15 Steps to Fantastic International Table Decor with a Limited Budget

How to Decorate a Table for a Party

We sit around you, and we talk, cry, impart wisdom. We salivate, and we eat not to just satisfy our hunger but to feed our soul. The warmth of the soup as it slowly travels down our throats and fills our belly or the glass of fresh squeezed lemonade that quenches our thirst after an exhausting day of erratic errands.

We have one commonality that unites our humanity, and that is our emotions deeply connect us at our dining table. We seek comfort and friendship at our tables. We want more than a meal we want time to refuel as our day has emptied us. We want a place that reminds us of the beauty of just being.

Learn how to decorate a table for a party

Traveling the world changes you in ways you never imagined.

I have seen places and met people and tasted dishes that will delight my senses long after they happen. I will try to recreate those experiences in my home by copying decor ideas that I have seen in my travels. These ideas do not require a large budget just a little thought, imagination, and ingenuity.

The realization that setting up our space to evoke certain emotions defines the meal.

These are my inexpensive table decor ideas that I saw while traveling in the Philippines in Asia.


1) Using nature as the table covering. You can see here the table cloth if you will is banana leaves.

Boodle fight in the Philippines using banana leaves

2) Set up experiences by placing the food differently. This Philippines dinner does not allow for silverware or dishes. You eat with your hands with brings a new level of camaraderie to your guest.

Table decor Ideas

3) Use layers of traditional textiles. These hand embroidered table runners are the essence of elegance and welcome.

Table setting with flowers on a tea pot

4) Use everyday items and make them uncommon. Like this flower in a teapot, it is both cost efficient and lovely.

beach dining

5) Change the level of which the food is served. At our beach dinner, we sat on the ground.

outdoor lanterns

6) Add unique lighting to your party or event likes these lanterns on the beach.

Sonya's Garden in the Philippines

7) Use the food as part of the decoration. You can see how the meal accompaniments add to the soul of this restaurant.

Leche flan

8) Use the food colors against the pottery choices. This flan pops on the blue dishes.

Table setting in the Philippines

9) Mix wood with pottery to bring texture to your meal.
Outdoor dining

10) Find the right table and set the table to reflect the mood of the location.

Table setting with a view

11) The location can define the feeling of each table. When you have a location that inspires make sure the table draws attention to the location.

Table decor design

12) Do not forget to pay attention to the ceiling. Look at these beautiful chandeliers.


13) Mix the shapes and the dishes to evoke interest.

flowers in a tea pot

14) Place flowers on the table for additional color and elegance.

Buffet table design

15) Set up a buffet by using different heights and layering of your food techniques.

Bonus Real Advice Gal Hosting Tips: 

(Pictures were taken on my trip to the Philippines)

Establish the mood by playing authentic music. This is music from the Philippines 
Be a gracious host by imparting knowledge about the culture or food to your guest. I found this great book on the Philippines 
Serve various taste experiences, so your guests each have something that they already know they like and something they may want to try. I ordered these great mango treats to share with my guests. I would suggest finding an authentic food item or trinket for your guests to bring home.
Thank your guests for coming as they arrive and when they leave.

If you want to know more about our trip to the Philippines, visit and read our experience at Nurture Wellness Village.

Also, check out these decor ideas:

How to decorate vases with burlap and twine
Budget Tips on Wedding Reception Centerpiece
Baby Shower Ideas and Decorations