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Beautiful and simple: frugal theme tablecloths

I love ideas that are simple, clever, and remarkably creative.

I was out of town last week, traveling in Omaha with my husband, who was there for work.  We were invited out for a Shabbat meal at some new friends, the Mizrahis, and I noticed their beautiful white table cloth, which looked to me like it was embroidered with silk leaves and funky silk flower embellishments.  The tablecloth was covered by a heavy-duty vinyl transparent cover.

So it turns out, as my hostess, Talia, explained, that the tablecloth was just a simple, plain white one, and the "embroidery" that I admired was just a pretty ribbon, shaped like a vine, that she threw down on the cloth, along with a handful of silk flowers and petals that she got at a dollar store.  They were pressed between the tablecloth and the vinyl cover, and it was impossible to tell that they weren't part of the tablecloth.

This was such an incredibly clever idea.  It opens up lots of possibilities for "theme" tablecloths, like putting in cloth dreidel shapes for Chanukah, or silk butterflies and trimmings for a little girl's birthday party, or even putting in photos or scrapbooking embellishments, all the while just using one simple, solid tablecloth and a vinyl transparent cover.

I started thinking about the different combinations of solid colored tablecloths and embellishments I could use.  Pale blue with white flowers for a bridal shower.  Scarlet with black vinyl cutouts (shaped like tefillin) for a Shabbos Bar Mitzvah.  Or just raiding a dollar store or Joann's and buying a ton of different colored silk flowers and ribbons and coming up with gorgeous bouquets of flowers and designs on a white or pale yellow tablecloth for a regular Shabbos meal.  The possibilities are endless, because Talia's idea is so simple.  Clever.  Frugal.  Smart.

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