44 Thanksgiving Table Ideas That Impress
These Thanksgiving table ideas make it easy to feast in style.
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For a laid-back tablescape, don’t be afraid to mismatch colors. Whether your napkins are a different hue than your tablecloth or you need to bring in extra chairs, it’s OK (and even welcome!) if there’s color variation.
You’ll love these Thanksgiving decorating ideas for the rest of your home.
Repurpose a Cheese Board
A cheese board isn’t just for, well, cheese. Use the pretty serving piece to house all sorts of Thanksgiving goodies, such as green bean bundles. The board’s unexpected use will help it stand out on your table. See more simply beautiful Thanksgiving menu ideas.
Thanks to harvest decor, Thanksgiving is already a rustic holiday. So it makes sense to incorporate natural elements in your table decor, too. We love the look of woven placemats, buffalo check napkins and neutral dishes.
Learn how to plan a country Thanksgiving here.
Keep It Fresh
When buried under full dishes of food, your Thanksgiving table can start looking a little drab. Keep things light with the help of fresh flowers and succulents. When planted in funky vases and succulent pots, your table’s brightened right up.
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Add Some Sage Green Touches
Sage green is one of the hottest fall decor colors of 2021. Add a trendy feel to your Thanksgiving decor by scattering sage green linens, serving pieces, decorative accents and more into your theme.
Minimalism is Your Friend
Your Thanksgiving table can be simple, we promise! Don’t take time away from making your Thanksgiving meal and lean into the art of minimalism. Choose one focus item, like pretty place settings or an ornate centerpiece, to be the star of the show. Then, match the rest of the color scheme to that central piece.
Give It a Name
Make it easy for guests to know where to sit or what’s safe for them to eat with wine cork labels. Make them yourself by cutting a slit lengthwise along a wine cork, then placing a labeled piece of card stock inside. If your holders start to tip over, gradually level the surface of the cork until they stay put.
Mix and Match
Your Thanksgiving table decor doesn’t have to match. In fact, it’ll look better if it doesn’t. We suggest finding a standout piece you love (like a patterned table runner) and building out the rest of your collection based on that item’s colors and textures.
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Try Out an Ombre Pumpkin Runner
No runner? No problem. Snag or paint pumpkins to create an ombre runner. We recommend using three different colors to create an ombre look. Weaving large, medium and small pumpkins through your “runner” will add even more visual appeal.
Pick Fancy Florals
Upgrade your table (here, we broke up a few grocery store bouquets) by integrating fall flowers and fancy votive candle holders into your tablescape. These small, simple elements look high-end and can distract attention away from your worse-for-wear plates. Here are a few other traditional Thanksgiving ideas.
Keep the Kiddos Happy
Whether you’re a fan of the kids’ table or not, it’s important to let children have their own space. A miniature table covered in mess-proof craft paper is the perfect space for children to color, play games or eat. Painted metal buckets and a colorful tray keep all of the goodies in one place, making clean-up a breeze.
Glow Up the Night
Fall candles, luminaries and twinkle lights add instant warmth to your table. Create a centerpiece, place them between dishes or use them at each place setting. Dim the lights and cozy up with your Thanksgiving favorites by sparkling light.
Bring on the Beige
Another one of the hottest fall decor colors of this year, beige needs to be on your Thanksgiving table. Beige works well as either the main color or as a complementary color to maroon, sage green and white.
Stack your ornate Thanksgiving dishware on top of bamboo trays or wood slices for a rustic look. Or for an unexpected twist, use bamboo utensils. Bonus: They’re great for the environment!
Try Boho Style
Your Thanksgiving table doesn’t have to be stuffy. Try an adventurous bohemian theme for bright, bold style. We love the look of colorful plates, gemstone napkin rings and a macrame table runner. Learn more about hosting a bohemian Thanksgiving here.
Taste of Home
Play Around With Spices and Herbs
Who says you can’t use spices and herbs outside the kitchen! Items like cinnamon sticks and rosemary sprigs are beautiful additions to place settings. Tie them in bundles or make an arrangement with other edible elements like cranberries. By the way, here’s how to set a table.
Nestle Everything on a Tray
A serving tray is the perfect Thanksgiving table accent. It holds everything from wine bottles to hors d’oeuvres. And, thanks to raised edges, the tray makes it easy to clean up any spills.
String old family photos along twine for a sentimental decoration. Weave the garland across the table as a table runner or hang it behind the serving table. Prepare for many laughs and memories!
Use a Bowl
Unless you’re serving soup, it’s rare to see a bowl on a Thanksgiving table. However, this versatile dish is perfect for housing salad, cranberry sauce or a heaping helping of mashed potatoes. Here’s a thought: Let guests show their gratitude by placing “I Am Thankful For” tags at each place setting. Before you dig in, have guests go around the table and share what they wrote down.
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Have Fun with Patterns
Spice up the table with a few funky patterns—and no, you don’t need to stick to the classic turkey or leaf prints. Autumnal paisley and florals are fun places to start.
Put Planters to Work
The outdoor planter holding your fall blooms? Bring it inside for an oh, so easy centerpiece. Just make sure to wipe down the bottom and sides of the planter to avoid dirt stains.
If you live in a warm area yearlong (or don’t mind investing in these cold-weather patio essentials), enjoy your Thanksgiving meal in your backyard. Dress up your patio space or haul your table and chairs to the grass for a moody, intimate dinner amid the trees. Don’t forget the string lights for ambiance!
Serve It Potluck Style
Reduce stress by dishing up your meal potluck-style. Just lay down a long table runner, and place a stack of plates and a cup of utensils on one end. Place dishes on the runner when you’re ready to eat, and let guests help themselves. Like the casual look? Find more fun Friendsgiving ideas here.
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Use Dried Fruits and Citrus
Dried fruit and citrus garlands are popular for Christmas, so why not bring this tradition to Thanksgiving? Dried blood oranges and apples would be great additions to your Thanksgiving table as either a garland, place setting or scattered around the table.
Make It Bright
Got a bunch of kids coming to dinner? Make their place setting extra fun with bright colors. A polka-dot tablecloth, orange napkins and a mini gravy boat full of crayons are sure to hold their attention. Plus, an edible turkey treat is guaranteed to summon smiles. Find more adorable Thanksgiving treats here.
Taste of Home
Add Some Shine
Choose your metallic accent based on your color scheme: Silver for cooler colors and copper or gold for warmer hues. Add glitz and glam by using metallic candle holders, napkin rings or copper mugs (hello, Moscow mules!).
Create a Cute Centerpiece
When you head to the grocery store to pick up fixings for your holiday feast, grab a few extra ingredients to make a wow-worthy centerpiece. For this show-stopper, layer orange slices in a glass container, plant a trio of decorative cabbages and fill the rest of the space with faux berries.
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Set Out a Collaborative Recipe Book
Set out a pretty recipe book on the table and have each guest write down the recipe they brought to your Thanksgiving feast. Pass the book around and have guests snag a picture of the recipes they would like to save for later. If it becomes a tradition, you’ll have so many memories and recipes from loved ones all in one place.
There’s nothing wrong with using your everyday dishes for the holidays. But you can add a special touch with a colorful napkin, placemat or flatware holder.
There’s Always Black and White
If your style is more on the sophisticated side, try out a black and white theme. Pops of gold will make your style stand out even more. (How beautiful would long, elegant gold candlesticks look against a sharp black tablecloth?)
Look for Eclectic Finds
Want to ensure your Thanksgiving table is like no one else’s? Head to the thrift store. There you’ll discover eclectic items that guarantee a unique tablescape. Here are 10 more things you shouldn’t pass up at Goodwill.
Bring Nature In
You don’t have to travel far to add some fall flair. Head outside and pick up some dried grasses, wheat, fallen leaves or sticks to use for a bold centerpiece.
If you have a beloved family heirloom—like napkin rings passed down for generations or Grandma’s silver—make it the star of your Thanksgiving show. Use simple, solid colors to let your treasures stand out.
Psst: Here’s how to clean that heirloom silver—in just a few minutes!
Channel your inner Joanna Gaines and use burlap as a table runner. Drape the fabric over the center of the table and tie the ends with a satin ribbon for a nice bunched detailing. Or cut the burlap fabric and use it as a napkin ring. Get creative here by wrapping your napkins in tiny burlap bows.
For contemporary Thanksgiving table decor, pick a trendy color (like millennial pink!) and use it to deck out your table. We love these pale pink plates, rose gold flatware and sparkling wine glasses in this place setting.
Count on Country
For a rustic vibe, consider using wood napkin rings. The simple, earthy accessories look perfect when paired with other country-themed table decor.
Maroon is Merry
Deep and rich maroon just screams fall. Adding even just a touch of maroon to your table will give it an extra pop.
Garnish in Style
When serving specialty cocktails, let guests garnish their own glasses. We suggest a small tray to hold cinnamon sticks, orange slices and more. Not only does this accent serve a purpose, but we promise it smells delicious, too. Get the recipe for this warm cranberry drink here.
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Have a Picnic
Picnics are great for laidback gatherings—both indoors or outdoors! Throw some oversized pillows on the ground around your coffee table or throw out a blanket on the grass for a cozy dinner.