Tablescape: Thankful Fall Large Group Tablesetting

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I decorate for a monthly fellowship luncheon at my church so I am always on the lookout for inexpensive ideas I can use for each season or monthly holiday. Since I have been doing these decorations for a number of years, I try very hard not to do the same thing from year to year. That isn’t always easy in certain months, but it becomes a creative challenge!

This November thankful fall large group tablesetting is an example of such a challenge.

First of all, a fall color scheme is basically going to be in tones of yellow, orange, tan or brown. To avoid looking too much like the tablesettings I did in October, I decided to use brown construction paper placemats as the first color over the white paper table-covering we used on the 15 tables in our fellowship hall. To avoid the tablesettings from looking too drab, I used orange, tan and yellow as my accent colors.

The paper napkins I found at the Christmas Tree Shop featured a sampler of fall designs with a dominance of sunflowers. The brightness of the napkin colors perked up the brown placemats.

For the centerpieces, I used the brown construction paper placemats as the underpinning for the other elements. At Party City, I bought tissue paper fall leaves in a variety of colors to sprinkle about on the tables’ centers. These add bright fall color to the tablesetting and can be saved and reused over and over again. You could also cut out your own leaf shapes out of colored paper.

I decided that I wanted to create a runner-style centerpiece with an different type of vase than I’d ever used at church. Since I plan my table decorations a year in advance so I can shop for needed items when they are on sale, I decided that I would save aluminum cans to use in November. Progresso Soup has cans that are a good size, so I saved my soup cans and asked several good friends to save them, too.

I covered the cans with strips of burlap-print wrapping paper attached with a glue stick. Then I tied strands of raffia around the middle of the cans for a bit of polish.

Since cans easily tip over if filled with anything too tall or heavy, they need to be weighted. I put gravel from my driveway in the bottom of them, but glass marbles or river rocks would work well. These items also work well to hold up the decorative skewers I placed in each can.

The decorative skewers were constructed out of tall bamboo barbeque skewers with Thanksgiving messages glued together back to back. I looked on the Internet for free Thanksgiving printables and found some I liked. Then I ran them off on white cardstock on my home computer printer and cut them out. Your message skewers could easily spell out a word.

I loved the printables I used, but I would advise against selecting round shapes. Cutting out round shapes is very labor-intensive, but square or rectangular shapes can much more easily be cut out with a paper cutter.

My final touch was to fill the top of each can with orange shreds. You can buy paper shreds (or create your own with a paper shredder) or Mylar shreds available at most craft or party stores. I had a large bag of orange plastic shreds that someone had given me that worked well for this purpose, so I was recycling them as well as the cans.  You can adapt this idea for use during many seasons and for many occasions, and the cans can be reused many times as can the shreds. Take the idea and run with it! Enjoy!


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