Thanksgiving Countdown: Simple Thanksgiving Table Ideas

Now that Thanksgiving is only two days away, I am sure you’re up to your ears with things to do if you’re hosting. It’s a lot to think about, and tons of work.

Very brave souls like my sister are even painting their dining rooms to get ready for guests!

If you’re not hosting {I’m off the hook on this one, too}, you’re probably still making plans to help out with the meal in some way. I ran errands and tried to think of ways to make myself useful to my sister {who is hosting Thanksgiving for my side of the family} and my mother-in-law {who is hosting my husband’s side of the family.. and us}.

You may be a Jr. Martha Stewart, and your Thanksgiving table decor has been determined for the past year. You probably buy new plates, napkins, and tablecloths every year and have a florist who does your centerpieces. That’s fine.

For someone like me who is always on a budget {and who doesn’t even have a REAL dining table yet}, you may be happy to just have a folding table and chairs for people to sit on! Of course, even though I’m always on a tight budget, I like for my home to be welcoming to guests. An inexpensive table cloth can do the trick. For Thanksgiving, I believe simple IS better. There is so much food.. where would you fit it all if you went crazy with the decor? Plus, everyone is thinking about the TURKEY; not “What color tablecloth will she use?”

Placing a simple row of pumpkins down the middle of your table {unless you have frozen, mushy pumpkins} is a great way to recycle your fall decor one last time.

Monochromatic Orange

You could also hollow out your pumpkins and place small seasonal bouquets in them. Recycle your mums, or buy a couple of inexpensive grocery store bouquets and fill in with a couple branches or pine cones from your yard. For less than $15, you should be able to make two of these.

pumpkin flower pot


For the following centerpiece, I simply stuck one of my pumpkins into a basket I had and used my faux leaf pics to dress it up and give it a little more color. To keep the pumpkin elevated, I placed recycled plastic bags underneath it. It took all of a minute to do, and it’s so pretty!


If you have a nice wood table, showcase its natural beauty! For this next design, I took a spool of burlap and cut a piece for the table runner. I added couple small lanterns for just a little bit of height and ambiance. The burlap looks so nice with the recycled place cards I picked up from the dollar bins at Michael’s.


One thing to keep in mind is the height of your centerpieces. Thanksgiving dinner is full of life and conversation, and the last thing you need is to block the view of everyone with tall flowers or lanterns!

If you go with a busier patterned tablecloth like this Fall plaid one, I would definitely keep the rest simple. Fortunately, our square white plates {from JCPenney} were bought with entertaining in mind, and we wanted something that would go with any season. Once again for the centerpiece, I kept it simple. I fanned out a berry pic next to the cute little squirrel that I purchased early this Fall at Pier 1. Before I switch out the Fall decor to get ready for Christmas, I am making full use of all of it!


Lastly, if you don’t have room to decorate the center of your table due to space for food, using folding tables, or whatever.. don’t worry about it! You can add some flair to your china cabinet or sideboard instead. Personalize it to what works for you, and have fun.


I hope these simple table settings have you inspired to add a little flair {but nothing time-consuming} to your holiday table. Let me know if you use any of these ideas!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Published by CDH Designs

I am a Mom and self-employed Interior Designer. I own a small design studio & home decor shop in downtown Emporium, PA. It’s a small town in the PA Wilds of north-central Pennsylvania. We have some of the most beautiful scenery, and Fall (my favorite season) is breathtaking. I blog for fun to keep my friends and clients informed of what's going on in the design and decorating world, to share my designs, and to show what we're working on in our own home.

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