Celebrating seasons is about more than the look of the dining table. With that said, however, carefully thought out table designs can affect the moods of guests and help them to access emotions related to the season. In addition, table settings can help to show the care and effort that went into the holiday’s preparation, which assists in conveying the message that the meal as well as the celebration itself is special enough to you to warrant some unique and detailed personal touches.
My May Day theme was flowers. I sought to combine their seasonally stunning imagery with their deeper environmental symbolism of fertility. Here was my solution: Feel free to use what you like & enjoy!
My goal here was to create the ambience of vibrant floral wreaths and baskets, and yet at the same time, the poeticism of a Monet painting. I worked to achieve this through the use of a Waterford floral tablecloth purchased on ebay. (Once again purchased “like new” rather than “new” to help support the environment by lowering the need to produce more “stuff”. I also gain satisfaction from recycling what was unwanted from one home into something once again cherished.)
I adored the accent of white, cotton lace placemats to add a touch of old-fashioned romance and to temper the busyness of the floral print. Just as in the case of the tablecloth above, these were purchased used from ebay.
The pattern of the pictured china is Harmony House Cascade. The multi-colored “bowls” holding the tissue paper flowers are Lenox Butterfly Meadow tea light holders purchased from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
Water glasses were purchased in a set at TJ Maxx. Petite European crystal wine glasses look lovely and allow small, frequent pours for course pairings. These were purchased on ebay.
Whenever I can, I augment my table setting with these little gems. I love seeing adults and children alike delighting in the manual creation of the gentle melodies. They also look lovely and add elements of curiosity, playfulness, as well as timelessness to the art of sharing a special meal. Immediately upon seating, guests are inclined to consider that this meal might be special. These particular mini music boxes are romantic-themed and are available at Victorian Trading Co.
Two mint green palm wax tapers (purchased online at Aloha Bay) frame a model Maypole that I made out of dowels, rings, multi-colored ribbon, and silk flowers purchased at Michaels (and affixed by a glue gun). Note: beeswax, soy, or palm wax candles are preferable to paraffin as they do not release toxic compounds into your environment. Holders are off-white and were purchased at Linens & Things.
Lovely and versatile “candy pink” cotton napkins purchased at Amazon are folded into diamond pouches (courtesy of wonderfully clear and illustrated instructions by NapkinFoldingGuide.com). These pouches though originally intended for flatware served my purposes nicely as holders for lollipops, honey sticks, and party crackers.
Each of the following are also present on the table. If applicable, click on words to link to unique posts with detailed instructions.
- Candy flowers, jellybeans, and butterflies resting in the saucers (pictured above)
- Personalized spring wine charms
- Tissue paper flowers
Quick note: In addition to not purchasing new, a lot of the items above are reused from Spring Equinox (e.g., napkins, china, glassware, wine charms, candlestick holders, etc.) to help control costs. Also, I recommend storing seasonal decorative items in labeled Home Depot storage bins, so they can be protected for repeat usage year after year!