16 Thanksgiving table decor ideas for a simple, stylish display

Decorating a Thanksgiving table like a pro is easily done. Choose the most elegant and fuss-free looks for your Turkey Day table top.

Thanksgiving table set with woven runner and natural additions surrounding tableware
(Image credit: @hayley.feldman)

If you're a regular at hosting Thanksgiving festivities, then you're sure to want your Thanksgiving table decor to be inspiring and beautiful. Sure, the Turkey is somewhat the main event but, in our eyes ensuring that you serve up your feast on a stunning tablescape is almost as important.

Decorating a Thanksgiving table is easily done, you simply need to focus on a few key elements and decide on a theme. Table runners, traditional looking or contemporary dinnerware plus, fall-inspired additions that likely reflect in the other Thanksgiving decor ideas you have featured around your home will bring all the cozy but styled vibes to your dinner table over the holidays. 

Thanksgiving table decor that will impress guests

From the more traditional fall colors and rustic tablescapes to, minimal contemporary twists and gothic looks, you'll be sure to find your decor style. Resident Real Homes blogger Dori Turner of Dori Turner Interiors (opens in new tab). says 'I love using a combination of natural elements with affordable decor to decorate my table on a budget! Fall foliage is so pretty and a lot of times all you have to do is step into your yard to find items to use on your table.' She shares a few ideas on how to decorate a Thanksgiving table yourself for a cozy and welcoming finish that's also very stylish and seasonal.

1. Combine muted and cozy fall colors

DIY Thanksgiving table decor with natural foliage, wooden items and metal accents

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

'This Thanksgiving tablescape combines muted oranges, creamy whites and golden hues for a cozy autumn feel, sure to make guests feel welcome!' Notes Turner. All those gourds are likely to feature around your home anyhow, as part of your fall decor so simply take a few for your Thanksgiving table and they make a lovely subtle addition to a plain table runner. Choose similarly colored cloth napkins to keep the theme running through onto your plate settings also.

2. Add character with natural DIYed elements 

Wooden candle holders on Thanksgiving table sets with different colored and sized gourds

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

Candles are a must when decorating a Thanksgiving table and make great understated centerpieces also. Turner favors the DIY route to add more personality to her space. 'DIY candle holders made from vintage wood stair spindles add a warm ambiance to the table. Small ceramic tiles topped with fall-themed words add a fun flair to the dinnerware.'

3. Scattered foliage

Thanksgiving table with gourds and golden accents on table setting

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

'Scattered leaves and a variety of beautiful pumpkins bring a natural element to the table.' Says Turner. Note the DIY pumpkin vase which nods to the other foliage around the room like on the mantel and dining room hutch for a rounded display that's sure to impress your Thanksgiving guests.

4. Notes of gratitude

DIY Thanksgiving table decor with natural foliage, wooden items and metal accents

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

Adding table seating labels are sure to make a dining room setup even more special in every season, but on your Thanksgiving tablescape, they are ideal to add notes of meaning and gratitude. 'Wood beads featuring the word "thankful" remind us why we gather to celebrate this special time of year!' Notes Turner. 

5. Pair statement dinnerware with natural settings

Thanksgiving table set with woven runner and natural additions surrounding tableware

(Image credit: @hayley.feldman)

Add a pop of color and a talking point to your Thanksgiving table setting by choosing striking motifs in tableware like these stunning red patterned plates from Hermes (opens in new tab) as displayed by Hayley Feldman (opens in new tab) . Feldam keeps the rest of the tablescape neutral in color, pared back and styled with natural additions like sprigs of eucalyptus and wooden candlestick holders for a festive, Scandi-esque finish that's easy to put together. These would look lovely on your day to day dining table decor also.

6. Add a Thanksgiving cornucopia 

Floral cornucopia for Thanksgiving centerpiece

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

Adding a Thanksgiving table centerpiece is a must to elevate your setting and if you're one for tradition, consider DIYing a cornucopia as Turner did. Keep yours full of dried and fresh flowers for a sweet, impressive display.

7. Layer color, pattern and texture

Dressed table for Thanksgiving

(Image credit: Longaberger)

Joe Falco, President and Chief Creative Officer at Xcel Brands (opens in new tab) for Longaberger says 'Create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, perfect for hosting this thanksgiving holiday. Whether hosting a large or intimate gathering, dress up your tablespace by layering pieces with different fall hues and textures.' Complete your look with seasonal elements like Longaberger's handcrafted large glass turkey (opens in new tab) for a cute focal point.

8. Incorporate classic plaid

Thanksgiving table decor

(Image credit: Rebecca Udall)

You can't go wrong with plaid for fall, and it can add the perfect amount of pattern to your Thanksgiving table. Pick a plaid tablecloth and matching napkins in a neutral color so they can be a backdrop for you to build on. Layer up your placemats and crockery to add lots of lovely texture and of course, add some fall foliage too – we love how the deep purple works here too, not traditionally a fall color but it gives this table a sophisticated feel. 

9. Scatter fairy lights amongst decorations

Autumnal pumpkin tablescape by Lights4fun

(Image credit: Lights4fun)

To bring a boho vibe to your dining space, add more relaxed dining room lighting to illuminate the rest of your Thanksgiving tabletop decor. The key is to be more blasé about how you position your decorations. Not everything needs to be perfectly symmetrical – instead, scatter your decorations in a way that looks natural and not too fussy. Mix and match shop-bought decorations with real veggies and leaves for a variety of textures and colors.

10. Choose a rustic but sophisticated setting

Adding just a few rustic elements is an easy way to let a minimal dining table space into Thanksgiving mode. Super easy to recreate too just with a few pumpkins and some dried flowers (again just check out Amazon (opens in new tab) for affordable options). Note the old books too! A really nice way to add something a bit more personal to your table, plus can give your centerpieces a bit more height. 

11. Pick a gothic theme for your Thanksgiving table

Thanksgiving table decor

(Image credit: Lights4fun)

Add some drama to your Thanksgiving by going for a dark color scheme. Still keep it fall-approved by choosing rich browns and greens but add in accents of black and of course and go to town on the pillar and taper candles. Try painting pumpkins black or even silver to enhance the gothic vibe furthermore.

12. Choose an all-white theme

White tablescape with gourds taper candles and greenery in silver holders

(Image credit: One King's Lane)

Dressing your Thanksgiving table in an all-white scheme is classic and elegant, but still suitably festive. Add in some greenery for a nice contrast and keep crystal glassware and silver accents on display for heightened design interest and a more luxury finish.

13. DIY some cute pumpkin plate decs

Pumplkin table decorations Not On The High Street

(Image credit: Not On The High Street)

Looking for some easy Thanksgiving decor ideas for your table? This is so simple and all you need is paper and scissors. You can either draw your own design or look online for some cute pumpkin templates and cut out your designs to place on each plate. You could add some fall colored confetti too and just keep the rest of your table really simple.

14. Create an opulent look with deeper shades

There's so much going on on this Thanksgiving table and it looks amazing! It's really busy and there are lots of elements and yet it doesn't look overly fussy and styled. To create this look, start with your vases (or vase depending on the size of your table) fill them with flowers foliage and then dot a bit of that greenery 'effortlessly' around the rest of the table. Then go in with the fruit, you could go traditional with pumpkins or squashes but we love the luxe vibe and the rich color the pomegranates bring. Then just light plenty of candles at different heights and the look is complete.

15. Choose a softer look with pastels

Traditional, but with a twist. This Thanksgiving table has very traditional patterns going on, the turkeys, the pumpkins, the wooden placemats, and yet it all has a very soft, dare we say it almost Disney vibe to it because of the adorable pastel color scheme – even the crockery has a lilac tinge to it. Do note thought how the wooden accents and the darker copper ground the look and stop it from becoming too sweet.

16. Hang decor above the table

Christmas dining room by Neptune

(Image credit: Neptune)

We have been seeing this rustic look all over Instagram – hanging branches and leaves and decs over the table to create this impressive suspending sculpture. You can recreate this look yourself, obviously, you just have to make sure it's secure by fixing it to the ceiling. Pick a branch that fits your space, and hang some fall decorations from it  – easy peasy and a nice alternative to a centerpiece.

How do I decorate my Thanksgiving table on a budget?

Turner says 'Branches, pinecones, colored leaves, acorns and more are great for your Thanksgiving decor and they're free! I also love shopping stores like Hobby Lobby where their fall decor is 40 - 50% off the original price. Beautiful finds at a fraction of the cost - that's my kind of shopping! This year I purchased my table runner, cloth napkins, and wood beads for my Thanksgiving table there.'

What should be on my Thanksgiving table?

'This really depends on your style and the feel you're going for. Do you want a more casual look? Maybe just a simple centerpiece with a vase full of fall foliage or some pumpkins will do the trick. Going all out? You'll want a table runner, chargers layered with your favorite dinnerware, cloth napkins, and a beautiful centerpiece. You may also want name plates to plan seating for your guests.' Says Turner.

What is the traditional Thanksgiving centerpiece?

'Pumpkins are often found in traditional Thanksgiving centerpieces along with gourds, squash, and acorns. Large floral arrangements featuring fall stems like mums and sunflowers are also popular. Or some like to save the center of the table for the beautiful Thanksgiving turkey!'

How do you make Thanksgiving table top decorations?

'Some of my favorite fall table decor has been inexpensive DIYs. I cut vintage wood stair spindles into different lengths and topped them with candles for a warm glow. I took a sheet of patterned tiles, cut them into individual pieces and topped them with fall-themed sayings to adorn the plates. I purchased some faux florals and made an arrangement using a pumpkin as the vase for my centerpiece. I love browsing Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration for new decorations to make! Get creative and have fun with it! ' Answers Dori.

Dori Turner writes blog posts and feature articles on affordable design and DIY from her home in the heart of Oklahoma. She has a passion for teaching others how they can transform their home on a budget.