Set a Beautiful & Thrifty Thanksgiving Table

October 03, 2016

Set a Beautiful & Thrifty Thanksgiving Table

Your guests have been invited, the menu planned and you’ve prepared some desserts and dishes in advance (right?). Whether it’s your first time hosting Thanksgiving dinner or your twentieth, you’ll likely feel some pressure as you work to pull things off smoothly. We’ve got some suggestions to help you set and decorate a beautiful table without going broke.

Not everyone owns a huge set of special occasion dinnerware. In fact, most people don’t, so don’t fret. You’ve got a few options:

  • Borrow a set. Matching dinnerware does pull everything together quickly and easily. Ask a friend, neighbour or relative if you can use theirs for the day and invite them along to dinner.
  • Go thrifting. Rummage around your local thrift store; you’ll be surprised how little you’ll spend on secondhand dishes and glassware. If you can’t find a matching set, try buying all one colour.
  • Go mismatched: There’s an absolute charm in mismatched dishes and glassware. It looks good and makes your guests feel comfortable (especially if they have young children!). Just use whatever you have.

Table Linens
A simple white tablecloth always looks good and provides a sharp backdrop for your table setting. Good linens can be expensive, so again borrowing or thrifting may be the way to go. Of course, you can also just skip the tablecloth and use a runner. For a rustic, down-home look, try brown craft paper, readily available at arts and crafts stores. This option makes for super easy clean up and gives the kids something to scribble on. And don't forget the napkins. Thrifted cloth or the heavier paper ones are nice for a formal dinner. 

Table Decor
Keep it simple. Here are a few ideas to showcase vibrant fall colours indoors:

  • Tiered dessert trays: Fill the tiers with miniature pumpkins, gourds and multicoloured corn; use battery operated lights to add some glitz. This makes a great centrepiece.
  • Flowers: Sunflowers, dahlias and rudbeckia make for great seasonal arrangements. Really, anything pretty left in your garden is perfect.
  • Leaves: They’re falling, colorful and easy to find in your yard or on the street. Press them and strew them casually on your runner or tablecloth.
  • Pine cones: Gather some small ones and use them to hold home-made place cards.
  • Candles: Everything's beautiful by candlelight, even those possibly overcooked brussels sprouts. Look for interesting candleholders while you’re thrifting for linens and tableware!

Your Doorstep
Welcome guests into your home and set a seasonal tone.

  • Place stalks of corn in a large vase by your door
  • A few cheery pumpkins go a long way
  • Fill a basket with pine cones, gourds and a sheaf of wheat
  • Make a wreath for your door using lavender, rosemary, oregano and dried grasses

Take a moment to look around. Look pretty great, right? And with the money you saved, you can afford real whipped cream rather than the spray kind! Now, snap some photos for Facebook/Pinterest bragging later and prepare to welcome your friends and family!