Pamela Hovland kraft paper place setting
Pamela Hovland

Inspired by designer Pamela Hovland‘s hand-drawn place settings, we’ve just ordered a 48″ x 200′ roll of kraft paper ($26!) for the holidays. Pamela unrolls a long swath of paper to act as a tablecloth, then draws each persons place setting, with their name, right on it (taking care of seating arrangements in one fell swoop).  At the end of the meal, she hands out pens so that guests can write on each others “plate”, like a high school year book — at Christmas, they write the imaginary gift they would give.

In the days after the party, Pamela cuts out the plates, attaches mailing labels and sends them to each guest, so they’ll have big memories of the wonderful day.

Pamela Hovland Kraft paper place setting
photo: pamela hovland

If you don’t feel up to drawing anything, kraft paper, as is,  makes a perfect simple table covering.  Dig the beautiful table at Canal House Cooking (whose new cookbook we’re giving away), much in the style of a French bistro.

kraft paper table setting
photo: Christopher Hirscheimer

Kraft paper is endlessly useful stuff to have on hand. It makes wonderful wrapping paper — you can draw a ribbon right on. It is available at art, crafts and some hardware stores, and also comes in white.

Related posts: book giveaway: ‘canal house cooks every day’
chic’d-up paper towel napkins in a fab minimalist setting
the joys of unorthodox tableclothes
d-i-y instant color block tablecloths
d-i-y expandable table pt.2 (rectangle) for holiday and other celebrations

5 replies on “kraft paper table “cloths” and place settings

  1. This is a great idea. Thanks for the “krafty” inspiration (sorry, that one was too easy to let pass).

    Love your blog!

  2. We’ve made towns with roads, houses, and buildings on the kraft paper and played with Henry’s cars on the long 12’table at Pamela’s house also. She is very” krafty”!!! I should know – I’m her mom!!

  3. Well Ms. Hovland, you have one AMAZING daughter there. As you know, she’s been a huge part of ‘the improvised life’.

  4. Everything published made a lot of sense. But, think on this, what if you were to create a killer post title?
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  5. I used to think up cool, oblique titles for articles until I realized that search engines couldn’t figure out what they were about, and that people could find Improvised Life more easily with titles that truly said what the content was. If anyone knows otherwise, I’m game to hear it.

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