Thrifty Valentine's Day Tablescapes and Other Decorating

Valentine's Day: love it or dread it, it seems to sneak into our stores the moment Santa has turned those reindeer Pole-bound.

Yet, if you're looking for a little post-New Year's zip for your decorating, Valentine's Day tablescapes can be a cheery, inexpensive, and even non-commercial way of brightening the home with sweet sentiments.

As mentioned in a previous post, heavily-discounted Christmas reds can transform for Valentine's Day with no work at all-- and at a fraction of the cost of actual Valentine's Day decor. And for the decorator who plans ahead, thrift stores turn up some heart-warming finds.

This tablescape was done with vintage china in pinks and greens which I already had, plus a pink-and-red roses printed tablecloth from the Salvation Army thrift store...

The centerpiece bowl was a Christmas ruby glass from Target a few years ago. It's filled with silk flowers I'd had from some other projects, but you could fill it with fresh flowers, red marbles and a candle... even stacks of small Valentines.

The 50s aluminum tumblers were from the Goodwill at about a quarter a piece. The heart shaped placemats were my one brand-new splurge last year, but were an affordable price at Target.

Virtually everything on the coordinating mantle either came from a thrift store, or was bought post-Christmas at Target. The shimmering red tree in the center was one after Christmas sale find. Ironically, you'll see almost identical items now for Valentine's Day at four times the cost...

Here you'll see a couple of empty chocolate boxes picked up at thrift stores for just $0.99 off-season... Not as much fun as emptying them yourself, of course! But entirely too pretty to pass up.

A satin vintage pillow from the Christian Laymen thrift store, a pink china candlestick from a past decorating swap, and a few 50s Valentines I got as a $6 lot from Ohio's Pottery City antique mall help complete the effect ...

For fans of romantic decorating, decorating for Valentine's Day might be easier than you think. If fact, you mayhave the makings for a display without buying a single thing! Roses in any color-- but particularly pinks and reds-- are perfect for the holiday. Fresh, silk, or paper, gather 'em together and display them in anything from ruby glass, to crystal to inexpensive milk glass.

And what about photos of loved ones, alive or long passed? Combined with Valentine's colors, working them into a tablescape can be a nod of honor to the people who touch your life.

Have you saved Valentine cards over the years? Why not display them? It's a wonderful way to share cherished memories.

Try playing around with pinks, reds, purples and whites. Just because an item wasn't made specifically for Valentine's Day doesn't mean it won't work nicely for the holiday.

And if you don't feel you have enough to work with currently? Keep your eyes peeled at thrift stores, flea markets, antique malls and post-holiday retail. In the 40s-60s, for instance, holiday planters were popular for almost every occasion. Here you'll see a little girl dressed in hearts and a heart-shaped cupid planter...

By picking up things like this around the year, you'll have what you need for a cheerful display in no time!

And me, I'm going to pretend now we don't have all that white stuff falling outside and have a nice hot tea. Hope to see you this coming Wednesday, friends!


Anonymous said...

Hi Jenn, Love your Valentine's table and mantle. Hope you will take a minute to post a link on the decorating forum to get us all started on Valentine's decorating.

Down Comforter said...

Great ideas! i also love finding vintage V-day cards & placing them sandwiched between a pretty tablecloth & glass topper.

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Heya, Luvs!- I will try to pop over this week. I can't imagine you and Judith and everyone haven't already been putting heart into Valentine's tablesettings! :)

Down Comforter- That's a lovely idea as well-- I bet it's beautiful.

The Victorian Parlor said...

Great ideas! We frequent our local thrift shops and find all kinds of great stuff. It is even better knowing that the money goes for local charities:) Thanks for sharing your ideas!

Nathalie Thompson said...

LOVE your style and your shopping philosophy! I am right there with you. Your mantle is gorgeous- especially the vanity mirror above it.

Ruth Ann said...

Great table settings! I just love shopping for seasonal decor at the thrift store! There are soo many awesome finds out there!

Janelle said...

What a fun post! Love seeing your decor! I have a little collection of vintage Valentines I put out some years, too.

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Victorian Parlor- I agree. To get a bargain plus support a charity always seems to be such a win-win.

Natalie- Thank you! That mirror came with the house, though it doesn't seem to be the original mirror for the mantle-- it came off a bedroom vanity, I think. I liked that they thought outside the box like that to replace it.

Ruth Ann- There really are. And sometimes you can find them off-season, too, and get some real treasures. (No one else is usually interested then.)

Janelle- I love that so many people have saved the vintage Valentines. The graphics are always so typical of the cards' time periods.

Tolentreasures said...

Wow! I love what you have done! Everything looks PERFECT! Another group of things to look for at thrift shops!


ThriftShopRomantic said...

Cathy- Thanks for stopping! I'm sure this is only a wee bit of what might be found for Valentine's at the thrifts, so it will be interesting to see, moving forward, what folks come across themselves.

Melanie said...

Love the way you've mixed and matched the Moderntone for your table setting!

Sweet Somethings by Lois said...

Hi Jenn! are so busy...when do you breath?
I love the V-day decorating you have done.
I agree that the best way to buy is to thrift all year round. When you see it buy it and then you'll have it when you need it!
That's my philosophy anyway.
I have been finding some really great Christmas stuff now that the actual day is over so I would think that after the V-day there will be loads of stuff to pick up for use next year.
Jenn, as always, thanks for sharing.
Have a great week!

Andrea said...

Jenn, you're working your magic on me again! After dismantling everything from Christmas, I need some serious motivation to start putting things out for Valentine's Day. You are definitely inspiring me to get up and and spread some of Cupid's charm around my nest. I still have flashbacks of the time that my husband, David, bought me 3 blank VHS tapes for my Valentine's gift. I have NEVER let him live that one down!! LOL

Ms. A said...

At first, I have rethought the whole red thing in the past couple of years. Not only does it make sense to grab christmas reds for Valentine's Day and Fourth of July, reds fit in so well when doing a Provencal/French Country theme at home. Pinks are tres francaise too!

But of course, your house was made for Valentine's Day!

Lana Gramlich said...

I love those heart-shaped cool! I envy you your clear willingness to go all out with holiday decorating. To be honest, we're lucky if I remember to put out our circle of witches candle holder at Halloween. <:\

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Melanie- Thanks!- Because my fireplace tile is green and right there in the middle of everything, I try to at least integrate a bit of green into my tablesettings to draw it in.

Lois- I totally agree with you-- it's always better to grab it when you see it at thrift stores, or it will be gone when you want it.

Andrea- Based on your photos, I bet your place would work really nicely with some Valentine's displays in it.

Ms. A- Oh, absolutely, and I know YOU know all about thinking ahead and repurposing-- you're the queen of that!

Lana- I may grow tired of it at some point, but right now it really entertains me, so I figure it's some harmless and inexpensive fun.

Anonymous said...

Wow ! Your really good at giving decorating advice! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Wow ! Your really good at giving decorating advice! Thanks!

Meg said...

I just had to look up this post and say thank you.

I saw you're tumblers in this post and immediately knew I had to find a set of my own one day.

And as thrift shopping normally goes if you keep looking you'll find one sooner or later... that later was today for me.

Weekend Deals

Thanks for the inspiration


Linda said...

I was looking for valentines tablescapes and found your wonderful page! I am a thrift person also. Today I needed to get a black suit jacket for my husband for a memorial on Friday. It cost $14.95 and I did the spend the money to have it dry cleaned and still saved money. While at the thrift store I found my china, not the same pattern but it was white with silver trim. I needed to replace the gravy boat. So I got it for $3.99. Then a gal was shopping and asked if I collected Nippon dishes. I told her no and she said these are collectables hand painted. I got two small dish for 1.99 @. They are floral with gold trim on the rim. Real pertty. I will keep checking back to your blog for more great ideas. thanks