Thanksgiving is such a wonderful time of year. It’s a day to gather with family and friends and reflect on all our blessings; our families, our friends, our traditions. We have all seen the elaborate and costly Thanksgiving decorations in magazines but you don’t have to spend a lot of money to create a pretty table for Thanksgiving. Sometimes simple is better and it can be just as pretty.
The Thanksgiving table is the focal point of the day and should be comfortable, warm and inviting. Huge centerpieces and overdone decorations can be intimidating and distracting. It’s okay to have simple tastes and it is certainly more affordable.
In order to create a warm and inviting Thanksgiving table you only need to keep a few basics in mind; color, texture and size. The warm colors of fall will give a comforting glow, texture will add interest and size should fit well with the amount of space you will be decorating.
First, decide on your color theme. Traditional Thanksgiving colors might include deep, rich hues of red, orange, brown and some green. Next, consider the elements you will include in your table decorations. Some elements appropriate to the Thanksgiving table include candles, table cloths, runners or scarves, nuts, fruits, greenery, berries, baskets and even stones.
After deciding on your colors and elements take into consideration the overall size of your entertainment space. Do you have a large table that will be seating 6 to 10 guests? Or a small table with 5 or fewer guests attending? Large tables will look best with larger centerpieces, however, be careful about the height of such centerpieces.
You do not want to block the view of your guests.
Now you can pick the elements that best fit your table and entertainment space. A simple fabric table cloth adds grace and warmth to your table. Choose a solid color in a traditional hue. Consider looking at your local fabric store for a fabric large enough to cover your table. For instance, a large piece of fabric that drapes nicely but is not too heavy will pair nicely with a table runner in a coordinating color. Likewise, a smaller piece of lace fabric will add a softer touch when draped on the diagonal in the center of your table. A simple lace tablecloth also works well.
Candles give a comforting glow to any table. They are inexpensive and add a warm and inviting touch to any room. You can choose between pillar and taper candles. One idea for pillar candles requires three pillar candles of various sizes in any color that goes with your overall color theme, assorted nuts in the shell such as pecans, walnuts or filberts and a shallow dish or bowl deep enough and wide enough to sit the candles down firmly in. Pour the nuts around the base of the candles and add sprigs of artificial ivy for a simple centerpiece featuring candles.
If you would rather not have a centerpiece or simply do not have the space for one there are other subtle ways to add a decorative touch to your Thanksgiving table. Check the local dollar store for ceramic or resin turkeys, pumpkins, etc. One way to use such pieces is to arrange them on a piece of mirrored glass in the center of the table. Artificial fruit, nuts and greenery can be used in the same way. Think fall type fruit like apples, purple grapes or pears. Ivy garlands interwoven among the fruit pieces works well also. You can find both at floral and craft shops.
Nature can also play a part in your Thanksgiving table decorations. Natural items such as pinecones, pumpkins, gourds, seed pods and even polished river stones can be placed along a table runner to give Mother Nature her due during the Thanksgiving season.
For large gatherings you may want to use place cards. There are several easy and inexpensive ways to make place cards. One way is to trace real leaves onto card stock, paint with water colors and let dry, use a marker to write the names of guests on each leaf and then have them laminated. Real mini pumpkins tied with fabric ribbon in a color that fits with your color theme also add a seasonal touch. Use a permanent marker to write each guests name on the pumpkins. You can also use dry erase markers to write names onto glazed ceramic pumpkins. The dry erase marker wipes off easily with a paper towel. For smaller gatherings or if you don’t want to use place cards simply fill small brown paper treat bags with candy or roasted nuts, tie with ribbon and place one by each plate.
Decorating a Thanksgiving table doesn’t have to be an expensive or complicated ordeal. Sometimes less really is more.