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I have fond memories of preparing for holiday meals with my mother. We'd go to the flower market and gather pine boughs, tulips, and roses. Then we'd return home and arrange our bounty in antique silver vases that she'd acquired over the years.
Now I'm on a single girl's budget, so armloads of blossoms aren't an option for me—and in any case, I love the creative challenge of affordable holiday table decorating. Ideas come to mind with things I already have on hand.
For the abundant look of floral arrangements without the cost, paper flowers are a surprisingly easy and eye-catching option. They do require time and patience, however, so plan ahead. Depending on your desired effect you can use colored tissue, brown craft, or even newspaper, and if you store them carefully they'll last for holidays to come!
Also in the realm of paper goods, black and white photos have a charming effect on the table. As a runner and place cards; hung from the chandelier; or slipped into vintage bottles; they're not only aesthetically pleasing but also a reminder of the family and friendship we value this time of year.
Finally, when all else fails, raid the rest of the house! You'd be amazed at the tablescape you can build with odds and ends from your bookshelves, china cabinet, coffee table, and nightstands. Group your collection of vintage matchbooks with those garage sale tea tins you bought for no apparent reason. Add your grandmother's porcelain cream and sugar set to the mix. Your brass owls from Etsy? They're just the finishing touch you need.
The holidays are about celebrating what you have--and what better way to celebrate it than to use what you have to create an affordable holiday table?
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