Setting the Table for Thanksgiving–Tips & Inspiration

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Despite that fact that I’m not a big fan of turkey, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  I love all the pomp and circumstance that goes in the preparing food and setting the table so everyone can gather around and celebrate togetherness.

  If you’re anything like me, you’re always trying to get a jump on your holiday planning, decorating and entertaining. So, today I’m outlining a few tips for setting your Thanksgiving table along with some inspiring table decor ideas that I rounded up online.  Thanksgiving is just 30 days away so let the planning begin…

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 >  Layer the table to create lushness.  From linens to china and glassware to decor, layering  the elements on the table will give your tablescape a warm and robust feel. Use pumpkins in different sizes and incorporate varying shades within a single color story to add visual interest.

>  Use what you have around the house to decorate.  Creating a unique tablescape doesn’t have to cost a lot if you shop your house.  Gather  grouping of candlesticks to use as your centerpiece, use decorative urns as flower vases or pull out some ribbon and use it to drape the table.  Some of the best design ideas come from creativity.

>  Texturized your table.  Decorate your Thanksgiving table with elements that add texture like pinecones, foliage, nuts or textured charger plates.

>  Take your centerpiece to new heights.  When you build your centerpiece, make sure to add elements that add height which will give your tablescape dimension.  Use different size candlesticks to create height or use pedestals, books or cake stands to elevate decorative objects.

>  Let your table shine. Add a few simple items in metallic finishes to add a touch of shine and sparkle to your table.

>  Do something unexpected.  When entertaining, you should always look to add a personal touch to your tablescape so get creative by personalizing your place cards, the backs of your chairs or even with the materials you use as linens.

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The beauty of this centerpiece is the layers created with foliage, candle holders and an assortment of pumpkins.  If you won’t be using the ends of your table for setting, create a centerpiece that runs the full length of the table and let a few tendrils of greenery drape over the edge.

Thanksgiving Table via PotteryBarn Kids

Pottery Barn Kids

This tablescape uses overlapping burlap ribbon as a table runner.  Burlap provides texture but still keeps the color palette neutral so the centerpiece stands out.  You can shop my favorite source for burlap ribbon here.

Thanksgiving Table via HGTV


Amy over at the blog Homey Oh My is one of my favorite craft and diy bloggers.   While all of her projects are simple to make, they are always super chic.  She incorporated some of her diy crafts into they beautiful fall tablescape using gold craft tape, glass jars and small pumpkins.  This goes to show you that a little creativity can make a powerful statement.  You can read the how-to’s behind this table setting here.

Thanksgiving Table via Homey Oh My

Homey Oh My

I love the idea of rustic touches mixes with more refined elements on a table.  I single plank of wood as a runner is a great way to get that rough luxe look and it couldn’t be any easier to set up.

Thanksgiving Table via AttaGirlSays


Whenever you can incorporate greenery into your table decor, go for it.  Greens (which you can clip for free from your yard) layered under a wood slice charger creates a really dynamic look for a fall table.

Fall Place Setting 2

Ruffled Blog

My girl KariAnne over at Thistlewood Farms is a genius when it comes to creative decor.  Here she uses a grapevine wreath as the foundation to a beautiful Thanksgiving place setting.  She’s got even more inspiration you’ll want to check out here (I’m so stealing the clipboard ideas).

Thanksgiving Table via Thistlewood Farms

Thistlewood Farms

From the use what you have files, the idea of using a kraft mailing tag as a decorative name card at the table is a fantastic one.  So simple, chic and inexpensive.

Fall Place Setting via Collin Cowie

Collin Cowie Weddings

Here’s another idea using scraps of ribbon you might have lying around the house.  Use a metallic sharpie to personalize ribbon and tie it onto a pumpkin stem to create a unique name marker for your Thanksgiving table.

Fall Place Setting via Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn

I hope these tips and inspirational ideas will help you get ready for the holiday ahead.


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  1. You must have read my mind Shelly! I’ve been thinking of Thanksgiving tablescapes for several days now. This is going to be a very special Thanksgiving for us and I want every single thing to reflect that. You’ve given me so many ideas. Thank you!


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