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Thanksgiving Table Setting

There’s an easy way to set great Thanksgiving Table settings, and the formula is easier than you might think!

Whether you’re hosting a Fall dinner or THE Fall Dinner (we’re looking at you, Thanksgiving!) – these following tips can be thought of as a fool proof formula for the perfect table settings.

*This post contains affiliate links to products I know &/or love.

First Things First:

The first thing to do is to collect all the things you can use from what you already have at home into one central location.

Think of this as a 3D mood board!

Now this might seem like a task only an interior designer with a stock pile of seasonal decorations can accomplish, but that’s not the case! Here are the specific types of things you should look out for:

Linens & Fabrics:

  • Curtains
  • Table Cloths
  • Blankets
  • Scarves

These can be used for the table itself as a table cloth, or layered as a runner, or used to throw over the back of chairs to add a depth of design to them.

Centerpiece Ideas:

  • Pumpkins
  • Cloches
  • Berries*
  • Branches*
  • Leaves*
  • Soup Tureens
  • Bowls
  • Candle Sticks – I personally think natural bees wax candles are the perfect color for Autumn.
  • Amber Bottles
  • Turkey Feathers

*Make sure you’re taking advantage of your own yard and local nature for these kinds of pieces!


  • Green or Brown Transferware
  • Goblets
  • White Mugs
  • Copper Mules
  • Silverware
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Designing your Thanksgiving Table Settings

Once you’ve assembled your 3D moodboard, you can get started with the design process!

Pick your base layer table cloth for the table and add runners, placemats or chargers if applicable..

Decide which pieces to use as your centerpiece, and remember to take into account the room that will be needed for the food! Build your larger serving dishes into the design so that you know they’ll fit.

Then set your individual place settings.

I used my regular every day white dishes and made them more festive by layering them with brown transferware and beautiful cloth napkins I found while in Brimfield earlier this year. Since I had more spots than brown transferware dishes, on the ends I used a different set of dishes for the layered salad plates.

The goblets were inherited and originally came from Ireland.

If you find that you have other decorative items that don’t work well for the table, but fit in well with the theme you’re going for, you can use them as nearby wall decor or to add a fun welcoming element for your guests at your front door.

What to Do if you Don’t have Space?

Hosting Thanksgiving without a formal dining room can feel like a deal breaker – but don’t let it be! We do not have a dining room yet in our house (but do have plans to add one on in the future), so in the meantime, Thanksgiving and other large indoor dinners are held on banquet tables set up down the length of our living room.

I’m also not opposed to using “outside” chairs inside when needed! Having these two matching wicker chairs at each end of the table is an unexpected element that I love! I added a throw across the back and my favorite pom pom pillows to add some softness – both in the look and functionality.

Related Fall Decorating Posts:

I also have entire Pinterest boards dedicated to all things Vintage Fall Inspiration & Vintage Thanksgiving Decor!

Pin this Thanksgiving Table Setting for Later:

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