Good Enough to Eat
Short on time? A beautiful centerpiece can be assembled quickly from items found in the produce section of your local grocery store. Go for colorful choices like oranges or tangerines and crimson pomegranates. Sprinkle green pistachios and sprigs of fresh rosemary along the middle of the table to create the illusion of a decorative runner. When dinner is over, let your guests munch on the fruit and nuts as a post-feast treat, or scoop up the tastiest morsels and place them in your kitchen fruit bowl.
This simple yet stunning idea from Cherished Bliss might not be the expected way of serving up a helping of Thanksgiving cranberries, but it's certainly stylish. Float a tea light atop a handful of fresh cranberries in a water-filled vase. Add a bit of eucalyptus and a paint-dipped base for extra oomph or let the bright berries shine on their own.
A Flower at Every Seat
Flowers don't always have to go in a vase. This table, decorated by The 36th Avenue, is distinguished with a single sprig of blooms at every place setting. Not only does it make each guest feel more special, it eliminates the need to look over and around a larger, centered bouquet of flowers.
The autumn harvest days spent at the local apple orchard might be behind us, but America's favorite fruit still has a place in your seasonal activities. Place apples (always in groups of three) of any variety at different places along your table runner, and fill in with pillar candles and faux or real greenery for a rich display.
No Mini Pumpkins in Sight
Feeling ho hum about mini pumpkins? If you're burned out on pumpkin spice everything, take a cue from Cupcakes and Cashmere blogger, and swap out the ubiquitous squash for something a little more unexpected. Persimmons are of a similar size, shape, and color but bring a beauty to the table that is distinctly their own.
Simple and Sweet
No need to overdo it on the napkin rings. If you favor a simpler affair, place a folded cloth napkin over a dinner plate and then drop a single bud or cluster of flowers over the cloth. Repeat at every place and you'll have created a look that is understated and elegant at the same time.
Don't make the mistake of overlooking the humble Bosc pear. This shapely brown fruit is a beautiful addition to a natural Thanksgiving tabletop display. Add it to an edible centerpiece or place it atop your guest's place—on its own or with a name card—as an extra touch of hospitality.
Paint Your Pumpkins
Russet, crimson, mustard, and brown: These colors typify the Thanksgiving tablescape, but that doesn't mean you can't think outside the box when it comes to your holiday centerpiece. Follow the lead of the blog It All Started with Paint, and paint seasonal squash in the color palette of your choice to marry tradition with contemporary style for a look that captures your personality.
Succulents and Seasonal Plants
This basket of seasonal bounty may look like a headache to assemble, but many of the makings of this Thanksgiving display can be found in your own garden beds. If you do choose to forage in your backyard for your tabletop display, be sure to shake, wash or brush off the greenery, then let them sit for a couple days before placing them on the table. You wouldn't want to inadvertently invite any six-legged guests to dinner!
Related: 30 Ways to Color Your Yard This Fall
Adorn Yours with Acorns
The squirrels in your backyard already know the secret: Acorns are everywhere at this time of year. No reason not to bring them to the harvest table. Fill a glass vase with them for decoration or, if you are ready to recreate this DIY craft from Hello Little Home, consider making acorn napkin ties like those shown here.
Waves of Grain
Pumpkin Place Names
A pie pumpkin, placed atop a dinner plate, makes a wonderful place marker for the Thanksgiving table. Using a paint marker, write your guests' names on the front of a pumpkin, and set it carefully at each person's place. It's a simple gesture but makes for a natural gift they can take with them when they leave and enjoy again, when added to their own homemade centerpieces.
Birds of a Feather
The traditional holiday bird won't be the only scene stealer this season, when you add feather and cork place cards to your Thanksgiving table. Feathers, corks, and ribbon can be purchased at your local craft store; bind them together to create the look, then watch the expression on everyone's faces when they marvel at your crafty tablescape.
Bright and cheery, let a sunflower bloom greet each guest when they sit down at the table. Place one inside a folded napkin atop each guest's plate. For less formal buffet dinners, float a couple flowers in a bowl of water, then place the bowl on a tray filled with rolls of silverware. When your guests go through the line, they'll see the sunny arrangement and smile.
For a touch of whimsy, sprinkle a handful of fallen leaves over your tablescape. Not for neat freaks, this fanciful display evokes a walk in the woods. However, if you're playing host to grandma (who never did quite approve of your slapdash cleaning routine), nix this one from your Thanksgiving idea file.
Branches create a natural centerpiece, and a dramatic statement in this country chic home. If you still have trees and shrubs with autumn-colored leaves, consider pruning a selection to decorate your Thanksgiving Day table. Just remember to keep them a reasonable height for dining, or remove them when the meal is served.
Print Your Decor
Light Your Gourds
Halloween may be over but pumpkin-carving season isn't behind us yet! These clever little votives can be recreated by hollowing out a mini pumpkin and placing a tea light inside. Leave the outside of the pumpkin au naturale or gild it with gold-colored paint. Get the tutorial from The 36th Avenue.
Pinecones on Plates
Sometimes simple is best. This understated table setting pairs a single pinecone with dinner plate and charger for an autumnal display that's perfect for Thanksgiving.
Bright and White
Pumpkins and gourds make great table decorations at a big fall meal. That includes white pumpkins, too! Here, a grouping of faux white pumpkins and other natural-hued elements set a distinctive Thanksgiving Day table, but it would look just as nice with naturally white (or painted) pumpkins.
Walnut Place Cards
Leaves and Light
Illumine the simple beauty of natural (or faux) foliage with an arrangement of white pillar candles of varying heights. When the candles start to drip on the kraft paper tablecloth, you'll know it's time for pie.
Wood Slice Chargers
A wooden charger brings a rustic sensibility to a Thanksgiving table of crystal and silver. You can make your own from wood rounds available at most craft stores. Apply wood stain to the rounds or leave them plain for a touch of woodland whimsy.
Another edible arrangement, this one brings together winter seasonal vegetables and fruit (like cabbage and pomegranates) with other colorful picks like bell peppers, globe grapes, and red radishes. Place your produce in a wooden trough or long basket and fill in with parsley and greenery for a unique centerpiece that you can turn into next week's salad.
Couple Copper with Copper
Nature and artifice combine in this stunning Thanksgiving tablescape. Clear and copper candle holders are complemented with white pumpkins adorned with stripes copper-colored tape, while a patterned table runner continues the theme.
Mums are the official flower of fall, so give them a spot at the Thanksgiving table. Place small vases of the blooms all along the length of the table for a short centerpiece that's easy to peer over but still makes a big—and beautiful—statement.
Pumpkins on Plates
Miniature pumpkins: A Thanksgiving classic. These tiny gourds get the royal treatment, placed atop a classic white-and-blue-patterned saucer, dinner plate, and charger. Adding extra dishes and a charger to your table settings lends drama to the scene, and the seasonal squash is just a bonus.
A Feast for the Eyes
You may need to go no further than your own backyard to decorate for this year's feast.
Today's artificial Christmas trees are looking more lifelike than ever! Spring for an artificial Christmas tree this year, and you could save significant cash on your holiday decorating costs for years to come. Click through to see our top picks.