Make Your Thanksgiving Table Brilliant
Decorating your Thanksgiving table is more than just plates, forks and knives. That one meal, though it shouldn’t be, is probably the biggest one of the year. So make sure it is inviting and pretty at the same time. You will be glad you did. Over the years, I have tried to come up with lots of different ways to complete my Thanksgiving look and feel. Often the starting point is the tablecloth. This one focal point will bind the look and feel you want to have. Or maybe you want a more modern look, so use a colored tablecloth with leaf patterns or try a gold tablecloth and one coordinating color.
Depending on where your table is situated, you may want to think about the windows near the table. Use a leaf garland as a valance along with some fake gourds secured with floral wire. That would make a wonderful attraction piece for the window. You could also get matching napkins to the tablecloth, a few extra than you need for the table itself, and drape those over the curtain rod as a valance. Pretty and effective.
One other favorite idea that I have used is a wreath that my children make with their hand prints. You could simply hang this over the curtain rod and have a nice reminder of all that you are thankful for this year.
Once the tablecloth and window treatments are done then you can focus on the table itself. I just love to use confetti on the table. Well, confetti of a sort. I like to use leaf shaped pasta as my confetti done the center of the table. There are many different types of things you can use for the confetti. You can use dried corn, or pumpkin seeds with a little food coloring to match your theme. Let your imagination run wild with confetti ideas.
Ok, so who hasn’t used candles? I love the idea of the table having candles on it. I have cut a hole into a mini pumpkin to use as a candle holder. You could also use other gourds to do the same thing. That would make a very festive centerpiece or simple accent to the table. It is also an easy way to tie your theme and mood together. On the same vein with candles, you can use a cornucopia and place a more stocky type candle in it surrounded by leaves and very small gourds or such.
Name markers are very popular for large gatherings of this nature. Anything from a very simple white card to a very complex decorative name marker will do the trick. But somewhere in between might be best. I have made a marker using a white cardstock measured to the size I want. I then cut the edges with fancy scissors. Next I take the Bugles snacks because they look like little cornucopias and glue little fall flowers into them. I glue them to the cardstock after I have put a name on it. Bingo. A nice little name marker that really brings a personal touch to the table.
Layering a table that is a “food only” table is an appealing way to set up for your Thanksgiving feast. I used several tablecloths and boxes to raise part of the table to make a more festive look and feel. The different levels help create a nice way to see everything and to be able to reach everything. Then along with the layers, I added some pumpkin shaped candies on a layered tray to help with the overall look.
Sometimes, the number of children seems to outweigh the number of adults. So I take the time to set the table for them as well. I made homemade placemats for the children to color on while they waited for the meal to be served. I also created homemade coloring books so that they had plenty to keep them busy even after the meal! It was so much fun. How did I deal with the crayons? I used pieces of brown paper bags and some raffia. I made little bundles of crayons, wrapped them with the paper bag and tied them off with the raffia. Cute! And they matched the theme of the Thanksgiving holiday nicely.
Need something else to help brighten that table? How about dressing up your silverware? I wanted something to help show off my gold silverware. So I copied a picture of corn on the cob, enlarged it to match my silverware size. Then my children and I colored them to match the color theme I had going that year. Just a little more in the way of making the table settings personal and pretty.
One last way to really make your Thanksgiving table beautiful and personal: make the food personal too. I love to bake pies. So I had my children, after washing their hands, place their hands on the rolled out pie crust. I used their hand prints on my pumpkin pies. So special. With a cherry pie one year, I used a leaf cookie cutter on the pie crust. I used those to make the “lattice work” for the cherry pie. These are just the little touches that make a Thanksgiving gathering so special and meaningful.
So this year, may your Thanksgiving table reflect your holiday mood!