How to Create Easy Friendsgiving Table Settings and Thanksgiving Decor
Be inspired by this soft and inviting look for easy Friendsgiving table settings. Use for a beautiful Thanksgiving tablescape centerpiece too! Keep reading for more ideas and inspiration for special Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving celebrations!
First of all, can you even believe we are talking about the Thanksgiving season? I will admit, it took me a minute to get my head around starting to plan some Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving table settings to share with you. However, I literally had so much fun putting together this soft, fall look for the Thanksgiving season and I can’t wait to show you all the details!
First, though, I want to welcome you! If you are a new visitor to Robyn’s French Nest, hopping over from Open Doors Open Hearts, thanks for visiting. There is just so much gorgeous inspiration in this Friendsgiving inspiration blog hop. I love what Aliyah shared!
Next, let’s chat quickly about Friendsgiving. What even is it?!
What is the difference between Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving?
Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving are literally a mashup of the Thanksgiving holiday and enjoying special friendships. Technically, the entire point of Friendsgiving is to enjoy a celebration with friends around the time of Thanksgiving. Even though most Friendsgiving celebrations include traditional Thanksgiving foods, there is a lot of room for interpretation and creativity too.
For our family, we’ve been having Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving at the same time for many, many years. However, Friendsgiving is a fairly recently made up occasion. Our Thanksgiving table almost always consists of family and a mixture of friends.
No matter what you call it or who you celebrate with, any opportunity to focus on our many blessings and eat amazing food is a privilege!
I absolutely love everything about Thanksgiving. Even though we do not typically host, I always have fun playing around with tablescapes and decor. Then, I’ve been known to undo it all and haul it to my parents’ or sister-in-law’s house to reset for the big day. To be honest, I’ll take that job over peeling potatoes any day! Haha!
How to Create Easy Friendsgiving Table Settings and Thanksgiving Decor
#1 Table Elements: What should be on the table for Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving?
Even though a Friendsgiving celebration may tend to be a little less formal than a traditional Thanksgiving tablescape, I love the look of elegant Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving table settings.
There are some basic elements that I include on almost any elegant tablescape, no matter the season. You could substitute the actual items, finishes, and colors. However, there are a lot of great choices out there for all of these elements. You probably already have these things and can maybe just put them together a little differently for your Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving table settings!
- Tablecloth OR table runner
- Plate chargers
- Everyday dishes
- Gold flatware
- Cloth napkins (It’s worth the extra effort for a special day!)
- Napkin rings
- Mixture of greenery and flowers
- Vintage vessels
- Dried gourds and/or pumpkins
- Brass candlesticks
- Battery-operated candles (so you can continue to enjoy the centerpiece once the dinner is over too!)
- Some kind of place cards
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg! There are so many beautiful ways to create Thanksgiving table settings, but these are usually the first things I pull out myself.
#2 Simplicity: How do you set a simple Thanksgiving table?
The beauty of all of those elements is that none of them, in themselves, are specific to Thanksgiving. No matter the season or holiday, I always recommend sticking with simple dishes and dressing them up by gathering seasonal accents.
I like to invest in neutral basics that I can use for any season or holiday. For example, my table runner, dishes, napkins, and flatware have been used for everything from Easter to patriotic holidays to Christmas. Of course, they are my staples for Thanksgiving too!
These basics help keep the entire table setting process simple and more stress-free. It also leads me to the next question:
#3 Budget-Friendly: How do you decorate a Thanksgiving table on a budget?
All of those neutral elements above can be reused over and over. This saves you a lot of money every holiday season! At the same time, shop your home and build your collection of neutral basics to use year-round.
Here are some beautiful basics that can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion:
- This gorgeous linen table runner creates a stunning base for any table decor. I love the subtle detail of the fringed edging.
- These white dishes are very similar to mine. I’ve been using mine for almost 20 years and still love them. A set of simple white dishes will carry you through many years and innumerable beautiful table settings!
- I love these gauzy cloth napkins. They are low-maintenance (yay for no ironing after washing!). Also, they are a great price and come in lots of different colors.
- A great set of chargers is a perfect investment for your tablescapes. This wooden set is absolutely gorgeous and could be used year-round!
- Invest in a set of flatware that looks dressy and save it for special occasions, holidays, and events. I love this matte gold flatware. It is a reasonable price, good quality, and really dresses up the table!
- Brass candlesticks are another favorite that I use year round. I have found most of mine while thrifting or going to flea markets. However, you can get a great collection of vintage-inspired brass candlesticks HERE! $69 is a great deal for the set of 10!
#4 Centerpiece: How do you make a centerpiece for Thanksgiving?
There are so many fun ways you can create beautiful centerpieces for Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving. Here are a five favorite ideas:
- Simple jars of flowers lined up down the table
- Add candlesticks with battery-operated candles for a cozy glow all day
- One larger arrangement in the middle, flanked by candles
- Lay greenery down the center and arrange groupings of pumpkins or dried gourds
- Use a collection of vessels, vases, or candlesticks to make a statement with quantity
For your convenience, I made a detailed list below of everything I used to create this eclectic, elegant Friendsgiving centerpiece.
Centerpiece for Friendsgiving Table Settings
For my Friendsgiving table, I decided on a theme from that little rhyme that we probably all learned as children!
“Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.”
For a fun reference to this theme, I combined brass, silver, and copper on my Friendsgiving table settings.
My centerpiece started a really long table runner. I love the soft, gauzy look of THIS one. Secondly, I added a large copper bowl that I picked up at a market, followed by two small copper planters. Then, I added dried gourds to all of the copper pieces. For my silver touches, I added several vintage silver pitchers with bouquets of pheasant feathers. Finally, vintage brass candlesticks top off the eclectic look.
To fill in the spaces and give a more lush, full look, I mixed two of my favorite garlands. First, I added THIS REALISTIC PINE garland. Next, I layered THIS REALISTIC EUCALYPTUS garland and pulled some of the pine branches through to mix the two.
I really love how the mix of metals, greenery, and natural elements all work together to create a look that is simple. At the same time, it feels elegant and thoughtful.
Here is what you need for this eclectic and elegant Friendsgiving table setting centerpiece:
- Pretty table runner
- Realistic eucalyptus garland
- Realistic norfolk pine garland (No, this is not just for use at Christmas!!!)
- Brass candlesticks (HERE, HERE, or a whole collection HERE)
- Realistic battery-operated taper candles
- Amber glass battery-operated pillar candles
- Silver pitcher (find thrifted or a new one HERE)
- Pheasant feathers (shorter ones HERE and longer ones HERE)
- Copper bowl (find thrifted or a really pretty new one HERE)
- Medium size dried gourds
#5 Friendsgiving Place Settings: How do you make a pretty Thanksgiving table?
Place settings are just as important as the centerpiece. Actually, individual place settings give you an opportunity to add really thoughtful and personalized touches for your friends and family for a Friendsgiving celebration or Thanksgiving dinner!
I like to use these basic elements for elegant individual place settings:
- Dinner plate
- Salad plate
- Napkin ring
- Goblet or drinking glass
- Place card
- Small seasonal element
If you are serving your meal buffet style, like we always do, the charger allows your individual place settings to still look really beautiful and finished. Then, you can have your dinner and salad plates conveniently stacked at the buffet.
For your convenience, I made a list below with links for everything I used to create my Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving place settings too!
How do you set up a plate for Thanksgiving?
For my Friendsgiving table settings, I started with simple jute placemats. Since I added some little baskets at the end, I wanted the woven textures to tie together.
Secondly, I added my simple white dinner plates. I always recommend investing a set of simple white dishes that you can use for any occasion and dress up or down!
Thirdly, I added my cloth napkin. To get this look, I laid the napkin out flat. Then, I pinched it up in the middle and laid it vertically across the plate with a bit of a triangle shape.
It’s easy for the guest to pull out and put in the lap. However, it looks really pretty and adds texture to the place settings ahead of time too.
Next, I added my salad plate. For more texture, I set a little basket on top of each salad plate. Lastly, for a seasonal touch, I added a sprig of rosemary and a small dried gourd. You could substitute any seasonal element here, such as a mini pumpkin.
The basket certainly isn’t necessary, so if you want a more simple look, just leave this layer off of your place settings!
I added my matte gold flatware, tied with a pretty terra cotta velvet ribbon. Small details, like the ribbon, add a thoughtful touch to your place settings. At the same time, they add beautiful texture and interest.
A simple spool of ribbon or roll of twine can go a long way!
To finish up my place settings, I used some neutral place cards. Again, these can be used year round, which makes them a great investment. Water goblets and thrifted copper cups finished up my Friendsgiving table settings!
While I created this with a Friendsgiving celebration in mind, you could certainly use all of this for a beautiful and elegant Thanksgiving dinner too!
Here is everything you need to create these elegant Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving place settings:
- Woven cornhusk placemat
- Simple white dinner dishes
- Gauzy cloth napkins (comes in several different colors)
- Mini woven basket (use these again at Easter!)
- Mini dried gourd (could also substitute a mini pumpkin)
- Matte gold flatware
- Velvet ribbon
- Pretty place cards
- Water goblets (I love these amber drinking glasses!)
- Copper mugs (better price on these!)
Are you ready to host a Friendsgiving celebration?
If so, you are in luck! As I said, I’m joining with some friends to share all of our favorite Friendsgiving tips, tricks, ideas, and inspiration with you. You’ll have everything you need to confidently host Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving from this blog hop!
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you’ve gotten some ideas from this post that you can use to create an extra special tablescape for your Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving celebrations this year!
Next, hop on over to Brittany with White & Wood Grain. You’re going to be so inspired by what she created!
If you enjoyed this post, you can find more fall and Thanksgiving table inspiration on theses posts: