How to create best Thanksgiving place settings

When planning place settings for Thanksgiving dinner, the first decision to make is what type of look the table should convey. The Thanksgiving holiday is full of tradition – imagine it without turkey and dressing or pumpkin pie! – so table settings with a nod to old-fashioned flair are a natural choice. However, that does not mean there is no room for modern touches. With any Thanksgiving table style, use these three tips for beautiful place settings.

How to create best Thanksgiving place settings

Play With Color on Thanksgiving Tables

An important element for any dinner table setting is color. For Thanksgiving tables, look to the rich colors of autumn. Red, orange, brown and gold are all good options to decorate the table. Layer them all for a traditional harvest look, or choose just one to mix with white or neutrals on a simple, modern table. Use these ideas for where to bring in color on Thanksgiving tables.

place cards
charger plates

Incorporate Thanksgiving Icons Into Place Settings

Sometimes using holiday-themed dinnerware appears childish or cheap. However, incorporating one of the traditional icons of the Thanksgiving holiday into place settings is an easy way to make them special. Icons such as turkeys and cornucopias are classic, and they are included in many china patterns. Use these Thanksgiving icons tastefully by avoiding cartoonish images, choosing them in neutral colors such as gold or brown and using them sparingly in the place settings.

Find antique plates, if possible, that features a turkey motif. Turkey-themed transferware is a great option.
Use mini wicker cornucopias found at crafts stores as place cardholders.
Stamp napkins with Thanksgiving images – turkeys, cornucopias, pilgrim hats or bushels of corn.
Be creative with napkin folds. Search online for tutorials to turn harvest-hued napkins into turkeys and more.

Create Unique Thanksgiving Table Settings

Eating the same foods and decorating with turkeys are noble Thanksgiving traditions. It is easy to want to set the table the same way each year, too. Although it is great to have a traditional Thanksgiving tabletop, try to keep place settings from becoming boring or unappreciated. The best way to accomplish this is by throwing in an element of surprise to create unique Thanksgiving table settings.

Swap the usual round dinner plate for a square one. This is a subtle trick to break tradition on a Thanksgiving table.
Mix up salad plate styles such as turkey transferware, amber glass and solid bone china to create an eclectic style.
Use thin pieces of rustic wood or tree bark as chargers, which work best with a simple and natural tablescape.

Thanksgiving place settings

Thanksgiving table settings naturally lean toward the traditional side. Update them with rich color, clever use of holiday icons and unexpected features.

Setting a Beautiful Thanksgiving Table

Setting the table for a special meal creates an atmosphere that will be warm, cozy and inviting for you and your guests. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.


There are so many wonderful autumn holiday decorations available to choose from. A local craft store trip can give you some wonderful ideas because they have so many seasonal items to enjoy.

One pretty idea is to put a small scarecrow at each place setting sitting on a straw bale with a small name card tied to it. Place a variety of pumpkins and gourds in the center of the table along with small bouquets of seasonal flowers in rich shades of yellow, red, gold and purple.

Pilgrim and Indian

A traditional theme to use for your holiday table that the kids will enjoy is a pilgrim and Indian theme.

One fun idea using this theme is to place alternating pilgrims and Indians at each place setting along with a small bundle of Indian corn tied around each napkin with raffia or twine. In the center of your table, place two large bundles of Indian corn and put a large scented candle between them. You could even add small bowls of popcorn for effect.


best Thanksgiving

A harvest theme is a traditional table theme featuring a mix of freshly harvested foods and flowers. You can find these items at local craft stores and fresh produce and flowers can be found at your local nursery. If you prefer to use artificial produce and flowers, these can be found also at craft stores.

A beautiful table setting idea to use incorporates a large wicker cornucopia in the center of your table overflowing with small pumpkins, gourds and vibrant fall flowers. Trailing down the center of the table to each end place setting is a line of pretty artificial fall leaves dusted with gold sparkles and topped with a few fresh acorns. Each place setting features a napkin tied with a fall leaf tied with twine and a small card with the person’s name on it.


A gratitude theme is a great modern theme to use at your table which will promote some great conversation at dinner.

One fun idea for your holiday table is to create and print out little sayings having to do with gratitude and abundance on your computer. Use quotes from famous people or create your own from friends and family. Scatter them around the top of the table for everyone to read.

At each place setting, put a matching paper card and pen on each plate tied with raffia and invite guests to write down something they are grateful for. Place a simple bouquet of fresh fall flowers or a few baskets of mums on the table for an easy and fun centerpiece. You can award prizes for the most meaningful or silliest idea for added fun.

Each of these themes will help you create a truly wonderful holiday table. If you are on a budget, consider going to craft stores after Thanksgiving to stock up on items for next year’s gathering – they will be on steep discount and you can save a lot of money this way.

In summary, creating a memorable Thanksgiving table is fun and easy using any of the themes mentioned above. Get creative and you will be surprised how wonderfully your holiday table decor comes together.