Decorating · Entertaining · Parties

5 Steps to a Simple, yet Magical Outdoor Tablescape

Hi! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? We had a nice, eventful Easter weekend filled with lots of sweets which led to lots of energy and resulted in lots of meltdowns. But we survived, and here we are…ready to take on the week!


Anywayzzz, are you guys and gals familiar with Gary Chapman’s Love Languages? Chapman describes five categories in which people can identify how they give and receive love: acts of service, quality time, physical touch, gifts, and words of affirmation. Look, I love Gary. (If you need a good laugh, here’s proof. Sorry, I’m forcing you to relive this, Scott.) However, I am convinced my friend Mr. Chapman left out a very important language: tablescapes. Nothing…nothing…NOTHING!!!! makes me happier than a purdy tablescape.

Place cards, perfectly-placed plates, pretty centerpieces. YASSSSS, Honey.

So, because it’s spring and many of you may be planning on hosting an event of some sort, I wanted to share a few pics from a garden cocktail-themed baby shower I co-hosted a couple years ago. The pictures aren’t high-quality, but they are good enough to show you the mood of the night, which I believe was magical. I also titled this post “simple” because of how easy it would be to recreate. Literally, you just throw some glassware sporadically on a table, light a candle inside, and enjoy! The best part? I bet you have most of these supplies at home. If you don’t, fear not. The dollar store does.

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5 Steps to a Simple, yet Magical Outdoor Tablescape

  1. Begin with layering your table with tablecloths and a table runner. I own several of these tablecloths in white because white is a perfect neutral that can be dressed up with anything. However, I am considering purchasing off-white for future occasions for a more elegant feel. For this particular party, one of the hosts had eggplant-colored tablecloths that felt earthy and worked perfectly for this particular event. Another staple I own are these burlap table runners. These two things may seem like an investment at first, but I seriously use them at almost every party I throw.
  2. Anchor the table with beautiful floral (or other plant-based) centerpieces. These will serve as your focal points at the table and are a great way to tie in the outdoors. I planted ivy in garden boxes. The best deal I found online (and subsequently, the boxes I bought, were from this site). I have also continually used these gems throughout the years, but you could also plant herbs in them and give them away as a door prize or to the honoree.

Processed with VSCO with s2 preset3. Use glass jars as fillers. I have a stash of mason jars on hand, but you can get them for super cheap (like here). I also asked family and friends to borrow any and all glass jars that they had and would be willing to let me borrow. The dollar store sells glass jars of all sizes as well. For this tablescape, the more glassware, the merrier. In many of the jars, I placed a tea light candle and lit as the sun went down. I think this small touch is really what brings the tablescape to life.

4. Set the table. I’m all about a beautifully set table–plates, utensils, drinking glasses, napkins–all in their proper place. However, this outside party was a buffet and many people casually walked around , so instead of setting the table with plates, I used Microsoft Publisher to create a menu. I also used these wooden utensils to place at each seat.

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5. Personalize the tablescape. Little details are what make guests feel loved. To personalize this tablescape, stamped the cutlery with the baby-to-be’s initials. I also stamped garden makers for the plants. Finally, I made the menus mentioned above.

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There you have it. 5 steps. Relatively simple. Relatively cheap. You could even scale this down for an outside barbeque. Patio lights are a must as well!

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Now, stop reading this and go outside and enjoy this beautiful Indiana weather!


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