Quick and Easy Ideas to Dress Up Your Thanksgiving Table

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Less than two weeks, people! I’ve already mentioned that Thanksgiving is the holiday that always sneaks up on me, so I’m making a special effort this year to get ahead of the game. I’ve already printed out my Thanksgiving Planning Guide, so I know I’m on track. The biggest item I can check off my to-do list is putting together my Thanksgiving tablescape. Done, check plus!

I wanted to go simple with my tablescape. I’ve been working on a bunch of projects that involve a LOT of glitter, shimmer, and glitz. It’s not that I don’t like that aesthetic, because I DO. Big time. It’s just that sometimes my eyes need a break from bright, shiny objects. I also wanted to keep the budget on this design as low as possible. I wanted a clean, modern look with a few nature-based touches. Plus, I really like the idea of going with a simple design as a nod to focusing on the important part of the holiday: giving thanks with family and friends. Here’s how I pulled my table together.

Birch Log Candleholder: Remember the birch log fireplace screen we made for our Christmas mantle? I spotted a few leftover birch logs while making a pass through the garage last week and had an instant brainstorm. Why not drill a few holes and call it a candleholder? Free materials and the labor was cheap, thanks to my husband. 

Kraft Paper Table Runner: I love kraft paper. I use it all the time and always have a few rolls on hand. I’m thinking I might add some hand-drawn designs before the big day, but you get the idea. Again, free to me, but cheap for anyone who doesn’t have a roll on hand. 
“Chalkboard” Place Cards: I had some black scrapbook paper left over from a wedding and a white pen in my collection of favorite pens. I’ve been working on my hand-lettering and calligraphy, but as you can see, I’m still just a polywog when it comes to script. I gave up on my cursive a LONG time ago, so this renewed interest is somewhat masochistic. But it’s soooo pretty when done well!

See how the white on black gives the illusion of chalkboard without being chalkboard? Which brings me to …

Chalkboard Chargers: I had a few silver plastic chargers in my stash from previous events and decided that I wanted a much more toned down, matte look. I went out to peek at my spray paint collection and noticed that I had primer that would bond to plastic. A coat of that, followed by a coat of chalkboard spray paint, and I had some very modern and matte chargers.

Bringing the Outdoors In: Even though I really liked the look of a very clean, modern and tonal table, I wanted to incorporate a few more seasonal and nature-based touches. Enter a few pine cones and a packet of silk leaves I found on sale at a craft store. (I would have gone with the real thing, but all of the leaves in our neck of the woods are well past pretty and colorful.) 

And finally, the finishing touches on my Thanksgiving table: my etched glass turkey vases and my folded napkins.

So there you have it. An inexpensive, simple, modern-meets-rustic Thanksgiving table for you and your family!

Note to those who are detail oriented: Yes, this it totally staged. Because I have an active toddler who’s not all that interested in letting me stage a tablescape, this whole thing is set up on my studio worktable, hence one side being flush with the curtains and no chairs in sight. A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do … All in the name of family, love and giving thanks!

Check out this other idea for a table inspired by the harvest — a perfect theme for Thanksgiving! Try it using fruits and veggies that are in season at your local farmers’ market.

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About Ellen Foord 

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As the founder, designer, and one-woman workforce behind Minnow + Co, a tight budget has never stopped this DIY-girl-at-heart from creating a beautiful, modern, creative home and treating every ...

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