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