Floating Christmas Tablescape.


A couple of weeks ago my mother, two sisters and niece went on a Christmas house tour. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a festive event held once a year where you and hundreds of other people get to enter and judge other people’s houses.  Of course there’s a price for such a luxury.  $25 for a tour of 4 or 5 houses.

The homes are decorated for Christmas to give the illusion we’re all  just looking at Christmas decorations, but really we’re snooping and judging. It’s fun. Because it’s not at our houses.

Everyone is quite vocal about the things they like on these tours.  Oh I LOVE that.  THAT’s beautiful!  LOOK at THAT!  And they’re just as vocal about the things they don’t like, but instead of yelling it at the top of their lungs they whisper it to whoever’s next to them.  Psst.  Get a load of that sofa.  Last time I saw a sofa like that it was covered in porn stars.  That sort of thing.

The reason I go is to see if there are any good and new Christmas decorating ideas. After going through 4 or 5 houses my family and I usually walk away with at least one good idea and some very definite opinions on whether it’s appropriate to to peek into rooms that have “Do Not Enter” signs on them.

One of the things we saw this year that pretty much everyone commented on was a floating tablescape. It’s not really floating of course. ‘Cause that would require magic and as we all know, all the magic available right now is being used up by crack smoking Rob Ford, who is still the mayor of Toronto. Magic.

All you need for this tablescape is a piece or two of glass (I used 2 old glass shelves I had in my basement) and anything clear to support the glass.


I used plain, cylinder shaped glass vases. The glass on the Christmas house tour was held up by crystal wine goblets. I liked the look of it, but wanted something that would almost disappear when you looked at it. The plain glass vases did the trick.


Then it’s just a matter of putting whatever you want on top.



I mixed bunch of natural elements with sparkle.


So I had cedar boughs, antique deer antlers, glass cake plates, white and gold Christmas trees and pinecones.


By the time I finished I also had a little bit of each of things things embedded in my eyeballs.



Looking head on, you can see how the vases that hold the glass up just sort of disappear.


Then the mandatory for all Christmas decorations … mini lights and candles.



And that’s it.  The floating tablescape.  Which I am now going to completely disassemble and remove from the table.   It’s just far too big to keep up for the whole season, but will be very pretty indeed when I set it up again on Christmas Eve for my annual Christmas Eve party.



O.K.  Now it’s your turn.  Feel free to judge.  (But not publicly in the comment section, that’d be humiliating …  just whisper it to whoever happens to be next to you)~ karen


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  1. Ella says:

    Love it! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Rhonda Notschaele says:

    Love it. The antlers look great.

  3. LuAnn Agustin says:

    Your floating tablescape is inspiring! Just beautiful.

  4. Jen says:

    Love this idea!

    I even have a place this might work for a seasonal!

  5. Debbie from Illinois says:

    It is lovely.

  6. Ronda J says:

    Beautiful idea, and regarding things getting embedded in eyeballs is precisely why I don’t like decorating for Christmas… I just got one eye to stop watering constantly, for a week, to risk it. Pesky eyeballs… 😉

  7. mia pratt says:

    Such a clean way to display! Great mix of primitive, organic and modern, I love it. I may have to settle for a broken windshield with deer antlers embedded in it, but if I position it just right with the curve of the windshield facing up, and string some mini-christmas lights through the antlers…and shave off that little bit of fur still attached to that unfortunately deer scull fragment, I think I can pull it off! If not, there’s always net Halloween<:}

    • Rhonda Smartypants says:

      Funny, funny, funny — not as funny as Karen’s remark re Toronto’s Mayor, but still 3-funny funny. And really such a ‘greeen’, responsible repurpose of roadkill. My hunting cap’s off to you. Good job.

  8. Rhonda Smartypants says:

    Funniest damned blog for the whole season and we’re hardly 1/2 (Chanukah) way through the ‘holiday’ season. When I read your sentence about the ‘magic’ of Toronto’s Crack-Smoking Mayor still being in office, I know I would have spit out any wine, egg nog, hot cocoa or grog if I had been drinking any of them. I wasn’t drinking anything, actually, but I’m just sayin’ I would have for sure if for sure I had been drinking them. So there, you are that funny. Oh, love the floating tablescape — brilliant, not just as in smart, but brilliant as in bright and illuminating. I think some of my floating tablescape this year will be gathered from Dollarama (The Dollar Tree chain here in the US).

    • Karen says:

      Rhonda – I want you to listen to me right now. Are you listening? WE JUST GOT DOLLAR TREES HERE!!! I haven’t been (being quite loyal to Dollarama) but I’m gonna go have a look to see how different the two are. 🙂 ~ karen!

      • Marti says:

        Totally agree with Rhonda: this was worth the read just to finally get your thoughts on your major and learn how the #$!%! he stays in office up there? I laughed out loud.

        And yeah, now I know what to do with that ugly piece of plain glass shelving I saved when I got rid of my last mini-fridge. Thanks for spending the $25 and saving us the trouble!

      • Rhonda Smartypants says:

        Listen to you, Karen? Oh ye of little faith, I listen to you so well that I found myself outside peering under the leaves of dandelion stalks for Monarch egg sacs in the dead of summer before realizing they were: 1) the wrong plants, 2) the wrong eggs, 3) the wrong season, and 4) the wrong part of the country…so, yes, Karen, I am listening and what I am hearing is that your Dollarama Stores may very well have some competition in town now. That means you will have even better bargains than we do here – dang, you Canadians are soooooooooooooo lucky – funnier politicians and better bargains, not to mention your Thanksgiving is earlier and that would be so much better for us who haven’t as much time between the two to make a worthwhile run at the Christmas pledge thingy. Good luck with your comparison shopping.

      • Tigersmom says:

        Please do a post on your comparison of Dollar Tree vs. Dollarama. I’m dying for you to know how we suffer down here in the states and why we all have Dollarama Envy.

        I’ve been patiently waiting for a Toronto mayor reference, mostly because I wanted to see how long you could hold out on partaking of such ample fodder. (Can I just say, “Wow. It’s a relief to know that other countries also have crackheads for mayors, finally.”)

        As for the floating centerpiece, it is lovely with options for so many variations. I particularly love that the elevation still allows for sightlines, but provides impact and drama without taking up all the surface space of the table. Genius. Again.

  9. Therese Bourne says:

    Karen, is there ANYTHING you don’t have in your basement?

  10. Twyla says:

    I love it!!! I think I can do that ! Thanks Karen

  11. barbee says:

    Also, thanks. Now I have to explain why I’m saving thanksgiving bones.

  12. Barbie says:

    I like it. I may try this on one of my tables this year.

  13. Auntiepatch says:

    I like the idea and the look of it but my 3 cats would have it in the floor in a flash!

  14. Farquist says:

    Pretty table. Magical!
    I request a post on comparing Dollarama with Dollar Tree, please and thank you. I drive by the DT but still have not had the gumption to stop and go in. Probably because it is right beside the high school where my former students go and I would probably see one and have to go through that awkward thing of trying to remember their name and act all fake about loving to see them again. Maybe you can tell me that DT is not worth the trip or maybe you’ll tell me I need to go. In that case, I’ll drive to the one on the other side of town and have a fake-free day.

  15. Sandy says:

    I love it!!

  16. Karen Rains says:

    LOVE the tablescape! I love going on these house tours!!! I have the added joy of living in North Carolina so after you are whisper about the ugly sofa you say “Bless their hearts”. That makes everything okay.

  17. jainegayer says:

    Damn, that’s beautiful.
    And I thought my snowscape with trees and fake snow in the glass salad bowl looked pretty good.
    Hmmmm…I must have a glass shelf in here somewhere.

  18. Thera says:

    Very pretty!
    Of course I can’t do it as I have a 25 lb cat that stays off the table unless I put something pretty on there, and then it’s not so pretty any more. I can just imagine, everything smashed on the floor and the cat entangled in mini lights and antlers. Wouldn’t be as bad as the cat that got stuck to a fly sticky in four places on his body, while we were at work, and then had to be shaved, just here and there, but I am betting this would be a close second.

  19. Not only are you creative, you are thrifty and irreverent. My kind of blogger. I’m following you right now!

  20. marilyn says:

    its really quite beautiful but not very practical with a big family..i can just see it now! a tangle of red wine ,broken glass and legs and arms and everyone saying ‘” it wasn’t me”

    • Karen says:

      Oh! Lol. We don’t eat at the table at Christmas Eve … it’s more for a buffet as opposed to a sit down dinner. ~ karen

  21. gogothrift@etsy.com says:

    Inspirational, as always. Oh, and you’re spot on with the house tour dialogue. I don’t know how any homeowner has the balls to do it.

  22. Mary Werner says:

    The smoke coming from the candles is beautiful! along with the rest of your post, of course.

  23. Reg says:

    Great idea. Love it.

  24. karol says:

    “not loving it” she whispered in a quiet voice. A little too modern for me, but Bless Your Heart.

  25. Erica O says:

    Oh, that IS phenomenal!
    I’m forwarding this post onto every single one of my good-at-making-things friends! They’re going to pee their pants with excitement when they see this.

  26. Lynne says:

    I’m liking it. I’ve got 3 or 4 squat rectangular vases that would make great supports for that kind of display. Now I just need to track down a piece of glass. I see a trip to Crappy Tire in my near future for a narrow glass shelf…

  27. dana gault says:

    Spectacular! If you were so inclined, you could even put a clear glass crack pipe among the antlers ; )

  28. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Very pretty..I’m guessing that Cleo & Ernie will be spending Christmas Eve locked in another room..lol..As for Rob Ford..It’s nice to know that the US is not the only country with one of these types of politicians..

  29. Stefanie Barrett says:

    My two cats were intrigued by what I was studying on the “magic window” no doubt hoping it was that triangle that moves erratically. They were immediately taken with the floating Christmas display and instantly had visions of destroying it piece by sparkly piece. Any suggestions for a feline proof tablescape that doesn’t require me to patrol the area with a toy water gun?

    • stephbo93 says:

      I’m with you. My cars would be saying, “Ooooh….lots of sparkly and green stuff for us to eat! Thanks, Santa Paws!”

  30. Jeannie B says:

    I think it really looks nice Karen. But, excuse me for being nosey. Is that a candelabra under the mirror and is it electrified? How did you do that? Or did it come that way? Does it look nice, turned on?

    • Karen says:

      It is an electrified candelabra, it’s very old, I bought it that way and it does look very nice lit up. 🙂 ~ karen!

  31. DianneT says:

    Love this, Karen! I am so inspired. Last year I didn’t use half my Christmas decorations because I was tired of displaying them in the same/similar manner for another year! They’ll take on a new life this year!

  32. gabrielle says:

    I like it, but what about aunt Edna who always gets into the wine and loses her glasses? Could be a smashing evening!

    Karen, I would like to see maybe 3 or 5 strands of small, threaded mirrors (double sided circles or squares) hanging from the bottom of your rice paper/bamboo lantern to sparkle and “snow” onto your floating display. Do you know what I mean? Just a few “disco strings” to bring the floaty/sparkle-y arrangement up even higher off the glasses (this supposing your lantern is actually above the display; otherwise forget what I am trying to say)

  33. gabrielle says:

    P.S Why does everyone have those silver candlesticks from Ikea but ME?? I have always wanted those. They totally BELONG in my kitchen! Why is Santa ignoring my emails?????

  34. Jenny says:

    Centerpieces are popular on blogs right now. Karen, yours is really beautiful. I come from a very large, non-fancy family and we fix our plates and gather all over the house. So centerpieces are foreign to me. What I don’t get, is so many centerpieces, while gorgeous, are very tall. It seems like it would be difficult to see the person across the table (not in yours, Karen, but in many). So… is that part of the point of the centerpiece? To hide from relatives? 🙂

  35. LindaP says:

    Very nice! I like that the base is transparent. Give a good clean look. Really shows off the table, runner and display items. Must remember this:)

  36. Lee says:

    I read about an idea from the author of this blog where she used rub’n’buff to cover up the green edge of her glass table. If you used it, it would blend with your gold, sparkly pine cones.


  37. Donna says:

    Instead of glass I used one of those ugly frameless Ikea wall mirrors instead of glass. It looks fab and the tea lights really sparkle. We kept the arrangement low with boughs, red and silver beads and balls. and candles. Thanks for the great idea.

  38. Jeni says:

    Stunning. You are a “Decor Genius”

  39. Carla s. says:

    You know we are all jealous of your Dollaramas down here. Wish they’d put some of those here. From what I’ve seen of the great things that you make, it’s a higher quality of things. Mind you, we are glad to have our Dollar Trees with their cheap price and just create like crazy with their stuff. But would love to have me a Dollarama close by. It’s like Funky Junk Donna always showing her neat burlap pillows made from sand bags. Our sand bags are ugly white plastic with a draw string. Not what you want a pillow made out of. Lucky Canadians.

  40. Mike says:

    Last time I saw antlers like those, some porn stars were…

    Oh right, I should be whispering this.

  41. Meg says:

    I’m TOTALLY supposed to have my Christmas decorations up now, right? Crap. I expected this to be a post on “are you done with your Pledge yet?” And it’s not. Kind of. It’s definitely a reminder that even though I had a surprise houseguest for 6 days, that excuse can really only maybe buy me a couple more days on the pledge…. at least in my mind 🙂

  42. danni says:

    Oh your display is beautiful and did I mention we have a kitten?

    ….so this is one we have to just enjoy from afar.

  43. Bols says:

    It looks very nice but I know you, Karen – you are trying trick me into into adding more Xmas decor and I am not falling into this trap! I am officially done – I made my own Xmas wreath (I used branches from a cedar swag that cost me a total of SIX DOLLARS at the farmers’ market (no tax at the market). I have a Christmas tree in the stand, fully decorated and lit and all that jazz. There is a Xmas wreath on the front door.
    Three poinsettias are in the living room/dining room and another one in the bathroom.
    I may consider putting a small Santa hat on the greyhound but she is not very fond of it so maybe just for 5 minutes on Christmas Eve (that’s officially Christmas for me, Christmas Day is just the “day after Christmas”).
    I – AM – DONE !!!!

  44. stephbo93 says:

    You are spot on about the house tour experience. My downfall is that I always want to open cabinets and peek into drawers. (I follow through on that urge, btw, in case you wanted to open up your own home to riff raff such as myself.) I love this idea, but I’d have to do it on a side table since we eat at our table for Christmas.

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