Thanksgiving Tablescape with Natural Elements

This is the beginning of the Thanksgiving season. I thought I’d share my Thanksgiving tablescape from last year ~ it’s a  Thanksgiving tablescape with natural elements. I went with a more natural and casual look, which I think I will continue this year. 

For Christmas table settings, I always like formal and elegant. For Thanksgiving, I like a more organic look. Fall’s colors are usually oranges, golds, and reds, the colors of the leaves on fall trees.

Since we don’t have many trees here in North Texas that turn those colors, I think of Thanksgiving as shades of green with woodsy soft browns. That was the vision I had for this Thanksgiving tablescape.

For my Thanksgiving tablescape with natural elements, I chose those greens and browns and added pops of white for highlights. It’s a simple look that will appeal to our small gathering.

Thanksgiving Tablescape with Natural Elements

Inspiration for tablescapes comes from different places and different forms. I love taking one thing and using it in a different way.


This post contains links to products that I love, use, and highly recommend. If you should order any product from this site, I may receive compensation, but you don’t pay a penny more.

The first element that inspired me was a spur-of-the-moment purchase at Bed, Bath and Beyond. By the check~out were stacks of large felt leaves in 4 colors: gold, green, burnt orange, and burgundy. At $1.99 each I bought 3, not really knowing how I would use them. I didn’t realize that they were meant to be placemats until I unpacked them.

felt leaf

Arriving home, I decided that I didn’t want to use them as placemats, but I loved the shape. I just wanted something a little more natural ~ like paper. I had a large roll of brown kraft paper that I thought would strike the right feel and natural element for my table. Using the felt leaves as a pattern, I traced them with a pencil and cut out the shape. I did have to weigh them down to take out the curled edges.

tracing leaf
cutting out leaf

As a natural-looking centerpiece/runner, I doubled up 2 long pieces of faux ivy greenery. Then came my 4 white ceramic turkeys.

Thanksgiving place setting

To add more white to contrast with the green garland, I added 3 white candles.

Thanksgiving place setting

I know Coco Chanel said to look in the mirror after you are dressed and remove one item. I looked at my tablescape and thought that I needed to add 1 item. Something white to give more contrast on the green garland. I still had several extra white mini~pumpkins and those added just the right touch nestled in the greenery ~ like pumpkins in a pumpkin patch.

Thanksgiving place setting

Arranging the Place Settings

I found another inspiration for this Thanksgiving tablescape with natural elements at my neighborhood grocery store. As I walked through the produce area, past the 2 dozen varieties of apples on display, I saw the biggest, prettiest green Granny Smith apples I’ve ever seen. Their bright green color appealed to my desire for natural elements. I bought 6 to decorate each place setting.

With my brown paper leaves as my placemats, I added my Thanksgiving dinner plates, a spur~of~the~moment purchase at Tuesday Morning several years ago. To add more pop of white and contrast with the green plates, I used our everyday china, Manoir by Villeroy & Bosh, as salad plates. It was the perfect backdrop for my beautiful bright green apples.

Thanksgiving place setting

Next came my plaid fall napkins, which I rolled up next to the apples.

Thanksgiving place setting

But they needed a little something to finish them off. I found a bag of acorns with stems in my DIY supplies. Tying 2 together acorns made a great little napkin ring. The acorns provide one more natural element.

Thanksgiving tablescape DIY
Thanksgiving place setting

I added the fall leaf wine glasses I bought last year at the Dollar Tree ~ so I did have a little bit of orange in my natural tablescape.

Thanksgiving place setting

We have 2 beautiful Murano glass champagne flutes that we bought in Venice and they were a great addition for the host and hostess (Sweet Shark and me).

Thanksgiving glasses

I love using wood in my home decor and I had found a bag of about 2 dozen wood discs of varying sizes at Joann (Sorry, I couldn’t find this item online.). Another natural element to add to the table is just as an accessory. To repeat the natural element of leaves, I used 6 different leaf motif stencils from A Maker’s Studio on each wood circle.

tablescape DIY stencils
Leaf-motif on wood

To keep the more casual approach to this year’s Thanksgiving table, I used our everyday silverware rather than our sterling.

Thanksgiving place setting

My Thanksgiving tablescape with natural elements was now complete.

Thanksgiving place setting
Thanksgiving place setting
Thanksgiving place setting

Finally, I brought out a few of my Thanksgiving serving pieces, ready to be used on Thanksgiving day. The large turkey platter serves as a display piece for now.

Thanksgiving place setting

Thanksgiving can be cloudy sometimes, so it’s not unusual to light candles during the day. Even in the daytime, candles add warmth and a sense of coziness.

Thanksgiving place setting

It’s great to have the Thanksgiving tablescape with natural elements set and ready to go over a week ahead of the holiday. We can enjoy it for several days because you know what happens as soon as Thanksgiving dinner is over? It’s a mess!!


Thanks to Paperless Post for asking me to share this invitation with you.

Do you send out invitations to your Thanksgiving meal? With family, a phone call or text may be the norm, but if you are asking friends to join the celebration, a nice invitation makes the day seem more special.

I created a lovely Thanksgiving invitation at my favorite source, Paperless Post. It’s so easy to edit and personalize every invitation and envelope. I picked this one because its natural design matched my tablescape. There were almost 2 dozen Thanksgiving invitations to choose from. I sneaked a peek at Christmas invitations and they are gorgeous.

Paperless Post Invitation

Isn’t this the cutest envelope? I love that you can match the envelope liners to the invitation. It gives your invitation an extra special element and a special delight for your guests.

Paperless Post envelop

You may also like this Thanksgiving tablescape: Simple DIY-Inspired Thanksgiving Tablescape.

Please PIN this Thanksgiving Tablescape so you don’t forget it.

pin for later graphic in blue
Thanksgiving Tablescape
signature with fall leaf


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  1. Carol, your table is gorgeous and really caught my eye with those white pumpkins – love them! Thanks for linking up to Best of the Weekend. You were one of my features this week! I will also be pinning and sharing on Instagram stories this weekend. Thanks again for joining us and have a great weekend!

  2. I too love a natural neutral elements fall tablescape. I found your post on How Sweet the Sound’s Pink Saturday linky party and thought I’d visit. I too shared a post on my neutral fall tablescape at that party.

    Thank you for the inspiration.

  3. What a gorgeous table! I always love natural elements as decor in the fall. That green platter is absolutely lovely. Love the napkin rings and wood slices. Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm. Pinned! xo Kathleen

  4. Carol, you designed a beautiful Thanksgiving table. The DIY Kraft paper placemats are such a great idea! And I love the plaid napkins with the DIY acorn napkin rings. Those wooden disks with the Maker’s Studio stencils also add a nice touch of nature. It’s a pleasure to join you on this blog hop. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Sweet Shark and the rest of your family!

  5. Carol, I love this table – So many creative and DIY ideas. I love your kraft paper placemats and all of the natural elements. I would have fallen for those crisp, green apples, too! I don’t normally send invitations for Thanksgiving but may reconsider – those are GORGEOUS (I especially love the envelope insert). I always enjoy hopping with you!

  6. Carol, I absolutely love this. The green mixed with the white and brown is perfect for this time of year. How creative to use the leaves as patterns for the cute paper placemats, and the wood cutouts are brilliant too! It all looks fantastic against your dining room furniture too.

  7. Carol, kudos to you for so many original and wonderful elements of your tablescape! The paper leaf placemats are genius, and woodcuts adorable. Adore that turkey platter, is it vintage? I love sending invitations. My book club and dinner groups always got a kick out of my invites. Felt like it made the gatherings more of an event. That’s why I go so over-the-top with my theme My Favorite Things party invitations. Have a wonderful holiday!

    1. Debbee, thank you so much for your feedback. Invitations set the mood and get guests excited. Plus it’s so easy to keep track of responses. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

  8. Love pretty green Bordallo Pinheiro turkey pieces Carol, I haven’t seen them before! So pretty with the orange accents from your plaid napkins and stemware. It’s fun to blog hopping with you again so soon!
    P.S. Would you mind updating Monday’s links? Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. Carol, I love your table…so pretty! You did a wonderful job! What a great idea to trace those placemats onto craft paper to make a different placemat. I would have just stood there staring at them wondering what I was going to do with them! 🙂 I am not a craft person at all…LOL

    I hope you and your family have a wonderfully blessed Thanksgiving! Love and hugs!

  10. Everything looks great Carol. Especially in your new dining room! And I always like how you give a little tutorial. Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. Carol, what a pretty tablescape in your lovely dining room. I’m liking your natural elements woodland garland table runner. Using the acorns as napkin rings were perfect and using the plaid napkins set off your plates so well. Great idea to use a pretty green apple as an accent.
    Your photography looks nice. Overhead shot and candlelight especially look nice.
    Blessings to your family for Thanksgiving next week. Enjoyed blog hopping with you.

  12. Carol, your table is charming. The natural elements are perfect. Such a great idea making your leaf placemats. The little wooden disc are quite cute. A lovely diy project. Gotta love those darling acorn napkin rings. The dollar store has some pretty cute things. I also have those leaf glasses. Loving your beautiful Murano glass champagne flutes you bought in Venice.

  13. Carol, the overview of your table is beautiful! The dollar tree glasses give the right pop of orange color to your other natural elements of your tablescape. The natural green of the large apples really pop and I love the use of fresh fruit….especially for this feast which was a way of rewarding the pilgrims with nature’s bounty. These Blog Hops are wonderful as the inspiration is amazing….and as I always say, if a person does not come away with a little sumptin’ sumptin’ from them…then they aren’t looking. LOL
    Kari @ Me and My Captain

  14. Thank you for sharing your step by step inspiration for your table. Kraft paper placemats will make clean up much easier and I will definitely borrow that idea from you. It opens a world of possibilities. Have a fantastic holiday and I look forward to hopping with you again.

  15. Carol, I love your natural tablescape full of ideas that can easily be incorporated. Using brown craft paper and cutting it in the leaf shape makes a very organic looking placemat. The addition of the acorns on your napkin are a wonderful idea. The wooden disks are a perfect finishing touch. It is always a pleasure to blog hop with you. Happy Thanksgiving!

  16. I love all the little details on your beautiful table. Your acorn napkin rings are adorable! I like the leaf placemats and the added touch of the wood disks – those little thing are what makes guests feel special. I have never seen the Paperless Post – I will have to check that out! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. It is always a pleasure hopping with you.

    1. Ann, sometimes the best ideas are the random acts of DIY, something that didn’t cost anything and turned out great. Paperless Post has been my to~go invitation source for several years. I love their designs and easy of editing.

  17. Aren’t you clever to trace the leaves onto brown paper! I love the way they turned out, and the acorn napkin rings are adorable. Your soft color palette with the punch of bright green Granny Smith apples and the checked napkins is really different and delightful. Happy Thanksgiving Carol!

    1. Jenna, the idea for using the real placemats to trace the paper ones was a random act of DIY. Using the green apples was also a spur of the moment decision. Now I’m going to have to use them to make an apple pie!

  18. Carol, a very nice description of how you put your cozy and colorful table together. I like the bright green with little pops orange when I see the overview of your tablescape. I’m checking out the Paperless Post for Christmas!

  19. Such a lovely table you have styled for Thanksgiving. I love how you took the placemats and totally changed that idea with the brown kraft paper eaves. Those are the perfect base for your more natural table. I think my favorite is the pop of green with those apples set on each plate. Just lovely! May you have a joyful Thanksgiving gathering with those you love.

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