How to think outside the box…

Life Lesson #4: Think outside the box


Sometimes a little creative thinking comes in handy… but I often have to remind myself to do it!  You, too–or is it just me?  Since this series is about lessons I’ve learned from linens, let’s look at a few linen-related examples of thinking outside the box.


Do you have lots…and lots…of doilies put away? I mean, seriously, just how many doilies can you use at one time? Perhaps a few more than you think!


Use a small one to cover the center design on a plate so your centerpiece “shows off” like in this Red Dazzle tablescape.

Pink candlelight


Or stick a few in a fancy bowl for a burst of visual texture…or “sprinkle” them across your entire tabletop to set a “lacy” mood like I did in this Key to My Heart wedding table.



Of course, if you need something bigger and showier than a doily, why not use a rug or a tapestry as a table runner?

rug runner


Then there’s the thrift store box of one- or two-of-a-kind napkins that you love, but what do you do with a box of orphaned napkins?


Why not do a tablescape where every place setting is different?  I’ve done it with transferware…and with a multi-country theme.

mixed dishes


Another option is to use china…or flowers…or both to tie together all of the colors. Orphaned napkins never looked so good!

rainbow tablescape

Napkins available at KerryCan on Etsy. Just click the pic!


Speaking of orphans…  At Hope Unlimited for Children, we very often have to “think outside the box” when addressing the heartbreaking realities of the children we serve. Sometimes there are just no easy answers, and that is why it’s so important for every staff member to be diligent in prayer; to have a discerning spirit when the need for creative caring arises…when a child’s future–or life–is at stake. At Hope, we believe in the power of prayer! We’ve seen its impact far too many times not to.


Today begins 30 Days of Prayer for Hope. We have prepared a devotional guide for use between now and Orphan Sunday on November 3, each day’s entry a brief, specific need for which to pray. I invite you to download a copy of the devotional guide–or sign up to receive the daily devotional via email–by clicking HERE. If you’ll be joining me in prayer on behalf of some of our world’s most desperate children, I hope you’ll leave a comment and tell me.


You know… With 27,000 children becoming orphans, it’s going to take some serious “out of the box” thinking if we’re ever going to successfully address the problem. Let’s pray about that, too, shall we?


Are you good at thinking outside the box? Does it come naturally–easily–for you…or do you have to remind yourself to do it?


This is part of the 31 Life Lessons from Linens series. If you missed one, they’re all listed HERE.


I’m linking to Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound.


  1. The link to sign up for 30 days of prayer did not work. Says page could not be found. 🙁

  2. I love your ideas for doilies–I find it so hard to come up with ideas to use them effectively!

  3. Well I am so sorry now that I gave my doilies away to a thrift store. I just had no place to keep them. My storage is so limited and I gave away lots more than I should I guess. Your table is so darling and your ideas are clever too. I need to think outside the box too. Smile.
    xo, Jeanne

  4. I have a TV armoire repurposed to a china display cabinet. I have a place setting of my grandmother’s wedding china displayed and I used some doiles to soften the display. Some are under plates or pouring out of cups. I love the look and how it softens the overall effect. Thanks for your ideas too Susan!