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How to Decorate the Perfect Thanksgiving Table

Nov 19, 2012 11:16PM ● By Erin Frisch

How to Decorate the Perfect Thanksgiving Table

So you’ve decided to host Thanksgiving dinner this year. You’ll want to make it special, of course. A beautifully set table makes any meal more spectacular. Create a memorable holiday dinner by decorating your table with autumn-themed hues and accessories. Here are some easy, economical ideas to set the stage for your delicious Thanksgiving dinner.

Dress Your Table for Autumn

Pick up a tablecloth, table runner, place mats, and linen napkins in autumn colors or prints. Use prints sparingly to avoid a busy look; you’ll want to focus your guests’ attention on your centerpiece.

Create a Centerpiece

You can purchase an autumn-themed or Thanksgiving centerpiece, but it’s more fun and usually less costly to create a unique one yourself. Start with a traditional cornucopia basket. If you can’t get your hands on a cornucopia, a rustic basket overflowing with miniature pumpkins, squash, gourds, and Indian corn will look charming. Most of these items are available at your favorite supermarket, farm stand, or florist’s shop. Add an autumn-hued ribbon around the basket or on the handle. Scatter fall leaves and nuts around your centerpiece. Tailor your centerpiece to the size of your table. If space is limited, keep it small.

Add Candles and Seasonal Items

Choose autumn-colored candles that match your decor and set them in wooden or rustic metal candleholders to complement your centerpiece. You can even use miniature pumpkins or small gourds as candleholders; a little modeling clay can help them stand up straight. Just cut a hole in the top large enough to fit the end of a candlestick. Arrange fall foliage, wheat sprigs, and clusters of berries and nuts around the base. Keep candles and other arrangements at a height that will allow your guests an unobstructed view of each other.

Break Out the “Good” Dishes

Use your good china or dishes that coordinate with the colors of your other decorations. Another option is to purchase plain, inexpensive tableware and dress it up on your own. Use a porcelain paint pen, and stencil on a design that celebrates the season. Follow the instructions on the pen to bake the pieces and set the paint. Now you have a set of dishes to build a theme on every year!

Add a Personal Touch with Place Cards

Use clean autumn leaves, and rinse them and pat dry. If you have time, press them in a book to flatten them out. Use a gold felt-tip pen to write each guest’s name on a leaf. Place each leaf in the center of each dinner plate.

Accessorize Your Place Settings with Napkin Rings

Dress up those linen napkins you got with napkin rings that reflect the season too. Purchase fall-themed napkin rings or get creative and make your own. Buy plain wooden napkin rings, and use a hot-glue gun to glue on acorns, or stencil or hand-paint a fall design on plain napkin rings.

What About the Rest of the House?

Potted mums are often on sale this time of year. They come in autumn colors and last much longer than cut flowers. Buy a few small pots, set them in baskets, tie an autumn-hued ribbon around each one, and place groups throughout the house. You can even plant them in your garden next spring!

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