Tablescape: Thanksgiving Seasonal Tablesetting

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When helping a young couple set a special holiday table when her parents were visiting, we created this inexpensive decor for a Thanksgiving seasonal tablesetting.  We were all pleased with our efforts, and I know her parents were impressed.A week before the big day, before beginning to decorate, we sat down together in their dining room and considered the situation. They wanted to have a warm seasonal table to celebrate Thanksgiving in their new home with her parents who were coming to visit.

Their traditional dining room furniture had been a gift from the bride’s parents who were downsizing from their own home. The wood of the dining room table was so lovely that we decided to use placemats instead of a tablecloth.

The couple had good china that they received when they married, but its colors did not go well with the seasonal look we wanted for Thanksgiving. So we decided to use their everyday china which is Gibson’s French Countryside, a plain ivory pattern. We also decided to use their everyday pewter flatware and clear glass drinkware.Since the couple did not have any table linens in the colors we were considering, I suggested that we head for the local craft store to look at scrapbook paper. Scrapbook paper is 12″x12″ and frequently two-sided in coordinating colors and prints. The papers that we chose were coordinating contemporary prints in circles and stripes in tans, browns, oranges, greens and blues that were packaged together for only a dolllar a piece. They were perfect for our fall tablesetting!Back in their dining room, we laid out the papers and decided where we wanted them. We used two sheets for each placemat because one sheet wasn’t long enough. We alternated the placemats’  patterns on the table and used several sheets down the center of the table to provide the base of the centerpiece elements. Once we had the seasonal paper underpinnings for our table centerpiece, we needed to decide what elements to put on top. It’s always wise to start looking around your own home to see if you have items that you can use. The couple had two resin swan figures that looked like carved decoys in another room, and they had just the right natural look for our table. The couple also had several small orange pumpkins they had bought for Halloween which still looked good and provided the right seasonal look, coordinating with the scrapbook paper colors. Combining these with the swans made for a nice-looking centerpiece.

To those elements we added some miniature cornucopia baskets from the craft store. These were filled with candies to be used as favors for the guests. To add the last bit of color to the tablesetting, I lent the couple brown cloth bapkins and tan beaded napkin rings to lay on the plain ivory dinner plates. The darker brown napkins pick up on the colors in the scrapbook papers, the table surface and the cornucopia baskets.

Thanksgiving at the couple’s home with her parents as guests went very well and they felt more comfortable with inviting others to dinner . It doesn’t tale a lot of expensive table accessories to create an attractive table! Enjoy!



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