Tablescaping at Christmas – Top Tips & Tricks

Bluebird Creative and Mad Lilies  have recently created three stunning tablescaping designs for the festive season. Their top tips and tricks have been pieced together for you to gather information and inspiration to recreate your own.

Firstly, Lauren, Creative Director at Bluebird tells us that “creating the perfect tablescape is like building a series of layers. By using the following list of ‘layers’ you can create your own tablescape at home with a stylish theme running throughout. Just remember your chosen theme when considering each of the different elements.”

Tablescaping Tip List

Table linen





Floral styling

Lighting & Decor (incl. candles and votives)

Place names

How to…

Alison, Mad Lillies comments “we love to create a table scene, it really is all in the detail and it takes a lot of layering up! Our initial starting point is inspiration and research – we love Pinterest. Although this year with our Christmas Collection we decided to get the scissors and glue out. A bit more hands on, flicking through magazines whilst drinking endless cups of tea!

When your mood board is complete you can then start to source all of the props and table wear that you need, creating a list of all the elements, including all of the finishing touches right down to the food! Once the list is complete you can then start shopping – the best bit! This may take a little time so leave yourself a good 2-3 weeks to avoid any stress.

Once you have done all of your shopping, allow enough time to enjoy setting up your tablescape. Don’t under estimate how fiddly some little details can be. To get things perfect we recommend allowing 3 hours, and if it is the Christmas table that you are dressing, definitely create it the day before!

Hands on…

We start creating our tablescape by building up the layers, starting with a table covering, charger plates, tableware and cutlery. We would then begin to add the finer details such as napkins, and stylised table place names. Top tip: if you are hand making anything it is best to have these details ready before you start the final set up.

We would then concentrate on the centre of the table, whether it’s a pine garland intertwined around candles, three raised compotes of fresh flower running down the centre and scattered with mercury tea lights, or if it’s all about the food, the decorative hot plates and condiment pots eclectically placed, ready and waiting for a delicious feast to adorn your beautiful table. Don’t forget the finishing touches such as wine bottles and fancy salt and pepper shakers!”

 Theming Inspiration

Bluebird Creative and Mad Lilies created three different themes to showcase the endless possibility you can try at Christmas time. The first being Nutcracker, second Nordic Winter as well as Spiced Apple.

The Nutcracker Collection

“First of all the key inspiration behind the Nutcracker collection was ‘quirky vintage’ which we saw as warm, cosy evenings in front of a roaring open fire, roasted walnuts, scented orange slices, and whimsical dipped copper ferns combined with enchanting ballerina pinks and a dusting of glitter. We wanted to bring the fairy tale to life with a delicate and pretty colour palette and enchanting textures and of course little vintage Nutcracker’ figurines.”

The Nordic Winter Collection

“The Nordic Winter collection was inspired by the great outdoors and simple whites, greys and silvers. We love combining gorgeous foliages and plants so used this as a starting point, keeping the collection natural and organic in style and incorporating lots of berries, pine cones and scented cinnamon bundles. We just had to incorporate classic white Amaryllis, petite headed snowdrops and gorgeous winter white Hellebore.”

Spiced Apple Collection

“Spiced Apple is our more traditional Christmas collection. Rich and king like using jewel colours such as reds, purples and vibrant oranges, teamed up with warm golden tones, quirky pheasant feathers, fallen pine cones and bundles of scented cinnamon, reminiscent of eating warm mince pies and laughing over glasses of hot port with friends and family.”

Floristry tips and tricks during this season – it’s such a difficult one!

A Mad Lilies favourite is the fabulous Amaryllis, coming in a variety of colours from white to red to pink to peach! Each flower stem typically has 3 to 4 show stopping heads on it. Yet beware due to their weight they can be prone to snapping their delicate hollow stem in half when all flowers are open.  Top tip: to avoid this plug the stem with a cane and a piece of cotton wool. The flowers can take up to 4 days to open, and as each head fades you can snap it off at the base to allow the remaining flowers to take centre stage. We love to create a big vase of Amaryllis and combine them with long-lasting, Ilex berries and some scented Eucalyptus.

To fill the house with a gorgeous Christmas scent hang orange slices and cinnamon bundles from your Christmas tree. A roaring fire or hot radiator will help to release the scent.

Planters of gorgeous bulbs make great decorations throughout the house as an alternative to fresh flowers. Typically bulbs can take up to two weeks to bloom, but it’s a lovely thing to watch and you really look forward to the flower buds popping open! We love to add wintery birch twigs, rich green moss as well as petite pine cones to our planters. Our favourites are winter white Hyacinths, heady scented Paper White’s and Hellebores (aka Christmas Roses).

With Special Thanks to the Styled Shoot Suppliers

Styling – Bluebird Creative

Flowers & Foliage – Mad Lilies

Photos – Janne L Ford

Table Place settings – Couvert Hire

Props – The Toast

Food – Four Gables

Cake & Mince Pie – Odiham Cake Company

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