If you’ve been reading Lemon Thistle since last Thanksgiving, you’ll know we hosted our very first Friendsgiving in 2014 and had such a blast we decided to make it a tradition. Last Friday we hosted the second annual Friendsgiving at our house and I wanted to pop in and share the details with you. If you’re from Canada and are planning a Thanksgiving dinner this weekend, there’s still time to pull off this simple casual and organic decor. It is anything but tedious and the cost can’t be beat!
I had really wanted to go buy a new table cloth for the dinner, but I’m already buying one for my birthday party (tonight, guys! woohoo!). So I opted for something I already had on hand- kraft mailing paper! I’ve spotted kraft place mats and table runners on Pinterest and loved the idea. I took the inspiration from this chalkboard placemat and traced plates, drew out flatware, and hand lettered guests’ names.
This worked SO well since we do a potluck style dinner with all the food on the kitchen island. Last year we had guests pick up their plates from the table to take through the buffet, but it was so much simpler to have them stacked with the food. Oh, and did I mention that kraft mailing paper is like $3 from Walmart? Yeah, you can’t get a table cloth and name cards for that! And since it’s the most popular question ever… I used a Tombow Brush Pen (this one exactly, and the skinny side for the illustrations).
I free handed these place settings in a hurry. I love having the skill of brush lettering in my back pocket for place settings! I truly feel like it’s such a valuable skill just as much as it’s an incredibly satisfying hobby. If you’d like to learn to brush letter (and why wouldn’t you!) I’d be so thrilled to have you join me in my e-course! Check out all the details RIGHT HERE.
For the centrepiece, the only thing I had my heart set on including was those adorable white mini pumpkins that I picked up for a dollar a piece. I paired them with heaps of ivory pillar candles that I already had (they’re all from Ikea! At 8.99 for a 5 pack of assorted pillars, they’ll last for several dinner parties) and fresh greenery. After my birthday dinner party last year, I fell in love with ruscus for on table greens. It’s so hardy, it doesn’t go limp over the course of an evening without water. I bought two long stems of ruscus for .99 cents each (seriously- it’s so affordable) and paired it with some deep red ornamental peppers (they look like berries).
I styled the table while dinner was in the oven and still had time to photograph the table before *most of* the guests arrived. I will definitely be pulling out the kraft paper for dinner parties again in the future! At least until the day I’m not embarrassed of my beat up dining table ;) Then maybe I’ll switch to table runners or place mats.
Have you considered hosting a Friendsgiving dinner? With everyone leading such busy lives, we’ve found that the older we get we need to be intentional about getting together with our friends. By having guests each bring a dish (we take care of the meat and a couple other staples), the dinner isn’t a huge stress to host and it gives everyone an excuse to get together without having to find a babysitter (what kid doesn’t love ham and mashed potatoes?). If you do host one- I’d love to hear how it’s gone over with your friends! Tag me @colleenpastoor on social. Any tips that make yours super special- I’m all ears.
(Click here to see Friendsgiving 2016- Neutral Autumn Tablescape)