Pretty Up Your Thanksgiving Table on a Dime

Thanksgiving is a time for gathering around the table with loved ones and reflecting on all of the blessings we have in our lives. It’s a beautiful celebration. A reminder to always be thankful.

While the food at Thanksgiving is always the real centerpiece, an actual centerpiece or other accents to the table, go a long way in making the meal feel more warm and inviting.

But don’t blow your budget running out at the last minute to gather pretties. Take some time to look over these ideas for creating inexpensive, yet lovely, table decor for your Thanksgiving feast:

First shop your home (and yard) looking for items that can be used to create something lovely. Gather pine cones, nuts, leaves and branches. Pull out your ribbon and fabric stash. Bring out bowls that go ignored the rest of the year, and let your creativity flow!

~Place nuts or pine cones in the bottom of a glass vase. Add long twigs and branches (esp those with little berries on them).

~Layer corn kernels, nuts, bean etc. in a clear glass bowl (think sand art). Use a variety of colors and items, or stick to a monochromatic palette.

~Another option, is to add candle in the middle of the bowl and add the layers around it.

~Tie ribbon around vases or bowls, around napkins, on the ends of serving utensils.

 ~If you have faux foam pumpkins from Halloween, consider sacrificing one (or more!) for your centerpiece. ModPodge it. Cover it in fabric, glitter, sequins. Paint them. You can even make a ‘vase’ out of it by cutting off the top to make a large opening. Add a fall bouquet, spruce it up with twigs and branches. Make it lovely!

 ~Use leftover decorative fabric or paper to create a Thanksgiving bunting banner to hang on the dining room window, mantle or wall. You can go ahead and decorate it yourself, or allow family and friends to each decorate a ‘flag’.

~Make Thanksgiving garland. Who says garland is only for Christmas? It can be as simple as cutting fall colored circles out and stapling or threading to twine or cord, or as elaborate as stringing fruit, popcorn and/or silk leaves.

What are your favorite Thanksgiving decorating tips and ideas?

[photo credit]

About Karla Archer (25 Posts)

Karla Porter Archer is a print and web designer, technophile, writer, speaker, gifted education advocate, and mother of 4. Teaching her children about making wise and healthy choices in all areas of their lives is of the utmost importance. She is passionate about eating well, living simply, yet comfortably, and eliminating the excess clutter that overloads daily life, as much as possible. She shares her (successful and unsuccessful) attempts and efforts on Living The Life Fantastic, which she started, along with Randy Archer, after they met on Twitter, fell in love and determined to live their lives purposefully and fantastically together. Find her also at: Karla Archer and Archer Creative


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  1. 1
    Donna Vail says:

    In the past we’ve made a thankful tree by getting branches and placing them in a vase. We then tied paper leaves that everyone in the family wrote on what they were thankful for. It was fun to see what everyone was thankful for and how all the gratefulness filled out the branches.
    This year we are going to cut out leaves and each person is going to write what they are thankful for about each person and write it on each leaf. Then we will take the leaves and gather them for each person putting them at their place at the table. Because we are a big family each person will get 8 or more leaves each telling them how much they are appreciated.
    A few years ago we took organic gourmet chocolate bars and created an over wrap that was for the season and had each person’s name printed on the front. We laid them at each place setting as where the person was to sit and then they got to take home the chocolate bar and enjoy after the celebration. Most everyone loves chocolate and all the good memories from the holiday spent together.
    I look forward to seeing more idea shares. I’m always looking for new ideas. I love all your ideas here Karla that use natural resources we can often find in our backyard.
    Blessings for a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    • 1.1
      Karla Porter says:

      Great ideas, Donna! I’ve seen some Thankful Trees, and they’ve been on my list of “make a tradition”! I’m thinking we might make it a family project and gather the branch from the yard and make it together. Thank you, for a fun idea, that we can all do together!

      We are all about the natural resources that cost little or nothing!
      Happy Thanksgiving, to you and your family, Donna!

  2. 2
    Wade Balsdon says:

    Great ideas here. I believe that money should be spent on food not decorations.