How to Decorate a Thanksgiving Table


Because of the amount of time spent around the table on Thanksgiving, you want your dinner table to stand out as a beautiful attraction of its own. Whether you’re crafty or not, have only a few hours to spare or love to spend time making things, are decorating for a crowd or it's just you and your partner, you can make your Thanksgiving table stunning.

Can you believe all this was less than $30?

DIY-ers who love to save a buck can still have elegance personalizing the table -- all for $30 or less. The supplies can be found in a hardware store, and some things you may even be able to find at your local dollar store. Best of all, they’re all reusable for next year.

This realistic pumpkin can be reused year after year.
3 DIYs to add simple elegance to your harvest table

For friends and family who might not know each other well, get conversation started with a creative table topper. Plus it’s a time killer for hungry folks while waiting for the food. If you have some artists at your table, you might even end up with some Thanksgiving masterpieces.

Provide extra pens or colored pencils for some dinner artwork.
Free printable Thanksgiving placemats

Even the not-super-crafty can add a cute, homey touch to the table without taking much time. If you have older children, you could make this their project -- add paint, jewels and other supplies if you’re looking for a craft that will take up some more time during Thanksgiving break.

Mix up the colors for an extra festive look.
Dress up your fall table with these floating leaf place cards.

If you assume edible arrangements are cheesy or overpriced, you might want to think again. You can create a beautiful arrangement from artichokes, cabbages, pomegranates and other seasonal produce. Take a trip to your local farmers market and look around for herbs and vegetables to make your own arrangement that can be repurposed into a healthy fall meal.

This centerpiece is good enough to eat...literally.
Add creativity to your fall table with a modern edible arrangement.

Everyone has fond, sometimes crazy memories of what goes down at the kid table during Thanksgiving: It’s the perfect place to test new jokes, whisper about family rumors and of course, plan some pranks for later. Make it a beautiful place for fun projects, and win yourself the title of coolest grown-up in the room.

Markers at the kid table are a guaranteed hit.
How to set a sweet Thanksgiving table for your kids.

Nature-inspired watercolor place cards pair beautifully with a seasonal edible arrangement or look gorgeous on their own. You can make your own with watercolors and a fine-tipped marker, or use the free printable if you’re short on time. Don't be intimidated. Even the artistically challenged can handle making leaves and olives with just a few brushstrokes.

No one will know if you cheat and use the printable.
Watercolor place card and free printable

Children usually eat faster than adults, and it can be a struggle to keep them occupied long enough for everyone to finish the turkey. With a little planning ahead, you can whip out a craft basket as soon as the first plate is emptied at the kid table and pat yourself on the back for a genius host move. With any luck, the projects will last all the way til dessert.

You might have some adults trying to sneak to the kid table when it looks this fun.
Thanksgiving tabletop craft caddy

Making a gratitude garland can be an ongoing family project for the month of November or just the week of Thanksgiving. It makes a lovely, meaningful centerpiece for your table. The ensuing conversations are a way to talk about what is important to your children. Use it as a mantlepiece next year.

You'll learn so much about your children as you create this together!
DIY gratitude garland to make with your kids

If you have an abundance of logs and want to use them in a creative way or just love the rustic look, wooden place cards add a homey touch to your Thanksgiving table. You can find logs, real or fake, at craft or hardware stores in the fall. The chalk paint and pretty handwriting on the log are a nice juxtaposition of styles and blend well with almost any other decor.

This classic and low key style is perfect for a casual affair.
Create rustic place cards using log slices and chalkboard paint.

If there’s not much room in your budget for decor, use a checklist to see what you have around your house that can be combined into a beautiful centerpiece. Chances are you have enough right in your home, yard or craft supplies closet to not spend a cent in creating a photo-worthy table.

Go classic and fun with a centerpiece out of "found" objects.
Set the perfect Thanksgiving table with objects in your home.

If you love the idea of using placemats to start conversation about thankfulness but want a different look, you can make your own chalkboard placemats that can be used year after year. The chalkboard look will add a modern touch to your harvest table, and the chalk will keep the guests occupied and entertained for the whole meal.

And the list goes on and on…
Make charming Thanksgiving chalkboard placemats

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