Of course, the people who are gathered around your table are much more important than anything that’s on it—although having a beautifully decorated display certainly doesn’t hurt! Nothing ties a Thanksgiving table together quite like a stylishly set tablescape with a beautiful autumnal centerpiece.
It’s easy to neglect décor between carving a turkey and baking a bunch of pies, but Thanksgiving table decorations that feature fall foliage and seasonal color schemes add to the ambiance—and they won’t go unnoticed. Better yet, throwing together a beautiful arrangement or tablescape isn’t nearly as laborious as preparing a Thanksgiving feast.
The proof is in these five DIY Thanksgiving centerpieces that are quick and easy to assemble—seriously! Get ready to unleash your inner artist, whether you’re a craft whiz… or creatively challenged.
1. Apple Tealight Holders
Maybe you have limited artistic ability, or you simply don’t have hours to devote to crafting in the run-up to Thanksgiving. This apple tealight tablescape requires very little creative skill, but the finished product looks seasonal and festive. It’s the kind of DIY that can make even the most artistically inept look downright ingenious!
Image via Little Green Notebook
You’ll need at least two dozen apples for this Thanksgiving centerpiece. Stick within one color family, like rich ruby reds, or get a few different varieties and arrange them in a trendy ombré style: from Red Delicious and Honeycrisp, to Golden Delicious and Granny Smith. Similarly, you could swap real apples for faux, or choose colorful, seasonal turnips in different sizes.
- Soak the apples in a combination of warm water and vinegar for 10 minutes to kill any bacteria.
- Use a paring knife or handy melon baller to carve out a 1-inch deep scoop—about the size of a tealight.
- Insert the tealights, arrange the apples on the table and light before dinner is served. Just don’t leave lit candles unattended.
If you know you’re going to be caught up with Thanksgiving Day food preparation, this is a great DIY to delegate to a trusted teen or college student while they are home for the holiday. Get the full tutorial at Little Green Notebook.
2. Pumpkin Platter
A paddle cutting board or long, rectangular serving tray or platter can quickly be transformed into the foundation of a beautiful Thanksgiving tablescape.
Image via Ella Claire Inspired
- Start with your base. Use a table runner you already have, a strip of burlap or even a curtain panel for added texture and interest.
- Layer on the serving tray or platter.
- Place several miniature pumpkins in a row. Of course, you can never go wrong with classic orange, but swap orange for white, and you’ve got an unexpected clean and modern look.
- Fill in any open spaces with greenery clipped from your garden, leaves or sprigs of bittersweet.
You can get this tablescape ready in no time while the turkey is roasting. See more at Ella Claire Inspired.
3. Easy Pillar Candle Centerpiece
Assembling a DIY Thanksgiving centerpiece doesn’t have to be complicated. Point in case: this easy candle arrangement you can put together using things you probably already have on hand.
Image via Julie Blanner
- Assemble a “runner” by arranging several pillar candles in a row. You know the drill: If you light them, don’t leave them unattended.
- Fill in the gaps with pine cones from your backyard and clementines for color. You could easily swap the clementines for other produce you have on hand, like oranges, apples, pears or even miniature pumpkins pulled from your front porch.
- Spruce of the rest of the tablescape—especially the ends—with pieces of eucalyptus or a flower stem, and tie everything together.
This arrangement is proof that a festive, fall centerpiece doesn’t have to take as long to make as Thanksgiving dinner! Get more inspiration at Julie Blanner.
4. Pumpkin Vase Centerpiece
One visit to the local pumpkin patch, and you’ll see just how many different types of pumpkins there are—so get picky! You can use any gourd you’d like, although this pumpkin vase DIY uses a particularly festive cheese pumpkin, aptly named for its pale orange, cheese-like appearance. A Long Island Cheese or Musquée de Provence pumpkin is an excellent foundation for this clever, one-of-a-kind floral arrangement.
Image via Shades of Blue Interiors
- Cut a hole in the center of the pumpkin that’s large enough to fit a small plastic container of water to keep stems fresh.
- Fill the container with a seasonal bouquet of blooms from your local grocery store. You may need to trim the stems to keep the arrangement snug and stout.
- Add a little more volume and interest (and hide the plastic container) with bunches of cabbage, fall leaves, or sprigs of eucalyptus, wheat or bittersweet.
- Set the pumpkin atop a cake stand or wood slab for more height.
Cheese pumpkins are also rich and sweet, making them great for baking too. If you haven’t had your fill of sweets by the end of your Thanksgiving feast, you can always turn your centerpiece into a pumpkin pie for the ultimate up-cycle! Don’t forget to save the seeds for roasting. Check out the full DIY at Shades of Blue Interiors.
5. Corkboard Leaf Trivets
Thanksgiving is all about just that: giving thanks. But it’s also about food, and lots of it. Perhaps your Thanksgiving table won’t have room for an elaborate centerpiece amid a spread of turkey, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. In that case, make food your focal point and add an autumnal touch by DIY-ing a few corkboard leaf trivets.
Image via Live Laugh Rowe
- Trace a leaf-shaped stencil onto a 12-inch cork mat from a craft or hardware store.
- Cut out the leaf shape using a craft knife atop a craft mat.
- Leave the cork as is for a natural look, add color with some craft paint or use a spray adhesive to attach pieces of felt.
Cork is highly heat-resistant, making this DIY as practical as it is pretty! Plus, you can reuse these hot pads year after year. Get the full tutorial at Live Laugh Rowe.
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