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How to Set a Thanksgiving Table

Yay, it’s almost Thanksgiving! No matter how big or small your gathering will be, make the holiday feel extra special. Prep now and learn how to set an unforgettable Thanksgiving table with these tips and fall table decor ideas. 


Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? It’s one of my favorite holidays to host and decorate for.

Each year I set a cozy table with a different autumn color palette.

Some years I go with a neutral fall look. Other years, I go bright and beautiful.

Sometimes I keep it simple with some rustic elegance.

And now that we moved to our new home?

I’m not sure how I’m decorating for it just yet. We’ve got a beautiful dining room but I may set us up in the library so we’ll have a little more space for everyone to sit at one large table.

If you are hosting this year and are looking for table decor and centerpiece ideas, this post is a great place to start.

Check out these incredible thanksgiving table setting and centerpiece ideas to help make the day feel more special for YOU and whomever you are hosting.

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Beautiful Fall Table Setting Ideas

Prep Now to Set a Gorgeous Thanksgiving Table

How to Set a Thanksgiving Table

No matter how big or small your gathering will be, it is really important to set a pretty table for yourself.

The very fact that you went out of your way to use a beautiful dining table centerpiece and add other table decor ideas will help make the day feel more special.

So DO NOT SKIP this step!

Centerpiece Ideas for Every Season

How Do You Set Silverware on Thanksgiving?

Traditionally, forks are placed to the left of the place setting and knives and spoons to the right. And you should arrange them based on how they’ll be used during the meal first.

For example, salad forks are on the far left and dinner forks are set on the inside left of the place setting.

While this is somewhat traditional, you don’t have to follow it.

Sometimes I find it easier to use cutlery pouches and hold everything in one spot so I can create a cool place setting.

So it really depends on how you want to design your table.

What Side Does Glass Go on the Table?

Glassware is always set to the upper right of the table setting. Larger goblets go on the inside left and smaller glasses towards the right.

Simple Fall Table Decor and Thanksgiving Food Ideas with table set with brilliant autumn color palette with rattan charger, neutral dinnerware, crystal stemware on farmhouse table with green linen napkins with hemstitching
Bricks ‘n Blooms

What Side Does the Napkin Go On?

The napkin is usually set to the left of the table setting. It can either be sited to the left of the forks, beneath the forks, or in a napkin ring on the dinnerware.

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas for the Dining Table

Thanksgiving centerpieces don’t have to be an elaborate event.

You can purchase fresh ones from the local florist and market or you can easily make them yourself for a lot less money.

And if you decide to do a DIY Thanksgiving centerpiece, prepare now so you are ready to go before the big day.

Because I host every year, I love to create beautiful faux centerpieces that I can make well ahead of time.

Easy Fall Centerpiece for the Dining Table

It’s one less thing to think about while I am setting the table and prepping food.

Plus I get to enjoy these gorgeous creations throughout the fall season and not just for a few days around Thanksgiving.

But I don’t always go with faux, sometimes I prefer to work with fresh cut flowers. So I guess you can say I change things up depending on what’s going with my family and home.

Regardless of whether you go with fresh or faux, here are some dining table centerpiece ideas to try.

Simple Centerpiece Idea for Your Thanksgiving Aesthetic with fresh pumpkins and garden mums in farmhouse dining room with vintage light and black china cabinet and hutch

Fresh Cut Flowers and Pumpkins Centerpiece Idea

Create a simple Thanksgiving aesthetic with a simple dining table centerpiece idea using fresh pumpkins and garden mums.

Simply hollow out evenly sized pumpkins, add a plant dish and some potted chrysanthemums for an easy fall look.

Click here to see how to make this easy pumpkin centerpiece.

How to Set a Thanksgiving Table

Cozy Fall Harvest Centerpiece Idea

This jaw droppingly gorgeous centerpiece I made for a fall harvest dinner party with flowers cut from the garden.

Whether you cut flowers from your own garden or pick them up for the local florist, making your own flower arrangment is easy to do, extremely satisfying, and budget-friendly.

Learn how to make this centerpiece idea in real time here.

Fresh flower arrangement for fall harvest table in outoor dining space with hydrangeas, zinnias and dahlias -This flower arrangement was made from my cut flower garden with hydrangeas, zinnias and dahlias. .how to set a cozy fall harvest table
Fall Harvest Centerpiece

Easy Fall Centerpiece Idea for the Dining Table

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While I typically gravitate to more neutral tones, a photo on Pinterest inspired me to use orange and blues in this Thanksgiving table setting idea.

Check out this super simple centerpiece idea.

And wait until you see what I used as a table runner! It is super cool.

How to Set a Thanksgiving Table

Rustic Fall Centerpiece for the Dining Table

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Choosing a fun and unique container for a centerpiece is half the fun!

See how easy it is to make this vintage toolbox centerpiece using faux greens, florals, and pumpkins.

It takes minutes to create but will last all season long.

How to Set a Thanksgiving Table

Beautiful Fall Centerpiece Idea That You Can Make in Minutes

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Another version of this vintage toolbox centerpiece is adorned with gorgeous faux greens and beautiful fall florals.

Learn how to choose realistic faux greens and florals to start building your supply with these simple tips.

How to Set a Thanksgiving Table

Transitional Centerpiece Idea Mixing Fall and Winter

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Do you want to decorate for the holidays but still want to keep some semblance of fall?

Try this transitional centerpiece idea that mixes both fall and winter elements.

Out of all my Thanksgiving table decor ideas, this one is my favorite.

How to Set a Thanksgiving Table

Centerpiece Ideas for Every Season

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How gorgeous are these fall cabbage roses?

I swoon every time I see them.

Learn how to make this gorgeous centerpiece two ways creating a whole different look with one simple change.

How to Set a Thanksgiving Table

Thanksgiving Table Setting Ideas

I love setting a pretty table. It’s really fun to be creative and I enjoy my guests’ reactions when they see it.

A beautifully set table makes gatherings feel more festive and cozy.

I’m a big believer in using what you have.

But I’ve also bought a few key items that I use ALL THE TIME.

Here are some festive and fun ideas to try.

The Best Thanksgiving Table Decor Ideas

If you are looking for ways to decorate and celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family, check out these fall table decor and Thanksgiving food ideas.

From beautiful table decorations to food menu ideas, this post has it all.

Click here to see the best Thanksgiving table decor ideas.

Gorgeous vintage toolbox centerpiece decorated for fall with faux flowers in farmhouse dining room with black china cabinet and hutch with farmhouse table -Simple Fall Table Decor and Thanksgiving Food Ideas

Easy Fall Table Decor Ideas

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This Thanksgiving table setting ideas was inspired by these adorable little cutlery pouches.

I love the additional texture it adds to each place setting and is a nice way to organize your cutlery.

How to Set a Thanksgiving Table

Simple Fall Tablescape Idea

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I love how this tablescape idea turned out.

Don’t those moscow mule mugs look perfect with the cabbage roses, pumpkins, and gourds?

How to set a Thanksgiving Table

Neutral Fall Tablescape Ideas

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I’ve been on a huge neutral decorating kick over the last year.

Here are two more ideas using neutral, natural elements.

How to Set a Thanksgiving Table

Rustic Fall Tablescape Ideas

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This rustic fall tablescape idea uses a lot of natural, organic elements with things you may already have.

Whether you use faux or real organic elements, this table-setting idea is perfect for Thanksgiving.

How to Set a Thanksgiving Table

Fall Tablescape Idea

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If you are fortunate to have the kind of weather where you can set a Thanksgiving table outside, this was a fun one!

And wait until you see what I used as the table runner!

How to Set a Thanksgiving Table

I hope you found some great inspiration to set a Thanksgiving table.

We are looking forward to reconnecting and spending time with our family this year. I am thankful that my girls will be home from college and we’ll have the whole family back under one roof.

Each day is a blessing.

What are you thankful for this year?

From our family to yours, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Our family at Thanksgiving Dinner

Do you have a favorite way to set the table for Thanksgiving?

If you do, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

Want to Learn What You Need to Set a Beautiful Table?

Click here to get my FREE GUIDE that tells you everything you need to set a gorgeous table!

Welcome friends and family to a cozy dining table with this must-have list of tabletop decor that you’ll use over and over again.

Looking For More Fall Decorating Ideas

Looking for more fall decorating ideas? Check out these posts.

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How to Set a Thanksgiving Table
How to Set a Thanksgiving Table

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4 Comments

  1. Your Thanksgiving table is gorgeous Stacy! Thanks so much for sharing it with us at Farmhouse Friday!