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Easy Thanksgiving Table Centerpieces, with Photos

Holiday ideas - Easy Thanksgiving centerpieces

Got a big Thanksgiving dinner planned? How about some holiday ideas? You’ve got your menu made, your grocery list purchased, and your invitations all taken care of. What about an attractive centerpiece for the table? A festive centerpiece adds a lot of interest to your table and really helps to get your guests into the holiday spirit.

Below are some Thanksgiving ideas that are easy, quick, and inexpensive. Most of these can be purchased at a dollar store, a grocery store, or can be obtained for free! Just use your imagination and have fun.


The cornucopia is synonymous with Thanksgiving, and you can find a wicker one for $1. Just fill it with plastic fruits, mini, gourds, and nuts. You can find the miniature plastic gourds at the dollar store, also, for just a buck.



Fruit bowls


Use one of your attractive bowls or crocks and fill it with real or plastic fruits. Use all apples, all pears, or a mixture of different types of fruit. If you’re using a deep crock, you might want to stuff the bottom with crumpled newspapers and just use the fruits on top. This will save money because you won’t be using as much fruit.


Harvest basket

 Purchase an inexpensive basket and fill it with a mixture of fall fruits, veggies, and gourds. Use red and green apples, golden pears, red grapes, orange gourds, and dark green acorn squash. Fill in gaps with nuts. Again, you might want to stuff the bottom with newspaper.



Thanksgiving flowers like mums seem to scream autumn! Use a potted mum as a centerpiece, or make your own arrangement from cheap silk flowers. Real chrysanthemums can be found in yellows, golds, rusts, purples, whites, cream, oranges, and wine.


Natural arrangements

 Bring the great outdoors inside to adorn your Thanksgiving table. Cut a few small limbs with colorful leaves, sections of cattails, or pinecones and place them in attractive containers. You could even cut dried, twisted limbs and paint them orange, red, or gold. Pinecones can also be spray painted an accent color.

Wild cattails.

Wild cattails.

Pinecones can be spray painted.

Pinecones can be spray painted.


 If you know of a wheat field nearby, cut a few shocks with mature heads and tie them together with twine. Cover the twine with a Thanksgiving ribbon, and add a bow. If you use enough stalks, the shock will be wide enough at the base to stand on its own. Wheat can usually be purchased at places like Michael’s, too. Instead of making a shock, you might want to place some stalks of wheat in a tall, narrow container.

Sun-ripened wheat.

Sun-ripened wheat.


 You can usually find Indian and pilgrim figurines, along with small turkeys, at the dollar store. They’re usually made of glass, wood, resin, or ceramic. Some are very realistic and others are whimsical. I like to use couples of the pilgrims and Indians and a single small turkey.

Kids love the whimsical Thanksgiving figurines!

Kids love the whimsical Thanksgiving figurines!


 Candles are always in good taste as a centerpiece, especially if your Thanksgiving dinner is at night or during the late evening. Chose a large pillar candle or a grouping of smaller candles in different heights. Use a monochromatic scheme, like different shades or orange, or a wider palette with yellow, orange, wine, and gold. Scented candles are great, but they might interfere with the natural aromas of your Thanksgiving feast.

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Food - Thanksgiving recipes

Many Thanksgiving recipes can be made attrative enough to be decorative. If you have an especially beautiful dessert, you might want to place it on a stand and use it as a centerpiece. You can also hollow out a large squash or gourd or a pumpkin and use it to serve gravy or soup. It can also function as a unique centerpiece.


Fill-ins and accents


I buy a lot of silk mums and fake fall leaves from the dollar store to use as fillers. Just pull the flower heads off from the stems. The flowers are great for filling in gaps in baskets of fruit and for placing around desserts.  The colorful leaves also make good fillers and look nice when placed under other arrangements. Another good accent is mini pumpkins. These can be set randomly around the table, on the mantel, and on the sideboard.


White and orange mini pumpkins.

White and orange mini pumpkins.

Decorative autumn leaves.

Decorative autumn leaves.

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Sarah Carlsley from Minnesota on October 08, 2013:

Awesome ideas. I'm always looking for cheap ways to make our home festive for the seasons.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on November 17, 2009:

I'll check it out, Nikki!

nikki1 on November 17, 2009:

ur welcome. Check out my Thanksgiving hub filled with amazon merchandise. Hope u like'm.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on November 16, 2009:

Thanks, Nikki!

nikki1 on November 16, 2009:

WOw, great hub. I love it. Thanx.

Check out my christmas hubs. Hope u like'm.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on November 16, 2009:

I love the harvest basket, too! Thaks for stopping by!

Tom @ basketguru on November 16, 2009:

Next to the turkey the Cornucopia Decoration for Thanksgiving is the second most admired piece on the table. My best one is the harvest basket.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on November 15, 2009:

Thanks for reading and commenting, ianbrad!

ianbrad55 on November 15, 2009:

great ideas on your hub

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on November 15, 2009:

Thanks, Sadie. I agree! I use at least one every year.

sadiejo1497 on November 15, 2009:

i think that a harvest basket is a awesome idea because it brings out falls holidays it is again an awesome idea

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on November 02, 2009:

Yeah, I think most men would agree!

Place Kick from North Carolina on November 02, 2009:

The centerpiece for the table on thanksgiving that I like best is the biggest turkey that my wife can find cooked golden brown. :)

Cheri Schultz from Midwest on November 01, 2009:

Thank you for these wonderful ideas!! Great Hub

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