Great Thanksgiving Table Settings Without the Clichés

Surprise your guests with an unusual and beautiful tablescape
Pinecone Place Setting

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Great Thanksgiving Table Settings Without the Clichés

Great Thanksgiving Table Settings Without the Clichés

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Thanksgiving isn’t just about the delicious food. It’s also about tradition and a celebration of the fall harvest. There are many iconic symbols of the holiday that we tend to incorporate into our Thanksgiving décor — but isn't just placing gourds or baby orange pumpkins on your table a bit overdone and predictable?

Apple Candles

Apple Candles

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What better way to celebrate the harvest than with DIY candles made with fresh apples? Use red, orange, green, and yellow apples to give your table an extra element of color and a warm glow. Just simply cut a hole in the top of an apple big enough to hold a tea light and place the candle securely inside.

Corn Centerpiece

Corn Centerpiece

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Colorful corn is an iconic symbol of Thanksgiving celebrations, and is a great way to add harvest symbols into your decorations. Use this corn and string to make centerpieces by stringing it upright around a wine bottle or vase. String some cranberries with a needle and thread to drape over the top of this centerpiece.

Floating Cranberries

Floating Cranberries

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A lot of people don’t know that cranberries float in water, making them an excellent addition to throw into a flower arrangement or floating candle. Cranberries are popular for Thanksgiving, which makes them perfect for decorating the holiday table.

The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree

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OK, this one requires a little work, but is totally worth it. Get some branches and plant them in little buckets, using rocks to fill the bucket and secure the branch in one place. Then, cover the bottom of the branch in moss to create a beautiful miniature tree. Have your guests write what they’re thankful for on paper leaves and use string to place them on the tree! How cute is that?

Harvest Layers

Harvest Layers

This décor is a reminder of the pilgrim’s harvest, and adds a colorful element to any table. Fill a Mason jar with layers of corn kernels, red beans, and green lentils to create an easy but festive decoration.

Leaf Napkins

Leaf Napkins

These napkins are a great way to celebrate the harvest at your Thanksgiving table. Make your table look like foliage in the forest by switching off from orange, red, and yellow napkins, folded to look like leaves.

Painted Acorns

Painted Acorns

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This simple idea can be an activity for the whole family, and makes beautiful Thanksgiving décor. Collect some acorns outside, and have everyone paint their own. Paint the bottom of acorns yellow, red, and orange. For an alternative to standard place cards, use a sharpie to write your guests’ names on the acorns after the paint has dried. You can even paint some with metallic colors, like silver and gold, and reuse them for Christmas dinner.

Pine Cone Place Settings

Pine Cone Place Settings

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This is an inexpensive idea that adds more nature elements to your Thanksgiving Day table. Spray-paint some pine cones and use them to hold place cards, or just spread them around on the table. They’re small, so they can be easily moved if you need to make space for your turkey.

Pumpkin Cooler

Pumpkin Cooler

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Carve out the inside of a pumpkin so a glass bowl can fit inside. Fill the bowl with ice and place sodas or beers inside to create a festive cooler. Your guests will be impressed with your creativity and ability to turn pumpkins into functional décor.

Pumpkin Vase

Pumpkin Vase

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Take some smaller pumpkins, cut a square in the top, and fill it with florist foam. Stick green leaves and sunflowers, roses, and other colorful flowers into the foam to create professional-looking flower arrangement. You don’t even have to scrape out the whole pumpkin, just make sure the foam is secure. Leave about an inch or two of the foam sticking out, so the flowers stay in place.

Turkey Leg Place Setting

Turkey Leg Place Setting

Use this activity to keep the kids busy while you’re cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Have them make little paper turkey legs to decorate the plates on the table. Just take paper bags and stuff them with tissue paper until the bottom looks full like a turkey leg, then cut out little bones to stick off of the ends. Put names on each turkey leg to act as place cards for each guest.

White Pumpkins

White Pumpkins

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White is the new orange. White pumpkins are trending this holiday season because they add an element of elegance to any Thanksgiving table. You can even use larger ones as the table’s centerpiece.