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11 Thanksgiving Place Setting Ideas for Your Holiday Table

Do you like to plan way ahead for Thanksgiving entertaining? If you love to host turkey day, but want to avoid the stress and frazzle, you’ll love this post. We are all about sharing Thanksgiving place-setting ideas for your holiday table.

I’m guessing that you have traditions and dishes for your Thanksgiving place setting ideas, but it’s always fun to change it up a bit.

Many of us have inherited or collected tabletop “ingredients” that we use year after year. Whether because of sentimental reasons (grandma’s hand-embroidered tablecloth or mom’s sterling silver) or because we found the perfect Thanksgiving dishes at an estate sale, we love using things that evoke memories of previous Thanksgiving meals.

Let’s be honest, we can use grandma’s hand-embroidered tablecloth and Aunt Sally’s silverware and the estate sale dishes, and still find ways to spiff up our Thanksgiving tablescape. So with the focus just on the individual place setting, let me demonstrate some Thanksgiving place setting ideas for your holiday table.

It’s the beginning of the month which means it’s time to Celebrate the Holiday. Some very creative ladies are joining me as we celebrate Thanksgiving. It may be 48 days away, but as our biggest feast and gathering day of the year, it takes a lot of time and planning.

Thanksgiving idea with tablescapes, wreaths, recipe and craft

I know that you will enjoy all the wonderful offerings from our group. If you are joining me from sweet Kim of Perfecting Places, then welcome to my ideas for a variety of Thanksgiving place settings. You’ll love Kim’s idea for a beautiful Thanksgiving wreath.

Thanksgiving Place Setting Ideas for Your Table

A few years ago, my Thanksgiving table and my place settings were inspired by this photo from Lindsey Brunk. She described it as simple and elegant and that is a perfect description.

Although this place setting was posted in 2014 (I didn’t even know what a blog was in 2014!), it has a modern and timeless look.

Thanksgiving place setting from Lindsey Brunk

I was not familiar with Lindsey, but she is a wedding and event planner. I always read new (to me) bloggers’ ABOUT pages and discovered that Lindsey lives in Dallas! So we are practically neighbors!

Elements in my Place Setting Inspiration

Lindsey’s place setting is very simple, I would even call it minimalist. There are just a few ingredients.

  • silverware
  • napkin
  • greenery in muted shades of green
  • long stem
  • paper with one word in script

You’ll also notice that Lindsey’s color scheme has a dark background and is very neutral in tone.

Fortunately, I had everything I needed to be inspired.

Inspired Place Settings

It looks like Lindsey used a dark tablecloth, but I decided to use a neutral placemat in a woven texture. We use these placemats often because they are so easy to clean up for everyday dining.

I came up with 9 variations of a basic Thanksgiving place setting. The purpose of this post isn’t to have you copy the Thanksgiving place settings unless you want to.

  • First, my intent is to give you an idea for your own place-setting.
  • Second, I hope you can see how many variations you can make from one idea.

Place Setting #1

So let’s start with a close version. A cream linen napkin, a “gather leaf tag” (from our DIY Challenge earlier in October) and a few pieces of faux wheat. I bet there are a thousand pieces in the sheave that I took apart a few years ago. The gather leaf tag is actually a place card. If you like to use place cards as much as I do, here are more place card ideas.

I used our sterling silver – and accidentally mixed up two patterns: my mom’s Francis I and my mother-in-law’s Buttercup.

fall place setting with gather sign and wheat

Place Setting #2

Then I switched to the wood napkin ring that I also made for last month’s DIY Challenge and rearranged the placement of the wheat, silverware and napkin.

fall place setting with gather napkin ring and wheat

Place Setting #3

Last week as I was shopping for Halloween cards at Target, I walked by the Dollar Spot (always) and picked up this pack of raffia for $3.00. It should last for quite a while, don’t you think? I also bought one in black.

package of raffia

So next, I used the raffia and the “gather” leaf to make a different napkin ring and moved the wheat to the top of the placemat.

fall place setting with gather sign and wheat

Place Setting #4

Some sage and lavender from our backyard provided some greenery of soft tones like Lindsey used. I added a wood slice (freebie from Haven) and one of our mini-pumpkins. No napkin ring this time.

fall place setting with gather sign, pumpkin and herbs

Place Setting #5

Years ago on a whim, I bought a set of green dishes for Thanksgiving. I use them every year. I wanted to try this soft green color in the place setting. A nice place for the wood slice and pumpkin. The “grateful” is a stencil called Grace Gather Grateful from A Makers’ Studio that I made in September for another project, but it was too big so I’ve been saving it. I used Gel Art Ink in Can’t Never Could (black).

fall place setting with grateful sign and pumpkin on green plate

I also made a “gather” sign. This is like hand-lettering already done for you.

fall place setting with gather sign and pumpkin on green plate

Place Setting #6

Mix it up: a trio of sage leaves and the napkin and silverware on the salad plate.

fall place setting with grateful sign and herbs

Place Setting #7

Next, I tied the lavender and sage with some of the raffia and brought back the “gather” place card that I hand lettered.

fall place setting with gather sign and herbs

Place Setting #8

I got this idea from a restaurant in Boston: we actually had a wine glass on its side. These are Dollar Tree glasses. I made the “GRATEFUL” banner using the Wreath Trio Grateful stencil and cream-colored burlap ribbon to go on a fall wreath last year. I used Metallic Gold ChalkArt which I thought turned out beautifully.

fall place setting with grateful sign and wine glass

Let’s set that glass upside down.

fall place setting with grateful sign and wine glass

Plate Setting #9

The last of the 3 signs I made last month is “grace” lying on a green napkin. Changing out the color of napkins can change the whole look of a place setting. As you can see, I bent the watercolor paper a bit.

fall place setting with green napkin

This plaid fall napkin is also a seasonal favorite.

fall place setting with plaid napkin

Place Setting #10

For another variation, I switched out the neutral woven placemat for our other everyday placemats this time of year. This plaid can be used with several different colored napkins – I have cream, green, rust, burnt orange, and cranberry. Back came the wood leaf napkin ring.

fall place setting with gather napkin ring on plaid place mat

Place Setting #11

For my last fall place setting, I added both the dinner and salad plates of our Thanksgiving dishes.

fall place setting with gather napkin ring on green plate

Now I have several ideas all ready to go for tables this fall. You can see how I used these ideas in a complete Thanksgiving tablescape.

Which one is your favorite? Do you ever just play around with different styles? This was like rearranging furniture or accessories to see which works best – on a small scale. Be sure to PIN these ideas.

You’re one click away from visiting Renae of Peacock Ridge Farm and getting inspired by her beautiful Thanksgiving tablescape. I know all my blogger friends would appreciate it if you PIN their Thanksgiving ideas.

Want more Thanksgiving table-setting ideas? Check out my Pinterest Board Thanksgiving Tablescape.

pin for later graphic in blue
Thanksgiving place settings graphic
signature with fall leaf
celebrating Thanksgiving graphic

simple Thanksgiving place setting with cream-colored pumpkin, wood slice, and herbs on brown placemat
Thanksgiving tablescape in rich fall colors
Thanksgiving tablescape with oranges and whites

Peacock Ridge Farm – Thanksgiving Tablescape for a Feast

Midwest Life and Style – Thanksgiving Table on a Budget

Thanksgiving table for kids with pumpkins and crayons

Hen and Horse Design – Thanksgiving Holiday Hash

Thanksgiving cornucopia with pumpkins
Thanksgiving table with creams and candlebra

WM Design House – Thanksgiving Cornucopia

Masterpieces of My Life – Guide to the Thanksgiving Table

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24 Comments

  1. Carol, thank you for inviting me to join your hop today. You’ve shared so many lovely ideas today for a Thanksgiving table! I love each one of them. So full of inspiration.

  2. Carol, so many pretty ideas for Thanksgiving. I love all of the different name cards. Thanks for allowing me to join you today.

  3. I love your unique and beautiful place setting ideas, Carol. It makes me excited to host Thanksgiving. I’m so glad I was able to join you all this month!

    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  4. This is such a great post Carol. Just simple tweaks and you can get a different feel or look. I really can’t pick a favorite but I do love the touches of wheat and greenery. Organics always speak to me. Thank you so much for organizing this fun hop. Happy to share! XO- MaryJo

  5. Carol, I love all of your pretty Thanksgiving place setting ideas! Your green plates are gorgeous! I would use them every year, too! Thanks so much for organizing our blog hop! I love all of the creative ideas!

  6. What lovely place settings! I love the idea of setting a beautiful table for Thanksgiving, but I usually get too busy with food preparation to do very much. I’m glad you included some very doable ideas!

    Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I’m featuring you this week!

    1. Thank you so much. One thing you can do early – like a few days ahead is set your table. It’s done and makes the house look ready for entertaining. Thank you so much for the feature. Can’t wait. Love your party.

  7. Lovely table setting ideas. I love them all and I am feeling inspired to do something special this year! Thank you for the wonderful ideas.
    Happy Halloween,
    Kippi

  8. Such pretty place settings, Carol!
    They’re all lovely, but I think my favorite is the one with the raffia tied around the napkin and the wheat straw at the top. I love the simplicity of it. I like your silver flatware too. I think the mismatched look is perfect. I might not have even noticed if you hadn’t said something. Thanks for sharing at Homestyle Gathering!
    >>> Kim

  9. Carol, I think I like them all but I really love the orange big plaid placemat!! Of course those fall colors are speaking to me right now. 😉 I didn’t notice the mixed flatware until you mentioned it but actually they all look beautiful together. I often do that anyway when I am setting our table because I like the eclectic look. 🙂

    Very pretty all! Thank you for sharing so many different ways to decorate our tables.
    Fall hugs, my friend,
    Barb 🙂

  10. Hi Carol! What lovely place settings! I love playing around with my place settings, too. Sometimes you don’t know which style you’ll like until you see it, right? I love your stencil designs and enjoy using stencils for my various craft projects as well.

  11. I really like the pumpkin on the woodslice… any of those are my fave! So happy to be hopping with you, and love that you shared a plethora of ideas for a Thanksgiving place setting! Pinned!

  12. Carol I just love all the ideas you gave us here today. Each one I just love. Such a great blog full of inspiration. Thanks!

  13. You came up with so many great ideas, Carol. I like them all and can’t honestly pick a favorite. I love your sterling silver flatware and wouldn’t have noticed that you used two patterns if you hadn’t pointed it out. It’s interesting that the Boston restaurant set the table with the wine glasses down. I like that idea and perhaps we’ll see it catching on all over the country.

  14. Each of your place settings is stunning, I love them all and so much inspiration. All the additional printables are fabulous ideas to use for future settings too.

  15. Carol,

    You have offered so much inspiration. I love them all. I go back and forth between the leaf and the banner.

    You always inspire. So happy I found your blog.

    Cindy