How to Set a Table...a refresher course

In case you didn't already know...Thanksgiving is tomorrow...yep. Tomorrow. Are you ready? I think I pretty much am...thank goodness...I've been busy cleaning & straightening...organizing, throwing away, shopping, referee-ing children (my gosh, does the fighting ever end???), and getting the table ready for the feast...

My daughter and I set the table yesterday afternoon...and I love the way it looks. I went with minimal table decorations this year...and a white tablecloth...I'm diggin' the simplicity.



I saw the idea for the place settings here at Little Yellow Bicycle...they made little apples, but we changed the design up just slightly and made little pumpkins...and instead of name tags, I used the phrase printables that I offered here...




I love that Kinsley and I made the table together...it brought back memories of my childhood...setting the table was always one of the household chores that my brother and I shared. And because my great-grandmother and grandmother were etiquette snobs (I say that with all the love and affection in the world), we were taught very early on how to properly set a formal table...

Here's a diagram from HOME Made Simple...



  • 1. Napkin
  • 2. Salad fork
  • 3. Dinner fork
  • 4. Dessert fork & spoon
  • 5. Bread and butter plate with spreader
  • 6. Dinner plate
  • 7. Dinner knife
  • 8. Teaspoon
  • 9. Soup spoon
  • 10. Cocktail fork
  • 11. Water glass
  • 12. Wine glass (red wine)
  • 13. Wine glass (white wine)
  • 14. Coffee cup and saucer


  • A general rule of thumb when setting a table is that you set the silverware from the outside in according to the course that will be served. For example, in the above example, the cocktail fork will be used before the soup spoon which will be used before the dinner knife...so you start with the cocktail knife on the outside and work your way in...

    Knife blades should always point toward the dinner plate...we were taught this was because it was rude (threatening?) to have the blade pointed toward other guests at the table...hmmm...

    And the napkin fold (unless you are doing something fun with your napkin) should always face toward the place as well...

    I'm sure this is all stuff you probably already knew...but who couldn't use a reminder now and then?

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

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