17 Charger Plate Ideas for Your Next Dinner Party

Welcome to the 454th Tablescape Thursday!

Whenever I set a table for friends or family, I often use a charger plate underneath the dinner plate. I love the way they enhance a setting, adding another pretty layer and providing a base for each place setting. They are also practical as they help catch drips that would otherwise fall on the table or tablecloth.

Back in early 2008, before I ever began blogging or even knew what a blog was, I purchased two different sets of chargers from Horchow: a dozen white chargers and a dozen cream chargers. I was starting to entertain more, which at that time included more dinner parties. They were a bit of an investment at the time but definitely worth it since I knew with white and cream chargers, I’d have chargers to match/go with all my dishware patterns.


Over the past 9-10 years as I’ve created table settings each week for Tablescape Thursday, I’ve gradually added to my charger collection when I’ve come across chargers that were on sale or deeply discounted. Chargers can be expensive so I prefer to catch them during a good sale. Occasionally, I’ve made my own if I wanted a particular style charger that was no longer available.

This photo below best shows the true color of all these chargers. The light was fading fast, so the chargers may look a bit dark in the pictures in this post, but this is their true color.


I’m often asked if a charger should remain on the table throughout the whole meal. Over the years I’ve read so many different opinions and contradicting information regarding this. Some sources say the charger should be removed after the appetizer and soup course are finished, while others say it can stay in place until after the entrée or main part of the meal is complete.

Personally, I prefer to leave chargers in place until the main part of the meal is complete, removing it along with the dinner plate before serving dessert. I just love how they look in a table setting, so prefer to leave them there throughout the meal.


For this week’s Tablescape Thursday, I’m sharing my entire charger collection. As I share each charger, I’m also sharing a tablescape where that charger was used. If you would like to view that table in full, click on the title of the table which will be a link to that tablescape.

It was really hard choosing which tables to share since over the past 10 years these chargers have been used a lot! I’ve also included a bit of information about each charger and why I purchased them if I had a special reason in mind.

1. White Swirl Charger

This was the white charger I purchased back in early 2008 when I purchased a dozen white chargers from Horchow. On the back it’s hallmarked: Vintage Garden, Ambiance Collections.


Spring Easter Table Setting with Wisteria Centerpiece (Click title to view)

I’ve used this charger many times over the years whenever I’ve needed a crisp, white charger for a table setting.

Easter Spring Table Setting Tablescape with White Bunny Rabbit and Wisteria Centerpiece 2_wm


2. Pierced, Filigree, Lattice Charger

This was the other charger I purchased from Horchow back in early 2008. Again, I purchased a dozen. Back then I always purchased twelve place settings whenever I purchased dinnerware. I had done that with my everyday pattern and with my fine china when I married, so when I purchased chargers for the first time, I purchased twelve so I’d have enough for each of the dish patterns that I already owned.

These days I normally just purchase six or eight, but occasionally I still do purchase a dozen. It just depends on how I think I’ll be using them and the cost.

I get more questions about this charger than any other charger I use in table settings for Tablescape Thursday. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a pattern name or any markings on the back. I remember when they arrived they were in plain boxes without a brand name or anything on the box. That made me think they were produced exclusively just for Horchow/Neiman Marcus.


Valentine’s Day Table with DIY Heart Tree (Click title to view)


3. Straw-Colored, Woven Charger

I purchased these in Steinmart right after adding on the screened porch in 2008. I had purchased some beachy dishware to use on the porch and these were the chargers they had paired with that set in the store. I rarely use them since I don’t have a lot of square plates, plus they are relatively small in size.


Beach-Nautical Table with Candlelit Centerpiece (Click title to view)


4. Gold, Glass Charger

I came across these in the clearance aisle in Hobby Lobby. They were drastically reduced to (I think) $2 or $3 a plate. They are heavy glass and work great in fall table settings. I’ve even used them in Halloween and Christmas settings.


Halloween Table Setting (Click title to view)


Santa Claus is Coming to Town (Click title to view)


5. Corn Platter Charger

This is actually a large platter. I found these on sale half-off in Old Time Pottery many, many years ago. I purchased six of these and six of another style thinking they would make cute chargers for a summer table. Hard to remember, but I think they were marked down to around $6 each.


Country Style Tablescape with Corn on the Cob and a Clever Scarecrow (Click title to view)



6. Watermelon Platter Charger

This was the other large platter that was on sale that day in Old Time Pottery. They really do make cute chargers!


Summer Table with Carved Watermelon Centerpiece (Click title to view)


7. Brown, Rattan Charger

Found these on sale in Pier 1 and added them to my charger collection to work with fall place settings. I definitely recommend having a set of brown, rattan or woven chargers to work with patterns that need that darker base or background. They are still available here: Rattan Chargers.


Dashing Through the Snow (Click title to view)

Christmas Table Setting with Better Homes and Garden Dishware


8. Blue, Glass Charger

There’s a story that goes with these but I’ll just share the quick version. I came across three of these blue, glass chargers in Marshalls for $1.99 each. I purchased them hoping to find more in another Marshalls, but never did. I reluctantly returned them, then ended up coming across one in a Marshalls several weeks later in another town.

I hurried back to the original Marshalls and fortunately the three I had returned were still there. I really wanted six and mentioned that in a post when I ended up using the four that I had in a tablescape. See that tablescape HERE. A lovely reader spied two more in a Marshalls near her home and mailed them to me. So appreciative of the lovely Dearheart who helped me complete this set!


Nautical Table Setting (Click title to view)


9. Kim Parker Emma’s Garden Floral Charger

Came across these in Marshalls one year and it was love at first site. They were only $2-3 each and I bought all that they had, which I think was six. Later I found three more in another store and bought those, as well. I didn’t realize what an amazing deal that was until later when I saw them on sale someplace online for drastically more than what I had paid. They are one of my absolute favorite chargers. The colors just make my heart sing!


A Romantic Dinner in the Garden (Click title to view)


10. Grapevine Charger

I think I purchased these from William-Sonoma. I remember they were on sale, greatly reduced. The price was so good I posted about it on the BNOTP Facebook page so anyone who was interested could get a set. As I recall, they were on sale for just a few dollars each.


Halloween in Pumpkin Hollow (Click title to view)


Woodland Themed Valentine’s Day Table Setting

Venetian Glass Mirror reflecting chandelier


11. Green & Red Plaid Charger

Found these on sale online at Williams-Sonoma one Christmas. I love plaid dishware and had purchased dinner plates in the exact same pattern the year before, so I was thrilled to add the chargers to my collection.


Christmas Table Setting, Toy’s Delight (Click title to view)


When Williams-Sonoma does a theme, they go all out, often making table and bed linens in the same pattern. I love red and green together, so I also purchased the bedding to use as my winter bedding.

I had the bedskirt custom-made from the heavy-weight tablecloths since they didn’t make a bedskirt in this pattern. The tablecloths were the exact same fabric as the comforter and shams, so it all worked out well. Read more about this project here: Tartan Bedding for Winter.


12. DIY Shell Charger

I came across shell chargers on eBay one year and loved them. They were originally from Pottery Barn. The auction sky-rocketed to over $200 for six chargers. Ugh.


I decided to make my own using inexpensive plastic chargers that I already had as the base. The majority of the shells were collected during a family trip to Sanibel and Captiva Islands back in 1983. I had kept the shells all those years, never knowing exactly what to do with them. I filled in the tiny gaps with little shells found in Marshalls and purchased online. Tutorial for making these shell chargers can be found here: Shell Chargers.


Lobster & Crab Fest: Beach Party Table Setting (Click title to view)


13. DIY Shell and Sea Glass Charger

I had always wondered how the shell chargers I made would look with a bit of sea glass mixed in. When I spotted this “sea glass” in Marshalls one summer, I decided to make six more shell chargers, this time incorporating in the pretty blue glass.


Surf’s Up! Beach Vacation Time! (Click title to view)


14. Giraffe Charger

After bringing back six giraffe wine glasses from the gift shop during my visit to Giraffe Manor, I came across these giraffe chargers on sale online and knew they would be perfect in an “African Safari” table setting. I think I purchased these in Bed, Bath and Beyond.


On Safari: An African Safari-Themed Tablescape (Click title to view)


15. Magnolia Leaf Chargers (Click title to view)

Sometimes it’s fun to improvise and create your own chargers from whatever is handy in the garden at that moment.


16. Queen-of-Hearts Card Chargers (Click title to view)

Playing cards from the dollar store worked great as whimsical chargers for this Alice in Wonderland table setting. They were 2 packs for $1 and the cards were the only ones I needed from each pack for this “Queen of Hearts” table setting.


17. Clay Saucers (Click title to view)

Clay saucers from your local garden center are perfect for a garden party table setting. Just measure your dinner plates first so you’ll know what size saucer to purchase.


Hope you enjoyed this little peek at the chargers I’ve collected over the past 10 years. Happy Tablescaping, dear Friends!

To view my flatware collection, check out this previous post: Flatware for All Seasons and Holidays


Pssst: I post almost daily to Instagram. Follow Between Naps on the Porch on Instagram here: Between Naps On The Porch.

Update: I get a lot of questions regarding storage and where I store all my dishware. You’ll find the answer to that question here: Dish Storage. Just scroll down to the button of that page where you’ll see the heading: Tablescaping Questions.

Looking forward to all the tables linked for this week’s Tablescape Thursday!

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  1. You’ve been my inspiration for tablescaping all along and frankly I hadn’t considered chargers until I started following you. You have produced so many wonderful tablescapes. It’s fun to look back at these pictures and remember so many of them when they were first posted. I have those giraffe chargers too and found them on clearance from Horchow or something like that.

  2. Oh…I am SO a charger fan!!! Hobby Lobby is my “go-to” and now I almost have to “close my eyes” when I walk past that aisle…it’s all about storage. You have a wonderful collection!! franki p.s. And…you use them!!

    • Thanks, Franki! I was just thinking I should visit an HL sometime soon. I haven’t been there in ages. Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. I have loved that Emma’s Garden charger since the first time I saw you use it in a tablescape. Oh, how I’d love to find some of those at HomeGoods or Marshalls! (dream on…)
    I enjoyed seeing all your chargers. I have a couple of sets, but I have taken a tip from “Smashing Plates Tablescapes” and made fabric covers for them – I used a light blue fabric with snowflakes to go with my January (winter) table, and I have some pink flamingo fabric cut to make another set to use this summer. It’s an easy, budget way to stretch the chargers!

  4. great post Susan! I’ve never thought of using platters as chargers, how fun! I do have 2 identical shell platters that will be starring in a tablescape soon, thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Karenann says

    Such beautiful tablescapes! I love all your ideas, and your charger plates are amazing!

  6. Cynthia Blaylock says

    Love, love, love your use of chargers and all your creative tables. But please do tell, where and how do you store all those chargers PLUS the huge variety of tableware? I have a 3,000 square foot house and barely have room for the 3 sets of dishes and 3 sets of chargers I have.

  7. What an amazing collection Susan and I love each of your tables. Thank you for hosting and for all the inspiration.

  8. Such an imaginative idea for a post and love how it takes us through all the seasons! I especially like how much the giraffe one stands out. And the irony of the square woven one–we have white square plates and I could never find chargers for them. Now I know they are out there somewhere and will look again.

  9. Love your chargers, I also collect them. I had not thought of using reasonably priced platters…what a great idea. I love your clay saucer idea…just wrote it down. I bought vegetable dishes on eBay this year and am planning a garden tabletop, they will be perfect for that! I had not seen the Alice card ones before, love them too. Have been collecting Alice items for a table, Finally broke down and bought courtly check salad plates from Mackenzie Childs for that table. Loved your post on MC.

    • I love garden tables, Jillian, those are always so beautiful! Ohhh, I love the Courtly Check pattern. That’s something I don’t have in my collection, maybe one day. πŸ™‚

  10. I bow to the Queen of Tablesettings!

  11. I am new to your blog and am enjoying it immensely. I am curious about the DIY seashell chargers. How do you store or stack them to prevent breaking? It would be devastating to go to all of that work and find them damaged from being placed on top of each other.

    • Thanks so much, Janice! Amazingly, they stack really well. The shells are very hard, so I just stack them and they do great. No breakage, thank goodness! Occasionally one of the teeny shells comes loose and I just hot-glue it back. That rarely happens, though. Someone asked me about stacking them a while back and I think I took a photo of them stacked and added it to my reply. Let me see if I can find that photo and I’ll reply back with it.

    • Janice, I couldn’t find that other photo so I just took a couple of photos showing how they stack. Surprisingly they stack well.
      Stacking Shell Chargers

      Shell Chargers Stacked

  12. Susan, I have a set of Vintage Garden, Ambiance chargers just like yours. I have used them time and again for many years. Bought mine at Neiman Marcus. I also have the rattan chargers both round and square. Again, some that I use time and again. I have tartan chargers, but they are a discontinued pattern and add them when I find them. Still looking for one more to make six. ‘-) I like your clever ideas for making your own.

    • I was wondering if NM had them, too…since they are owned by the same company. I could never remember if it was NM or Horchow where I had purchased them until I came across my old receipt a while back and saw it was Horchow.
      What pattern are your tartan chargers? I’ll keep my eye out for those.

  13. I really enjoyed this post. Thanks! I have a lot of chargers too and my biggest challenge is storing them…Christine

  14. Susan, I’m with you, I love to use chargers under my dinner plates. You have instructed me that platters can serve as chargers; I love that idea! I don’t know where I would store one more charger plate, but I still keep on the lookout. IF my husband would just build me a very small extra room, I would be in good shape! LOL!

  15. Kathleen says

    Oh. My. Gosh. I went through each one and realized I missed quite a few of your parties. So now I will go to each link later in the day to view. So many cute ideas with napkin holders (Christmas stockings for one). Dinner or lunch parties aren’t happening at my house so it’s fun to visit your party. Thank you.

  16. Does it sometimes astonish you when you sit down to type and it is well over 400 tablescapes and all of them unique and inspired.

    I had forgotten about the Valentine one with the playing cards. That one is so playful and I had planned to use elements from it this year and forgot. But as the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I’ll just count that as another brick and wait for next year.

    Thank you once more for all the ideas and inspiration you share in your blog.

    • Thanks, Ellicia! Yes! It’s wild how fast the years have gone by, it does amaze me when I stop to think about it!
      lol You are too funny! I love that expression and haven’t heard it ages!

  17. It was a real pleasure to see these all at once. Thank you!

  18. Mamey Brown says

    OMG! This is AMAZING!!! I would LOVE to see how you organize and store all of these wonderful treasures. I too collect dishes (only square sets) so I have a very difficult time finding square chargers. I LOVED this post and hope to see more like it….

    • Mamey, another reader mentioned having that same problem. I’ll keep my eye out for those and will let you know if I see any.
      I wish I could say I was organized but really everything is just spread out in kitchen and laundry cabinets and a few china cabinets. It would make it so much easier to create a table each week if I could have it all in one place. I may try to work on that this summer, try to get a bit better organized.

  19. Hi: After seeing all of our beautiful chargers, I am convinced that I have to get some. I keep seeing them in Home Goods and similar stores, but wonder how to use them. I see that you don’t necessarily have to set a “formal” table for chargers to fit in. I love the giraffe ones and especially love the plaid chargers. I can picture them with my Holiday pattern. Once again, your post has provided me with some great inspiration.

  20. Susan! I love all your chargers! I have Tartan from Lenox. My faves of yours are the cream and white. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Love love love this post! But you forgot to include your fabulous DIY clock charger plates. Your tutorial inspired me to make my own clock charger plates which are perfect for my Mad Hatter birthday parties. I was also inspired by you to make my own lavender disney print fabric charger plates. I use them for my daughter’s annual “Beauty and the Beast” birthday extravaganza. Susan, I am a latecomer to the wonderful world of tablescaping, had even heard the word “tablescaping” until I stumbled across the beautiful BNOTP in 2014. You and your family of BNOTP followers have inspired me beyond words. I now have at least fifteen sets of charger plates, and those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head LOL! Shhh….don’t tell my husband.

    Thanks again for another wonderful Tablescape Thursday. XO

    • Oh, I know the ones your’re talking about. Actually, I only made those in a salad plate size, but charger plates would be fabulous to make that way! I loved your clock charger plates! They were so perfect for the Mad Hatter party!
      Wow, we need a tour of your charger collection, Elena! πŸ™‚

  22. Juanita in OH says

    This was charger PARADISE for me! You have such a great imagination…I wish I could get a transfusion of that gene from you, lol. I went back through a few posts trying to find information about where you purchased the beautiful plaid tablecloth that is green, green and blue/teal, I LOVE it and would love to have one. If you don’t remember I understand. I used to LOVE entertaining; but, I am no longer physically able to do it. I do like to put great table cloths on my table though. TFS.

    • Aww, thanks Juanita! I found that tablecloth quite a few years back in Marshalls. Both HomeGoods and Marshalls sometimes carry those type tablecloths. I should buy more to use on the porch, they are a lot of fun!

  23. bobbi duncan says

    Your imagination for table settings has inspired me so many times over the years, Susan. I still have the print out of the pierced Horchow chargers in my files from the time when they offered them years ago, and I HAD planned to get them–but didn’t! Now, every time I see yours, I could kick myself for dawdling and losing out. ” You snooze, you loose”. They work with so many topper plates.Maybe ones like that will come out again–hope so.

    • Thanks, Bobbi! Appreciate that so much! β™₯
      What were they called back then? Does it say on your print out? I can’t remember now what they were called. I keep thinking they will bring them back again one day!

  24. You are one creative and amazing woman! I applaud your energy and devotion to your readers. I love your red dining room and wish you would share more of it!

  25. I love your chargers. I want to get more. I switch between the vintage manor ones and the beaded glass baby blue chargers in the summer. I would really like to make some seashell chargers by walking the beach and finding the shells. But I think it would take me a few years to get them all.

    • Jeri, I had never been to a beach that had really any shells at all until I visited Captiva. I don’t know what it’s like today since that was back in 1983, but there were so many shells on the beach, you couldn’t go barefoot. It was too painful to walk on the beach barefoot. We were only there for a 3-4 days but we collected so many shells because the beach was covered! One morning when I was out collecting some shells, a guy was walking on the beach collecting them, too. He told me that Captiva was one of the top shelling places in the world and that people came there to collect shells to use them in jewelry. Again, have no idea how it looks today, but I’ve never seen so many shells on the beach any place else I’ve ever been! I was amazed!

  26. Cynthia Raines says

    Great post Susan, such a pretty collection. I love the lattice white charger and the pretty blue glass one, but the others are pretty as well. I have 5 different chargers, gold, red, red plaid and my sea shell ones. A good start, but have a ways to go to catch up to you! hehe.

  27. I really enjoyed this post. Thank you for sharing your chargers. I am always inspired by your tablescapes and I look forward to all the bloggers who share by linking to your post. I find many new ones to follow right here on your blog. Thanks, again!

  28. I need to shop more. I haven’t any chargers yet. I know how you feel I have dish sets everywhere. I told myself no more until I get more organized . Working takes up so much time.

  29. Great post seeing all your chargers, Susan. What a good idea! You are so organized with your pictures as well as your dishes. I need HELP in both areas.
    I’m linking up late and the post has tables but not place settings so I hope that is ok.

  30. Oh, Susan, this is one of my favorite posts! I loved seeing all your chargers and how you’ve used them! Your blog inspired my adventure into tablescaping a few years ago, and it’s a hobby I love, thanks to you. Your Horchow chargers will forever be my favorites!
    Rosie @ The Magic Hutch

  31. JoyceBinAtlanta says

    Oh, I loved this post. Thanks for the memories – all in one place! We have 3 queen size beds on tallish bases in this house, and I finally went through and made each under bed area a store ‘room’ for related china and accessories. I have a lot of large serving dishes, and they especially work well under the beds. My husband is a bit horrified that we own so much china that it no longer fits in cabinets, the coat closet he converted into a china cabinet for me, and the many shelf units in the basement. What can I say? You do what you have to do when you love something πŸ™‚ I consider each dish to be a tiny work of art. And I rationalize the excess because I’m a good cook – I call it art framing art!

  32. How fun, and what a great collection of both your chargers and the tablescapes you created with them!

  33. I have searched BBand B for the giraffe charger plates and can’t find them. I would LOVE to have them as I have a beautiful set of dishes that would be perfect with them. I will keep looking online to find some. They are my favorites:):)

    • It looks like they are no longer available there from this link: http://bit.ly/2tzU6NL. I just did a search and saw that at one time Overstock had them, but they are sold out there now, too. Drat! I bet they will come back again. If I come across them online anywhere, I will let you know, Pinky.

  34. Susan – I love the Vintage Garden, Ambiance Chargers, but when I search for them, nothing comes up. I assume they are no longer available. I too love using my Spode Woodland collection for Thanksgiving. Any idea where I can finding a similar charger to use with that collection. I’m already starting to think about my Thanksgiving Table!

    • Thanks, Laura! I just did a Google search and don’t see them available anywhere right now. You may want to periodically search for them online, just in case someone has them and decides to sell them on eBay. I purchased them in Horchow online, but that was almost 10 years ago. You may end up finding some that are similar that you like even better. I wish Horchow would bring those and the other set I purchased around that time, back again.

  35. Teresa M. says

    Hi Susan
    Your charger collection is wonderful. So many unique shapes, designs and colors. I like the flashback to photos showing an example of how you used each one.
    During this Wuhan Flu self-isolating mandate, I am spending a bit of time to declutter. Perfect for spring and so satisfying.
    After seeing this post, I just decided to keep my 30+ chargers and not let go. So many possibilities and I like them all. πŸ™
    Take care and happy Spring!

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