Table setting or table decorations, made for various reasons, require special attention. Fortunately, this is also a pleasurable task. From selecting the tablecloth to arranging the flowers on the table, “table decorations” are an enjoyable activity. I hope you will read this page with pleasure as well. In this article, you will find brief but important information about table decorations and table setting, which will always be useful. Let’s get started:
Table Setting Starts with Tablecloths
Tablecloths are not only for table decorations. In addition to serving a decorative purpose, a tablecloth also protects the surface of the table. If you don’t have a properly sized tablecloth, creative solutions can be even better in terms of table decorations.
White linen or cotton damask tablecloths are conventionally used for formal occasions, but you may prefer to choose a cloth that matches the setting or follows the theme of the occasion.
Protecting the Table: Covering with Plastic
Prevent spills from damaging a polished table top by placing a layer of plastic wrap or oilcloth over it before laying the main tablecloth. Alternatively, use a plastic tablecloth.
Finding Tablecloth Alternatives
- Using sheets: If you need extra tablecloths for a large party, improvise with sheets or lengths of cheesecloth for table decorations.
- Using several cloths: If you have only small tablecloths, use a plain sheet as an under-cloth, and lay several small, pretty tablecloths diagonally on top to cover a large table.
- Using a blanket: If you do not have an under-cloth, use a thick blanket underneath a tablecloth to prevent the top of the table from being marked.
- Substituting rugs: For a party with an Arabian or Oriental theme, lay brightly colored kilims or rugs over a large table.
Use coins as weights: Weight a tablecloth to be used outdoors by removing a few stitches around the hem and slipping coins or curtain weights inside. Alternatively, you can tack weights onto the cloth.
Tie knots: Knot the corners of the cloth when eating outdoors to prevent them from flapping. Place the cloth over one of a contrasting shade or slip bouquets of dried flowers into each knot for decoration.
Decorating Plain Tablecloths
- Decorating with stencils: Use stencils and fabric paints to decorate a plain cloth. Stencil a border around each place setting.
- Spray painting: Brighten up plain fabric or paper cloths with spray paints in colorful, abstract designs for children’s parties.
- Scattering petals: Scatter rose petals or other edible flowers over a cloth for a romantic touch to table decorations.
- Adding sparkle: At a festive event, sprinkle gold or silver stars over the tablecloth.
- Using wallpaper borders: Decorate the edges of a plain cloth with a pretty wallpaper border, securing it around the edges with double-sided tape.
Table Setting: Making Herb Bouquets
The easiest and most effective application for table decorations is flowers and plants. Make small bouquets of fresh herbs, such as rosemary or thyme, to attach to a plain tablecloth. Tie the bouquets with ribbon, and pin them to the cloth in each corner.
Setting Table Decorations
The same basic principles apply to setting any table, whether for an informal or a formal meal, although the menu dictates which cutlery is used. To avoid overcrowding the table at the start of a meal, additional cutlery can be brought to the table with the appropriate courses.
Laying a Table for Dinner
To lay a setting, regardless of how many courses there are, lay the cutlery in the order it will be used, working from the outside inward. To save space, you can place both the dessert spoon and fork at the top of the setting. Arrange glasses at the top right-hand corner, with the main wine glass placed above the tip of the main knife.
Table Setting: Choosing Glassware
If you have taken care in your choice of drinks, you will want to choose glassware equally carefully to complement the drinks and the table setting. When calculating how many glasses you need for entertaining on a large scale, allow an additional 10 percent for breakage.
Choosing Wine Glasses
To enjoy the bouquet of either white or red wine, serve it in glasses that are narrower at the rim than in the body. This shape enhances the wine’s bouquet.
Using Glassware for Table Setting
- Removing labels: To remove sticky labels from new glasses, rub with lighter fluid.
- Removing watermarks: If glasses are dulled by watermarks, restore their sparkle by soaking them in water with a little vinegar. Rinse thoroughly in cold water, drain, and dry.
- Washing crystal: Wash fine lead crystal glasses by hand in warm water and detergent. Rinse in clear water and dry while warm. Washing lead crystal in a dishwasher will dull the surface of the glasses.
- Serving champagne: Serve champagne in slender flutes, which show off the bubbles and color of the wine.
When serving fruit punch and iced drinks, use a glass pitcher with a pinched pouring lip or a filter to prevent fruit slices or ice cubes from falling into the glass.
Table Setting: Choosing Tableware
The careful selection of tableware is essential for the visual success of a dinner party and to showcase the food at its best. Choose simple yet striking colors and shapes when deciding which china, cutlery, and linen to use, and arrange them so that they do not detract from the food.
Mixing and Matching Tableware
If you do not have enough matching tableware for all of your guests, mix and match what you have by combining colors and styles for a dramatic effect. Layer contrasting colors on top of one another.
Table Setting: Using Large Platters
When arranging ingredients, if you do not have a plate that fits the size of a quiche or tart exactly, choose a large platter. Place the quiche in the center and fill the space around it with a mixed salad or pretty garnish.
Finding Serving Alternatives
- Using disposable platters: Buy large, disposable foil platters for buffet foods. To make them look decorative, line them with lettuce leaves before arranging the food on top.
- Using wicker containers: For an unusual presentation, serve bread and canapes in wicker containers. Line baskets with napkins for bread and trays with lettuce leaves for canapes.
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