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25 Creative Thanksgiving Table Setting Ideas

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I’ve rounded up all my festive, yet budget-friendly Thanksgiving table setting ideas to help inspire you to set your Thanksgiving table in style this year while staying on budget. I also have a way to make your table bigger so everyone fits around comfortably.

I serve pretty much the same menu every year; we love tradition, but I do like to change up the table setting.   When I worked in retail display in department stores – setting all the display tables was my favorite part of the job as I could use any or all of the merchandise the store sold to create colorful and exciting tables to entertain around. 

At home, I have a limited amount of china, dishes, and platters to use so I have to get creative to make it look different year to year.

I also want to make sure it feels and looks special as the dining table is one of the first things my guests see upon arriving at my house for Thanksgiving dinner.

When guests first arrive and see a festively decorated dining table with pretty napkins, silverware and DIY Thanksgiving place cards, it gets them excited about what is to come – good food, family and friends gathered to celebrate.

25 Creative Thanksgiving Table Setting Ideas

One of the best things about any DIY project or idea is that you can make something as a tutorial or post shows, or simply use the ideas as a jumping off point.

Continue reading below to browse through some of my favorite budget-friendly Thanksgiving table decor ideas to spark your inspiration to help you create table decor in your own holiday style.

Fall inspired Table setting with purple and white buffalo checked napkin.

When deciding on how to set your Thanksgiving table, choose your dishes first and then create a color palette around them. A mix of fine china and more casual accents work well.

Thanksgiving Dining Table Place Card Ideas

Place cards do more then show where guests are to sit, they also add a finishing touch to the table that makes guests feel special.

Thanksgiving table setting with wine glasses, white plates and orange and brown accents.

Colorful faux maple leaves pop against the glassware and white table linens and place settings for this Thanksgiving tablescape.

Thanksgiving place setting with orange leaf tied with brown paper leaf place card.

Free Printable Sheet of Table Place Cards

Free printable sheet of Thanksgiving table place cards

These free printable place cards are perfect for your fall dinner party or Thanksgiving dinner. They are blank and ready for you to add your guests names. Use a fall-colored pen or marker.

Dinner Plate Banner Place Cards

Autumn-Tablesetting-ideas using orange and white items.

Banner style place cards are unique in that they are not just a tented card. Guests will want to take these home with them.

Create a centerpiece for the table using a tiered basket filled with gourds, artichokes, mini orange or white pumpkins and greenery topiaries.

Gift Card Place Card

If you live in an area where pinecones are easy to find, use them as place card holders.

Paper Bag Place Card

DIY Paper Bag Thanksgiving Table Place Card

Running short on time before your guests arrive and want to create place cards. Head to your paper bag stash and make these in minutes.

  • Learn how to make these: Place cards with brown paper bags!

Instant Place Card Holder

Simple DIY Thanksgiving Table Place Cards

Any small piece of paper will become a place card when placed in a simple paper clip. These work well for a kids’ table.

Scrabble tile table place cards

You can make these Scrabble tile place card holders using trim molding and wood squares from the craft store.

Thanksgiving Tablecloth & Placemat Ideas

Round Faux Leather Placemats

Fall themed rustic DIY placemat to make. Thanksgiving table setting using a brown paper grocery bag to make a round placemat.

Round placemats are on trend, but are also perfect when you have a round dining table. Instead of buying expensive leather ones, make your own for free.

The DIY paper napkin rings can also be used as a place to write guest’s names.

See how to make one or a whole set: Faux Leather Look Round Placemats

Fringed Burlap Placemats

How to make fringed placemats with burlap.

Burlap’s texture makes it perfect for fall table decor. It comes in many other colors besides light brown. Go for orange, maroon or a copper shade.

Paper Doily Placemats

DIY Paper Place Mats using a Circle Punch Kit to make it look like a doily

Use clear glass plates with a cut circle of scrapbook paper underneath, then layered with a Kraft paper doily.

If you like to craft, you can create your own doily placemats with any type of paper and this fun tool.

Round Table Runner Tablecloth

round table cloth that is made by connecting runners of fabric.

Here is a Thanksgiving table setting idea for a round table.

If you enjoy sewing and have a stash of leftover fabric, here is a Thanksgiving table setting idea for a round table. Using white plates, bowls and linen napkins keeps the table from being too busy with pattern.

Dark Brown Burlap Table Runner

White Polka dot on brown burlap fringed table runner.

If you have a Silhouette or Cricut cutting machine, you can design your own table linens.

How Do You Make a Thanksgiving Table Centerpiece?

Thanksgiving centerpieces do not have to be a vase of flowers or a traditional Thanksgiving basket cornucopia of fruit. They can be created using many different items from tiered baskets, a collection of candle holders to no centerpiece – but an open spot to place the turkey on a platter.

Rustic Modern Pillar Candle Holders

Thanksgiving table setting with tin can candle holders.

There is no need for a fall flower centerpiece when you use a collection of rustic modern DIY candle holders made from tin soup cans, a scrap of raffia and twine. A pillar candle fits perfectly on top.

So easy to do that no tutorial is needed.

Wood Slice & Candles Table Centerpiece

Rustic and chic Thanksgiving table setting

Simply stack a few slices from a tree trunk on the center of the table, then place pillar style candles on top. The dried berry vine around them is from a palm tree in my yard.

DIY Fall candle holders made from glass food bottle and popcorn kernels

When candlesticks are placed in shapely glass bottles filled with corn – you get one very inexpensive candle table centerpiece.

Completed DIY Wooden Candle Holders on a dining table with dark orange taper candles.

These wood block candlestick holders were made from scrap wood.

Thanksgiving Dining Room Decorating Ideas

Once the dining table is set, I also like to make sure the rest of the dining room has a Thanksgiving vibe going on. Here are a few ways I add it.

Create a Thanksgiving Turkey Chalkboard

Turkey free printable to create a Thanksgiving chalkboard
Thanksgiving Chalkboard Turkey Free Printable

Print out this turkey to create a Thanksgiving chalkboard for your kitchen, bar area or dining room. Let your kids create it for a family project.

Make a Dinner Menu Chalkboard

Fabric Covered DIY Menu Chalkboard for Dinner Parties

To prepare your guests for the harvest feast they are going to enjoy, I like to create a Thanksgiving menu. It makes the gathering feel special and your guests know what will be served.

How to Make a Dining Table Larger for Holiday Gatherings

How to extend a dining room table to accommodate a growing family.

Is your family outgrowing your dining room table? Make this removable table top from plywood to enlarge the table size. Easy to remove and store.

Slipcover the Dining Table Chairs

Wicker chairs around a round dining room table. Chairs have white slipcovers with a tied knot detail in the chair backs.

Make your own simple dining chair slipcovers to add comfort and style to a dining room.

No sew chair back cover

Create a Rustic Chandelier

How to Update a Brass Chandelier

Repurpose an out-of-date brass chandelier with paint and decorative beading for a completely new look.

Thanksgiving Side Table

Thanksgiving sideboard

Update a pine hutch with fresh paint and book pages to create a cozy feel for a dining room hutch that can act as a sideboard or buffet.

Thanksgiving Hostess Gift

How to Easily Decorate with a Mum and Large Paper Bag

If you are visiting friends or family, make sure to bring this simple hostess gift. To wrap it, all you have to do is fold the top of a grocery bag and you have a perfect fall flower pot cover.

Thanksgiving Table Coasters

Thanksgiving drink coaster free printable that says Gobble Gobble

A Few More Thanksgiving Ideas

Family Thanksgiving Quote

I hope these Thanksgiving DIY ideas have sparked your imagination on ways you can make your Thanksgiving dining table and dining room holiday ready.

Even after setting so many tables in my life, when it comes time to place the silverware on any table I set, I still have to say to myself… “the fork goes on the left and the knife and spoon on right”. Do you do this?

Table place setting of a white dinner plate layered with a fork, knife and spoon tied with brown ribbon.

If you need to do this and ever forget, simply place the utensils on the dinner plate and tie with a pretty ribbon.

Kitchen-table- with a lazy Susan that says... time for pumpkin pie.

And lastly, no matter how you set your table… it is time for pumpkin pie!

The autumn colors, the smell of wood smoke rising from chimneys, the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade, football on the TV in the background, delicious food in the oven, a pretty table setting and treasured family all around. It makes for a perfect day.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Make sure to check out my Fall Decorating Gallery for more fall related ideas.

4 images of Thanksgiving table setting ideas. 25 ideas.

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5 Comments

  1. I am going to try using clear containers filled with corn like you did with candles; that looks so nice. I am going to try making place cards by writing on different colors of paper paint swatches for some extra color too!

  2. I love them all. And the table top your dad made is priceless. I was planning to make my own rectangle farm house table, but gosh this is such a clever idea for the occasional large group.

    I think I forgot to compliment your gorgeous refinished floors….. they are spectacular.

  3. I love the candle holders you made. You are very creative, and all on a budget – congrats for all your hard work in sharing your ideas.