My Valentine's Quest is finally complete! Judge for yourself whether it was a success. :-) First, let me explain that I have a LOT of really elegant candlesticks, vases, etc. around the house, but I was going for a table setting that was a little playful and didn't take itself too seriously. I was also trying to use generic elements that anyone could purchase or find in their own home. My friends, I only had $20 - and with two little ones, only about 20 minutes!! So here's what I put together:
I started with the $3.99 fabric from Goodwill which just happened to be the perfect size for a tablecloth! What are the odds? But, had it not been big enough, I still would have used it as a runner over a plain white or red tablecloth.
Next, thank heaven for Target! I'm not sure my husband is quite as thankful, since a good portion of his paycheck goes to Target on a fairly regular basis, but I love it. Anyway, the large plates were $2.50 each and the small ones were 2 for $2.50.
Then, I headed to Ikea where I found two round, hot pink placemats for $1.99 each. Then, over in the glasswares section I scored two pink glass wineglasses (handmade! can you believe it?) for $2.99 each.
As for the candleholders in the center and the napkin rings: I realized I had quite a few of those foam stickers that kids love for crafts (we just got finished making a bi-gillion cards with them...but that's another post). So I just got some "highball" glasses out of the cupboard (juice glasses or actual votive holders would work great too) and stuck the foam stickers on! For added height, I simply turned a glass over and used it as a pedastal for another glass, raising one flame above the rest. (This is a great tip for a buffet table or centerpiece - if you have a dish that you would like to elevate - simply use another similar dish turned over as a pedestal.) Then, I added stickers to two old napkin rings of mine, and voila! A heart theme emerged. (I already owned the stickers for this project, but you can pick up a small package of them at craft stores for a couple of dollars.)
So, if you're keeping track at home, you're right: it adds up to $21.45. OOPS. I only just now realized I came in $1.45 over budget. What can I say? I have to admit I bought a few things at Home Goods, but later decided not to use them and plan to take them back. Somewhere in all the "adding it up in my head" I must have gotten things a little mixed up. (Okay, okay, so math was not my strongest subject...okay, so I hated math.) But instead of making one person go without a glass or placemat, I'm pretty happy with myself for this first foray into a blog experiment and I'm going to just let myself off the hook for the $1.45 (there is an advantage to making the rules up yourself).
Note: There are many, many different ways you could spend $20 - this time I chose to use it to actually purchase the elements for the place setting; you could use what you already have for the place setting, then just spend $20 on the elements of the centerpiece. (A centerpiece note: to switch things up a bit, I like the effect of flowers repeated in small arrangements rather than just one big one. So get roses from Costco for $14.99 (or better yet, from your husband!) and if you feel like it, split them into smaller vases, glasses or bowls.)