Rustic Fall Table Setting Ideas for Outdoor Celebrations

Fall is the ideal time to entertain outdoors. Draw inspiration from the season's flowers, plants and foliage to create a casual table setting perfect for dining alfresco.

  • Entertain Alfresco

    With a few seasonal touches, a rustic picnic table becomes a show-stopping setting for a fall dinner party — without interfering with the spectacular view from Gooseberry Knob at The Swag Country Inn near Waynesville, N.C.

  • Freshly-Cut Flowers

    Freshly-cut dahlias from The Swag's garden tucked into a bark-covered pillar vase are the star of this rustic centerpiece. Cockscombs and sunflowers purchased at a local farmers' market fill in the arrangement.

  • Butternut Squash Vases

    Shorter vases made from humble butternut squash line each end of the table. Learn how to create your own squash vases in just a few easy steps. Get the full instructions for this project now.

  • Cabbage Patch

    In keeping with the farm-to-table feel, vegetables like squash, chard and cabbages are mixed in with bright fall florals.

  • Non-Traditional Planter

    Here, a vintage sugar bowl missing its lid is repurposed as a pot for these colorful fall greens.

  • Paint Sticks Turned Table Runner

    Leftover paint sticks find new life as a chich herringbone table runner. All you need? Wooden sticks, felt, spray adhesive and some copper spray paint. Get step-by-step instructions for this project.

  • Simple Settings

    Simple place settings are ideal for casual outdoor entertaining. Upgrade from paper plates and plastic silverware to clean-lined silverware and plain white plates. An antiqued metal charger adds vintage charm.

  • Dressed-Up Paper Runners

    A kraft paper runner is an inexpensive and stylish option for an outdoor soiree. We dressed ours up for the party with a leaf-shaped stamp and gold ink. Running the paper cross-wise eliminates the need for placemats.

  • Watercolor Accents

    Transform basic linen napkins into painterly accents that nod to the hues of fall foilage. Mix red, yellow and purple dyes with a bit of water, then brush on strips of color and blend until you achieve the desired effect.

  • Mix-and-Match Napkins

    Mixing watercolored napkins with vintage dish towels gives the table a casual, collected feel.

  • Mini Succulent Planters

    Elegant mini white pumpkins do double duty as a place-marker and take-home favor. Get step-by-step instructions to create these planters now.

  • Decorative Gourds (and Pumpkins)

    Forget round, smooth orange pumpkins — for a farm-to-table celebration, bring out non-traditional varieties of oblong squash, pumpkins and gourds to decorate the space. Faux-fur throws draped over seating areas keep guests warm throughout dinner.

  • Rustic Chic

    Try this rustic, farm-inspired table setting for your next fall gathering.

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