Thanksgiving Day Tablescape

by Alli

I feel like a magazine editor today! It’s October (at least it was when I wrote this) and I did my Thanksgiving Day Tablescape photo shoot this morning.  

Too bad I didn’t have an assistant to put it all away after the shoot. At least I’m not taking Thanksgiving pics in the summer. That would be too weird to me.

I’m excited about some new finds that I added to my tablescape this year. If you missed 2012’s tablescape, you can find it here.   And you will notice that I had a smaller table that seats eight people. The grandkids had their own table.  

Thanksgiving Day Is A Happy Day

There’s something about Thanksgiving Day that causes me to want to dress everything up just a wee bit, but with a rustic feel.  

We have our feast at 6:00 p.m. and we always dine by candlelight. Every single year, my children jokingly say they can’t see the food. At least I think they are joking!  

Our youngest daughter has always lit the candles. She took over this job as soon as she got old enough that she wouldn’t burn her fingers or burn down the house.

And I always try to stay on a budget by reusing things. I pull out the real napkins. My orange cloth napkins are from last year and I always scout the yard for a centerpiece. I really don’t like to spend a lot on a centerpiece and I like to scour the countryside for flowers, leaves, etc.

As soon as I get everything set up, I have a light bulb moment and think of something I should have done that I didn’t.  So on the day of, I think I will use some burlap material. It will make a wider and longer table runner to go under the table runner I’m using. It will add more texture to the table.  

And those dumb candles would not stay straight no matter what I did. Believe me, I wrestled with them forever. And I should have poured the cranberry juice from the fridge into the stemmed glasses to add some more color. Oh, well.

I Redid The Entire Photo Shoot & Added Juice To The Glasses

After rereading the above paragraph a million times, I threw caution to the wind and on November 1st I redid the photoshoot. Yep, I completely reset the table and redid the centerpiece.  

I even added the chilled cranberry juice (a new bottle, of course) to the glasses. It’s amazing what a little added texture and color can do for the table and to the pics.

Adding More To My Thanksgiving Day Tablescape 

Also, I wasn’t happy with the napkin placement the first time – a little boring to me – just tucked under the salad plate.  I wanted napkin rings but a set of 12 specialty napkin rings were not in my budget.  

I had rather spend that money on Christmas gifts. So I improvised and love what I came up with for just a few bucks.  (The pics are toward the end of the post.)

I absolutely love my new dishes. I haven’t even shown them to my children. They’ve been tucked away in a kitchen cabinet patiently awaiting Thanksgiving Day.  

I purchased them at World Market back in early September when they were having a really big sale. Score!


Silverware Placement – Thanksgiving Day Tablescape

I was going to put my silverware on top of the salad plate, but the pattern is just too pretty to cover up!  

These awesome silverware envelopes help make setting the table so much easier. I’m in love! 

I could have easily done them myself by buying the envelopes and using a rubber stamp, but they were actually cheaper already done up.  

Remember, I’m all about easy!  (Note:  On my second redo, I did place the envelopes on top of the salad plate to give the place setting more height for the photos.)


I Love These Silverware Envelopes

Yep, the knife, fork, and spoon are all tucked away in their own little envelope.  After the photoshoot, I just stored them in a drawer until Thanksgiving since they are all clean and shiny and ready for dinner.  

That’s one less thing for me to do the night before. I always set the table the night before Thanksgiving or early Thanksgiving morning.

Rustic Tray In My Thanksgiving Day Tablescape

I’m also in love with my rustic tray that picks up the red in the dishes.

This tray was a find from a picking expedition (shout out to my R3 group). I piled my handmade pumpkins, dried hydrangeas from my flower garden, and fall flowers leftover from my fall burlap wreath into the tray.  

In case you missed how to make my fall burlap wreath, you can find it here.  

I learned how to make the pumpkins out of books from Upcycled Treasures. You can find out how to make them here.  I am crazy about those rustic-looking pumpkins.  Pretty things just make me happy!


I tied burlap ribbon around the chairs and the place cards are names written on fall leaves attached to the burlap ribbon with pins.


All of this planning for Thanksgiving has really got me in the mood for my cornbread dressing and homemade dumplings!  Plus, it’s actually cold here today.

I didn’t think there was enough texture in the first photos below. After seeing the photos, I made some tweaks and like it so much better. 




Here are photos from the second time around!


I love all the decor. It just speaks to fall and Thanksgiving and all the things I love about this holiday. 


The juice in the glasses adds even more color. 


My mom gave me the dried gords from the family farm. I still have these and they remind me of mom. 

Update: Sadly, mom suddenly graduated to heaven in May of 2016. When I shared this Thanksgiving Day Tablescape in November of 2013, I had no clue that I’d only have a little over 2 and 1/2 years left with mom. 


You can see how I made the napkin rings below. All you need is key rings, collage

I know it’s a little early, but . . . theend

Other Sources:

Tableware and Table Runner – World Market 

Envelopes & Candelabras – Save on Crafts (online)  (This is probably my number one go-to source. They have everything under the sun!)

Homemade Napkin Rings – flowers and findings (those key ring things) from Hobby Lobby

You May Also Like These Decorating Ideas



Cindy Eikenberg November 12, 2013 - 7:16 am

Alli, your table looks so beautiful! I love the colors and your dishes are just lovely! Thank you for sharing such stunning inspiration and I had to laugh about how weird it would be to shoot Thanksgiving photos in the summer. I did a Christmas in July post and got some definite looks from my neighbors when I was outside with Christmas decor in 90 degree weather. πŸ™‚ Have a fabulous day!

Alli November 12, 2013 - 9:22 am

Thanks, Cindy! I’m still thinking about your wrapping paper snowmen candles. We always have a casual “bring your favorite party food” get together at our church a couple weeks before Christmas. I’m really thinking about making your candles to use as centerpieces. I just hope I can do it half as well as you did. You knocked it out of the part on this one, girl!

Melinda November 12, 2013 - 8:00 am

It’s beautiful!! Love the dishes. πŸ™‚

Alli November 12, 2013 - 9:20 am

Thanks, Melinda! I was just thinking about when we lived in Tulsa and we spend that Thanksgiving with you and your family in Colorado. It was so much fun. The girls had a blast on the motorbike with Tim. πŸ™‚

Kim November 12, 2013 - 8:36 am

Wow!!! I’m a total slacker – I don’t think I’ve ever put that much thought into the whole table set up but now I sort of want to come up with something fun!!

Alli November 12, 2013 - 9:19 am

Hey, all of my kids are grown and I have more time now. Plus, I’m always looking for material for my blog! πŸ™‚

Shirley Wood November 12, 2013 - 9:15 am

LOVE it! Your beautiful tablescape looks like it did come from a magazine. Don’t put it away, leave it out to enjoy! Anything that pretty should be enjoyed as long as possible. Thanksgiving is only 16 days away!

Alli November 12, 2013 - 9:18 am

Well, shucks, you are making me blush here, Shirley! Thanks so much!

Rebekah November 12, 2013 - 9:46 am

Mom, it’s absolutely beautiful!!! I love the new dishes! Everything looks amazing. All that’s missing is your wonderful food. I can’t wait for our Thanksgiving feast. πŸ™‚

Alli November 12, 2013 - 9:49 am

Thanks, Bec! Looking forward to having you all here for dinner 6:00 pm sharp! πŸ™‚

Kimberly Leverett Osburn November 12, 2013 - 10:34 am

Hey Alli,
Your tablescape is gorgeous. I’d love to have Thanksgiving at your house. Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring. <3 Kim

Alli November 12, 2013 - 11:12 am

Thanks, Kim! I would love to have you over for Thanksgiving! πŸ™‚

Kristen from The Road to Domestication November 12, 2013 - 11:23 am

ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!!! And I really LOVE that bag that your silverware is going into! You did a fantastic job on the whole thing!

Jeannie and Linda November 12, 2013 - 11:30 am

Hi Alli, your Thanksgiving table is lovely, all of the fall colors in a fresh way. Have a lovely Thanksgiving.

Alli November 13, 2013 - 5:51 am

Hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving, too.

Anna @ Northern Homestead November 12, 2013 - 12:06 pm

Alli, your table looks so beautiful! I love the colors and your dishes are just lovely! Enjoy it all and have a great thanksgiving with your family!

Renew Your Space November 12, 2013 - 1:39 pm

I love the vibrant colors and the silverware envelopes make a cute touch! What a beautiful table… ~Renee

Alli November 13, 2013 - 5:43 am

I fell in love with those envelopes. So much so that I’m thinking about using sliverware envelopes with the menu printed on them for our upcoming Girlfriends Christmas party.

Gloria @ Simply Gloria November 12, 2013 - 3:22 pm

This is all just absolutely gorgeous, Alli! I host every year and I always make it a bit more special each year. I love the rustic-ness of it all! (I love having dinner with candle light as well…it makes it more special for everyone. Especially the kids!)

Alli November 13, 2013 - 5:42 am

Candle light does make it special. And I always tell my family to eat very slowly because of all the hours that have gone into planning and cooking the meal! πŸ™‚

Kara November 12, 2013 - 6:15 pm

Your table is gorgeous!! I love everything!

Alli November 13, 2013 - 5:41 am

Thanks, Kara.

Tammy Doiel November 13, 2013 - 8:54 am

This is absolutely beautiful! My mom always has a centerpiece on too. We all look at it and tell her it’s beautiful, and then move it so there is more room for the food. But she just got a bigger table this year too. Thanks for linking up with the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party. I have pinned your post to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Board!

Tammy Doiel November 13, 2013 - 8:57 am

I’m so sorry, Alli. I came over the food blog chain, and my kids and I are all not feeling well–so I got confused where I was coming from :).

Alli November 13, 2013 - 4:27 pm

No worries. I commented on a post one time thinking I was commenting on a different blog all together. And yesterday I accidentally erased a comment on my FB page. It’s all good!

Zan November 13, 2013 - 1:29 pm

Just wonderful! Wow I love love LOVE your work Alli! Too beautiful:)

Alli November 13, 2013 - 4:27 pm

Thanks, Zan! Appreciate you stopping by!!

Julie November 13, 2013 - 5:37 pm

Wowzer, I love everything about your table setting. The plates are gorgeous, the arrangement in the middle is beautiful, I love the little personal touches and your photos are just lovely. I’m just a little bit worried about how you are going to fit any food on the table!

Alli November 14, 2013 - 4:56 am

We have such a large family that I always set up the buffet in the kitchen. That gives me more room to decorate the table. πŸ™‚

Julie November 18, 2013 - 12:48 pm

It all makes sense now! Hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving.

Chef Ria November 13, 2013 - 8:28 pm

I can’t help but repeat what has already been said. WOW, this is beautiful. I love the orange color and the pattern design of the insert plate.

Alli November 14, 2013 - 4:55 am

Thanks! I really like the pattern on the insert plate, as well. I’m going to come over and check out your sweet potato hummus – yum!

Laurie November 13, 2013 - 9:21 pm

Awesome photos. I’m so impressed that you do this! LOVE! Thanks for sharing my SITS Day yesterday!

Alli November 14, 2013 - 4:53 am

I was so pleased to see someone I actually “knew” in the blogging world. So excited for you! I think my day is probably light years away. πŸ™‚

Meegan November 13, 2013 - 11:13 pm

I am loving these colors and textures. Your dinnerware is gorgeous!! Thanks so much for the inspiration. Pinning.

Alli November 14, 2013 - 4:48 am

Thanks, Meegan!

Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai November 14, 2013 - 3:26 am

Simply beautiful. I love the added depth on the second photo shoot, and what a great idea for place cards. I hope your Thanksgiving is as happy as it will be lovely.

Life With Lorelai

Alli November 14, 2013 - 4:48 am

Thanks, Lorelai. Just having the whole family together on that special day of thanks really warms my heart.

Seana Turner November 14, 2013 - 7:43 am

You are so right about the cranberry juice – it just brings such a depth to the table. You have quite an eye – my table will be more simplistic, but still festive! Thanks for the inspiration (stopping in from the Bloglovin’ blog hop)

Alli November 14, 2013 - 8:41 am

Thanks for stopping in. I never was quite satisfied with my first try, so I tried again . . .:)

Michelle November 14, 2013 - 10:57 am

Wow! So beautiful, Alli. You are incredibly talented! I might have to steal some of your ideas for our Thanksgiving table. Thanks!!!

Alli November 14, 2013 - 9:34 pm

Go right ahead and steal away, Michelle. I love finding new ideas and putting my spin on them.

DesignedByBH November 16, 2013 - 11:36 pm

Love the decor, Alli! I like the envelopes for the silverware and the crate you had in the center of the table with your decor in it. Such great ideas!!! πŸ™‚

Alli November 17, 2013 - 4:30 am

Thanks so much! I love the envelopes, too.

Carolyn Smith November 17, 2013 - 8:05 pm

I’m so inspired! I think I am going to pull out some things tomorrow and see what I can create! What a beautiful table! Thanks for sharing!

Embracing The Good Life November 18, 2013 - 5:28 pm

This is beautiful…absolutely inspiring!

Alli November 18, 2013 - 5:45 pm


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