Create an elegant farmhouse Thanksgiving table, with a simple and easy centerpiece down the middle of the table. Easy to make, and easy on your budget!
Thanksgiving is one of the most anticipated meals of the year, and a time when you gather with friends and family to celebrate. It feels like the culmination of the entire autumn season. If you’re hosting this year, you’re probably thinking about how to decorate your table, and what kind of Thanksgiving centerpiece to use.
While I love a beautiful table, simplicity is most often my focus. The key is to not overthink it, which I know is much easier said than done. But you don’t have to be an interior designer to have a gorgeous Thanksgiving centerpiece, and I’m going to show you my table this year for a few ideas!
Last year I only used greenery garland and white pumpkins, on a grain stripe table runner, and it was super simple and lovely. This year I added a few more elements, but still simple in nature.
SIMPLE THANKSGIVING TABLE CENTERPIECE
The table runner is your base–the foundation for everything you want to use. You don’t have to use a fabric runner, you can use greenery (which is what I did last year), or even a piece of stained wood (I’d use a 10-inch piece of pine, or even 8 inches, cut to the length of the your table, or a little shorter.)
I started off with a darling brown gingham table runner down the center of the table, that I found at a local boutique. It’s actually reversible, and one side is a larger buffalo check pattern. Both are my favorite, it’s hard to choose! I don’t usually use a tablecloth, preferring the bare table, but I think one in gingham would also be so cute! Table linens really add to the overall look of the table.
Layers of white pumpkins in all different sizes came next. I didn’t use any orange pumpkins, but they would work well here too. I just didn’t buy any this year! I mixed in tiny ones up to medium-sized ones, to add a little depth. I have an old Coca-Cola wood crate that a friend gave to me, knowing I love pretty much anything vintage. I filled it with pumpkins too, and placed it just to center left.
I have to admit, I struggled a bit not putting it directly in the center of the table, because I like everything very balanced and symmetrical. But with the other items on the table, it just didn’t work as well that way, so I used a few of the bigger pumpkins and a pitcher to add the balance, and it worked! I’m also one that has to try things in different ways until it clicks–I’m very visual, so often I have to move things around a few times until it feels right. Don’t be afraid to do the same, or give up if it doesn’t come together the first time.
I found the cutest rooster pitcher, also at a local boutique (I found it online and linked it below), and I knew I wanted it for Thanksgiving table decor. It’s also been perfect for the entire fall season, and I love it. Finally, I wove in and out some fall stems to give the table a bit of texture and color. Some of them I’ve had for awhile, and a couple were new this year. Hobby Lobby is usually a great place to look for stems and greenery, as well as faux pumpkins and gourds.
At the last minute, I threw on a couple of my copper pumpkins, because I was really feeling inspired by the muted browns on the table, and they brought it to life. I found them years ago when I was traveling, and loved them so much I had them shipped to me, even though we were poor students. I’ve never regretted it!
I’d really love to add in candles and tall candlesticks next year, but I haven’t found the perfect ones yet. I need them to work for all the holidays, and on my mantel too (I like to spend once, and use them in multiple ways), so I’m on the hunt. My next stop is the Habitat Restore, which is one of my favorite places to look for antique or vintage finds. Some of my best DIY projects came from there! Eating by candlelight is so cozy, and I love it at the holidays especially!
THANKSGIVING TABLE SETTING IDEAS
When it comes to the place settings, I prefer a neutral color palette for a cohesive look, and let the focus rest on the natural elements of the table. First to go down are muslin placemats, with a bit of fringe around the outside. If you have chargers, you can those too–in place of or in addition to. White dishes are a classic choice, and they’re always perfect for any occasion, including Thanksgiving dinner!
I used a plain white dinner plates, then stacked on top of them a scalloped salad plate, which adds charm and style. I found them a few years ago, and I use them all the time. Another reason I love white dinnerware is how versatile and practical it is. I don’t have the budget to spend money on dishes for every holiday, so I use my white set and change out the cloth napkins, place mats, or other decor instead.
I added a small white pumpkin on the top of the scalloped plates, and for Thanksgiving dinner I’ll turn them into place cards for our guests by tying on tags made of kraft paper on to the stems using jute! I’ve also used pinecones for place cards, which are great for a Thanksgiving table. You can use one large pinecone on each plate, or make this cute DIY mini pinecone wreath. I really want to add gold flatware) to my collection this year!
Notice the chairs at each end of the table? I actually brought those inside from the patio as we were putting everything away for the winter season, and I love them. I wasn’t sure if they’d work in our dining room, but they ended up perfectly in the space. I think I may need to keep them there! I added a super cute plaid blanket on one of the benches, and it just ties everything together.
TIP: For decorating a kids’ table, I like to use kraft paper to cover the table, then put out crayons for coloring. They can also write what they’re grateful for, and it’s a fun and easy way to decorate. Cute plates (disposable) and pumpkins down the middle of the table make it super easy too! I always think about the cleanup, and the great thing about paper is that you can just scoop it up and throw it away after dinner. Makes it a breeze! I always keep a roll on hand, and we use it all the time for so many things.
STEPS TO SETTING A THANKSGIVING DINNER TABLE
1. Table runner (fabric, greenery garland, stained wood)
2. Pumpkins in different sizes and colors, gourds, pine cones
3. Candles, candlesticks
4. Berry garland or stems
6. Dinnerware: Plates, Salad Plates
8. Place cards: mini pumpkins, pine cones, small wreaths, even cute DIY turkeys!
Use what you have! If you’re buying new, think about being able to re-use it, and which ways you can do that. Dress up the dinnerware you have with different placemats, and utilize pumpkins you might already have on hand.
SHOP THIS LOOK
- Rooster Pitcher
- White Dinnerware
- Linen Placemats (similar)
- Wicker Dining Chairs
- Fall Foliage and Berries Garland (similar)
- Fall Plaid Throw (similar)