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 platter, table runner, topiary, glass pumpkins, salt & pepper shakers, forest ornaments, nutcracker ornaments & the ultimate wreath.