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My Simple DIY~Inspired Thanksgiving Tablescape

Thanksgiving is several weeks away. You may not be grocery shopping quite yet for feast day, but there is no reason not to be planning or even thinking about a DIY-inspired Thanksgiving tablescape.

This is a great time to show you some wonderful ideas for setting your Thanksgiving table. To inspire you, I’m sharing my simple DIY-inspired Thanksgiving tablescape.

The vision for my simple DIY-inspired Thanksgiving tablescape came from ideas shared by other bloggers. It’s like paying it forward. Good ideas should be shared and passed on – because there are always enough ideas to pass around.

Speaking of sharing, this tablescape isn’t just for sharing on the blog. Last Friday we had dear friends over for dinner. The 6 of us have known each for years and Sweet Shark and I spent 4 days with 1 couple at their home on Cape Cod last year. This simple DIY- inspired Thanksgiving tablescape and dinner was a thank you.

My Simple DIY~Inspired Thanksgiving Tablescape

I love picking up a magazine full of ideas for the holidays. That’s what this Thanksgiving tablescape is like ~ beautiful photos sharing fabulous ideas for you to use in your own home.

Last month I participated in a Pinterest Challenge about creating a Thanksgiving place setting. That got me really thinking about the Thanksgiving tablescape that I wanted to create this year. I loved the simple and minimal approach that Lindsey Brunk created.

Thanksgiving place setting from Lindsey Brunk

And then I shared 9 awesome DIY ideas for Thanksgiving. I knew that several DIY projects that I found on Pinterest would fit beautifully into the simple Thanksgiving tablescape I envisioned. So today I’m going to show you my simple DIY~inspired Thanksgiving tablescape and then I will follow up in separate posts with each specific DIY project that I made for this tablescape.

The Vision for My Simple Tablescape

Simple. Natural. Organic. Those were the words that I thought of for my Thanksgiving tablescape. What materials bring those words to mind?

  • paper
  • wood
  • cork
  • natural foliage
  • woven basket

What else do all these elements have in common? Soft natural colors. Does this mean that I wouldn’t have any bright colors in my tablescape? No, there would be small pops of color for interest and contrast.

My Simple Tablescape Beginning

I love seeing how things go from A to Z. I know we all love the big reveal, but I love the process just as much. So let’s start at A and I’ll show you how to get to Z ~ a simple DIY~inspired Thanksgiving tablescape.

One of the 9 DIY awesome DIY projects for Thanksgiving that I shared was this simple paper runner from The Kitchn. Using 12~inch wide kraft paper is such an easy way to add a natural (and inexpensive) runner to your table for any occasion.

Thanksgiving DIY project paper table runner

This post mentioned Lowe’s as the source for the kraft paper and that’s where I bought my paper. It’s in the paint aisle and is meant to be used to protect floors when you are painting. It’s 12 inches by 60 yards for $3.99, which will probably last into the next century.

It wasn’t until I opened the package that I realized this paper is much thinner than normal kraft paper, which is fine for this project. (I couldn’t find it on Lowe’s website.) If you want heavier, 12~inch wide kraft paper, it is available on Amazon.

Once I had my paper, I measured the length of my table and cut a piece to fit.

The next item on my simple Thanksgiving tablescape was the centerpiece. The idea for this centerpiece came from Trish at Uncommon Design. It consisted of 2 parts: first, a round wood slice and second, a large bundle of faux wheat.

Thanksgiving DIY project wheat centerpiece

I was so excited, not just because I loved the natural look of this centerpiece, but because I already had a large bundle of wheat and a roll of wired burlap ribbon. What I did not have was a wood slice. I shopped several places before finding the perfect round wood slice at one of my favorite local stores. It was $14.99 and I was thrilled to find it.

Next came the wheat bundle. I bought a bundle a few years ago, and at some point, I took it apart (what a mess!) and then bundled up half using jute twine. I made a bigger bundle, tied it with my burlap ribbon, and it was just right for my centerpiece. In a later post, I show you the whole process.

You can see in this picture that I had also cut 4 placemats from the kraft paper I bought. Look close ~ I decided not to use them.

Back to the picture of the kraft paper runner from The Kitchn. The designer used eucalyptus which I love. A quick trip to Trader Joe’s (4 bundles at $3.99 each) and I had my soft, natural greenery.

I had 2 bundles of seeded eucalyptus and I used 1 on each side of the wheat bundle. I’ll save the other 2 bundles for another use. I flanked the wheat bundle with 2 ceramic turkeys.

I didn’t like the paper placemats. Our table is oval and the paper didn’t fit right.

Looking back at the original wheat bundle inspiration, I notice the woven basket chargers. I loved that idea, but I only had 2 on hand. Although it’s not close, a trip to IKEA was already on my list of errands (candles, white mugs). IKEA had several styles to choose from and I picked these. They were $4.99 each. I think they will also work as hot plates and decorative “trays”.

The round woven chargers looked so much better: more texture and color and the shape was the right choice.

Now I was rocking and rolling. Next came dinner and salad plates. Our simple white ones from World Market, which we have had for years, would provide a nice contrast with the woven chargers.

For wine glasses, I was ready to add a little pop of fall color. I chose to use the ones with a leaf design that I bought 3 years ago at Dollar Tree.

Silverware came next. I decided that, since this is a special occasion, I would use our sterling. We don’t need spoons since I know what our menu would be.

DIY-Inspired Napkin Rings

Next came one of my favorite elements, napkin rings, inspired by Shannon of Handmade Lovely. These napkin rings using kraft paper appealed to my love of words and lettering, DIY~inspired napkin rings, and the need for another organic touch.

Thanksgiving DIY project paper napkin rings

Shannon used her Cricut machine, but I wanted to use some of my stencils and ChalkArt from A Maker’s Studio. I had stencils for 6 perfect words for a Thanksgiving tablescape. Instead of using the thin kraft paper from Lowe’s, I used other paper I had on hand. (This is another project that I will share in another post.)

I absolutely love these napkin rings; the words have meaning and whimsy and the plaid napkins (another longtime item) add color and pattern.

Since this meal will be served in the evening and it’s almost dark by 6:00, candles are in order. I used 4 soft orange votives which gave a soft glow to the table.

The Final DIY~Inspired Element

You’ve heard me say that I love place cards for dinner parties. Although we have a few different sets of place card holders that I have used at Thanksgiving, I really wanted something organic, something I could make.

I found an easy DIY project on Pinterest and knew it was perfect ~ all it required was wine corks. We have a huge collection of wine corks. And a hot glue gun.

Since I knew the names of my guests (haha!) I could write their names using my new hand lettering skills. A little glitter added just a touch of elegance. Isn’t glitter considered a natural material? I love how they turned out.

Now here’s the big reveal of my simple DIY~inspired Thanksgiving tablescape.

I love the DIY~inspired elements: the runner, the centerpiece, the napkin rings and the place cards. I think they all work so well together. As I said, I’ll be sharing the actual DIY projects in future posts.

Would you like a checklist to help you set your Thanksgiving table? Click on the image below to get it.

I’ll also post pictures of the tablescape with the candles lit on Instagram.

I truly hope that you will PIN this post.

pin for later graphic in blue
signature with fall leaf



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  1. Carol,
    I love everything about this tablescape! Seriously you are a girl after my own heart. All your diy projects were fabulous! Great job. I popped over from Cindy’s roundup!
    So happy to be participating with you!

  2. My favorite thing on this beautiful Thanksgiving table is your napkin rings. All of the care you put into creating this table shows. I love everything about it. Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. I love it Carol! Your white turkey and wheat are fabulous! Each place setting is so detailed and festive too. Beautiful and creative tablescape!

    So fun to hop with you. Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Love all your DIY and crafty elements Carol…perfect for a Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving on a budget, especially if you have multiple tables to set for a crowd. As always it’s a treat to blog hop with you , Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Your table is lovely. The wheat bundle might be my favorite thing, or maybe it’s all the handmade touches that so beautifully personalize your setting. Or the lovely photos ( the silverware photo is beautifully set) it’s all so incredibly warm and wonderful. The perfect place for making memories over a delicious holiday meal. Pinned and it’s a pleasure to hop with you.

  6. What a wonderful table to welcome guests to a Thanksgiving meal. The DIY wrappers on your napkins are so creative! The wheat bundle centerpiece is lovely! Thank you, dear friend for once again joining in another hop!

  7. I love that you said good ideas should be passed on. That is truly the intent of these blog hops and I always find inspiration when we gather. Hip hip hurray for that soft natural greenery because it surely adds so much dimension to a tablescape. While out shopping today I passed up a wheat bundle that was on clearance at Joann’s and I wish I had seen this pretty table beforehand. Thank you for sharing all the details and I hope your Thanksgiving is all you want it to be.

  8. Your tablescape is really pretty. I have those placemats and have found many ways to use them. I love the napkin wrappers and name labels.

  9. Carol, your table is lovely with your diy. The napkins look wonderful. i love that you personalize your sayings. You are indeed crafty. The wheat bundle is perfect for a Thanksgiving table You created such a pretty centerpiece with the eucalyptu, turkey and burlap bow. The name cards sparkle with the glitter. Truly a lovely table to enjoy with family and friends.

  10. First, I am drooling over your wheat bundle. I tried to find one for my table and had no luck. Second, the placemats were a great purchase, they added so much texture and look fabulous. Third, love the napkin wrap!! It all comes together for a beautiful table!! Love it! It is always a pleasure to hop with you. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  11. Carol, Your guests will feel so special dining at your lovely table, and I am sure the menu will be equally lovely! I love all of your DIY’s on this tablescape, you are so crafty! It is always a pleasure to sit at one of your beautiful tables and to blog hop with you. Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving season!

  12. Carol, you also put so much care and creativity into your tablescapes! So charming, warm and inviting. My wheat bundle crumbled after years of being stored in the attic. I got weary of the mess it made everytime I brought it out. But, seeing yours has me yearning for a new pair to flank the mantle. My favorite element of your table were the crafted napkin rings that has to make each guest feel special.

  13. Carol, what wonderful ideas for Thanksgiving. I never thought of using paper as a runner and it works so well with your wheat bundles and napkins. It is definitely some simple charm. Your textured place mats add just the right touch and your pop of color with plaid napkins and leaf stemware give it all the subtle amount of color. So lovely.

  14. So cute Carol! I love the way you combined all the “borrowed” elements! The orange is such a happy pop on your otherwise neutral table, and the centerpiece is fab-tas-tic! The way you did the napkins is soo clever, love it all!!

  15. What a beautiful table and I love how you gave the step by step instructions. And how nice that you mentioned all the other bloggers as your inspiration. With the amount of time we all spend online, we are exposed to so many creative ideas. It’s fun to incorporate those ideas into our own homes while mixing in our individual styles. Nice job!