Easy Thanksgiving Decorations and Centerpieces

If you’re planning to serve Thanksgiving dinner to your own small household or providing a scrumptious buffet for a hoard of hungry family and friends, table centerpieces and decorations can add to the atmosphere. From fun and festive to elegant and introspective – decorations can set the mood for your holiday feast.

Here are a few decorating ideas to set the tone for your family’s Thanksgiving meal.

Mum’s the Word


If fall mums are still in season in your area make use of them for decorating tables. If the mums are past blooming, use faux mums found at your local craft store.

Strands of raffia strewn randomly about the center of the tables will add to the festive atmosphere. Place flower pots of mums in the center among the raffia to create an impression of straw bales and flower farms. Snip off a few flower heads to sprinkle among the raffia.

Fill a few large, glass jars halfway with water. Tie strands of raffia around the jar necks then drop a few flower heads into each one for small accents that can be placed anywhere.

Falling into Place


Collect newly-fallen leaves and preserve them in their colorful fall glory for decorating. Pour glycerin and water into a jar (two tablespoons of water and one tablespoon of glycerin) then dip the leaf stems or the twig the leaves are attached to into the glycerin solution. Allow the leaves to soak for a few hours and the glycerin will be drawn up through the stem to preserve the leaves.

Sprinkle these in the center of the tables then fill large, clear bowls or containers with extra leaves. Place these containers in the center of tables or tie leaves together with jute twine to create a festive garland.

Natural Choices


Collect natural, fall items like leaves (preserve with the glycerin and water solution), acorns, hulled walnuts or pecans, shelled corn, small gourds, empty corn cobs, etc. Fill assorted sizes of clear or blue canning jars with items then place in the center of the table.

Small and large pumpkins, gourds and ears of dried corn can also be placed on tables and in various spots throughout the room.

Lamp It Up


Collect oil lamps to place in the center of tables then light all for a simple, elegant centerpiece.



Apples are a staple for fall and are great for simple decorating – as well as snacking. Find an attractive container – a large bowl or bucket, then fill with a variety of apples. Be sure to use red, yellow and green apples for a colorful centerpiece.

Tree of Thanks


You’ll need a clay flowerpot, a piece of floral foam, a twig or small branch from a tree, some construction paper, and some raffia or jute twine for this centerpiece. Create a small tree by pushing the twig securely into the floral foam then wedging the foam and twig into the clay pot. Be sure the pot is large enough and the twig is small enough to not fall over.

Cut out leaf shapes from red, yellow, orange and brown construction paper then punch a hole in each leaf. Use pieces of raffia or jute twine to tie a hanger onto each leaf. Place leaves and crayons randomly around the table. Instruct dinner guests that you would like for them to write something they are thankful for on a leaf then hang it on the Tree of Thanks. They are welcome to make more than one leaf.

This is a great way to help people think about the meaning for the holiday and participate in creating the centerpiece.

Whatever you choose to decorate your table with, think about fall items (pumpkins, leaves, corn, turkeys) and colors (red, yellow, orange, brown) to provide inspiration.