Festive Holiday Table Decorating Ideas Under $20

Personalize and decorate your holiday table with some of these gorgeous, surprisingly inexpensive ideas.

By: Melissa Macron

Photo By: Corey Willis

Photo By: Corey Willis

Photo By: Allison Hop

Photo By: Aniko Levai

Photo By: Aniko Levai

Photo By: Aniko Levai

Photo By: Aniko Levai

Photo By: Fotini Roman

Photo By: Amy Weir

Photo By: Kathryn Baugher

Photo By: Cassie Bustamante

Photo By: Cassie Bustamante

Photo By: Angela Neese

Photo By: Maria Gonzalez

Photo By: Sarah Norton Ramberg

Photo By: Laura Ingalls Gunn

Photo By: Laura Ingalls Gunn

Photo By: Ginnie Leeming

Photo By: Katie Nathey

Photo By: Katie Nathey

Unexpected Holiday Hues

“The black glasses were my grandmother's and the inspiration to go with more non-traditional colors,” says Corey Willis of Hey There, Home. The clever design uses houndstooth wrapping paper in place of a table cloth, keeping cost—and laundry!—to a minimum. “The black-and-white paper made for the perfect backdrop for the pops of color I added by simply filling vases with inexpensive ball ornaments in fun colors.”

Pick Your Paper

A great way to create an impactful look for less? Says Willis, “Paper goods are a perfect way to add color!” Along with the contrasting wrapping paper “tablecloth,” we love how the polka-dotted paper napkin is both decorative and functional in this design, playfully adding to and tying in the place setting.

Gussied-Up Greenery

In keeping with her neutral-themed decor, Allison Hop of The Golden Sycamore created a lovely focal point for the dining table. A tabletop tree is paired with a darling hand-painted pot that’s topped off with a handful of pinecones. Glittery silver leaves ornament the tree’s branches, for a whimsical, wintry result.

(Red and) Blue Christmas

With her son favoring blue ornaments, Aniko Levai of Place of My Taste challenged herself to come up with a creative new palette for her holiday decor. The stunning result incorporates faux flowers with fresh greenery in a Goodwill-found vase, pomegranates and those striking blue ornaments. Runners of thick, black wrapping paper stood in for a more traditional table covering for a modern result. 

Crafty Creation

With a little imagination—and an oil-based permanent marker—Levai turned dollar-store plates into truly one-of-a-kind tableware. Her simple vine pattern is a standout in gold on the plain white chargers.

Prints Charming

Plaid and gingham and polka dots, oh my! Aniko Levai of Place of My Taste cleverly mixed fabric scraps and inexpensive wrapping paper to create this fun and festive table decor. Leftover fabric covers the tablescape’s conical “trees,” dots the pinecone-and-greenery centerpiece, ties cardboard reindeers around vintage glass bottles and finishes off the place settings. 

Napkin Trick

Love the snazzy napkin rings? Crafted with cardboard toilet paper tubes and hot-glued fabric scraps, Levai’s inexpensive idea really helps to perk up the place settings. A sprig of greenery and a pretty pinecone finish the look.

Cedar and Silver

“The holidays are such an expensive time of the year in general, I wanted to come up with a beautiful, affordable tablescape,” says Fotini Roman of Farmhouse Chic Blog. By incorporating her collection of mercury-glass votive holders with a fragrant cedar garland and mini silver ornaments, Roman created a warm, inviting and elegant holiday table.

Brush Up for the Holidays

With a fun, "bright pastel” theme for her holiday decor, Amy Weir of Delineate Your Dwelling got to work making mini bottle-brush trees into a magical holiday centerpiece!

“I believe you can incorporate the colors that make you most happy into all seasons, so I created the glitter trees in non-traditional colors for my holiday table,” Weir says. Stacked on a cake stand and detailed with fresh wood discs and jingle bells, these little trees are a big hit on the holiday scene.

Berries and Bows

Okinawa-based Kathryn Baugher of Up To Date Interiors created a setting inspired by Japanese culture in a palette of wine hues and metallics. This layered look combines textures and textiles to add interest and depth. Thrifted bamboo-patterned silverware and napkins styled to look like bows add fanciful flair.

Boho Beauty

“I always love bringing seasonal nature into any table, which influenced my choice in greenery, pears and antlers,” says blogger Cassie Bustamante. Log candlestick holders were made from a found fallen limb. Thrifted amber-hued glassware adds a warm glow.

Festive Place Holders

Inspired by antique brass animals, Bustamante created golden horse place card holders to add a touch of glam to the mix. These pretty conversation pieces were made with plastic toy horses, metallic paint and wire—genius! Get the DIY here

Modern and Merry

“I love modern design and bright color, so I really wanted to keep my Christmas tablescape colorful, but with simple lines,” says Angela Neese Rathbun of Blue i Style. Using papier mache cones found on sale at a craft store and striking paint colors, Rathbun got to work. The resulting centerpiece is certainly eye-catching.

“I have always wanted something taller and more dramatic for the center of our Christmas table, and these painted cones provide just the right height while still keeping a simple, modern style,” Rathbun says.

Hints of Holiday

“The theme was inspired by my love of gold and green,” says Maria Gonzalez of Graceful Order. With inexpensive items—such as the metallic ornaments, faux trees and gold plastic chargers—intermingled with china and glassware in her collection, the effect is seamlessly elegant. “It’s all about creating layers with contrasting colors and textures to create a high-end look on a budget,” Gonzalez says.

Repurposed Rink

Says self-proclaimed “thrift-store junkie” Sarah Norton Ramberg of Sadie Seasongoods, “I loved the idea of repurposing something dining-related, in this case, a cheese dome. It makes for nice synergy in a decorative way.” This cloche turned ice rink is a fun spin on a holiday centerpiece and has a charming vintage feel, to boot.

Ramberg’s thrifty tip? “Shop for holiday decor year-round at thrift stores and garage sales. That way, you just spend a little here and there over the course of a year, and by the time the winter holidays arrive, you won't have to spend a dime on decor. It can all go towards gifts!”

Parisian New Year's Eve

Combining the idea of the clock striking midnight and a favorite destination, Laura Ingalls Gunn of Decor to Adore was inspired to create her Bonne Année table decor. 

Gunn’s centerpiece features mini towers under glass cloches, faux snow, metallic ornaments and votive holders along with an array of vintage-style clock faces—printed from the computer and detailed with glitter. 

Terrific Toppers

Gunn’s favorite part of the decor? “My family and I each created our own paper party hat. No two were alike. We had such a great time crafting together and then wearing the happy hats,” she says.  

To finish off the paper designs, Gunn suggests using leftover bits of scrapbooking and crafting materials to embellish your creations, such as the garland, feathers and bead detail seen here.

Back to Basics

Ginnie Leeming of Hello Little Home found creative, money-saving ways to create her layered neutral decor. That tablecloth? An inexpensive drop cloth cut to fit her table. Those texture-rich placemats? “The placemats were created from a large piece of burlap that was intended for gardening. I cut out rectangles, then pulled strands of burlap off the edges to form a simple fringe,” Leeming says. A golden-wrapped box topped with a buffalo-plaid ribbon adds a bright pop at each place setting.

Cozy Cabin Christmas

“I’ve always imagined spending a snow-filled Christmas in a cozy mountain cabin, so I decided to pretend that’s where we were hanging out when I created this tablescape,” says Katie Nathey of Mountain Modern Life.  

“Most of the table decor came from shopping our home,” Nathey says, “such as the vintage Mason jars and candle holders.” The napkins were made out of leftover fabric, and she added liquid gold leaf to glam up thrifted glasses.

Creative Circles

“My favorite part of the room is definitely the chair wreaths made of out free clippings I picked up from the local tree lot,” Nathey says. “I love how they turned out and feel like they bring warmth and whimsy into the space.”