3 Incredible Tablescapes To DIY For A Perfect Holiday Dinner

If we were gambling types, we'd wager that each person reading this will host at least one person for dinner over the next month. Whether it's a neighbor, your S.O.'s parents, or five of your besties; whether you live in a shoebox-sized studio or a spacious manse; whether you'll cook or simply serve up some takeout — 'tis the season for entertaining. And we think everyone should be able to do so in style, no matter how much space (or cash) they have.
That's why we're sharing a little secret: The art of the dinner party isn't about fancy food or a swanky home — it's all about the visuals, and they don't have to be pricey. To prove you don't need beaucoup bucks to wow your guests, we consulted with the DIY genius behind local blog JulipMade, Julie Eitner, for three festive tablescapes that are easy, elegant, and oh-so-affordable (seriously — one of them is practically free).
So, don't fret about the expense of throwing a lavish dinner party — instead, channel your inner creative guru. With these gorg decorations, you could serve frozen pizza and your guests would still be blown away.
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Theme: Natural glam

You'll need:
Collected pine cones, leaves, and branches
Metallic gold spray paint
Rosemary sprigs
Bamboo skewers
Twine (any kind will do, but metallic looks amazing!)
Mason jars in various sizes
Brown kraft paper
Tea lights
White paint pen
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Gather pine cones, tree branches, and leaves from outdoors. Eitner collected items from the streets surrounding her apartment. After you've acquired whatever earthy elements suit your fancy, glam 'em up with a coat of gold spray paint. Spray the bases of the tea lights, as well.
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Cut a sheet of brown kraft paper to cover the center of your table, then place tea lights inside the mason jars for a subtle continuation of the color scheme.
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Create the table's centerpiece by arranging the painted branches, leaves, and pine cones in whatever presentation pleases your eye. Perfection isn't necessary — casual and effortless looks best!
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Place a simple white napkin in the center of each plate and arrange silverware on top.
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To make the cutest drink stirrer of all time, attach a sprig of fresh rosemary to a bamboo skewer using twine.
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Personalize each place setting by writing guests' names using the white paint pen on the painted leaves, then attach to silverware using twine.
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Now, light your tea lights. Can you handle how gorgeous it looks?
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Voila! A naturally glamorous table setting worthy of a Martha Stewart mag spread.
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Theme: Scandinavian chic

You'll need:
A natural-print wrapping paper (Julie used the Faux Bois print from Paper Source)
Red baker's twine
Small tree branches
Bag of pre-popped popcorn
Needle and thread
Glass hurricane vases
Mason jars
Tea lights
Wax paper
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Create one cranberry and one cranberry-and-popcorn garland by threading a needle and piercing through the center of each cranberry and the thickest part of the popcorn.
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Assemble the rosemary, baker's twine, tea lights, and mason jars for the first DIY component of this tablescape.
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Use the twine to fasten a sprig of rosemary to each mason jar, then drop a tea light inside.
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The most festive candleholders ever? We think so!
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Scandinavian rustic done right.
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Now, assemble the cookies, wax paper, and baker's twine. Eitner used stiff paper to make a personalized name tag for each guest.
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Place a cookie inside a square of wax paper, fold to close, and secure with baker's twine and a homemade name tag.
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Lay the wrapping paper along the table to make a runner, then place three glass hurricanes in a casual, asymmetric arrangement.
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Arrange branches in each of the hurricane vases.
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Begin weaving your cranberry garlands through the branches.
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We'd forgotten how stunning these classic holiday decorations can be!
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Weave the cranberry and popcorn garlands across the table through the branches, letting some portions drape inside the vases.
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Decant apple cider into an old-fashioned glass jar (score one for cheap at IKEA) and use twine to tie on a homemade label.
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Add your place settings to the table and personalize each plate with one of the wrapped cookies. Simple and pretty!
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The finished product — classy and festive!
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Theme: Neon NYE

You'll need:
Neon tissue paper, cut into confetti-size pieces
Neon curling ribbon
Neon pens
Bright colored Sharpie markers
Toy plastic animals
Bright colored masonry cord (available at hardware stores)
Neon spray paint
Neon labeling stickers
Glass hurricane vases
Tea lights
Taper candles
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Make party-ready drink stirrers by curling neon ribbon and using tape to attach multi-colored clusters to the end of bamboo skewers.
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Brighten up glass hurricanes or any simple vases you have on hand (a drinking glass works, too!) by wrapping neon masonry cord around the outside in colorblock patterns. Do the same with tea lights for a coordinating color scheme.
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Spread the tissue-paper confetti across a white tablecloth to create an ombre effect.
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Awesome (and cheap!) trick: Fill each glass container about halfway with rice. (You'll see why on the next slide!)
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The rice won't be visible thanks to the wrapped cord, but it keeps your taper candles standing up straight.
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Use neon spray paint to transform small objects, like these quirky toy animals, into cool design elements. Make homemade name tags using stiff paper and Sharpie markers, and attach with the masonry cord.
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Place a drink stirrer in each champagne glass.
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Last step: Light the candles!
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Now, all you have to do is pop the Prosecco. Happy 2013!