How to set a pretty table with yard sale finds (tablescape for less than $5.00!)

How to set a table with yard sale finds

I think you know by now that I love to set a pretty table.   I have been setting our kitchen table with placemats and a simple centerpiece ever since we first got married 10 years ago.  Started out with a small table that would only seat two and I had a couple sets of two placemats that I would use.

How to set a table with yard sale finds

I continue to keep my kitchen table set all the time with a set of 4 placemats, napkins and a simple centerpiece.  We just slide them to the side when we eat or stack them on the counter and then put them back after the table has been cleaned off.  Takes all of about 1 minute.  If I have nothing on the table when I walk by it looks so bare to me!

How to set a table with yard sale finds

So when I packed away the patriotic décor after the 4th, I put together this placemat/napkin combination and realized that except for the centerpiece (which was a DIY project I shared last week), everything was bought at yard sales!  I don’t always remember or get to show you what I do with all my frugal finds that I share pictures of each week, so on a whim, decided I needed to share this with you.

How to set a table with yard sale finds

Placemat – can’t find a picture or a post where I shared it but I got these placemats last summer/fall and I think they were 25¢ each or all 4/$1.00.

How to set a table with yard sale finds

The napkin rings are only 4 out of a set of 12 that I got at a small church yard sale.  I blogged all about this sale here, but it was my cheapest yard sale I had ever shopped.  I paid 40¢ for EVERYTHING in the above picture – 15¢ for the napkin rings so almost 1¢ each.

How to set a table with yard sale finds

And the napkins I picked up at Value Village just a month or so ago.  They were brand new from Target and were 69¢ each – $2.76/4.

So my placemats, napkins, napkin rings cost less than $4.00.

How to set a table with yard sale finds

And my upcycled tin can rope wrapped vase cost about $1.50 to make.  So this entire table was created for less than $5.00!

How to set a table with yard sale finds

This is some of what I do with my frugal finds – no one would ever know that less than $5.00 was in this decorated table.

How to set a table with yard sale finds

And just for fun, I thought I would show you what it would look like you if you were set it for dinner – maybe a double date!  $5.00 table changes to pretty summer tablescape with dishes from your cabinets.

How to set a table with yard sale finds

I just grabbed 4 place settings of my white square Better Homes and Gardens porcelain dishes that I showed you in my dining room beach inspired tablescape a few weeks back.

How to set a table with yard sale finds

Added silverware and a tea glass and it was set!  (I love those tea glasses – Libbey brand from Walmart – set of 4 for under $5.00.  They have become our everyday glasses and I don’t have to worry a bit if one gets broken.)

How to set a table with yard sale finds

I reused my flowers from my tin can patriotic centerpiece and moved them all into the one white can – still planning on making a larger vase once I find a good can to use.  Just to add a little extra to the centerpiece, I put a white platter under it.  Love pieces that are versatile – can be used for function in serving food and also used as décor/centerpieces too.

How to set a table with yard sale finds

My #1 tip would be to invest in a set of basic, pretty white dishes.  If you are getting married – register for them!  Or ask for them for Christmas, save up for them, etc.  You can do so much with them.

Then scrounge thrift store and yard sales for table linens and get a few sets you love.  You don’t have to spend a fortune as I have showed you – even if I would have paid $1.00 a piece for 4 napkins, 4 napkin rings, and 4 placemats it would have only cost $12.   I have seen one single placemat sell for more than that.

How to set a table with yard sale finds

So here is just a small way that I enjoy and put to use some of my frugal finds! Hope to show you even more of my yard sale finds put to use in the next few weeks.

Do you like to keep placemats on your table?  Or even a basic centerpiece?  Ever bought table linens second hand at yard sale or thrift stores?


  1. I use placemats all the time too. My go-to set is solid yellow quilted from Williams-Sonoma outlet. They launder perfectly, protect the table, and add the perfect amount of color.
    I love these you have on your table… So classic!

  2. Great tablescape Christina! I always love your frugal finds!
    Cheryl @ The Creative Me and My McG recently posted..Day-lillies and Other Cool StuffMy Profile

  3. Looks all springy and fresh! You are good!
    Stacey recently posted..Ticking and Toile in the Granny RoomMy Profile

  4. I don’t like a bare table either. I always keep at least a centerpiece on the table. I love how you keep changing up the table décor. It always looks great.

  5. Oh my! Just love those linen napkins! I have those exact placemats! Mine were $1 each at the flea market. You got the better deal! Table looks oh so pretty! Inexpensive table setting items at a yardsale or thrift store! Yes, please! :0)
    Leslie Marie recently posted..Thirst Quenching Swap Meet DealsMy Profile

  6. Thanks for sharing the tablescape ideas using frugal finds… your ideas! I, too, like to keep my table set – it adds to the room and keeps the table from looking so bare!
    Thanks again,

  7. You are really great at tables, Christina! I am so NOT a table setter other than the basics. It doesn’t even cross my mind. Something I should probably work on. I keep a centerpiece, but that’s about it. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Laine recently posted..Help Wanted: Re-Working Our Homeschool RoomMy Profile

  8. Hi Christina!

    Your tablescape is very pretty. Simple and yet elegant, too. I suppose it’s not practical to use those lovely napkins and placemats every single day during meal time, you’d be laundering the napkins constantly and switching them out 2 or 3 times a day depending on how many meals you serve at that table! You would need a maid and a huge supply of table linens! Using paper napkins is practical, but not very inspiring, alas! Oh well, the practicalities of day-to-day life. You always find such wonderful bargains, I get really good ideas from your blog.

  9. Georgetta says:

    I love the look. You find some great bargins!

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