Choose a medium or large men’s dress shirt for each chair. Place a shirt over a chair, buttons facing the table. Button up. Tie the sleeves loosely behind the chair and place a flower in the knot – maybe even a small bouquet – for your guests to carry home.

Thanks to Mary Stanton and Heidi Hallett-Treece of Goodwill Industries Volunteer Services for this idea – inspired by their 2004 Festival of Tables display.

Elizabeth Edwards is managing editor of Northern Home &