa...thank you for inviting me to your blog party. I will come with my party hat on! :-) Amy..yes...thank you for the invite!

  8. I think Martha Stewart would be proud of that...AWESOME!!! Thanks for the ideas.

  9. Nicely done! I once had a similar love affair with a white paint pen, but your gold pen is way cooler.

  10. Way to go being creative with things that you already had to make a gorgeous looking table! I love what you did with the little candle holders, they look great! Go gold pen!

  11. Brittney...You made my heart jump just a little by saying that! ;p Thank you! Courtney...oh yes, white paint pens can form just as much a codependent relationship. ;p Thank you Renewed Upon a Dream! Go GOLD! ;p

  12. Love these ideas! So putting them to practice this week. Thanks for sharing!!

  13. Thank you for sharing, I can totally do this! Happy new follower :)

  14. Michele & Space 46...thank you so much! :-) Happy Thanksgiving! :-)

  15. I love those dessert plates! Thanks for the great ideas, I am so glad to have stumbled upon you!

  16. Love the whole tablescape! I think I'm feeling the no leaf look a little more than with the leaves, although I honestly adore both! Great work! I wish I had acorns around my house... jealous...

  17. Very pretty! Just stopping by from Centsational Girl ...

  18. Love your tablescape! Very pretty, visiting from CG!

  19. Thank you so much Linda & Debbie! :-)

  20. Beautiful table! Love the budget :)

  21. Thanks so much Sherry! I love your scarf in your profile pic! :-)

  22. Lovely ideas on a budget. Despite we don't celebrate Thanks giving in Australia, your ideas can be really applied to other special occasion such as Christmas and new Year eve, fall party or even winter wedding themes... The plates look so unique and love the napking "rings", so eco. Thanks for sharing

  23. Love the acorns on the napkin rings. I painted some acorns last year- you can see them here at this link:
    Just wondering how you attached them to the twine? Thanks! Erin

  24. Heidi, THANK YOU FOR MAKING ME LAUGH AND THE GREAT IDEAS!! :-) :-) :-) Your Awesome!!!

  25. Your table decor is beautiful. I just picked acorns to make the napkin rings for this year's Thanksgiving.


Anything you say, can & will be used to enhance this blog. :-) Thank you for your comments! <3