For many of us, the Christmas Dinner or Lunch tradition is to either buy a new setting, grab some plastic throw-away plates or use the fancy china grandma saves only for special occasions. But have you ever thought about heading to your local op-shop and re-purposing donated goods to make your Christmas dining setting? Our Christmas Live For Less Gurus Eleanor and Paulina sure have!


Setting up your dining table for Christmas brings the excitement and joy for what’s to come on your glorious Christmas day – delicious turkey, ham, pavlova, bon-bons and more. So it’s important to decorate it with festivity; let’s look at doing it without breaking the bank.

Salvos op-shop

Eleanor and I headed to our local Salvos op-shop in Red Hill and made it our mission to make a beautiful dining setting for Christmas Day out of pre-loved goods.

Inside Salvos op-shop Red Hill

Things to remember when op-shopping this Christmas:

  • Try and find things you know you will use again throughout the year. You don’t want to risk only using it once a year and therefore forgetting about it, or worse, throwing it away again.
  • It’s okay if your setting isn’t perfectly matched, choosing items that are mix-matched adds character to your table setting, making it a personal experience.
  • Go in with an open mind and be prepared to take your time. The best stuff in an op-shop is usually hidden so give yourself a couple of hours and take a water bottle!

Eleanor in op-shop

Dining table sets from op shop

When we started our hunt for the Christmas table setting we knew we didn’t want it to completely match. Instead, we picked 2 or 3 colours that were consistent in each plate we chose so that although we had different plates, they each had a similar colour tying the whole table together. In our case, we found heaps of plates with hints of blue, gold and florals giving us an idea of what we wanted for our centrepiece.

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Cutlery is in abundance in most op-shops all varying in shapes, colours and styles. We decided that a mix of gold and silver cutlery was the way to go for our setting, as the natural vintage look of the cutlery brought them together. The best part about buying cutlery from an op-shop is you can get a whole set for under $5.

Glass wear from op-shop

Glassware is where things can get creative and sometimes maybe a little bit wacky. Have fun when choosing your glassware and maybe even grab some pieces that could double up as dessert glasses. Who’s ever said no to ice cream? It’s just a plus that it’s served in a funky glass.

Christmas centrepiece

Choosing our centrepiece, we knew we wanted something that was not just pretty to look at but useful as well. After doing some exploring, Eleanor came across a bright red beer bucket perfect for filling with ice and keeping water and drinks cool at the table. We placed the bucket in the middle of the table and decorated the outside with bits and pieces of flowers and vines that we found at the Salvos.

Christmas dinner setting

The best thing about shopping at an op-shop this Christmas is making your table yours! Add your own flavour whether that be with plants, vintage platters or beer buckets. There’s everything and anything to find this Christmas at an op-shop.

Tip: Make sure to give your plates, glass wear and cutlery a good wash before using as they may have gathered a bit of dust.