Aside from the food, Thanksgiving centerpiece ideas are the next thing we look for when celebrating this holiday. After spending much of the day cooking, we want to indulge in our meal with family and admire our tablescaped display. So consider your middle of the table masterpiece the piece de resistance.
After you've already pulled out your favorite set of china, organized your seating arrangement, and planned the menu, there is only one thing left to do: find jaw-dropping centerpiece ideas for Thanksgiving to pull it all together.
Whether you love a table set with fresh flowers, a simple runner or garland, or even want to go maximalist with layers and varying heights of foliage, candles, flowers, pumpkins (for a more dramatic display) – we've got your shopping plans laid out .
We found lots of Thanksgiving decor ideas for a tasteful tablescape. Oh, and the best part? Several of these accessories can be mixed and matched together. Making any (or all) of these ideas the perfect finishing touch to complete the Thanksgiving feast you've worked so hard to create.
Thanksgiving centerpiece ideas for a delightful dinner
The secret to creating a cohesive, impactful holiday table? Simple. First, identify the vision you're looking to bring to life. Then find pieces to reflect just that.
'It's always been important to design our events – small, large weddings and corporate alike – that are not your typical event, tabletop or party,' says Stefanie Cove, celebrity wedding and events producer.
'[I draw] inspiration from life – the architecture around us – art, travel and natural elements from the environment. It could be something as simple as snipping branches from a tree outside your window and laying them down the center of your table, for example, or incorporating a vintage vase you purchased on a trip.'
'Adding a unique detail to tabletops is one of the most important parts of any event, as it reflects the personality of the host.'
1. Create an elegant scheme with votives
How gorgeous is this modern French farmhouse-cum-Scandi Thanksgiving table decor? Though there's not a hint of earthy hues, this dining area with white painted exposed brick gets its warm from the low candlelight.
The best part of these elegant fluted votives from H&M Home is their versatility. Not just for Thanksgiving, they can be used year-round for Christmas, New Year's, and even romantic dinners.
To curate a stand-out centerpiece idea for Thanksgiving, start off with a large votive, and then have smaller votives of and different heights and widths cascading out from this central reference point.
2. Use your kitchenware for a cute centerpiece
Just as we serve Charcuterie and canapés on a wooden chopping board or grey slate at Christmas, create the perfect Thanksgiving centerpiece this holiday season with your kitchenware. We love this pumpkin-themed Cocotte from Staub, available on Amazon but you can also use one or a few of your best dutch ovens if they're finished in an autumnal colorway.
Now, you don't necessarily have to store a bubbling mac 'n' cheese (or in fact any food) in this vessel. Rather, we'd fill this container with acorns, cinnamon bark and some pine cones for a pretty display.
3. Illuminate your table with candles
Cove also realizes that traditional flower-based (or pumpkin-based) Thanksgiving centerpieces might not be of interest. Which in that case, she also offers up another trend she's noticing: Candle-inspired focal points.
She says: 'There are a lot of beautiful and unique taper candles these days with dried flowers mixed prints, and different shapes (twisted rope, ribbed, super skinny) that can be fun to incorporate as well.'
Create a slightly Gothic-inspired centerpiece idea for Thanksgiving by styling your candles with black and metallic leaf decor. You can do this with Rust-Oleum's spray paint, available on Amazon.
4. Reveal the menu with a decorated pumpkin
Unless you or your guests have particular dietary requirements or follow a special diet, the likelihood is that you're going to enjoy Turkey, pumpkin pie and maybe some corn bread to celebrate this special day.
If you want to create a proper dine-at-home experience, draw your menu onto a pumpkin with some white paint or use a Computer aided design device like Cricut, available on Amazon to create some vinyl decals to stick onto your gourd. This design by The Merry Thought is perfect to surprise loved ones to let them know a family favorite is on the menu.
For more special squash ideas, some of our no-carve pumpkins would look great as a thanksgiving centerpiece.
5. Celebrate with a traditional cornucopia
After the turkey, the cornucopia is one of the classic symbols of Thanksgiving, representing both abundance and nourishment, as a nod to the Pilgrims who were giving thanks for a successful harvest.
Place this traditional cornucopia from Wayfair on the table filled with faux pumpkins, pinecones, and other foliage, which is a classic choice that can be reused fall after fall.
Learn how to make a cornucopia right here for a handmade Thanksgiving centerpiece you can show off to your loved ones.
6. Go for a modern cornucopia
While we're likely to share a slice (or two) of Pumpkin pie at grandma or mom's house, there's no reason to say that you can't have your own Thanksgiving celebrations with friends. This relatively-new phenomenon is what is known as 'Friendsgiving'.
Though not at all traditional, we love this Instagrammable take on a cornucopia by Crafts Unleashed which sees quintessential fall/winter colors swapped out for pastel pumpkins, rainbow crockery and iridescent cutlery.
7. Try tradition with a twist
Want something a bit more dramatic? Forgo the earthy colors for white and purple by creating a ghost pumpkin vase filled with fragrant lavender.
'Many of our clients have wanted to make sure their Thanksgiving table still feels festive but doesn’t follow the typical Autumnal color palette. We have been designing tabletop florals using lavenders, pale blues and mixing them with leaves and berries in fall tones. Or stray away from typical flowers and incorporate pumpkins and gourds instead.' says Cove.
She uses painted pumpkins to coordinate with the theme for the tablescape, and suggest going for colors like matte pale blues, pinks, greens, whites, even specking with gold – or there are pre-painted ones for efficiency.
8. Pot your centerpiece in a galvanized metal bucket
'If there is one holiday to set a beautiful table for, it’s Thanksgiving!' says LA-based Eden Passante (aka @Sugarandcharm).
'This year we’ve added in galvanized metal touches and mixed in some copper too.'
So if you want to add a little industrial chic to your centerpiece – dig out those buckets from your garage – because DIY Thanksgiving decorations never looked so pretty. Or you could buy brand new galvanized planters, available at Amazon, just for the occasion.
9. Add a luxurious touch with glass pumpkins
Move over Cinderella – because there's a new glass accessory in town.
These glass pumpkins, styled by Dee McQueen, owner of Dee McQueen Design are the perfect example trendy Thanksgiving centerpieces, that can also be saved until next year for Fall harvest and Halloween home decor.
These pumpkins, available from Glitzhome on Amazon come in a different combination of colors, made to look spotted, striped, round, misshapen, gourd shapes. But the most magical thing is, because all items are 100% handmade, color tones might be a little bit different, so you can be sure you have a unique thanksgiving centerpiece that no one else has.
10. Weave through a garland
A fall-themed garland adds lush texture to your table, and is an on-trend, biophillic Thanksgiving centerpiece idea, straight from the park or forest. If you are making this centerpiece ideas for Thanksgiving using real foliage, be sure to inspect it for bugs, dirt and debris, and give it a good wash and pat dry. Because you wouldn't want to serve up dinner on an unsanitary dining table.
This beautiful faux eucalyptus lambs ear garland by EnglishIvyLaneShop on Etsy is handcrafted with artificial foliage brings the feeling of being outdoors right inside. Plus, it's a great way to show gratitude to small independent retailers this season. Or learn how to make a fall garland with our super easy guide.
11. Go for a rustic farmhouse look with a wooden box
Arrange your own centerpiece with a rustic wooden box filled with various decor pieces that can be used inside the box and around your table. Choose assorted white ghost pumpkins, silk sunflower heads, artificial berry picks, and silk Maple leaves. We love this centerpiece idea for Thanksgiving because you can easily use the box year-round and fill it with other seasonal decors.
'If you’re looking for more structure in your table runner, using a simple wooden box is the perfect way to display your fall decor. Fill it with moss, greenery, candles, pumpkins, pinecones and whatever other hodgepodge of autumn items you have on hand.' says Julian, owner of The Anastacia Co.
Alternatively, buy the Winlyn Bulk Assorted Artificial White Pumpkins Fall Centerpiece for a forage-free starter kit.
12. Create a monochrome luxe wheat centerpiece
'I’m not a fan of typical fall colors like red, yellow and orange,' says Neelam Gurum, interior designer and founder of Neelam interiors.
'Instead I like to capture the feeling of the season using texture and accents. This table was no exception. I created an ode to Alberta with a touch of glam using a non-traditional accent: Wheat.'
'I loved the simplicity of the bundles of wheat and the golden color was splendid. Considered one of the oldest grains, cultivated since the beginning of human history and a symbol of abundance, life and fertility – it felt like the perfect addition to a Thanksgiving table. Paired with black, it creates a luxe, yet understated look.'
13. Add a colorful contrast to dried wheat
When it comes to Thanksgiving centerpieces, there's nothing wrong with sticking to tradition. If you're someone who gravitates towards more classic statement pieces, keep your table Autumnal and more traditional, but perhaps adding a little funk to the florals down the center.
For example, in lieu of standard florals, try adding bouquets of dried wheat husks, available from Amazon for a truly rustic touch. This colorful idea is a modern take on harvest-inspired homeware.
'You will want to start off with a few stalks of wheat. I prefer sticking with an odd number so I made some with five stalks and some with seven stalks. Bunch the wheat together near the top, wrap around once with the embroidery floss, and tie a knot to hold everything in place.' says Michael Wurm, Jr., interior designer and founder of Inspired by Charm blog.
'Then, start to wrap the embroidery floss around the stalks. I found it easiest to spin the wheat to wrap the floss rather than spinning my hand around the wheat.'
14. Choose a cute, on-theme candleholder
This hurricane candleholder by Sur la table makes charming Halloween or Thanksgiving centerpiece, thanks to its collection of fall-themed leaves and artificial pumpkins.
Orange, cream, blue and green add an autumnal glow to your harvest decorations, creating the perfect container seasonal candles. Place amidst your Thanksgiving spread to add harvest cheer to your indoor farmhouse decorations.
15. Protect a wooden table from wax with rustic napkins
Thanksgiving dinners can be a messy affair. Dripping gravy off the porcelain boat, colorful cranberry condiments and creamy side dishes can all be a casualty for white or light-colored garments. But, aside from the food – melted candle wax can be a pain to get off your table surfaces.
So, to alleviate the risk of damage, and make your Thanksgiving centerpiece look even more stylish, use linen napkins to collect the wax and stop it from drying onto your wooden table.
Made for creating a rustic tablescape for entertaining friends and family, these napkins by Piglet in bed are made from 100% French flax. These linen napkins, available in Oatmeal, Dove Grey, navy, and white can be mixed and matched with a similar stonewashed tablecloth to create an elegant and textured setup.
Not just for wiping your face after a seasonal feast, use these textile handkerchiefs to build homely texture around your Thanksgiving centerpiece and alternative to formal starched tableware, and can show off a gorgeous reclaimed wood dining table.
16. Create a Thanksgiving 'tree' with leaf placecards
'I love mixing styles, bringing in rustic with glam, metallic with raw wood,' says Lia Griffith.
'The setting started with the gold faux bois salad plates. I loved the woodland pattern in the foil finish. I then added the twig flatware and mercury glass candle holders. The mix of the gold and plum against the natural wood and earthy dinner plates created a warm yet intriguing table setting. Of course everything looks better topped with a paper flower so this plum dahlia finished my look. For the leaf name cards I used Gold Leaf metallic paper from paper-papers.com.
17. Repurpose your Halloween decor
With less than a month between Halloween and Thanksgiving, it seems a shame to pack up your pumpkins and mason jars that you took time and effort displaying around the house.So rather than going and buying brand-new Thanksgiving centerpieces, repurpose those from the spooky season. All you'll need is some Studio Pro 680 1/4-Inch Copper Foil which is under ten bucks from Amazon.
'I applied strips of copper tape down the sides of the pumpkins in between each groove, peeling the backing while at the same time smoothing over the tape with my fingers.' explains Amy Kim, content creator and owner of Homey Oh My blog.
18. Create a holiday-inspired terrarium
And, although she used seasonal flowers including kale, Ranunculus and Hypericum berries, Bohn selected blooms that weren’t red or bright orange – the typical colors of Thanksgiving.The mix of yellow-orange flowers with moss and greenery feels modern, especially when paired with blue-green napkins and pedestal candle holders.
How can I create a cozy Thanksgiving setting?
'Create a warm, welcoming atmosphere at your Thanksgiving table with a glowing candle centerpiece.' says Alicia Waters, chief marketing officer, Crate & Barrel.
'For an autumnal display, lay a seasonal wreath flat on the table and place a hurricane candle holder in the middle. Add a fall-scented candle to burn during the meal – woody, smoky scents set the mood.'
'Another option is to place candle-filled lanterns on the table. Arrange one large lantern holding multiple candles of varying heights, or mix and match various smaller lanterns with one candle in each. For the final touch, surround the candles with autumn botanicals, such as acorns, pine cones or cranberries.'
'Rich wood accents and natural elements foster a cozy, pastoral atmosphere. Use wooden cheese boards or serving trays as the foundation of your centerpiece. Atop the rustic boards, arrange mason jars filled with stalks of wheat, or place apples into a leafy garland.'
'You can also try lining a long board with a chain of glass jars filled with acorns, dried corn kernels and leaves. Finish the look of your rustic table with textured, neutrally-colored table linens and wooden napkin rings.'
What is the traditional Thanksgiving centerpiece?
'Incorporate pumpkins and gourds into your centerpiece to create a table overflowing with fall charm,' says Waters.
'Place a long, narrow centerpiece basket in the middle of the dining table to display a selection of vibrantly-colored gourds in shades of red, orange, burnt umber and yellow. Alternatively, use a hollowed out pumpkin as a vase for seasonal blossoms, such as sunflowers.'
'Choose a white pumpkin for a modern flair, or stick with orange to keep the look classic. If you're searching for a one-of-a-kind Thanksgiving centerpiece idea and are feeling crafty, consider stenciling outlines of leaves or abstract designs onto painted pumpkins. Showcase them atop cake stands of various heights, and place candles and florals in complementary hues around the painted pumpkins to create a color-coordinated look.'
How do you make a floral Thanksgiving centerpiece?
Unlike fresh florals, a dried bouquet of flowers last longer and make quite a dramatic statement. Bring to the table an arrangement that's designed to transport you to fall in the gorgeous Catskills mountains with a dried bouquet made up of Craspedia, thistle, burgundy eucalyptus, mini pampas, and starflowers.
Though this Catskills arrangement from Urban Stems is $90, it's sure to last a lot longer than blooms that haven't been dehydrated.