Pier 1 Holiday Tablesettings

This post brought to you by Pier 1 Imports. All opinions are 100% mine.

My assignment:   to create a holiday tablesetting using $50 provided by Pier 1.

My moment of surprise:  opening the envelope holding a $100 giftcard.

My next thought:  Holy crap.  (sorry mom). 

So here’s what happened.  The fine folks at Pier 1 asked if I would be willing to write a sponsored post about holiday entertaining.  Uh…yayAH!  And I still get to express 100% of my own opinions, PLUS get a gift card to one of my favorite stores…so it was a total win-win situation.  Soon after I received confirmation that I indeed would be working with this home decor giant, I started brainstorming.  You know how much I love tablesettings…so it was only natural for me to peruse their site looking for ideas on what I would use. 

Then I got the giftcard.  Dude.  They just totally upped the ante.  Fifty bucks buys one heck of a tablesetting.  BUT ONE HUNDRED SMACKERS?  Well, Benjamin Franklin would not be happy with only one.  No.  That’s serious dough.  And serious dough means serious tablesettings.  And being the thrifty homeschooled Jersey peach that I am, I decided that I would create some tableaus with one thing in mind : CLEARANCE.  

Will and I headed to our nearby branch…which by the way has an amazing clearance section. 

We spent the better part of an hour oohing and ahhing in each aisle.  Well, Will mostly gurgled.  But we saw pillows,

we saw new shmancy knobs for drawers (I didn’t even know they sold these),

we saw cute owl & bird salt & pepper shakers,

we saw cute little pumpkin placecard holders and ceramic stenciled balls,


we saw a chicken that lays an egg (please note that it was a huge temptation for me to not blow $100 on rubber fowl),

and then we saw it.   IT!  The red stickers!  The rock bottom prices!  THE CLEARANCE!  (enter dramatic music here)

Since there is no way to know what is in the clearance section beforehand, I did ALL my brainstorming on the spot…furiously waving dishes and glasses above my head while telling the very kind sales lady (in my best Pretty Woman impersonation) LOOK I HAVE MONEY TO SPEND IN HERE!  And after FOUR hours of shopping and one very hungry baby later, I had brought home the goods.  Here is the stuff that I walked out with using my gift card:

Here is the breakdown:

Oh and yes, I also came home with a couple other purchases, that I was happy to whip out my debit card for.  A dozen cupcake placemats, gotta have em…

and a $6 3-hook plaque can’t be beat. 

Okay…back to the point…holiday placesettings.  My point here is simple.  I wanted to show you how you can score some clearance priced wares to create holiday tablesettings that are so versatile that you can actually use them for other holidays.   

Here is number 1 – I like to call it Orchard Thanksgiving.

Typically people think of apples as the choice orchard fruit for Thanksgiving…but I would like to change that.  I vote lemons. 

The warmth of the golden lemon is perfect for Thanksgiving…or the many many meals surrounding Thanksgiving.  And these plates are just perfect for LARGE portions and bringing a little down-home-feel to your table.   Plus they remind me of the ridiculously priced lemon pillows that were at Pottery Barn.

I used a cream colored pashmina as a runner and then layered a folded brown napkin to create depth and contrast with my plate. 

The java colored salad plates were the perfect spot to plop a golden glass ashtray (weird, huh?) with some acorns gathered from my driveway and a little tealight candle. 

And to balance out the salad plate, I used my antique green textured glasses (a handmedown from my mother).  The woven basket is now the perfect place to plop breadsticks or rolls.  (oh and the napkin inside is an old find from Pier1 that cost less than fifty cents.  yeah.  did I mention that the clearance section rocks?).   

The centerpiece is super simple.  Two branches of lemons & leaves.  I didn’t even snip the ends, I just simply bent them over till they fit onto the table.

And there we have one harvest themed Thanksgiving tablesetting.   

Number #2 tablesetting  is called Fresh Start

It’s a tablesetting made for New Year’s morning.  And the best way to get a fresh start to a new year is with citrus yellow and clean navy blue with crisp white dishware.

Each setting started with the woven chargers (at $4 a piece are a steal) and layered with basic white plates, a navy napkin (clearance pier1), a small side dish (pier 1) and topped with a mini yellow bowl.  Oh and don’t forget the yellow polka dot glasses – um, yes these will get rid of any celebration hangover with their fun design.      

Wanna add a little fun to the setting?  All you have to do is roll up a piece of paper with new year’s fortunes written on one end.  It’s like a fortune cookie…but without all the cardboard-tasting calories.

Now tell me that you wouldn’t love this setting on the morning after?

The center of the table boasts a cake plate ready for biscuits, a oval plate for fruit and eggs, and once again our small woven basket – this time holding the silverware.  Tying everything together into a cohesive unit is a blue napkin (pier1 clearance.  yes.  again.)  It kind of makes it like a mini new-year’s picnic, huh?

And our lemon branches from Thanksgiving harvest?  Well, they got repurposed as branchy filler in a hurricane atop a green placemat.

And that citrus-y centerpiece act as the perfect backdrop to well-wishing breakfast eaters a very happy new year. 

Now onto our third tablesetting, one I like to call Christmas under the Stars.

First let me tell you that the ‘runner’ is actually a wrinkled old holey tablecloth that I just bunched together and placed under the centerpiece box.  Things are not as they seem here folks. Fake it till you make it :)

Each place setting is a layered mix of white, red, and brown…all on top of our red snowflake placemats.

And did you notice our napkin ring?  It’s actually a $1 woven star ornament that will look darling on your tree long after dinner is over.

It also ties in to our centerpiece topper – the larger woven version.  At $6 this can not be beat.  I could even see this on each window as exterior decor or as a tree topper or above an advent calendar…like a reminder of how the shepherds followed the star on Christmas night. 

Below the star is a white box – like a present on christmas morn – filled to the brim with disco ornaments (they sell the exact same ones at Pier 1) and plain red balls.   Oh and I reused one of the brown napkins to act like my ’tissue paper’.  Just darling.

The fourth setup is something I like to call A Pudding & Cocoa Christmas.

Here is a tip for you if you are doing lots of entertaining this holiday season….keep it simple.  Even serving dessert can be memorable if you serve small & delicious dishes that everyone loves….like pudding and hot chocolate!

The red bowls look stunning with the little white spoons…and they will make your guests feel oh-so-special when they dip into their dark chocolate pudding with almond shavings.  (a girl can dream, right?)    

And for the other half of dessert, how bout a hot drink?  like cocoa?  I dressed up the oversized mugs by sticking the red snowflake placemats into them and added a pack of hot chocolate and a candy cane.  I love how the placemats look like antlers…

Oh and don’t forget to add height to your setting – it helps the eye travel along the table easily.  I did it by adding two standard glass hurricanes filled with plastic red ornaments and a two-tiered plate holder.  That centerpiece is perfect for stashing cookies, fruit salad, or any other sweet you wanna serve your guests.

Psst…here is another tablesetting trick – place a plate under your kettle filled with hot water.  It’ll protect your table top from drips and from heat while still allowing you to have a festive place to put your teapot. 

Whew.  Last and final tablesetting (are you tired yet?) is called Christmas at the Beach.

Let’s face it, sometimes we don’t have snow on Christmas.  Sometimes we have sand.  And you gotta work with what you got.  So I dedicate this one to those folks in Florida.  And all the other sandy shores.  It begins with a brown & white festive runner (just guess where I got it…go ahead…yup.  pier 1 clearance) and then I added the woven chargers.  White & brown plates add a little warmth and contrast, and then I topped em with a couple martini glasses with silver disco ornaments popped inside.

The centerpiece is actually the woven star basket (and I slipped my star dish inside and a few dozen shiny silver ornaments too) and some festive twine-adorned candles.  It’s not brain surgery here…just wrap a bit around and tie it off for a very beachy candle.  I needed a bit more height to the arrangement so I placed the red mini bowls upside down and topped them with the sculptural ruffled edge dishes (same ones I used in Fresh Start & Christmas under the Stars) to create a cheap but effective candleholder.  

So there you have it folks…five tablesettings all for $100.  And you know what?  There are more.  The possibilities are endless when you shop for things you love and challenge yourself to use things in a new and unique way.  But enough pep-talk, let’s chat about your favorite?  Did you love those lemon plates as much as I did?  Or perhaps you adore those woven chargers?  Or is the fun & festive red snowflake placemats that have you smiling?  Oh I know…it’s the woven stars?  Or by chance is it just the fact that all five placesettings were from CLEARANCE?  Seriously though…you should check out the sale section at Pier 1…it’s like a treasure trove.  Plus, the store itself boasts set tables that put my placesettings to shame.  TO SHAME  I tell ya.

Psst…during the months of November and December, you can support Toys for Tots by dropping off an unwrapped toy and/or making a cash donation at the register.  And if you “Like” Pier 1 Imports on Facebook during the month of November, Pier 1 will donate $1 to Toys for Tots.

Psst…for more of my Pier 1 holiday picks, check out these links: holiday plattertable runner, topiary, glass pumpkins, salt & pepper shakers, forest ornaments, nutcracker ornaments & the ultimate wreath.     

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  1. says

    I’m one of your newest followers and I absolutely love your blog and humor- Especially your bossom buddies quote today!
    Great job with the beautiful tablescapes! I don’t think I’ve ever checked out Pier 1 believe it or not- this will have to change.

  2. says

    Consider me Inspired! {I love to read your blog, but rarely comment… but your tablescapes are so inviting, I just had to say something.} I’ve never put a lot of thought into setting the table, but that may have to change now…

  3. says

    I love all these settings. My favorite being Christmas at the beach. I also had a big smile on my face when I saw the bird salt and pepper shakers and the egg pooping chicken. I have both! And the chicken….totally worth having around.

  4. says

    You just inspired me to set a Christmas morning table :-) We usually celebrate Christmas Eve with all of the extended family and reserve Christmas morning for our own little family. I bet my 5 year old daughter would get a kick out of seeing the table transformed in the morning (after she turns her attention away from the tree of course).

  5. Susan says

    I’m a pretty new follower to your blog but I had to comment on this post (instead of just lurking)! I loved the red & brown Christmas. I think that one was my favorite. I did really like Christmas at the beach but the red and brown really appealed to me. :) Great job!

  6. Angela says

    When I saw the picture of all the stuff you bought I wondering how it was all going to come together.

    I like #2 because it is the one I would be most likely to use.

    I like the color scheme of #1 but it doesn’t seem very practical. To get to the napkin you would have to lift up the plate and all the utensils and to use the brown plate you would have to pick up the ashtray.

    • says

      I thought of that Angela…most likely if I were to actually use this tablesetting, I would just provide additional napkins. I have a bazillion so it actually would mean that twice as many got to put to some good use :) And actually I don’t think moving the ashtray thingie would be that big of a deal…kinda like when a soup bowl is on your plate but you don’t eat clam chowder…am I totally off? possibly.
      xo – kb

  7. says

    I am going to have to go with the Beach Christmas, even though I think they are all very lovely. I haven’t been to Pier 1 in foreva, like literally the last time I was there was in high school, but now I am totally going to boogey on over there to check it out again :)

  8. says

    I love all your table settings, but that Beach one is completely AWESOME! It would never be appropriate here in Michigan, but that doesn’t mean I don’t kind of want to try it anyway. :)

  9. says

    I love these, especially the simple “pudding and hot chocolate” set up! Question: Do you do elaborate table settings for you and the boyfriend? Just when company is coming? I would love ideas on how to do some “kid friendly” settings as well (future post??) We have a 5 y/o, 3 y/o, and a 6 month old in the house.

    Thanks :)

    • says

      Hi Leanne,
      Honestly, when I do these tablesetting posts, it is only the very last one that we actually end up using. Most of them are done all in one naptime, so it’s sortof like a tornado in a bombshelter…everything is everywhere all in a small space. We definitely do tablesettings when company is coming but most nights Jeremy & I are lucky just to sit down for dinner :)
      xo – kb
      p.s. I’ll keep your kid friendly settings request in mind!

  10. chitra says

    Fabulous..you got great taste!
    Those cupcake placemats are so damn cute! i cannot wait untill Will’s first birthday party to see the decorations you would do:)

    Happy holidays!

  11. mary-beth says

    This post is awesome! You have an amazing eye for combining unexpected items to make a table setting; I never would have looked twice at those lemon plates in the store but they look so great on the table! LOVE the folded napkin as a placemat…I am so copying that.

  12. says

    I love these! My favorite is Christmas at the Beach, but they all look fantastic. I really like the idea of hanging something from the chandelier. I might steal that idea for our New Year’s dinner and hang a disco ball or something equally festive from ours. Thanks for the inspiration!

  13. says

    Katie, well done! Those are all beautiful place settings. I especially love the color scheme of the new year’s day one. And, those glasses are adorable.

    By the way, my husband bought a car last year that CAME FREE WITH the rubber chicken that lays an egg. Oh yes, it brings hours of amusement on road trips :)

  14. Jamie says

    I’m so impressed with your creativity. When I looked at that pile of stuff you bought I was a little baffled by what you were going to do with it all. Amazing!

    On a side note, I used to work for Pier 1 when I was in college. It was the BEST job I’ve ever had. Sometimes I’m tempted to try to work for them again just to get the discount. Buying stuff on clearance plus adding the discount was awesome. I bought a whole tree worth of beautiful red and gold ornaments after one Christmas. Unfortunately they will be packed away in a box for a few more years. They are a little too shiny and breakable for my little girls.

  15. says

    You are seriously good at this girl!! Pier 1 needs to hire you to do their displays!! And pay you in $100 gift cards apparently ; ) I love the bright and cheery yellow in the New Years one but they’re all amazing!

  16. says

    thanks for this post! my husband & i received a $100 gift card for our wedding (over 4 years ago) and haven’t been able to use it yet…i always thought pier one is not my style and have had trouble finding things to incorporate into our home…i guess i just need to think ‘entertaining’ and ‘table-settings’–these are wonderful!!

  17. Destiny says

    Pier 1 certainly got their money’s worth from you on this one!

    I totally learned more from this one post than I ever have from their flyer, website or even a visit because I’m a visionary person and I need to see and experience real life examples for inspiration. You inspired me by thinking outside of the box, KB, and I’m headed to Pier 1 this weekend as a result!

  18. says

    Katie, I love these posts of yours and I’m inspired by your creativity! I think my favorite is the Christmas at the Beach – but they are all so festive and inviting. Also, those lemon plates are super adorable – I am a fan of all things citrus. The best part about it is that you shopped the clearance (just like I would have to do) still could pull off such an array of different motifs! Way to go!!

  19. jennifer f says

    i love all of yoru tablesetting posts..they are by far my fav…you are a pro!!! I am just now trying to build up a collection of stuff that I can mix around for various holidays and events. So here’s my question. How do you decide how much of everything to buy? I have a table with 8 seats but it can stretch to 10. I notice in your place settings you really just set 2…maybe 4. So do you only buy 4 plates, or 4 placemats and napkins? Or do you actually buy enough to set the entire table? I don’t want to break the bank, and most of the time my table will be set just for decorating purposes…but for those few times when I actually want people over, I don’t want to be stuck with 2 snowflake placemats and 8 seats ya know? So what are your thoughts?

    • says

      Here’s the thing Jennifer, I have at least five FULL sets of dishes…that’s over 60 dinner plates alone. So with all those sets, I try to keep my additional purchases down to a minimum. If you purchase 2 salad plates you can easily just put those decorative plates on the heads of the table and still achieve the same effect as if you did the entire table. Or you might have two placemats that you would love to use for the color – they can be placed under the centerpiece to add the additional hue. And I do tend to pick up four accent plates because I figure that someday we will have four kids…each will get a special plate and mom&dad can be left plain. Or it is perfect for when we have another couple over for dinner…four adults and the kiddos can have a different setup (aka disposable). The key to a great tablesetting is now whether or not every place setting is the same…it’s how well the overall tableau is tied together. If you focus on the overall, then adding a little accent snowflake placemat here or there won’t bother you in the least.
      Hope this helps!
      xo – kb

  20. says

    Ah, Pier One, how I love thee. You did a great job with these, I love the lemon branch as a centerpiece and your adorable last one with the mirrored ball. You could totally style for the Pier One catalog.

    I have those cute woven star ornaments, and I love them. I worked at Pier One for a year and a half (hence the closet full of unopened stuff I HAD TO BUY with my discount before I left). That was a dangerous place to work, let me tell you. I think I brought home a whole $4 per paycheck. But I have enough candles to last me through a pretty serious blackout.

  21. says

    I cannot believe you got so much for your money. When I get my Pier One bucks, I totally go scouring the clearance section, too. I love to use the placemats for totes or pillows…. or even as placemats. ;) What a fun thing to be asked to do by them. And, you were the woman for the job.

    (And, I totally just put together a cupcake bridal shower this summer. I have cupcakes coming out of my nose. I don’t know if you had a cricut, but I made TONS of banners and such with cupcakes that are a spitting image for the placemats. Just thought you may like to know if you go with cupcakes for Will’s party. Here’s the link to what they looked like – http://www.newlywoodwards.com/2010/08/how-sweet-it-is-bridal-shower.html)

  22. says

    Well done with all the amazing tablesettings for $100. My fav is the ‘under the stars’ one. You’ve got some pretty inspiring ideas there. Thanks.

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