Thanksgiving Tablescape Ideas

Last year I went all out for my Thanksgiving inspiration design, with lots of diy ideas and projects.  This year I thought I would keep it a bit more simple. I thought about all the busy hostesses out there who are working hard just to get the food cooked in time, and don’t want to spend days prepping the table(s). I was also keeping in mind the fact that most hostesses are probably setting up extra tables for the overflow of guests they’ll be having for the day.

I decided to set up 2 tabletops – a main dining table and an auxiliary card table.  I actually love this simple Thanksgiving tablescape as much as I loved the one from last year, and the rich chocolate brown paired with creamy whites is a beautiful combo. Check out all the details below and get inspired…Thanksgiving is only 2 weeks away…can you believe it?!!

Thanksgiving Tabletop details:

  • If you have a beautiful wood table, why cover it with a tablecloth? Natural wood grain can be a beautiful design element and the rich dark finish of my table here, is a great contrast for the lighter table settings.
  • I found paper place mats at Target {4/$1} and they are surprisingly stylish! The colors are great for Fall and the overall design is neutral enough to be used all year.
  • Layers of white and cream dishes, along with brown napkins make up each place setting, while a mini pedestal holds individual pecan pies. You could also provide mini bakery boxes for guests to take them home in if they don’t eat them for dessert.
  • Decorative knobs {from my Keys to Success party design} make clever little name card holders.
  • I made the simplest of centerpieces: small glass vase filled with tiny pine cones, flanked by small vases of seasonal flowers.
  • Let guests write down one thing they’re thankful for this year. This is more fun when you tell them it should be something frivolous, because we know everyone is thankful for family, health, jobs, home, etc.
  • I love these Lucky Wishbones. Set out a bowl full of them so everyone can make a wish and pull it apart with another guest. That way, no fighting over the REAL one!

If you’re like my family, you’ll be setting up extra seating wherever you can find it. The most popular choice being a fold up card table. I wanted to show you how you can make these humble necessities just as special as the rest of the decor, starting with one of my favorite things – a TableVogue cover.

Thanksgiving card table setting

When I was a kid we spent many holidays at my Grandmother’s house in Greensboro, NC. The house was full with family and she always set up a card table in the living room, for extra dinner seating. I remember she always set it just as beautifully as she did the main dining room, so whoever got those seats {usually me} didn’t feel like it was less than the other space. That’s how I wanted to set up this card table too.

  • Like I said, I love my TableVogue cover because it’s fitted and it goes all the way to the floor. Perfect for dressing up the table.
  • I also like the contrast of this table from the main table: this is brown and white also, but has a more monochromatic look because of the table cloth.
  • Place settings are the same as our larger table, but the pies are placed to the side for space management.
  • I couldn’t fit 4 place mats here so I used one as a centerpiece “runner” and topped it with the same flower vases as the main table.
  • A couple of Lucky Wishbones are available too, so everyone can enjoy.

So there are my tips and suggestions for making Thanksgiving special and fuss free {well…almost}. If you like it I hope you’ll Pin it and share with others, or leave us a sweet comment below. How do you handle the overflow of guests at holiday? Do you like to keep it simple of go all out?

Get the Butternut Squash soup recipe you see in the photo. It’s yummy and requires only a few ingredients.

Have a great day!

For more inspiration, follow me on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook. Cheers!


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  1. Cindy B. says

    I love the table setting!! Where did you find the mini pies? That is such a great idea!!

    Thank you,

    • Chris says

      Thanks Cindy. Our grocery store {Food Lion} sells these in the bakery section. Check with your local grocer in the fresh baked area.

  2. Jana Maciag says

    Beautiful! A simple and elegant table for Thanksgiving.
    I loved the idea of a card table. I’m trying to figure out what to do, I have 13 guests and my dining table fits only 8 seats. The card table on the adjacent living room will be great for my Thanksgiving.
    Loved your design!

  3. Beatriz says

    The whole setting is neat and beautiful! I love the TableVogue cover, LOVE! In Brazil it is not called tablevogue cover and as far as I know there is no company that produces such a specific line of table cloths. I had my seamstress sew a similar one for me, which I use to cover an ottoman. Congratulations!

  4. Jackie says

    Where are your goblets from? gorgeous. I just have plain clear goblets that will work, but I’d love to find something like those chocolate smoked ones.
    I’m hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the first time this year and I’m using your place setting. Well kind of. I love the simple white plates and the brown napkins. I’m borrowing my mothers banquet table so all 8 of us will fit. Any ideas on a centerpiece for a long table?