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)
Colleen, I LOVE, your table decor for friendsgiving! It looks so awesome. I only hope if I try it I can draw and do the the lettering as well as you.
Love Lemonthistle too!
Happy Fall, Wendy
Thanks so much Wendy! I think part of the fun of handlettering is all the practice ;) I definitely photographed the names I thought look nicest, some friends had some questionable looking doodles for forks and knives.
Brilliant, simply brilliant, Colleen. What a beautiful, simple, full of grace tablescape. Happy Holidays, Ardith
Thanks so much Ardith! Happy Holidays to you as well :)
Sara @ Shabby Grace Blog
This is SO beautiful! Love love!!!! Sharing!
Thanks so much Sara! I appreciate you stopping by- and the share :)
Sarah @ Through The Painted Door
This is such a great idea! I plan on doing this for Thanksgiving this year!
I’d love to see photos if you do Sarah! Thanks for taking the time to comment :)
So cute !!! Love it
Thanks so much Bujaren!
I really like this unique idea! I would definitely use this for a friends giving party! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks so much Eden! I’d love to see a shot if you do!
What size is your table and how wide is the kraft paper? Its beautiful!
Hi Heidi, I’m not sure the size of the table (we have a new one now!) BUT the Kraft paper is actually two pieces with the seam taped down the middle :)
Where can one buy ruscus?
Great question! Any florist should carry it. This particular ruscus I purchased from the florist inside Safeway (my local grocery store)
I am interested to know if you used a table cloth underneath or just used the paper. If you only used the paper how did you get the corners to lay down on the edges? I don’t see any photos of your table edges, and I am using an old plastic table that I need to cover with at least a foot of overhang. When I put the paper down in 2 sheets with the seam in the middle the corners of the paper don’t really fall like a tablecloth because they’re a little too stiff…Did you cut slits in the corners? I hope my question makes sense.
I didn’t have an overhang! I just let the paper curl around the edges to hold it in place. I don’t know of a way to make the paper fall in a nice way over the edges UNLESS you let them go all the way to the floor (which is a lot of paper wasted!). I’d maybe try a tablecloth underneath if you’d like to cover those table legs.
The decor is beautiful!!! Where did you get the ruscus and the deep red ornamental peppers?
Thanks Tamilee! I got them from a local florist :)
I love this so much and tried to recreate it this year for our table. It turned out great! Thank you for the beautiful inspiration!