How to Create a Beautiful and Easy Thanksgiving Tablescape
Looking for ideas to create a beautiful, yet easy, Thanksgiving tablescape? Check out how I used simple elements to create an elegant and inviting look! Gather some ideas here to take what you have and create your own Thanksgiving tablescape or shop the sources here to get the same look!
“Gathering around the table over a shared meal is an art form. Just like each instrument comes together to form an orchestra, so does each individual come to the table to contribute their own tune.”
-The Heaping Harvest
Do you have any special Thanksgiving traditions?
I actually love that we don’t have set Thanksgiving plans that absolutely have to happen each year. For our family, it’s a laid back holiday and we just kind of see who can do what and then we go with it! Usually, we are with some extended family with some friends joining in as well. Of course, we love watching the Macy’s parade, browsing the Black Friday sales, drinking apple cider, and eating way too much!
Regardless of the where or who, though, there is guaranteed to be great food and a pretty tablescape!
Robb (my husband) says to definitely not forget the great football, too!
This year, my immediate family is tasked with the tablescape (surprise, surprise! Haha!) and desserts!
I know Payton will have the desserts covered, though we will all jump in and help her! There is nothing better than some easy Thanksgiving morning baking with the Macy’s Day Parade going in the background. Right?!
How can I decorate for cheap Thanksgiving?
Even though Thanksgiving is several weeks away, I pulled out all the things and played around with how I want the table to look this year. I didn’t purchase a single, new item this year and just tried to use what we already have.
Goodness knows, we have plenty of table decor items! Haha!
Pro-tip: Shop your home first!
If you’re looking for some Thanksgiving tablescape ideas, hopefully this step by step guide for my table this year will spark some ideas for you!
To create a budget-friendly and easy Thanksgiving tablescape, shop your home first! You probably already have some lovely items around your home that you can use. If you’re looking to add to your collection, I’ll link everything I used (or similar to) below for your ease and convenience!
Make it a stress-free and tablescape!
How to Create a Beautiful and Easy Thanksgiving Tablescape
Tips for an Easy Thanksgiving Tablescape Centerpiece
What should be on the table for Thanksgiving?
#1 Greenery: How do you make a simple Thanksgiving centerpiece?
One of my favorite things to use for my Thanksgiving centerpieces is winter greenery! If you stop and think about it, most of the trees up north are losing their leaves by Thanksgiving and what is still green in nature are the winter greens, like pine and cedar.
Of course, not here in Florida! Our palm trees stay green all year! 😅
How do you make a simple Thanksgiving centerpiece?
For my centerpiece, I layered two different garlands. This gives me a more full and lush look, while also giving extra depth and dimension to the centerpiece. Since we do our food on the kitchen island as a buffet, I can fill the whole center of the table with pretty things!
I layered this juniper garland and this eucalyptus garland. This gorgeous Norfolk pine garland is my favorite and would also be perfect for layering. If you have a really long table, you could get a few of them. There is also an extra long, 180″ garland, available too. The great thing is you can use them for Christmas and all through the winter too!
Whatever garlands you have on hand or decide to use, the most important thing is to pull the bottom branches through so that the garlands look naturally entwined.
Pro Tip: don’t twist the garlands together.
Instead, lay the bottom on, then the top one, and pull some of the bottom branches to show through the top. This gives a more natural look.
#2 Candles and pumpkins: What is the traditional Thanksgiving centerpiece?
After layering your garlands, add your candlesticks and pumpkins for a simple Thanksgiving centerpiece.
To me, there is something so elegant about taper candles in a centerpiece for my Thanksgiving tablescape. I love to make it extra special by adding a lot of candlesticks. Brass candlesticks are my favorite for the holidays, but silver or wood would be beautiful also!
Pro Tip: Place your candlesticks with a random look.
The asymmetry adds more interest to your table.
In the middle, I added a thrifted silver vessel with a grouping of pillar candles. I love that this gives a focal point to the centerpiece! THIS SET of battery-operated gold pillar candles are absolutely stunning and will definitely be part of my Thanksgiving decor this year too!
Pro Tip: Watch for interesting vessels when you’re thrifting.
They can really elevate your decor, whether it’s for candles, flower arrangements, or even faux plants!
To see ideas for styling vintage vessels with floral arrangements, check out this post!
Tips for Creating Easy Thanksgiving Tablescape Place Settings
#1 Dishes: How do you set a place for Thanksgiving?
I like to either make my place settings a little “extra” or my centerpiece feel special, but I try to make sure one or the other has a simple look. This keeps the tablescape, as a whole, from feeling cluttered or overwhelming.
Since there is a lot going on in my centerpiece, I kept my place settings very simple.
For my dishes, I used two different sets of vintage ironstone plates. The simplicity of all white dishes adds understate elegance and I love that I can use these year round too!
Pro Tip: If you have a large gathering, don’t worry about having all the dishes match for an easy Thanksgiving tablescape!
As long as there is repetition in either color, pattern, or style, you can achieve a beautiful look without purchasing a huge set of dishes!
#2 Napkins: How do you set a Thanksgiving table on a budget?
I used a set of napkins that I already had. To make them look extra full and part of the decor, I lay the napkin out flat, pinch it in the very center, let the corners all naturally fall, then add my napkin ring. These napkins are no longer available, but I love this simple set too!
I never like to spend a lot of money on table linens because I don’t want to be stressed about stains! If you have a large gathering, these shop rags make fabulous napkins and have the look of old linen. However, they are only $2.99 for a set of 6! Can’t beat that!
Here are some other pretty napkins to use for Thanksgiving:
- These gauzy napkins add a really elegant look to a Thanksgiving tablescape.
- The soft taupe color and pretty detail on the edging make these budget-friendly napkins a great choice for Thanksgiving!
- I think the deep green color of these napkins would be such a gorgeous natural color for a rustic Thanksgiving table. Mix with some antiqued gold accents!
- This set of napkins is perfect for a casual and easy Thanksgiving tablescape!
#3 Napkin rings: use napkin rings for a thoughtful touch for an easy Thanksgiving tablescape.
I love using napkin rings to dress up a table! For my Thanksgiving tablescape, I used these personalized wooden leaves. I mixed them with some cedar green ones to tie into the centerpiece. I love how the mix all blends together but makes the overall look of the tablescape more interesting!
If you are hosting large gathering, you can mix and match your napkin rings too! Mixing wood, metal, and greenery can give you a great look without having to purchase a whole bunch of one kind!
I love these simple napkin rings too!
#4 Place cards: How do you make a homemade place card?
Place cards are a fun way to add a personal touch to your tablescape and help your guests feel welcome…even if it’s just close family! This year, my napkin rings double as place cards, which is really fun!
Last year, we picked up some giant pinecones at a flea market. Payton used her calligraphy skills and some simple white card stock to make pretty place cards!
By the way, a calligraphy book makes a really fun and unique gift for someone who is looking for a hobby or has artistic interests! Payton loves this one!
This set of simple place cards would tie in perfectly with my Thanksgiving tablescape also!
Try these budget-friendly ideas for place cards:
- Tuck a card stock place card into a pine cone.
- Hole punch a card stock place card and tie to a miniature pumpkin or dried gourd.
- Use a sharpie or permanent marker and write guests’ names in calligraphy on a small pumpkin or dried gourd.
- Use a sharpie or permanent marker and write the guests’ names on a fresh fall leaf.
- Print a verse from THIS POST and personalize for each place setting.
- Print out a fun snapshot picture to personalize for each family member’s place setting.
- Cut a small slit in a miniature pumpkin and slide a card stock place card in to the slot.
Here is a round up of some of my favorite accessories for a simple Thanksgiving tablescape:
- Add pheasant feathers to flower or greenery arrangements or stand a few up in a pretty pitcher as part of the centerpiece!
- Brass candlesticks always add an easy touch of elegance to a Thanksgiving table!
- These are my favorite battery-operated taper candles. Feel comfortable about leaving the cozy glow on your table all day long…and safely too!
- I love these fall napkin rings and they would add such a pretty touch to any Thanksgiving table, whether casual or elegant!
- Mini dried gourds are always a favorite of mine for fall decorating. They look so pretty on a Thanksgiving tablescape, either as part of the centerpiece or at each place setting.
- Amber glass is a perfect combination with fall decor. This set of bottles would make an easy Thanksgiving tablescape centerpiece! Just add a few fresh floral stems!
No matter how elaborate your Thanksgiving tablescape…or how simple. Whether you have a dinner for two or for twenty or whether you allow a local restaurant to host you for Thanksgiving, I hope that you can focus on the most important part…the people.
And your abundant blessings.
Check out this post for my Thanksgiving challenge and verses for every day leading up to Thanksgiving! It’s never too late to start being thankful!
(By the way, the verses and quotes are beautiful, free printables and would be beautiful at each of your place settings for a special touch!)
If you enjoyed this post, you may also love the following:
My husband’s family has a beautiful tradition of singing the Doxology around the Thanksgiving table before the meal. It has become one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions and one that I hope to pass on to our children as well.
The food, pretty table, and decor are wonderful. Even though they are material things, they can help the day feel more thoughtful, festive, and special. However, even more importantly, may we stop and reflect on all the reasons we have to be thankful during this season!
A Thanksgiving Blessing and Praise
Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise Him, all creatures here below.Praise Him above, ye heavenly host, praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.