I love putting together a festive looking table for meals with family and friends. It’s something I love to do so much, I might even call it a full-on hobby. When I post pictures of these entertaining spreads, people often say that they love the idea of a tablescape, but don’t want all of the fuss and expense that comes with setting a fancy table. Well, my favorite way to do it is with a few a little tricks that make it inexpensive and easy — and I thought I’d share a few of my tried and true methods with you today so you can recreate it at home on a budget! Tablecloth Alternatives. The base of a pretty table setting usually starts with linens — and I have a few alternatives to a traditional tablecloth that I like to use for pops of color and pattern! The first is Turkish towels — which are inexpensive, washable, and come in tons of bright colors. I usually find them on Amazon, and layer a few for bigger tables. Another idea for larger tables is to use flat sheets — I always look for interesting patterns at places like Home Goods to use as table linens. I’ve also purchased fabric by the yard for table coverings, things like a chambray fabric with a raw edge can be used without any sewing!Small Floral Arrangements. Flowers make such a perfect centerpiece for a pretty tablescape, and I like to stretch my budget with a few floral tricks. I use small bud vases and mason jars scattered down the table with just a few stems in each one — you can break down one large bouquet into lots of containers for more impact. I also always try to get more out of my flowers but adding in lots of textural greenery. I even scatter some larger leaves from the greenery on the table for a natural looking runner, or place them on each place setting for a pop of color.Bring in Produce. A very inexpensive alternative (or complement!) to flowers is to use fresh produce. I actually used big bowls of lemons at some of the tables at our wedding, and have used that trick again in other summer tablescapes. I nestled in a few bright peaches with the flowers for this table setting, and love the idea of using apples and pumpkins for fall, or bowls of cranberries in the winter!Easy Place Cards. A little trick I have for quick place cards: use gift tags from your gift-wrapping stash (I love these little notes from E.Frances Paper!). I’m also not super skilled at calligraphy or detailed handwriting, so I stick with a simple monogram on each one using my guests’ initials.Place Settings Savings. Probably the biggest investment in your table design will be the place settings. I almost always use plain white plates as the base of my table setting, but that one set of dishes can be mixed and matched with dozens of different seasonal dessert plates (which tend to be less expensive) to make various combinations. I also look for open-stock utensils (like this gold set!) for place settings so that I only have to buy exactly how many I need.