I love a good tablescape. Every year around this time, all the decor magazines and store catalogs come out with beautiful tablescapes for fall and the transition into Thanksgiving and I just get so happy!!! My most anticipated issue, though, is the new Magnolia Journal premier! Have you guys seen the cover!?! Shew. I think everyone here knows about my love for all things Fixer Upper, and I’m just gasping over that table and the decor.
Every time I get on Pinterest, I see photos of the Magnolia Fall Gathering which you can read about here. These are some of the photos that, of course, Joanna Gaines had a hand in decorating.
So I decided it was about time I got my own tablescape going in our house (albeit on a much smaller schedule) because, you know, it’s officially fall! Now, I looked at Pottery Barn, West Elm, Crate & Barrel… all of those have beautiful options for tableware, signs, centerpieces, wreaths! And they’re all going to cost you about… well, a lot. Let’s just leave it at that. I love to decorate, but I have to do it on a budget. So I decided to scrounge around and use things either I already had or pieces that can be easily obtained for very little cost to create a fixer upper inspired tablescape that’s perfect for this season!
The entire tablescape cost me less than $20 and while you may not have everything on hand, you can purchase these items for low cost (or forage for them as the case may be). Here’s how you can get this look for less.
First thing’s first. Gather your supplies. Here’s what I used to get this look:
- Coffee sack (obtained for free from a local coffee brewery)
- Magnolia leaves (literally picked off a tree in my in-laws’ backyard)
- Chalkboard cards (I had this banner from my daughter’s birthday party last year and cut the bottoms off to make it rectangular)
- Chalk pen (the greatest thing ever invented!!!)
- Plates (mine are from Target, and we’ve had them for eleven years! So not fancy!)
- Wood crate (mine came from my in-laws’ basement, but you can purchase these at thrift stores for around $30 or build one yourself. You can!)
*in some areas, you can get empty wine crates from Costco and liquor stores for free!!!
- White pumpkins (all of mine came from Kroger for $1 each!)
- Greenery (I used boxwood because I had some left from a garland I purchased at At Home for $7, but you could use cedar branches, cotton stems, etc.)
*I just stumbled on this tutorial for making your own cotton branches! Check it out!
- White tablecloth (mine is actually just white material that I had on hand)
Lay out your tablecloth, and use the coffee sack as a runner. If you don’t have access to a coffee sack, you can use a grain sack or even just a piece of burlap material from any sewing or crafts store. Set your wood crate in the center to hold the runner in place. My crate was actually a soda holder so it had dividers built in, but even if yours doesn’t, just layer the greenery in around the edges letting it hang off the sides. There is no method to this, honestly, except to leave some set aside to fill in any holes later.
Then comes the fun part. Fill that crate with as many pumpkins as you can get your hands on!!! I used mini pumpkins and small ones to give it a little depth and just piled them on. The messy look like they’ve just been set on there nonchalantly will come naturally as you load them in. Just be sure to leave some mini pumpkins to fill as many gaps as you can once your box is filled.
I love the rustic feel of using a wreath as a charger underneath plates. Anything with natural elements strikes my fancy anyway when it comes to home decor, so I knew I wanted to do something similar to the grapevine wreaths pictured in the Magnolia Gathering above. The only problem? I didn’t want to spend $20+ on wreaths. When all else fails, go outside! I had these dried magnolia leaves left over from a magnolia wreath that I made earlier this year (get the details here) and thought, why not use them as wreath forms under the plates? They turned out to be perfect, and the best part is you can customize the size of the “wreath”! Just lay them out in a circle then set a plate on top of them!
To add that finishing touch, I handlettered phrases that are significant to me for fall like “blessed”, “thankful”, “gather” and “autumn” onto the chalkboard cards using my chalk pen and added a laurel wreath design to the top and bottom. These can be customized for dinner parties to be name cards or hold other phrases of significance because the chalk marker erases with water!
That’s it! Just add silverware, glassware, stemware or any other type of ware you might need for your gathering, and you’ve got a beautiful fixer upper inspired tablescape for a fraction of the cost!
Okay. Now can somebody please tell me when the next season of Fixer Upper starts back!?!