When it comes to Thanksgiving table decor, the pressure can feel high as a host or hostess. After all, everyone will be sitting around the dining room table, staring at your beautiful centerpiece. Check out some of our favorite ideas for decorating the Thanksgiving table.
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Where to Get Thanksgiving Table Decorations
While you can look for interesting used items like candle holders and pottery at second-hand stores, sometimes it’s a lot more convenient to shop at Hobby Lobby, Michaels, or Joann Fabrics for the decor you need. If you’re on a budget, the Dollar Tree has plenty of staple items you can use to fill up the empty spaces on your table. At the Dollar Tree, you can find basic vases, votives, fake flowers, fake greenery, or faux pumpkins and gourds.
How to Decorate a Thanksgiving Table: Tips
Tip 1: Pick a Theme.
You want to make sure everything is cohesive. While it may be tempting to completely wing it, when you choose a theme, even loosely, it can help you select pieces to decorate your Thanksgiving table. Some themes include”Dark, sleek, modern,” “Farmhouse Chic,” “Cottagecore,” “Modern Industrial,” or “Woodland Wonderland.”
Tip 2: Choose Versatile Pieces.
Although I did emphasize picking a theme, for more expensive items, choose pieces that you can use again and again. For example, choose a neutral white or beige tablecloth that you can use for many years. A nice vase is also an excellent investment. Opt for a table runner, small accents, or fresh flowers that are more theme-focused to switch things up.
Tip 3: Don’t Be Afraid of Color.
When you think of Thanksgiving or even just the fall season, you may think of warm autumnal tones that match the earthy hues. But that doesn’t mean you have to stick to that color palette! A bright turquoise, vivid orange, or even purple can be a fun addition to a Thanksgiving tablescape. One of my family’s most memorable thanksgiving tablescapes had black-and-white buffalo plaid tablecloths with mini orange and white pumpkins and turquoise accents.
Tip 4: Use Fresh and Seasonal Accents.
While your staple pieces may make a recurring appearance from year to year, don’t be afraid to use fresh or dried seasonal flowers, greenery, and produce in your display. We love the elegant, rich tones in this tablescape by Jacqueline Chiarot Design. Her clean and contrasting color palette makes beautiful use of less traditional fall tones for maximum impact. The dried flower centerpiece perfectly balances the velvet textures in this stunning tablescape.
Thanksgiving Table Decorating Ideas
With placemats, chargers, flatware, dishes, napkins, napkin rings, and glasses, you can really set the scene for a semi-formal or formal dinner with the right Thanksgiving table setting. Anthropologie has some lovely options for this year. Like Stacy London and Clinton Kelley once said, “It shouldn’t match, but it should always GO together.” Keep that in mind when choosing the pieces for the place settings. We love the gold accents in this tablescape by Denise Mohler of Happy Haute Home, especially in the flatware.
Centerpieces for Your Thanksgiving Table
This is often the first thing people want to tackle because it’s often the focal point. Don’t feel like you have to go completely overboard on a centerpiece. Sometimes a more subtle Thanksgiving centerpiece can be equally elegant and not overwhelming.
Pop of Pumpkins
Mini pumpkins spray painted gold, white, silver (or any combination) provide an elegant look to a Thanksgiving tablescape and are relatively inexpensive. They can bring some high-shine fun to your Thanksgiving table.
Candles and votives are a great way to fill up space on the table where you don’t have anything else. You can also find vintage/antique candle holders at thrift stores to provide visual interest with different heights. I especially like the look of brass or mercury glass candle holders. I also like inky black candle holders to bring in an unexpectedly moody touch—perfect for the cooler months.
Bring a Touch of Drama to the Thanksgiving Table
The rich tones of eggplants, pears, pomegranates, and artichokes, accented with grapes and cabbage leaves, make a dramatic runner! Go for the unexpected and try a black-and-white theme for your table. Or try a chinoiserie motif with blue and white decorations.
Who says Christmas gets to have the monopoly on trees? A mini Thanksgiving tree makes a unique centerpiece accented with ornaments or fall leaves. Have guests write something they’re thankful for on each ornament and hand it from the tree! For a tutorial, check out our other article with ideas for Thanksgiving home decor.
Thanksgiving place cards are an inexpensive way to add a personal touch to your table decor and make guests feel welcome. Try your hand at fancy calligraphy or support a small business on Etsy by ordering name tags online.
When you choose the right linens, you set the tone for the rest of the decor. A more neutral tablecloth can be paired with a patterned table runner and or more bold accent pieces. If you’re going for a harvest or farmhouse look, patterns like gingham, buffalo plaid, and burlap can provide a rustic feel to your decorations. The colors of the 70s–warm browns, oranges, reds, and yellows have made a huge comeback this year. Try out this trend by using groovy colors, retro patterns, or even amber glass drinkware and accents.
Gourds come in so many interesting colors and shapes, and they can provide a lot of visual interest to your centerpiece. Try scattering them through the center of the table mixed with other fall accents like acorns, cinnamon sticks, apples, pinecones, and greenery. We love the way Kori from The Farm House Life used plenty of different shapes and colors with her gourds and pumpkins in her tablescape. You can even find lots of decorative accents and other floral items at the Dollar Tree for a budget-friendly option.
Let There Be Light
Battery-operated string lights can be a festive way to illuminate your Thanksgiving table decorations. You can go with a warmer or cooler (LED) tone depending on your fall decor motif. This can be especially gorgeous if you turn the overhead lights down and let the table decor shine.
Grains and Grass
With the rising popularity of Pampas grass, we’ll likely see a lot of dried grass and bushels of grain stalks used in trendy tablescapes. This can give a natural harvest look to your table. We love this natural look with neutral pumpkins by Sarah Jane Christy.
Go for an unexpected, earthy look by using large terrariums as centerpieces. For a larger dinner table, place two at the center and add smaller plants throughout the rest of the table as accents.
Flowers for Your Thanksgiving Table Decor
Fall flowers in a nice vase are one of the most simple ways to dress up a table. If you want to change things up from the ordinary vase, anchor your floral arrangement with floral foam in a hollowed-out pumpkin. Marigolds, sunflowers, scarlet sedum, Chrysanthemums, spiky delphinium, hypericum berries, maple leaves are all seasonal sprigs you can find at florists and grocery stores. You could even add some fall-colored feathers to your flower arrangements as a nod to the mascot of Thanksgiving– the turkey. We love this look by Adorn Planters with pumpkins and gourds as vases for succulents, with one set at each place.
Find More Ideas for Thanksgiving Table Decorations!
If you like these ideas for Thanksgiving table decor, check out our other great ideas for both indoor and outdoor Thanksgiving decorations. It can be fun to decorate if you’re entertaining but don’t stress about it. The most important thing about any Thanksgiving dinner or Friendsgiving meal is enjoying great food with the people you love, being thankful, and making memories. Share pictures of your Thanksgiving table decor with the people you love on FamilyApp!