DIY and Thrifted Table-scape from Nate!


if you caught today’s episode of The Nate Berkus Show, you saw my thrifted table-top! here are more details on how i got from thrift to table.

the Nate Berkus Show challenge: create an entire table-scape aka table-top decoration/place-settings using ALL thrift store finds! behind the scenes video above and photo journey below…

first we filmed my thrift store shopping spree for all my table decorations at Angel Street Thrift in NYC. i bought: random figurines, 2 old lamps which i took apart to use as a vase and a candle pedestal, mis-matched silverware, dishes, glasses, candle-holders, a pitcher, beer mug, jewelry and some old plaid shirts!

some of the goofy and fantastic field segment crew.

back at my mom’s NYC apt, i got started on the sprucing! first, the sanding to prep for the spray paint…

then the primer, which looked great as is, but i wanted a bright colored table-top.

priming my candle pedestal that used to be a lamp!

my helpful sister Tess protecting her lungs from the spray paint fumes.

back inside, i made the plaid shirts into place-mats by hot-gluing them around cheap plastic cutting boardslike these

finishing the back of one place-mat with another piece of plaid – these shirts were what inspired my entire color palette!

ta da! before and after: plaid shirt place-mats!

back outside…spray-painting the handles of the silverware. just make sure to cover the part that you use to eat! – i used a plastic drop-cloth and tape.

a vase that used to be a lamp!

oooooo, it’s all coming together!

before and after: elephant figurines!

before and after: mug, lamp and soldier figurine!

before and after: lamp to candle pedestal!

before and after: colorful silverware – the paint really unifies the mis-matched collection. (note: use Krylon, Rustoleum or Valspar to paint the silverware after a coat of primer. the paint will stay for a couple washes but this is really meant to use on cheap, thrift store silverware that you intend to use once or twice to work in with your party decor – not for everyday use.) okay, let’s eat!

yummmm! i hope you love it and enjoyed the show! please let me know if you have any specific questions about the above steps or about anything at all!

and here’s the video from Nate! it gets cut off before you see the finished table but you can see it in the above behind-the-scenes video.


  1. Guest says:

    Where do you get the plastic mat for inside the placemats?

    1. Anonymous says:

      the plastic mats are cheap/thing cutting boards from Bed Bath and Beyond. you could use cutting boards or cheap plastic place-mats as the inside – even cardboard could work! thanks!

  2. Sandra says:

    What an awesome tablescape..

    1. Anonymous says:

      thank you!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Kate I love the silverware.  What kind of paint did you use?

    1. Anonymous says:

      thank you! i used Valspar – first primed it and then painted it with turquoise. just make sure whatever brand you use it says on the can that it sticks to metal. I like Rustoleum brand as well. hope that helps!

  4. Amazing!! Mr. Kate will Valspar have the same affect on glass?

    1. Anonymous says:

      it should if you use a primer first. 

  5. Sweetpeakids says:

    Can the silverware be washed and reused?  Will the paint stay on?

    1. Anonymous says:

      It can be washed a few times with non-abrasive cleaner but too many washes may make it peel. this technique is really meant for cheap silverware that you buy at the thrift store that you only intend to use once or twice to work into your party decor… The Rustoleum paint that is meant for outdoor furniture is pretty durable. thanks!

  6. Rkmbrua says:

    you are so clever!  i learned a lot from your segment and the table looked great!

    1. Anonymous says:

      thank you! so lovely to hear!

  7. Mzdodgy says:

    I would like to paint some “old ginger jar ceramic lamps”. What kind of spray paint should I purchase?

  8. Maria Perez says:

    This looks like a really fun project but waaaaay too hard to do for me anyway! 🙂

  9. Dee says:

    Omg I loooove you! You are such a major inspiration for me. Keep up the great work!!!@

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