Tablescape: Large Group Sunflower Luncheon

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There are so many situations in which you might be expected to work on a large group luncheon or dinner for some organization to which you belong. You might be a parent volunteer for one of your children’s activities like a sports team, a special interest club, or Scouts. You might be a parent volunteer for the PTA or one of the boosters groups. You might be in a community group, or a special interest group. You also might be involved at your church which is where I did this large group sunflower luncheon. Check out these inexpensive ideas for setting attractive tables for your group.

My church has a monthly fellowship luncheon after worship from September to May. Since I have been decorating for these luncheons for many years now, I am always looking for ideas and color schemes I haven’t used before. So using black-and-white checks with bright yellow seemed liked a cheery way to start the new year of luncheons.

I frequently get my theme from the napkins I find on sale or the color of the construction paper placemats I have or find on sale. For this particular luncheon, I found the sunflower napkins first at the Christmas Tree Shop and then the yellow paper I found at Ollie’s.

Then I remembered that I had a box of 1000 black-and-white tissue squares like those that might be used in bakery boxes. I got it very inexpensively at the salvage store of a trucking company. They always have interesting discounted things that came in damaged shipments. So I knew that the black-and-white checked squares would really pop against the bright yellow. You could easily use black-and-white checked scrapbook paper or cut squares from checked wrapping paper to achieve the same effect.

We usually set 12-15 tables in our chapel which is used as a fellowship hall. I used the three paper squares down the length of the wider tables straight on, but we put them on the diagonal on the longer, skinnier tables.  On the center square, I placed a card-stock tentcard welcoming our guests to the first luncheon of the season. I make these tentcards on my home computer and print them on my home printer. I put the same message on both sides of the tentcard so guests on both sides of the table can read the message.

The last thing I needed for the centerpiece were some silk sunflowers to place on each end of the tentcard to tie in with the napkins’ sunflowers and the picture of sunflowers I used on the tentcard. In late summer, it is usually easy to find bushes of silk summer sunflowers at craft and discount stores on sale. I just cut the flowers apart with a pair of wire cutters, and laid the individual flowers beside the tentcards. Then by laying the napkins on the diagonal on the placemats, I got the maximum color and flower power! So you too can get the same effect with this color scheme or with a different color or different flower. Use your imagination and enjoy!

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