DIFFA Dining by Design 2010 Table Reveal

I am honored and humbled upon designing a table for this year's Dining by Design event here in Kansas City. For those of you that aren't familiar with this event, it's fantastic benefit for DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS). Local designers, florists, event planners etc are invited to create a table scape in any imaginative design they can come up with.

This was my first year as a table designer and to say that I was a bit intimidated is an understatement. I knew that I'd be sharing the room with many design greats such as David Jimenez, VP of Visual Merchandising for Hallmark and the local celebrity florist, Dan Meiners. Both repeatedly come up with inspired designs that are the true show stoppers every year. I'll be doing a seperate post tomorrow with pics from their tables and all the other designers as well.

The dramatic drapery at the entrance of the exhibit hall...there's no turning back now!

Since I do not have my own floral studio to pick flowers from or access to china and linens that many other designers did, I knew I had to be extra creative on such a tight budget. I turned to the cheapest fabric that I could think of as a basis for the tablecloth, burlap. At just $2.99/yard, I knew this would allow me to cover the entire 12 foot long table but still have plenty of money leftover for everything else.

My design partner and dear friend, George, helped me dress up the burlap with varying types of ribbon.
We applied them using an iron-on adhesive.

I laid mirrors from the Dollar Tree down the center of the table, as well as a decorative box I had laying around the house to prop up our centerpiece.

Close-up of the DIY mercury glass that I had posted about last week.

I took plain glass candle holders from the dollar store and sprayed them with water. When they were still wet, we did a light coat of gold spray paint. The mix of water and paint created the bubbly, uneven texture.

I arranged glasses, candle holders, vases and canning jars down the center. All were purchased at thrift stores, many were just $0.50 each.

We're getting there!

I filled several candle holders with bird seed or pebbles to add some additional texture...

...while George arranged our centerpiece.

Last touch...a light dusting of ultra-fine glitter over the top of the burlap.

And viola, a completed table for about $100! I heard one designer say he spent $5,000 on his table, so I was even more pleased that we were able to create this look for such a reasonable amount.

A few detail shots-

Since we didn't want to purchase our own chairs, I placed the provided banquet chairs backwards against the table for something different.

Suburban Spunk, that's me!
Budget Breakdown:
Tablecloth Burlap (Hobby Lobby) $2.99 x 8 yards=$23.92
Ribbon (various sizes from Hobby Lobby) $6
Charger plates (Old Time Pottery) $1.99 x 10=$19.90
Centerpiece vase (HomeGoods) $14.99
Candleholders (thrifted/dollar stores) $25
Winecorks (Ebay) $16
Fabric for centerpiece & napkins (Joanne's clearance) $2/yard x 3 yards=$6
Branches (yard) $0
Gold silverware (inherited) $0
Martha Stewart glitter (left over from holiday crafts) $0

Total: $111.81

Once the lights were dimmed for the cocktail party on Friday and again Saturday night for the gala, the table just shimmered in all the candlelight. I hope this shows that with a bit of creativity and planning, you can create a beautiful table design on a budget.

I'll be posting the other amazing tables from the event tomorrow.
Hope you had a lovely weekend. -Suzanne


  1. Beautiful!!!! I love that you got stuff from the goodwill and dollar store. Your table was amazing!!!!

  2. I think it looked amazing! Kudos to you for trying something different on a tight budget with all of those big name designers (I'd have been petrified), I think the centerpiece was my favorite part:) I bet it looked amazing once the lights were turned down and the candles were it

  3. I meant once the candles were lit!

  4. Wow, great job & on such an amazing budget. Just love it & going back to look again! NG

  5. Lov the big chunky mirrors with the white candles. did you get those at thrift stores too?

  6. Thank you everyone!
    @NatiGirl-The chunky mirrors had been in my dining room at home. I bought them at Michael's last year on clearance. Since I took them down to do the plate wall, they were just sitting in my basement. I was happy they fit the hurricanes so well.

  7. Vanessa Mays5/03/2010

    I Love reading about all your DIY stuff! I see this kind of stuff all the time on various DIY shows, but this is so much more relate-able because it's local and on a reasonable budget! You are so talented!

  8. What a wonderful job you have done! I love all of the pictures & great great job on the budget. :)

  9. @Vanessa&Megan- You girls are the sweetest! I'm proud to call you both friends. Thanks so much!

  10. Suzanne, you are a decorating goddess! your table scape was absolutely stunning. I love all the shine of the gold, with the bits of texture from the vase fillers and the branches! great job!

  11. Well done! Turned out beautifully! Great branches too!!


  12. I just came across your amazing blog today and I LOVE your style. I am coming away with so many awesome tips! And I just noticed that you are wearing Stella & Dot Garden Party Earrings in these photos! I am a stylist for S&D and love it. Hope you enjoy your pieces! Feel free to visit www.stelladot.com/jewelryjunkie if you need anymore!


Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Comments from my sweet readers make my day! You can always email me at scsa25@gmail.com if you prefer as well. love, S