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Around the Thanksgiving Table

Creative Thanksgiving table setting and decorating ideas.

Are you hosting Thanksgiving at your house? Do you like to set a special Thanksgiving table setting? I do… it is one of my favorite things to decorate and make pretty.

Thanksgiving table setting ideas for a round table

What shape is your dining table?  In my previous house I had a rectangular dining room table that we would gather around for holidays and special occasions. In the lake house there is no dining room, only an eat-in kitchen where we have a round table that seats 6. This year there will only be 5 of us. When I started to plan out how I would set the table, I didn’t want to use a cloth since I like to see the wood of the table. Placemats don’t work, the corners overlap.  I thought of a runner, but I would need a few.

Thanksgiving table cloth to make

Then my Waverly Inspirations box for the month of November arrived on my doorstep, I got an idea. Every month Waverly Inspirations sends me a box filled with their products challenging me to come up with a project using as many of the items in the box as possible. This month the theme is to create a Thanksgiving table setting.

I received two boxes this month. With the contents of the first box,  I made the Thanksgiving menu chalkboard, today using the contents of the second box, I am making a cross between a tablecloth and a runner to go on my Thanksgiving table.

I have a lot to be thankful for this year.

Thanksgiving table by the lake

Mostly this… I still can’t believe we made living along a lake a reality.

Rustic and chic Thanksgiving table setting

I like my thanksgiving table to be equal parts rustic and chic, pairing fall colors and textures from nature. The chic part is tossing a faux fur over one of the chairs. :-)

Thanksgiving table centerpiece idea

There is a local landscaping business near me that sells firewood, I asked them if I could buy a few wood slices and sections from some of the smaller branches. I added Walmart candles on top of the smaller sections.. The dried berries are from one of the palm trees in my front yard. I have no idea what they are called. They grow in a big long mass. If anyone knows what they are called, please tell me in the comments. I love them…  you will be seeing more of them in my Christmas decor.

White plates and dinnerware for Thanksgiving

I have been collecting white dishes and serving ware for many years. I mix and match it at each setting. If you look closely, some plates have an embossed basketweave design, others a fruit motif and the dinner plates are plain.

I made the place cards. You can find out how I made them using free fonts in this post: Table Place Cards With Pretty Handwriting.

rustic table setting ideas

The table looks festive, yet a relaxed spot to give thanks with my nearest and dearest. XO

DIY table cloth

I made the place cards using gift tags. You can find out how I made them here: Pretty Handwriting Place Cards

How to Make A Runner Style Tablecloth for a Round Table

Waverly inspirations products

To make the tablecloth, I went to Walmart to buy a few more designs of Waverly Inspirations fabrics, along with chalk paint in the color Truffle and brown striped ribbon.

Depending on the size of your table, you may have to alter the measurements I used for my table that is 4 feet in diameter.

My suggestion is to do what I did, layout your fabric on the table to see what size runners and middle circle look best. I made each runner: 15″ wide x 28″ long.  The center circle is 21″ in diameter.

supplies needed: 

  • 6 coordinating Waverly Inspirations fabrics. You will need 1/2 yard of each. This amount may vary depending on how the design runs on the fabric. Using overall or solid fabrics work best since you can cut anywhere on the yardage to get the piece. If you have a fabric with a design that runs one way, make sure that you can get the length of fabric needed to show the best part of center of the design on your cutting.
  • 3/4 yard of fabric for center circle of tablecloth
  • 3 rolls of 7/8″wide Waverly Inspirations ribbon
  • Thread to match fabric and ribbon
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Optional: pinking shears
  • Straight pins
  • Ruler or straight edge
  • Marking pen
how to make a round table cloth
  1. Once you have your fabrics picked, lay them out on the table the way you want them arranged. I put the solid fabrics opposite each other, same for the overall and larger printed fabric. (Note: When first starting to make the tablecloth, I thought about using burlap in the center, it didn’t work out so I switched the center circle to fabric.)
 round table cloth tutorial

2. Cut each runner to size. The overall size of each runner before I folded is 30″ wide x 28″ long.

3. Fold each piece of runner fabric so right sides are facing each other. Press with a iron. Repeat for each runner.

How to make a table runner

4. To make cutting the bottom pointed end of each runner easy, pile the runners on top of each other. Use a marker, ruler, yardstick or straight-edge to make a diagonal line along the bottom end of fabric. (If any of your fabric designs run in one direction, make sure it is laying in the right direction in the pile before cutting the bottom to make the point.)

Autumn table cloth for a round table

5. Cut fabric.

table cloth tutorial

6. Fold the pile of runners over length-wise. Use the marker and straight-edge again to make a diagonal mark. Cut on line.

sewing a table cloth using fall fabrics

7. Unfold the pile of fabric. The end should look like this.

how to sew a table cloth

8. Sew each runner’s bottom and side. Leave top open.  Notch corners with scissors, press seams open. Turn right side out and press again. Repeat for each runner.

How to cut a circle out of fabric

9. (Note: Since I don’t have a photo showing the fabric I ended up using to make the circle, pretend this is a piece of folded fabric and not burlap)

To make circle: Fold 3/4 yard of fabric in half with right sides together so you can cut a double thickness 21-inch circle. Use a push pin to hold ribbon at a center point. Length of ribbon should be 10 1/2″inches so that you get a 20-inch diameter circle.  Cut out circle through folded fabric.

Sew circle fabric together, leaving a few inches open so you can turn the fabric right side out. Sew the opening closed.

Round table runner table cloth to make

10. Lay and arrange the 6 runners on the table so there is a hexagon shape opening at the center of the table. (WOW…a math term.. I had to look up what a six sided shape is called. My high school math teacher would be so proud. :-)

Unique table cloths to make

11. Center sewn fabric circle on top. Use straight pins to attach the runners to the circle. I used 3 pins for each runner, one at each end and in the center.

how to sew a table cloth

12. Take the pinned tablecloth to the sewing machine and sew on the right side, around the top of the circle making sure the attached runners are flat and not bunched up as you sew. (If you are going to use the ribbon trim, then this seam will be hidden.)

Thanksgiving table cloth for a round table

13. Place tablecloth right side down on table and trim the excess part of each runner from under the circle. Use pinking shears if you have them to do this. It will lessen any fraying.

How to Attach Ribbon Trim Around the Center Circle of Fabric on the Tablecloth

How to make ribbon trim
  1. Starting anywhere along the edge of the circle, lay end of ribbon along edge of circle, make a pleat using the ribbon and pin down, repeat pleating ribbon. You will need a lot of good quality straight pins.
  2. To join a new ribbon, simply lay end of next spool of ribbon as shown.
  3. Make a pleat, pin
  4. Continue.

6. When you reach the starting point, pleat the last pleat in the opposite direction and put the end under the first pleat, pin.

7. Take tablecloth to the sewing machine and using thread that matches the ribbon, sew down center of ribbon. (For easy sewing, make sure the loops are away from you as you sew. If they are closer to you, you would have to hold each loop down as you sew.) 

How to make a Table runner table cloth

Press and place on table.

Colorful quilt like table cloth to make

Set it and your Thanksgiving table setting will be all ready for T-Day.

Fall table setting ideas

I will post how I made the place cards using the ribbon and chalk paint on Wednesday.

Thanksgiving table setting ideas using fabric and nature.

Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? How many will be around your table?

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19 Comments

  1. Hi Diane, I was out of the country last year in November, so I missed this post, but I just looked up berries from palm trees, and look what I found in my Google search! “For a simple jelly recipe using this kind of palm tree fruit click here visit the Pindo palm page and watch a short video. The acai berry that is so popular and healthy comes from that kind of palm. The fruit of the saw palmetto (a bush or scrub palm) is used for a men’s prostate health supplement.” http://www.palmtreepassion.com/palm-tree-fruit.html

    1. Hi June – Thank you. I love setting up tables for parties and holidays. I do try to keep it simple by using the same white dinnerware. I have been using it for many years for every gathering casual and formal. Using the berries from my yard was the best…free and easy accessible. :-)

  2. Great solution for a round table where placemats won’t work well and you want a more special look! Love the combination of the rustic wood and the fabrics. Let’s you put your favorite fall colors together to customize it to your home. Beautiful!

    1. Hi Laura – Thanks. We always had used our rectangular dining room table in the past for holidays gatherings. This will be a first around the kitchen table. I wanted to make it special. One thing I like about the round table over the rectangular is that we will all be across from each other, no one will feel left out at the end of the table.

    1. Thanks Mary – I have a closet full of placemats that I used to use on my rectangular dining room table, none fit the round table. I had to come up with something new. Now that I have made the cloth, I may make one using Christmas colors now.

  3. How I would love to do this, but we have around 35 people and seating is wherever you can find it. So pretty!!

      1. Everyone brings a dish. My sister-in-law brings her mashed potato’s and homemade buns. I bring a vegetable dish. The single guys bring a can of cranberries or butter or something real simple, but, it works. This is all I have ever known for the holidays. It sure gets loud but we love it. It’s getting close to the point where the grandkids will be having kids themselves. Lord, help us.

    1. Hi Linda – thanks..:-) I gotta find out if the berries have a name. I am calling them palm berries for now. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving too!

    1. Thanks Mary – :-) I always like to think… “what if…” before starting any project. Sometimes the ideas come to me right away, but most of the time they come at 2 AM and then I want to jump out of bed and get it done. Not good for getting 8 hours of good sleep a night.

  4. Nicely done! The varied fabrics lend such wonderful texture to the table.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and thanks for a year of wonderful posts!

    1. Hi Alta – Thanks and thank you for reading my posts all through the years. That is the best thing a blogger could ask for. XO Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving.