Beautifully Simple Thanksgiving Table Ideas

The turkey is in the oven, and all the sides are done and ready to go. With an hour to go before your guest arrive, you look at your table and it is a disaster. You have no idea how to pull it together. Don’t fret, here are some of our tips on how to build a beautiful table quickly and easily.

thanksgiving table

Beautiful table set for Thanksgiving.                                                                                                        Photo: Dave Nakayama

Use what you have

You’ll be surprised by what you can find right within your own cupboards. Pull out any linens, vases, and serving trays you may have hidden. Do you have candles and baskets on hand? Special dishware or wedding gifts sitting unused? Now is the time to use them.

White Dishes

Find what you already own.                                                       Photo: Emily Carlin

Get creative with their uses as well. They don’t have to be used how they’re suppose to be used. For example instead of filling your vases with flowers, you can stack them up with mini pumpkins or pine cones from outside.

Find a color scheme

Achieving that perfectly pulled together dinner table lies with this little secret. Pick two or three colors and just stick to those as your highlights. Pair them with a more neutral color, like white, for extra emphasis. Using the same colors across the table will instantly turn a messy table into a beautiful and sleek table. Some great colors for Thanksgiving are yellows, browns, reds and greens, but don’t feel you have to stick to these more traditional colors – use what you have on hand.

kitchen table set for thanksgiving+leaves

Great use of an unconventional color.                                                  Photo: Maegan Tintari

Celebrate nature

Bring the outdoors inside. Dress your Thanksgiving table with branches, pine cones, leaves and flowers.  In season fruits, like apples and pears, can also add a festive touch when piled together. It can be as simple as pulling out a small serving tray and arranging what you’ve scavenged from the outdoors or gluing a leaf onto a glass candle holder. Bring in herbs from your kitchen for a more fragrant centerpiece.

white pumpkins and pinecones and ikat table setting

Painted pumpkins, pine cones and a candle.                                                         Photo: Maegan Tintari

If you have time, involve your child by decorating natures best with paint, glitter and other crafty items. Try painting your pumpkins to match the colors you’ve chosen or give them a more functional use by painting them with chalkboard paint and writing your menu on it.

Less is more

The last thing you want to do is overcrowd your table. Pick a few items as your focus points and let them shine. Take into account how big your table is and how you will have your food laid out to best determine how to decorate it.


Simple touches                                                                                                                                         Photo: Abigail Batchelder

You can use different heights to your advantage with some items being taller than others so there is a natural space between things. For example, taller candlesticks or a vase of flowers can add some height. Be careful that items aren’t too tall as they can distract from conversation.

Embrace traditions

Involving your child, and whole family, during the preparation of the table is a good way to start family traditions. You can get your child talking about what this holiday truly is about and what they’re thankful for as they help you put together the decorations.

What are your tips for decorating your Thanksgiving table?

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