35 Fresh and Festive Ways to Dress Up Your Thanksgiving Table

Draw from autumn's bounty to dress your holiday table naturally. We've rounded up some of the best Thanksgiving table ideas to provide inspiration for this year's decorations.
Caitlin Castelaz Avatar

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn More ›

Cork Leaves


If you don’t have a ready supply of real leaves, consider creating some of your own. These were made with stencils and thin sheets of cork (both of which you can purchase at craft supply stores). In addition to adding style, these leaves also serve as handy, decorative trivets.

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.  

Related: Here’s How Much of Each Popular Thanksgiving Food Gets Consumed Every Year



The curves of a pumpkin’s stem makes it a natural choice for tabletop decor. Give your simple squash an unexpected twist, like the blogger at A Night Owl, by tying a piece of eucalyptus to the top to create an organic place card.

Harvest Array


The butternut squash is one of the newest superstar vegetables at your local farmers market. Bring this culinary hero to the table by featuring it in your Thanksgiving centerpiece. When placed in a nest of moss and pinecones, it makes a rustic statement.

Floating Fruit


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.

Fall Fruit


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.

Related: Beyond Pumpkin Spice: 10 Scents of the Season You Can Buy Online

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.

Consider Pears


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. 

Related: 50 Fall Decor Updates for $5, $15, $30

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. 

Autumn Leaves


Nature offers an abundance of color this time of year, so use it to your advantage. Here, napkins are topped with golden-hued leaves. The centerpiece of tall and short vases and white pumpkins carry through on the theme.

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

Amazing Maize


Normally hung on a door this time of year, Indian corn can be a beautiful addition to the Thanksgiving Day table. Here, the corn is placed atop plates, along with a seasonal card, to bring color and life to neutral stoneware.

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


Golden-hued wheat is certainly a symbol of the season and the Thanksgiving table. Create miniature sheaves bound with ribbon, as did the blogger at Carolyn’s Homework, or simply use the wheat to create a casual centerpiece of candles, gourds and fruit.

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. 

Related: This Thanksgiving, Fit Everyone at the Table

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.

Bold Blooms


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.

Fallen Leaves


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.

Fall Branches


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


Evoke the beauty of nature, without giving the kids ammo with which to torture their cousins. This Thanksgiving printable from Kiki & Company makes an adorable addition to the kids’ table and lends a little fanciness to the little ones’ big meal.

Flowers Abound


This modern take on a table runner proves that order and symmetry might be overrated. Ruch and wrinkle your runner just so, and nestle vases of bright flowers and little pumpkins among the folds of the fabric for a perfectly imperfect arrangement.

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.

Related: 8 Other Things You Can Do with a Pumpkin

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


Walnuts and pecans are back on the menu at this time of year, so add them to your Thanksgiving table settings for a festive touch. A handful of walnuts gives a name card a boost on this rustic display.  

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. 

Edible Arrangement


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.



Who says evergreens are only for Christmas? Break out the boughs early and fashion them into a delightful place marker. This one from In Honor of Design is made from a couple sprigs of rosemary tied with string.

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. 

Board Runner


A study in sturdiness, this table runner is nothing more than a humble pine board stained an elegant dark brown. When laid atop the Thanksgiving table and topped with pinecones, adornments, and a vase full of wheat, it evokes and warmth and cheer.

Mighty Mums


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.

Related: 10 Bold and Beautiful Flowers That Bloom in Fall

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.

Related: 20 Things You Never Knew About the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

A Feast for the Eyes


You may need to go no further than your own backyard to decorate for this year’s feast.