Stylish Thanksgiving Table Decor Ideas That Are Surprisingly Easy to Create
These gorgeous ideas for your holiday dinner table are surprisingly simple to pull off.
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Set the table—and the scene
The holidays are about a lot of things: family, togetherness, celebration, and, of course, decorations. Thanksgiving, in particular, is a holiday that’s so focused on food and family that decor doesn’t always feel like a priority, but we’re here to help you change that. Regardless of whether you go crazy with the Thanksgiving decorations throughout your house, you’ll definitely want to pay special attention to your Thanksgiving table decor. After all, the dinner table is the focal point of this holiday.
Fall-inspired decor items are easy enough to put together, too. Grab a small pumpkin or two, some pine cones, orange plates, and call it a day. If you want something that takes a little more effort, though, we have some DIY projects that you can tackle, as well as Thanksgiving crafts for kids that can also function as decor. But don’t worry if you’re not a crafty person—you can purchase and arrange a few select items into a beautiful seasonal display, as well. Who knows, maybe creating a centerpiece with your family will become one of your new Thanksgiving traditions! Scroll through to find your favorites and set a table that you and your guests will remember.
For a simple yet show-stopping centerpiece, pick up some small pumpkins in varying sizes and colors and paint Thanksgiving-inspired words or patterns on them with acrylic paint. You can sprinkle these around your home, as well, to extend the festive flair. For more messaging inspiration, check out these Thanksgiving quotes.
Twine for napkins
It’s easy enough to create a fall-inspired napkin set by tying together the napkin and silverware. A short piece of twine adds the perfect rustic touch. It’s almost too pretty to disrupt to get to your silverware…but you’ll get over that as soon as you see what’s on the Thanksgiving menu.
A centerpiece with festive items
You can create a centerpiece using whichever festive pieces tickle your fancy. Pine cones, small pumpkins (both real and artificial), and some leaves go together nicely when it comes to Thanksgiving table decor. You can then tie it all together with a message, written out in monochromatic wooden letter blocks. These Thanksgiving blessings will also set the perfect tone for your holiday gathering.
Leaf table runner
This table runner could be created in a couple of different ways. You could cut leaf shapes out of felt and glue or sew them to a table runner, or you could glue together artificial leaves. If you’re exceptionally crafty, you could make quilted leaves in a variety of fall colors and sew them together to make the runner. No matter how you make it, it’s the perfect backdrop for your meal. If this puts you in the mood to do some leaf-peeping, a mini road trip may be in order. Here’s where you can spot the best fall foliage in America.
Add some flair to your Thanksgiving table with metallic accents. Try painting artificial leaves with metallic paint and either spreading them around the dining room table or putting them into a vase. When the light hits them, they’ll really pop. It’s amazing how the simplest things can sometimes completely elevate your decor.
Sliced wood chargers
Bring a little bit of the outdoors inside with sliced wood chargers. They will create a beautiful base for your Thanksgiving place settings and provide an extra woodsy touch. These also work well as a place to rest your serving dishes. So after your turkey comes out of the oven, you can plop it right down on a slab of wood to carve.
DIY napkin rings
If you want festive napkin rings and can’t find exactly what you’re looking for at the store, try making them yourself. Start with basic wooden rings and then glue acorns, small leaves, and ribbon onto them. While you’ll be making this sort of Thanksgiving table decor ahead of time, if you forget something essential on the big day, don’t panic—these stores are open on Thanksgiving.
Printed name cards
Don’t stress if your handwriting isn’t good enough for Thanksgiving place cards. Printing them out and turning them into a little piece of decor works just as well! You could also use this place setting as inspiration and instead print out little messages of thanks for your guests, because we all have so many reasons to be grateful.
Why not have flatware specifically for the fall holidays? Tuck your regular silverware away for Thanksgiving and instead try utensils in a brushed finish of copper, bronze, or gold.
A modern sign
Give your Thanksgiving table a modern makeover with one of these fun signs. They come in lighted and non-lighted versions and all kinds of sizes, so you can spell out your festive message in a number of different ways. If you’re hosting a Friendsgiving dinner this year, you could get a little cheeky with your message, too.
A leaf garland is an easy DIY if you can’t find one you like at the store. By just threading the leaves on some fishing wire, you can create a garland to drape around the Thanksgiving table or along a nearby mantel.
To stick with your table’s modern theme, add some white pumpkins instead of the traditional orange. If you can’t find the white gourds anywhere near you, you can always paint the orange ones your desired shade of white to get this Thanksgiving table decor look.
Arrangement of vases
Using vases in different sizes, shapes, and earthy colors, arrange them into a centerpiece for your serving table and your dining table. This will create some height and bring color to your display. Vases also make wonderful hostess gifts, so if you’re heading to someone else’s house, you can’t go wrong if you bring something like this.
Table decor doesn’t only have to sit on a table. You could make and hang this fun banner over the serving table if you have one. If you don’t, hang it on the wall in the dining room where all of your guests can admire it. Feeling the stress of hosting this year’s gathering? Take a break and enjoy these funny Thanksgiving memes before getting back to your holiday prep work.
Pumpkin place settings
This tutorial will keep you busy in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, but your guests will be incredibly impressed when you tell them you made these place settings instead of purchasing them.
Ribbon table runner
You can create this table runner out of any fall-inspired ribbons that fit your aesthetic and your budget. This tutorial would also work for any other holidays, so you can keep coming back to it time and time again throughout the year. Of course, you’ll want to take a picture of your handiwork and everything else over the holiday season, and when you do, you’ll want the perfect Thanksgiving captions for social media.
If you know your way around a sewing machine, it’s easy to create placemats for your Thanksgiving table with a little fall-colored fabric. Because these require a few pieces of fabric, you could mix and match so the look is more eclectic, too.
Custom menu cards
Show your guests exactly which delectable foods will be on today’s menu with custom menu cards for each place setting. This Thanksgiving table decor idea is great for a fancy meal or even to spell out any allergens.
Autumn table wreath
Wreaths don’t always have to be hung on a door. You can buy or make a beautiful autumn wreath and stand it on your serving table with some other pieces, or even lay it down in the center.
Fall floral arrangement
Create a beautiful centerpiece of fall flowers—either real or artificial—and use an autumnal vessel to put them in. This could be a red or orange vase, or you could opt for a pumpkin! You could even go the nontraditional route of arranging brightly colored flowers in a pretty pink pumpkin. If you want to send flowers to loved ones who are far away or even make your decorating a little easier, these are the best online flower delivery services to use on Thanksgiving and all year long.
For an evening meal with adults, try adding candles to your Thanksgiving table decor. Depending on your aesthetic, you can do a variety of candles in either a mismatch collection or all of the same. Make sure to add candles of varying heights to add depth and visual interest. While we’re on the topic, these are the best scented candles that will make your home smell amazing.
Eucalyptus table runner
No Thanksgiving table is complete without a table runner. You can make this larger-than-life runner that adds color and dimension to any table. It almost doubles as a centerpiece as well!
Gingham table runner
Gingham print is a little less obvious in terms of fall decor. This black-and-white version feels rustic and cozy, creating an autumnal ambiance. You can also dress up a gingham table runner with fall accents, like artificial leaves.
Sunflowers may give you summer vibes, but it’s more than OK to bring that bit of sunshine to your fall table. The color of these flowers (whether artificial or real) will really pop when surrounded by other fall shades.
Succulents aren’t only lovely to look at—they’re also easy to take care of. If you’re already a fan of these hardy indoor plants, why not try putting them into a pumpkin as part of your centerpiece?
Bring another outside piece inside with a rustic lantern. This can serve as a centerpiece on the table with other autumnal accents. Bonus points if you put a candle inside and light it.
Pumpkin and berry centerpiece
If you’re someone who feels like Thanksgiving blends right into the holiday season, then making a centerpiece with a little bit of fall and winter could be the perfect plan. This centerpiece has pumpkins and wintery berries, making it festive for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Simple menu cards
These menu cards are very simple but still elegant. You can dress them up with a small floral sprig, attached with a clothespin, or just leave them plain on the individual place settings.
This pumpkin wreath would be the perfect front door greeting for your Thanksgiving guests, but you could also use it as part of a centerpiece on your dinner table. Another option would be to hang it in the dining room. Is all this talk of pumpkins making you hungry yet? If so, pick up Costco’s pumpkin pie for yourself. (It’s just $5.99!)
These vases come together quite easily. Simply buy a few small woven and ceramic baskets, fill a few of them with seasonal elements, and voilà—you’re done! The key here is mixing textures, shapes, and heights to add visual interest.
This centerpiece features a little bit of all the fun fall things you might think of when Thanksgiving rolls around. Put it together this year, securing everything in place with hot glue, and bring it out every Thanksgiving for years to come.
The kids’ table shouldn’t be left out of your decorating project! They’ll love these fun character pumpkins—and your kids will particularly love it if you enlist them create these for the meal. Just grab some gourds and have them add googly eyes! Kids will also love playing these Thanksgiving games, and so will the rest of the family.
Repurposed antique pieces
There’s a possibility that you have the perfect decor pieces elsewhere in your home right now. For example, if you want to create this tablescape, you can use an old lunch pail as a vase, metal dishes to hold pumpkins, and so much more. Get creative!
Floating tea lights
Brighten up your Thanksgiving table decor with some tea lights. You can float them in glasses with some water or pad the base with other decor pieces like felt flowers or leaves. Just be careful how close the decorations are to the flames, or go with an LED version to eliminate any potential issues.
Look for dessert plates or chargers in a bold, fun accent color. These will breathe some life into an ordinary Thanksgiving table—and, honestly, they’re just pretty. And when you top them with a Thanksgiving dessert, they’re even better, of course!
Have your guests take part in the decor by inviting them to write what they’re thankful for on these gratitude cards. The cards and pumpkins can be part of the decor for the day, and then you can send them home with your guests after the meal. You could even keep the cards on hand for next year and remind your guests what they were thankful for the year before!
Scattered fairy lights
If you want to give fairy lights or clear Christmas lights another opportunity to do their thing, use them to light up your Thanksgiving table, too. One strand scattered around the table is just enough for some sparkle.
Wreaths as plate rings
Use small wreaths to hold the plates on the dinner table. Woven chargers can also give you the same vibe, but either way, it’s a rustic touch—and a super affordable one.
Bring the whimsy to Thanksgiving with some unicorn pumpkins. It’s easy enough to paint little faces on your pumpkins and give your tablescape a fairy-tale makeover. Here are more stunning no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas to choose from.
Pumpkin name card holders
Put even the littlest pumpkins to work by turning them into name card holders for your guests. You can use small picks to hold the name cards and even let your guests take them home if they’d like.
If you want to add bold colors to your Thanksgiving table, try draping it with a red or orange tablecloth and complimentary napkins. The reds, purples, and oranges of this table feel warm and inviting.
Bright white plates are so predictable. For an evening meal, try dark plates in black or gray to elevate the mood. These feel luxurious but still approachable.
Plaid napkins—in fall colors and patterns—are a cozy accent for your Thanksgiving tablescape. If you’re crafty, you can buy a piece of plaid fabric and make your own napkins, or you can pick up some already ready to go. Worried about staining these and not being able to use them again? Here’s how to get stains out of just about everything.
Stamping your own name cards or messages of gratitude is an easy craft that the whole family can participate in. Children would love stamping these before Thanksgiving and then seeing their work on display when the whole family gathers together.
A collection of ceramic pumpkins can create either a centerpiece for the dining table or some accent pieces for the serving table or even the sideboard. A variety of colors would also make for some fun decor.
These berry branches will add height to your Thanksgiving table centerpiece, not to mention a pop of color. And if you do a sparse arrangement like this, you don’t have to worry about it being a hindrance to conversations around the table. Do you want a low-key holiday? You could always order food from these restaurants open on Thanksgiving and keep things casual. The most important thing is to be together, after all, and hey, you can still decorate!
You can wrap your floral arrangements or even candles in burlap to create a cool display on your table. It’s an inviting fabric for a family gathering, not to mention budget-friendly to purchase.
Modern marble place settings
If you want to go way outside the box and can afford to splurge, these marble place settings would be a gorgeous option. They’re perfect for a modern family and a modern home, and they’ll definitely start a conversation. For any lulls in the conversation, though, make sure you have the perfectly crafted playlist of Thanksgiving songs.