burlap, drapery fabric, how to decorate, how to make place mats, how to make table runner, how to make tablecloth, table runners, tablecloths, tablerunner, thanksgiving decorating, vinyl

How to Decorate a Banquet Table for Thanksgiving!

It’s that time of year when garages, basements and attics are raided and folding chairs and banquet tables are pulled out to provide additional seating for family and holiday meals.  This year we’d like to show you some simple steps to creating a beautified banquet table – those who have to sit at the “extra” table will feel like the honored guests they are!

5 steps to decorating your (folding) banquet table for special occasions
White Cotton, Burlap, Cranberry Vinyl
  1. Determine your Color SchemeWhat dishes do you have – pick out complementary colors for your palette.  For my Thanksgiving tablescape, I’m using Fiestaware in a variety of colors so I opted for something neutral but festive: natural browns, cream/white and cranberry red vinyl.
  2. Create a Tablecloth.  With a banquet table it is essential to cover up as much of the table as possible so your average sized tablecloth is not the best bet.For my tablescape I used a standard sized banquet table (72″ x 30″ x 30″) and I needed 3 and 2/3 yards of 54″ linen to cover it.  This makes a 132″ x 50″ tablecloth, assuming 1″ hem. Choose any drapery weight or heavier cotton or linen fabric, keeping in mind the heavier the fabric, the better the drape. (In a pinch, forget the hem and use a no-fray spray on the edges!)

    If your table is a different size, use this formula to figure out the tablecloth size needed: (length + depth + width) in inches x (width + 20″).

  3. Create a Table Runner, preferably out of vinyl.  Yes, vinyl.  Vinyl is not the plastic-y stuff you might remember! Some are soft and almost indistinguishable from leather, some are matte with a soft texture, some are sparkly and smooth.  All can be easily cleaned by wiping with water and a soft cloth, which makes them ideal for a table runner or place mats!

    I found a 10″ wide runner was perfect for my banquet table. I needed it to be 130″ long, however.  This can be handled either by buying 2.5 yards of 54″ vinyl (this way you’ll have an uninterrupted length of vinyl) or use 3 54″ lengths and push them together, taping them to the cloth to provide some stability!

    Checking out the layout before completion

  4. Create Place Mats, either out of vinyl or burlap.  These are the easiest materials to work with if you don’t want to do a lot of sewing!

    I chose to create burlap place mats because I loved their rustic look against the red vinyl and the crystal. Use a heavier upholstery weight (10 oz) instead of a “craft” burlap if you plan to use them more than once! Making them was as simple as cutting a 12″ x 19″ rectangle, steaming it flat and fringing the sides.

  5. Add Seasonal Decoration and you’re done! My family is half English and we tend to use “Christmas” crackers at every major celebration – if you’ve never experienced this fun tradition, I highly recommend adding it to your holiday table!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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