Ideas for Thanksgiving Table Decoration

Decorated Thanksgiving table with turkey, pumpkins, leaves and napkins.

Some people think that Thanksgiving is all about the food, but we know that your design and decor are just as important! To create a festive atmosphere, it all starts at the Thanksgiving table. Your Thanksgiving tablescape can be rooted in tradition or completely customized to your own personal style. Whatever Thanksgiving table setting ideas you choose to adopt, it’ll serve as the backdrop for magical holiday memories with your loved ones. 

By Michelle Stansbury, Eat, Drink, Be San Diego

Whether you’re hosting a large feast or an intimate dinner, put your DIY skills to good use with Thanksgiving tablescapes that are as unique as your family. From inexpensive table setting ideas to stunning Thanksgiving tablescapes, we’ve got you covered with decoration ideas for Thanksgiving that will outshine the turkey. Sometimes simple ideas can make a big impact, setting the tone for your Thanksgiving table.

Gourd-gous Thanksgiving Table Decor

Decorating your Thanksgiving table with gourds is an inexpensive way to bring on the autumn vibes. Try using mini pumpkins as place cards by simply adding a gold push pin and a card stock name badge. Or, create a whole Thanksgiving tablescape centerpiece by arranging gourds of various sizes and colors, intermingled with glowing pillar candles. Gourds work great for the kids’ table as well, they won’t fall over and break like your grandma’s crystal candlesticks. 

Or, get crafty and transform your gourds into vases. First, carefully cut off the top of the gourd and scoop out the innards. To keep the gourds from leaking all over your beautiful Thanksgiving table, fill a small container with water and position it inside the gourd to keep flowers fresh without soaking your gourd. Or, for an evening Thanksgiving table, place a tea light inside the hollowed-out gourd to add an autumnal glow to your tablescape.

Fragrant Thanksgiving Table Decor

Your Thanksgiving decorations can be a feast for all senses with fragrant tablescape ideas. Use rosemary branches as a creative addition to your floral arrangements, the herb casting a beautiful scent around your Thanksgiving table. Or, for a homey fall scent, use cinnamon sticks as place cards. The stick’s crevice makes a natural place to slip the name cards!

Instead of placing flowers in a vase at your Thanksgiving table centerpiece, lay a single sprig of blooms onto each place setting. The fragrance will be more apparent than it would be at the center of the table and it adds a special touch to your Thanksgiving tablescape.

Casual Thanksgiving Table Decor

With a multi-generational Thanksgiving dinner, a casual decor suits both kids and adults. The look of mix and match table settings offers a warm and inviting look. You can even have several different patterns, as long as you stick to one color palette. Layer on different textiles and textures for a casual and homey Thanksgiving tables.

If you don’t have enough linens for your tables, or just don’t want to deal with the laundry afterwards, try using plain craft paper as the base of your Thanksgiving tablescape. You can write directly onto the paper with a paint marker to create place settings and accent the no-frills brown paper with decor of marble, white, and gold for a polished look. 

On Trend Color Themes for the Thanksgiving Table

Are you leaning towards a warm, autumn palette of colors for your Thanksgiving table or an elegant all-white look? The color scheme of your Thanksgiving tablescape is one of the most impactful you’ll make. For a color theme pop that feels both classic and new, play with copper. Incorporating copper candleholders, chargers, and tableware will make your Thanksgiving table feel both elegant and homey.  

For a sophisticated Thanksgiving touch, a white-on-white color scheme is easy and classic. Try painting pumpkins white with gold stems, arranged with white flowers and finished with eucalyptus branches for a stunning Thanksgiving table. 

Food-Only Thanksgiving Table Decoration

Foodies out there will appreciate letting their cooking be a feast for the eyes as well. Many of us don’t have a dining room table large enough to fit the entire family and all of the delicious Thanksgiving dishes you plan to serve, let alone extra room for a centerpiece or ornate place settings. Instead, let your beautiful, golden turkey be your centerpiece and your smorgasbord of side dishes be your décor. Make the dishes look extra pretty by wiping the rim and adding a garnish on top, like bright, fresh herbs or even edible flowers.

Or, to add a little extra visual interest to your table, incorporate fresh fall produce like grapes on the vine, green pears, orange persimmons, and red pomegranates for a colorful Thanksgiving table inspired by autumns bounty.

Thanksgiving Table Decoration Created by Kids

Crafts that your kids help create is always a crowd pleaser! Your friends and family will love seeing the handmade art and décor that your children make. You can even give them the crafts as a project while you are cooking to keep them occupied. Or, if you plan ahead, have them make colorful drawings and then laminate the paper to use as placemats. If they are stuck on what to draw, teach them how to draw a turkey using their hand as a guide. You can also make paper garlands, with the kids writing what they are grateful for on each piece.

Thanksgiving Table Decoration on a Budget

You are already spending a lot of money on the food, so cut down your budget by looking for inexpensive Thanksgiving décor ideas. A pack of five candles can be purchased for as little as five dollars, and make for a simple and elegant centerpiece. Or, for free décor, go “shopping” around your own home. Look through each room with fresh eyes to see what you might be able to repurpose for your Thanksgiving table. And don’t forget the garden! Even if you don’t have flowers blooming in your garden, cuttings of leaves can be a lovely decoration to your Thanksgiving table décor.

Heartfelt Thanksgiving Table Decor

While you are creating a beautiful Thanksgiving tablescape, remember to add elements that are meaningful to you and your family. Personalize place settings with old family photos of each guest when they were young. Print the photos in black and white for a look that is both cohesive and classic. Or, get crafty by printing out photos on regular paper and then decoupage them into a collage on a special centerpiece. 

Picture of Michelle Stansbury of Eat Dring Be SD/cp,

Michelle Stansbury

Michelle Stansbury is a San Diego-based blogger and freelance writer who writes about travel, food, cannabis, and relationships. Follow her @discovermichelle or visit https://www.eatdrinkbesd.com/. Her work has appeared in national magazines like Marie Claire, Forbes, Cosmo, Reader’s Digest, and Bustle.

AuthorClare

Senior public relations manager at Zulily

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