Scottish Table Decorations to Make

    by Hannah Wickford

    About the Author

    After attending Fairfield University, Hannah Wickford spent more than 15 years in market research and marketing in the consumer packaged goods industry. In 2003 she decided to shift careers and now maintains three successful food-related blogs and writes online articles, website copy and newsletters for multiple clients.


    The Scottish people are very close to their heritage and traditions. They enjoy gathering with friends and family over haggis and whisky to celebrate Scotland’s many traditional holidays such as Burns Night, Hogmanay (New Year) and Saint Andrew’s Day. Whether you are of Scottish descent or not, there are many table decorations that you can make at home to bring the feel of Scotland to your next dinner party. Making them may take a little bit of effort, but as famed Scottish novelist James M. Barrie said, “It is not real work unless you would rather be doing something else.”

    Saint Andrew's Day

    Scotland's national flag, the Saltire, represents Saint Andrew, Scotland's patron saint. The Saltire has a navy blue background with white stripes going from corner to corner to form an X. Decorate the table for Saint Andrew’s Day using a blue tablecloth and white plates and napkins. Set a shallow glass bowl in the center of the table. Use blue and silver curling ribbon to form curls approximately six inches long. Fill the bowl with the ribbon curls.

    Burns Night

    In addition to the Saltaire, the Scots also have a second, unofficial flag called the Lion Rampant which is the Royal Standard, or Royal Coat of Arms, of the Scottish King and Queen. The Burns Night celebration honors the life of poet Robert Burns. The Lion Rampant flag's vivid gold and red colors are normally associated with Burns Night. Set the table with a gold tablecloth and red plaid runner. Make the runner yourself by purchasing a length of plaid fabric. Cut it to 1 1/2 times the length of the table, and approximately 12 inches wide. Use a sewing machine to create a simple hem around the edges, or pull out threads along the edges to create a fringe. Set it in the middle of the table lengthwise. Fill a glass trifle bowl with fresh lemons and bright red apples and set in the center of the table for a festive centerpiece.


    The Scots are well known for their tartans or plaids, and clans and families historically had their own distinctive tartans. Use plaid fabric to make a tablecloth, runner, place mats or napkins for a festive Scottish table. Use thin strips of plaid ribbon in different colors and tie a bow around the stem of the wine glasses for instant, homemade wine glass markers that will add that Scottish flair to the table. Contact your local florist or nursery and purchase some thistle, the national flower of Scotland. Use small, clear juice glasses as vases and make a small bouquet with the thistle in each glass. Tie strips of plaid ribbon around the middle of the glass and secure with a bow. Place one vase by each place setting.


    Cut out Scottish terrier silhouettes approximately 3 inches wide out of black cardboard. Write each guest’s name on them in white gel pen and set by each place setting for quick and easy table name tags. Cut a strip of stiff plaid ribbon, such as French ribbon, so that it forms a circle the appropriate size for the center of the table. Form a circle with the ribbon and glue the ends together. Cut out a circle of green or red fabric approximately 1 1/2 times the diameter of the ribbon circle. Glue the cut ends of the fabric to the inside of the ribbon and stuff it lightly with tissue paper. Set in the center of the table, fabric side up, and shape it to form a traditional Scottish Tam o' Shanter, or beret. Glue a coordinating pompom in the center if desired.