Every Thanksgiving tables overflows with: the juicy turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, warm bread, and pies galore. People gather around to celebrate life’s blessings and enjoy time in community together. The food, people, and conversations bring joy and memories.
But why not add a small detail that will catch the eye of everyone seated at the table this year? Pick one area to add a spark of detail, flash of nature, or dose of personality. You can take 2 minutes or 2 hours, depending on how much detail you want to bring and how much energy (or time!) to devote. Here are some of our favorite ideas for adding eye-catching details to your Thanksgiving tablescape.
1. Personalized Plates
Personalization is appealing because it makes that special someone feel valued and cherished. Grab a sharpie and some clean plates to start designing your own Thanksgiving dishes. Pick a theme, like “Give Thanks” or write each guest’s name on their dish. Whichever pattern you go for, your family and friends are sure to appreciate your thoughtfulness!
2. Count Your Blessings
My family tradition is that we all say one thing we are thankful for before we dig in to the delicious feast. In a similar fashion, I love these little “Count your blessings” cards. Place one near each guest’s plate with a small pencil. Have everyone jot down what they are grateful for. To make a sweet memory, have everyone hold up their paper during your yearly Thanksgiving family photo!
3. Pinecone Name Plates
Bring the outdoors in with pinecones! Once de-bugged, pinecones make an excellent addition to every table. In particular, their spikey bits are the perfect shape to place a name card! Set them around candlesticks, pile into a glass bowl, or scatter them among the plates of food.
4. Birch Bark Place Mats
I don’t often set my table with place mats, but these birch bark mats are too cute to pass up! They are cozy yet sturdy and natural. With all of the colorful leaves, pinecones, and wheat of the season, these wooden mats will be the perfect addition to your festive table.
Candles are a must for a Thanksgiving table. But I typically do the simple, elegant look of tall, thin candlesticks. Honestly, I’ve never even considered placing a lantern on my table! But a large, chunky candle will fill up the lantern while offering generous amounts of soft lights. Just be sure that the lanterns are not so large that you cannot see your Mama sitting across the table from you! (There’s nothing worse than a large centerpiece obstructing your view of friends…and the food!)
7. Silverware with Ribbons
As I set the table for Thanksgiving, I love how I have to squish all of the dishes in order to fit the many guests! (I think that there is always room for more people!) I’m often conscious of which silverware matches which place, so this idea is perfect. Simply tie a small strip of festive ribbon around the place setting, and perfect! Now there is no question about which silverware is mine.
8. Cotton and Wheat
The height and texture that nature brings to a table constantly astound me. The gentle cotton and whispy wheat make this table. They fill up the center without being overpowering. They are a gentle, statement piece. The best part is that you can probably find these by driving down a country lane! (If not, come visit me in Tennessee, and I promise that cotton and wheat are plentiful!)
9. Clementines for Color
As much a I adore wood and fall leaves, these bright clementines are the perfect dose of color for a muted table. Paired with pinecones and simple leaves, you can’t go wrong. Arrange lengthwise down the center of your table, like pictured. But feel free to play around with vases, jars, and glass bowls. I have a feeling this will look great in so many arrangements!
10. Pillar Candles
You’ve already heard me say it, but I’ll mention it again. No Thanksgiving table is complete without candles! If you’re like me and need to branch out a bit, consider these wooden pillars. They add height but won’t block out your neighbors, which is always a good idea for a table. You can stagger the heights and match a variety of candles. Best part is that you can decorate your home with the candlesticks, making these the perfect decoration for your home year round.
Thanksgiving brings up fond memories of my family around the table. But when it’s my turn to host, I want to do so in my own style. That means I can add small details, like clementines for color or birch mat place mats or lanterns for cozy lighting. Hopefully, those small elements will bring a smile to my guest’s face and thankfulness to their overflowingly grateful heart!