Do you want a beautiful Thanksgiving table but feel that it will probably take too much time or money? I’m going to simplify things for you and give you three options that are not time consuming nor expensive, and will be easy Thanksgiving table decorations. We usually have so much food going onto the Thanksgiving table that there’s just no room for too much decoration in the middle. The star of the table should be the food, so I’m going to give you some ideas that will set the stage for the star.
My first table, I call “White Elegance”. I tried to use white and silver for the color scheme, and I think it looks really pretty for not only a Thanksgiving meal, but also any elegant dinner. You could easily swap out the greenery I used with branches from a Christmas tree and add some red berries for some extra color.
As you can see, I used a simple white tablecloth, without using placemats. For the dinnerware, I actually used my wedding china. We picked that out 30 years ago, and I remember choosing a pattern that would be sort of timeless. It turns out that people don’t really choose china patterns as much nowadays, so I guess the fact that I have any at all, maybe makes it dated. I still love it, and maybe my kids or grandkids will enjoy it one day or maybe they won’t. Either way is fine because we’ve always loved using them for special dinners throughout the last 30 years.
For the center of the table, I used some artificial branches of thyme colored leaves. I used a crystal candle holder in the middle to give some height, and there are two silver and glass spherical candle holders on the sides. The tallest candle in the middle is a real candle, unscented, and then I added several little LED tealight candles around the centerpiece and inside the spherical holders. It’s important not to have your centerpiece so tall and wide that you obstruct the view of the guests sitting across from each other. This candle holder is a bit tall, but it’s clear and narrow, so it doesn’t feel like it’s blocking anything.
I always recommend you use unscented candles on your dinner tables, because you don’t want the scent of your delicious dinner competing with something from the candles like eucalyptus or gardenia or cinnamon. A plain, unscented candle (or several) is always the way to go. And there are so many fake candles that are made with wax and look very realistic, so you have a lot of options.
For glassware, I used some simple cut crystal wine glasses and some plain clear crystal glasses for water or whatever else your guests might like to drink. I have a white pitcher on the table of ice water.
On top of the dinner plates, there is a smaller plate sitting there to be used to salad. On top of the salad plate is a plain, white cotton napkin that has been folded in sort of a fancy pocket to hold the silver ware. (I will be giving an easy tutorial of how to make the pocket yourself on my Instagram story, soon.) As I mentioned, this is a very simple but beautiful way to have your table set for Thanksgiving.
The second tablescape theme is rustic fall, and I purposefully did not set this table because this would be a nice table to use if you are serving buffet style. You could have your turkey and side dishes set up in the kitchen area and then everyone could bring their plates of food to the dining room to sit wherever they would like.
This table has a burlap and cotton runner, and in the center I have a tealight holder that’s made from reclaimed wood. There are also some pinecones and some fabric oak leaves and acorns. On the ends, I have 2 mason jars, each with yellow chrysanthemums and orange sunflowers. It’s also difficult to see in the picture, but there is a small LED string light, strung around the log and the pinecones.
On the Third Table, I’m again using the same table runner with burlap, but I have also included round, braided jute placemats. I have also used a cream colored porcelain set of dishes and cream and beige colored cloth napkins that I used a very simple folding technique with some carved wooden napkin rings. I am also using tinted, vintage glasses for water and a very plain wine glass. The center piece has a wrought iron pillar candle holder with some off-white, unscented candles. I also used a few gourds and pine cones and a small glass vase with the yellow chrysanthemums on the ends.
I used little rustic looking tags made from craft paper and twine, and I added a chalkboard label to the front of it and wrote the guest’s name on it. This is a very simple way to do place cards. The link for the wrought iron candle holders below are not the same as mine, but were as close to the ones I have that I could find.
As you can see, many of the items used on these tables were re-used on more than one table. There was nothing elaborate or expensive used on any of the tables. I like to try to give you a jumping off point so that you can use your own creativity and hopefully not feel like you have to use the exact same items that I used. I have included links for many of the items, but in many cases, you may be able to substitute with things that you already have at home.
If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my Instagram. This week I will be adding tutorials on “my story” for different ways you can fold cloth napkins.
I have also had the privilege of collaborating this week with Alyssa Johns, who has her own beautiful website, Harbor Home. Here is a link to her most recent blog on How To Set A Simple and Elegant Table (see her blog’s photo, below). She gives a detailed tutorial on setting your table, including where to place silverware, glasses and much more.
I hope you have fun with decorating your table! Remember that you want to show off your own personality. In my opinion, you don’t need to have all traditional colors of orange, yellow and brown with a cornucopia in the center. As you can see from my examples, your table can look simple but still be beautiful. I would say that every holiday table looks best with some form of candles on it, whether it’s taper candles, pillar candles, tealights or LED versions of any of these. And the LED little string lights make things look festive, as well. Thanks for stopping by my website today. I hope you got some inspiration from me as well as some from Alyssa at Harbor Home. Have a great weekend and find something fun to celebrate, even before Thanksgiving is here!