I love this time of year.  There is something about fall and the approaching winter that brings me home.  I want to be home with my family. Preparing for the holidays is probably my favorite thing to do.  I love thinking about how to make it special for those I love. Whether it is making a special handmade gift, creating a warm and inviting space for guests, or planning intimate gatherings with family and friends- I can’t get enough.  

That is what this three part series is about- family and friends.  We want to share a few simple ideas to make your home special this holiday season.

This is all about place settings.  You do not need to spend a lot to make your holiday table special.  Creating thoughtful little gifts for each guest lets them know you are thinking of them.  I love that each of these could be taken home and used in their own homes for the holidays.

This post may contain affiliate links for items I use, decorated with and recommend. If you purchase, I could make a small commission at no charge to you. 

Here are five easy place settings you can make for your holiday table.  

1.  Mason Jar arrangements.  Mason jars are both inexpensive and readily available.  Start by cleaning them out and giving them a coat of paint.  I use Rustoleum’s Chalk Paint. Once dry, insert floral foam into the jar to give it a good strong base.  Add faux florals and picks. Like these from Michaels Craft Store.  I like to use lots of different textures of greenery with natural elements like pinecones, berries, and fruits.  Finish it off with a ribbon and a chalkboard name tag for each guest. For the kids you could even forgo the floral arrangement and instead opt for filling a mason jar with fun little gifts for them to play with at the table- crayons, mini puzzle books, fun dinosaur toys, a sweet treat.

2.  Picks as napkin rings.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE to wonder through high end stores for ideas.  On one such trip, I saw these floral napkin rings and left inspired to make my own at home.  (Cause let’s face it- the $32 a piece price tag was NOT something I was willing to give in to).  So off to the craft store I went- they are my favorite place to go to find floral picks. (Like these from Michaels). I look for ones that have a wire stem (not a wooden stem).  Once home, simply use a needle nose pliers to turn the wire into a circle. I like to “curl” the ends. Viola! The exact same look as that high end shop.  I even added these cute little wood tags with their names handwritten on them. I attached these to the napkin ring with some twine. I love how they turned out.

3.  One of the things I love most about Joanna Gaine’s style is her simplicity.  She is subtle and does not over do it. That is why this place setting might be my favorite.  Simply fold the napkin over the plate, add a bit of pine, cedar, or rosemary, a pretty fruit, and name tag and call it done. This is not really a “take home” place setting for guests but it sure looks beautiful.  I think it reminds us all of the simple beauty all around us. Choose fresh sprigs to add the lovely scent at the table. Find unusual fruits to use like pomegranates, baby fall cabbage, blood oranges, or succulents– I like to make my choice even based on the colors or natural shape of the fruit.  Or even these pinecones for the holidays.  And to make the place cards easy- try these mini chalkboard place cards.

4.  Use Ornaments as place cards.  Since we are talking about the Thanksgiving Day Table- using ornaments as place cards is the perfect little gift for your guests to take home and hang on their trees.  Choose ornaments around a theme and personalize them for each guest. Lay them on the napkin like I did or use a pretty ribbon to tie them around each napkin.  I LOVE these little elves from Target.  This wild collection would be fun too.

5.  Photo ornaments.  This is a sweet idea that is not only a great gift but also sparks conversation at the table.  Choose a photo holder ornament that matches your table decor. Add a notecard with each person’s name as the “photo” in the ornament or better yet, find old pictures of each guest- print them out and add those to the photo ornaments.  So rather than name cards each guest has a photo card. How fun it would be be pass around the pictures and talk about the “good old days.” This could become a fun tradition. I think about how much my children would love to hear their aunts, uncles, and grandparents talk about their lives.  You could even change it up- rather than using old photos, choose photos from the past year and spend the time reflecting about the events from the last year.  I love these from Lenox– I would be so honored to receive one as a guest and I know mine would be too.

Bonus:  Wine Charms- I thought I would try my hand at creating some wine charms, one for each guest.  They are easy to make and I love the cute little messages I found on these charms. Then each guest could be presented with a little box or gift bag to take their charm home.  Not up for making them- try these in a Christmas themeOr these from Target.  Or these in beach, traveler, and wine love themes.

Check out my Facebook Live and see how I made each one of these place card settings.

Looking for a beautiful placemat, table runner, or tablecloth.  Check these- Buffalo Plaid, Grain Sack from Hearth and Home by Joanna Gaines. Or these little appetizer plates I cannot stop thinking about.  I hope these ideas inspire you to take some time to create thoughtful little place settings for each of you guests this holiday season.