Everything You Need for the Best Thanksgiving Table Decor

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Fall is officially here which means that Thanksgiving is around the corner and what better time than now to start thinking about your Thanksgiving table decor. After prepping my house for a fall refresh everything is newly clean and I feel ready to start decorating for fall and preparing for Thanksgiving. Here we look at Thanksgiving table decor and how to create a beautiful tablescape. Read on for a step by step guide to creating a simple Thanksgiving tablescape, we also highlight the work of other elegant Thanksgiving table decor from some of our favourite lifestyle influencers.

Thanksgiving table decor
Thanksgiving table decor

First Things First

PRO TIP: Set your table the night before your dinner. It saves time the day of your dinner party!†

Gather everything you’ll need for your elegant thanksgiving table decor. You may or may not need to make a run to HomeSense. You can use this as your sign to go immediately after this post, but you’ll want to read until the end for inspiration and ideas. If you’ve already built up quite a collection of table clothes, table runners and the like, you don’t necessarily need to buy more decor. Have fun and use what you have on hand! Below is a list of items to gather for your setup. 

Assemble everything you’ll need and keep it close by, but put it somewhere other than the table you’ll be decorating. 
Thanksgiving table decor

Start with a Blank Canvas

Creating a beautiful tablescape is similar to creating a piece of art. You get to be creative! Ensure you’re starting with an empty and clean table, the perfect blank canvas. Wipe down and clean your table. Now is also the time to check your dining chairs. These are handled frequently and are also likely to require a good wipe. Wipe away any dirt, dust or grease. 

Work from the Bottom Up & Inside Out

I find that most beautiful things in life require layers. Whether that be paint, makeup, a sandwich, fall outfit, or tablescape. Things are better layered, and that’s exactly what we’ll do to create a beautiful thanksgiving tablescape.

Tablecloth & Table Runner

Option 1

Begin by laying out your tablecloth. If you notice that it’s wrinkled there are a few things you can do. You can steam your tablecloth, or sprinkle it with a bit of water and toss it into the dryer on an air fluff or permanent press setting. Remove it promptly and lay it across your table. You can leave it as this and go to the next step, or you can also add a table runner down the centre of your table.

Pro Tip: If you’d like to have both a table cloth and table runner, keep it mind that you don’t want your table to look too busy. Opt for a solid colour tablecloth with a patterned table runner.

If you’re not a fan of table clothes, there’s always option 2.

Option 2

If you’d like to forgo the tablecloth, opt for a table runner and placemats. There are so many matching and complimentary options to choose from at home decor stores. I enjoy HomeSense, Marshalls and Winners. 

Centre Piece & Candles

Your base layer(s) have now been established. Next, we’ll work from the inside of our table out by creating a centre piece. There are endless options for centrepieces and below we highlight some ideas to get you started. You can opt from anything from fresh flowers, candles, gourds or small pumpkins, or a combination! The choice is really yours, and no matter what you choose to create as your table centre piece keep in mind 3 key factors.

  1. Colour // the colours you choose should be complimentary.
  2. Height // your centre piece should have a range of heights, but should also not interfere with your guests ability to see one another from across the table.
  3. Texture // add interest to your centrepiece with different textures. Candles add a smooth and waxy texture, while foliage and branches bring interest with their differing appearances.

Place Settings

The final step in creating our thanksgiving tablescape is to arrange the place settings. Whether you choose to use a charger plate or a placemat it will act as a beautiful underlying layer which will accentuate your dinnerware.

Dinnerware is to be laid on top of the charger plate first with the dinner plate then followed by the salad plate. To add interest you can layer a linen napkin in between the two plates, or if you have napkin rings you can place them on top. The bread plate, should you choose to use one, is to be placed in top left upper corner of the charger plate.

Cutlery and glassware should be chosen based on what will be served. For example, if you will not be serving soup, there is no need for a spoon. The below diagram demonstrates how to set your dining table for a formal occasion.

Thanksgiving Table Decor

Sit Down at Your Table Before Guests Arrive

You’ve created a masterpiece that looks like it should belong in House and Home Magazine! You stand and admire your table. It’s truly a work of art.

Now, take a seat.

Sometimes perspective is everything. How do you feel when you sit down? Are you comfortable? Is everything you need within arms reach? Can you see over those branches you thought looked so lovely as your centrepiece? Take it all in, and see if anything needs altering. 

Thanksgiving table decor

Thanksgiving Table Decor Inspiration

Now that you’ve got the ‘how to’, I wanted to take a moment to mention some beautiful individuals that are experts in Thanksgiving table decor ideas. Here are just a few of their photos to inspire your fall and Thanksgiving table decor. Visit them on Instagram and follow for more. I can’t wait to see what these ladies will dream up next and be inspired by them. 

Looking for even more thanksgiving table decor? Visit Pinterest and search ‘Thanksgiving Table Decor 2022’.

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Final Thoughts

While guests may enjoy your decor it’s rarely the highlight of your dinner party. People remember how you made them feel. In large part this comes from your hosting and the word that comes to mind to describe a memorable event, especially for thanksgiving, is ‘warm’. Did you welcome your guests warmly? Is your home warm and inviting? Was the food warm and delicious? These are the things your guests will truly remember. Enjoy creating your Thanksgiving table, but remember to enjoy yourself and the company of your guests as you gather around it because that’s what truly matters.