Table decorating ideas on a budget

We just got back from vacation yesterday.

Just our family….the entire first season of Duck Dynasty….and 900 miles of open road.

And somewhere around mile 726….my husband and I started talking about clever ideas to hide the flat screen television.

I told my husband that once on an old episode of Oprah…..she was on this over-the-top liquid diet and pulled in all that fat in a wagon into the studio and totally looked so amazing in these skin-tight blue jeans.

Sometime after that …..she gave a tour of her house.

And in her bedroom there was this cabinet when you pressed a button….the television slowly rose up from the center with a whirring sound that resembled an episode of the Jetson’s.


She just pressed a button and there was the television.

I can still hear the gasp of the audience.

Detail shot of table decor

It took me until mile 738 to explain all this to my husband.

10 miles of waving my hands around and random whirring sounds while I attempted to mimic the television slowly raising up….

….until he finally got it.

It was like a light bulb clicked on.

Then he started making suggestions of his own.

“Maybe we could make something like that,” he said excitedly.

“Or maybe we could have the television slowly lower itself out of the ceiling.”

Mile 739 flew by and thought to myself how lucky I was to be married to him.


A television coming down out of the ceiling?


I was so excited that I jumped up and down in my seat.

Gorgeous table decorations

Mile 740 sped by as visions of televisions suspended from the ceiling and tables with hidden buttons danced around the car…..

….and then I faintly heard him say…..“No….wait….I have it.”

Expectantly I turned to him and waited.

Waited for a better idea than a ceiling television.

He paused.

He paused as if the idea was so amazing that it needed an introduction.

“We could take the television….and hang it on the wall….and…..and….

….put a frame around it.”

A frame around it?

Isn’t that so Pinterest 2012?

But he wasn’t done.  He continued.

“We could put a frame around it and hang venetian blinds in front of the frame…..

…..and lower and raise them when we wanted to watch television.”


Of course.

Budget decorating at its finest.

The whole venetian blinds in front of the television thing…..

….I bet the Jetson’s never thought of that. 🙂


For some much prettier budget decorating ideas….here’s a few tips and ideas for decorating a table on a budget.

Use cupcake liners to create a runner in the center of the table

1.  I made a center runner on the table from colorful cupcake liners.

It took a package to make it.

I just cut a diagonal line out of one side of the cupcake liner until it resembled Ms. PacMan.

Then I taped them together with washi tape.

Super cute runner for under $2.00.

Add pattern and color with inexpensive paper napkins and plates

2.  I just used bright colorful paper napkins to add pattern.

3.  Then I layered it with a pipe cleaner flower I made from pipe cleaners.

You could use as a place card holder.

4.  I mixed patterned paper plates with melamine plates to give a bright pop of color.

Wrapping paper is a great option for table runners as well.

5.  The center runner on the table is just wrapping paper.

I love the graphic design and super easy clean-up.

6.  I found these fun tags in the gift aisle.  

It’s the perfect party game….each tag has a question printed on the back.

If your store doesn’t have them….you could just make your own from scrap-book paper.

Just in case you were wondering….

….my least favorite household chore is ironing.

Use extra cupcake liners to create decorations to hang

7.  I also made the fun hanging decorations from the cupcake liners, too.

And then hung them from the chandelier along with more tags hanging from strings.

Fold the cupcake liner in quarters, punch a hold and add a pipe cleaner to "puff" each piece

To make the decorations….I folded the cupcake liners in fourths.

Then I punched holes and threaded a pipe cleaner through and fluffed.

Each mini decoration cost about .20.

8.  I also draped ribbon I curled from the chandelier.

Table decorating ideas on a budget.

Easy and fun and perfect for a summer party.

Not nearly as exciting as a flat-screen venetian blind television project…

….but so much cuter 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
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  1. Image for Larissa Larissa

    Love the story of the TV! Your writing is flawless and entertaining as always and I love Joss and Main so I cannot wait to see what you picked!

  2. Image for andrea cammarata andrea cammarata

    A very good morning to you even though for some strange reason the words...daughter Judy...Jane his wife...are being played over and over in my head at 5 am : ) any reason for that???? : ) I love the story about the TV...and the venetian blinds are CLASSIC!!!! The table setting is awesome...but the cupcake liner pom poms are over the top wonderful!!!! This is ONE happy table and the little questions are precious...I am with you...ironing is my least...YUCK! Thank you ... for being you! Hugs and Love coming your way : )

  3. Image for kristen pare kristen pare

    hee.he. At least you got something out of him, mine would have looked at me and blinked. I know he would be thinking--she has been reading those magazines again and searching the internet. What the heck is she talking about, its looks fine as is. I always get 'it looks fine'. seriously! No vision skills = sad decorator and lots of pins on Pinterest :)

  4. Image for Lori Lori

    Wonderful story about the television, hope you don't have to have the blinds! The table is gorgeous and something my daughters would love for their birthday celebrations.

  5. Image for Lisa Lisa

    So Pinterest 2012…'re funny! And since your hubby probably doesn't use Pinterest, that was seriously an ingenious and creative idea to hide the tv (especially the venetian blinds part!!!) Your table looks so pretty, makes me want to have a party!!

  6. Image for Michelle Michelle

    You are too funny and very creative. I love the cupcake table liner and those pom poms are super cute. I'm looking forward to your sale at Joss and Main. I can't wait to see what you picked.

  7. Image for Amy@The Avery House Amy@The Avery House

    KariAnne! Those table decorations on a budget are not only pocket book friendly but also genius! I would have never thought of using the baking cups to create a table runner and hanging décor. You may need to do more of a tutorial on that one. Such an amazing idea! I am thrilled that you are curating on Joss and Main tomorrow morning. I can hardly wait! :-)

  8. Image for Jackie Adams Jackie Adams

    I'm saving these ideas for my New Year's Eve table. We have a party every year and try to make it really fun for our guests. These will be great tweaked for New Year's. Thanks Kari!

  9. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    If you truly are interested in a disappearig TV, take an afternoon and peruse a few RV Dealers' lots. Not all RVs have them, of course, but many of the newer ones do. Quite interesting also is the fact that some of them disappear into a fireplace.....yep, a fireplace. In an RV. Some of them even have TWO fireplaces. One upstairs, one downstairs. What? you didn't know RVs had an upstairs and a downstairs??? Where have you all been??? LOL, seriously you gotta look at them. Great inspiration. Cute post today, Miz Karianne.

  10. Image for Sheryll & Critters. Sheryll & Critters.

    Wow, your table is spectacular. I love the colors and all the ideas. Wish I had an occasion to do such a beautiful table and someone to do such for. All of the table settings are great. So many to awwwh over and so little time.... sigh. And your husband's idea so reminded me of Steve... he comes up with some very good stuff and some 'huh' stuff too.

  11. Image for Sheryll & Critters. Sheryll & Critters.

    Oh I can't pick a least favorite chore. I think it is between ironing (Florida ya know) and cleaning kitty litter boxes.

  12. Image for Sheryll & Critters. Sheryll & Critters.

    One question and I will leave.... lol. How did you do the candles? I was thinking maybe very narrow curling ribbon and spray paint the bases?

  13. Image for Mike (CraftyDad) Mike (CraftyDad)

    Your crafty brain just never takes a break, does it? I'm not judging. Just stating the facts ma'am. Looking forward to eleven o'clock. I promise to be a sponge and soak up all your bloggy wisdom.

  14. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    TV story is a good one! Hubby's been talking about that for 20 years. I do have the tv in the armoire....that's so if you've got 2012, I'd say you are doing well! ;) Table is really cute too!! ;)

  15. Image for Angela Angela

    Good morning! Always love waking up to your creative humor! Love the tablescape!! Looking forward to your Joss & Main sale! Have a great and blessed day!~~Angela

  16. Image for Pinky Pinky

    VENETIAN BLINDS?????????????? Seriously??????????? That is hysterical, (don't tell him I said that). Your table is SCRUMPTIOUS! Over the top clever, fun and colorful. Love it all. And you! XO, Pinky

  17. Image for Gayle Gayle

    I am laughing out loud at the blinds solution! Poor thing, they just can't keep up with it all, can they? He gets an A+ for trying so hard !. I think you've got a keeper:)

  18. Image for Winnie Winnie

    Hi to All! I just wanted to thank you for your energy!! Of course I love you and your ideas and sense of humor every day, but your energy is a gift! It always gets me up off the chair and on with things!! Have a beautiful day, KariAnne!

  19. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    Love the table and congrats on the J&M event!...and hope that we one day see your "Jetsonian TV" project...

  20. Image for Mary Feguson Mary Feguson

    Love your table decorations - they are great! Now the TV - I like the one that comes up from the table. I have seen a lot of them, but the picture one - no. Glad you had a super vacation - now it;s catch up time. Have a great week. Mary

  21. Image for Sarah | The Accidental Okie Sarah | The Accidental Okie

    I love these ideas, especially with the cupcake liners. They always get greesy when cooked with cupcakes and I always feel a little sad that their beauty isn't on display to the extent I would like. I'd love to do a garland like this and matching cupcakes. Although, that might upset the earth's gravitational field or something with all that cuteness. Also, I will say that we hung our TV on the wall that's in front of a closet and put all the electronics in the closet with a repeater over the TV so we can still use the remotes. It is so perfect. Just a TV on a wall. No cords, no boxes, no frills, no cabinet. I made the focal point of the room the fireplace, so you don't really notice the TV. Unless Duck Dynasty is on. And that's a fact, Jack.

  22. Image for Cynthia Cynthia

    Great story about the girlfriend has two of them. She has one on her kitchen island and the TV comes up out of the wood top but when it is down it looks like it is a finished cabinet along side of her granite. It is very cool. She also has a cabinet at the foot of her bed that the TV comes out of and they were not that expensive to do. Hope you had a great trip with the family. The table shown is so colorful and very pretty! Cynthia

  23. Image for Lauren Lauren

    LOL - now THAT guy is a keeper! These are such cute ideas -- I am pinning these for sure as I just revised our household budget and believe me, there isn't much "wiggle" room for extras so I know these ideas will come in handy!

  24. Image for katie clooney katie clooney

    Karianne.... classic TV story! Even told the Mister and he got a huge kick out of it. Your table setting is darling!

  25. Image for Diane Diane

    Love, love, love your decorations girl! You need someone to sponsor you a die cutting machine, I can only imagine what you would stir up with that! Make your own stencils too, oh my. Congrats on the Joss and Main, you are pretty Pinterest 2013 now for sure, ha ha. Have fun, you deserve the fame! ~Diane

  26. Image for ren ren

    Actually, I love to iron, it's so soothing and methodical. One of the best treats in the world? A freshly ironed, pressed pillowcase -- smooth, warm, with nicely creased folds, smelling of clean linens. Mmmmmm. HOme-making can be a scrumptious thing to take pride in.

  27. Image for Patty O Patty O

    Did you mask your disappointment for the venetian blind idea? Or did you do a "head thunk"...why didn't I think of that? (slightly sarcastic) :) Fun table!

  28. Image for Jenna Jenna

    I feel your venetian blinds pain. Just when you think the hubs totally gets it and knows exactly what you are thinking, he will say something sooooo dumb! But think of all the money you saved with that adorable paper tablescape, you have probably saved enough for the emerging TV already!! I love what you did with the centerpiece, that is totally brilliant!

  29. Image for Heather Heather

    Love your table setting - what fun pops of color!! Congrats on your Joss and Maine sale too - you rock and I can't wait to give you a big ol' Canadian hug at Haven!! xo Heather

  30. Image for Rossa Betty Rossa Betty

    Good Night. I'm very love with ideas of summer decoration with using paper. This ideas very fun and full of inspiration and also can saving some budget to decorate interior home living for summer. Thanks you.

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