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thanksgiving table decor

The Perfect Last Minute Thanksgiving Table Decor

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is coming up so soon! We go all out for Thanksgiving. The festivities start early in the morning and continue late into the night. I always get the job of selecting the perfect Thanksgiving table decor, and I try to keep it as DIY as possible.

My family will say it’s because I create a beautiful ambience for the amazing turkey feast, but we all know it’s really because no one wants me near the kitchen risking our guests leaving dinner with salmonella poisoning! Sometimes Alison will throw me a bone and ask me to the peel the potatoes. I proudly accept, but who really wants to peel the potatoes?!

Tips for Creating a Beautiful Thanksgiving Tablescape at the Last Minute

We all have dreams of the perfect Pinterest Thanksgiving decor DIY, but then reality sets in. Work, kids, class projects, prepping, and cooking take way more time than we anticipate. So most of us end up running out the night before and grabbing some flowers to put on the table. But there is plenty you can do last minute utilizing things already in your house and a quick trip to the grocery store to pull off a beautiful and festive table.

I actually do my best work last minute!

Picture it, two little freckles studying for 6th grade mid-terms. Alison with her laminated, color coded schedule mapping out every half hour with the subject she would study, what chapters she would review, and how much time she would dedicate to each subject. And then me, proceeding to the television or the kitchen for a snack.

I mean, we were only twelve years old!

The night before an exam, Alison would go to bed at 8:00pm to get a good night’s sleep. In the meantime, I would be on the floor surrounded by books and papers intensely absorbing material.

For all those parents who have children who procrastinate, Alison and I always got the same score on every exam. It is a true testament to the fact that there are different roads to success.

Years later, absolutely nothing has changed. I’m an expert at doing all things last minute while Alison is always prepared days in advance. But that means I have the best tips for decorating your Thanksgiving tablescape quickly and cost-effectively.

1. Grocery Store Finds as DIY Thanksgiving Table Decor

decorate your thanksgiving table

There are so many amazing things in the grocery store that you can use as DIY Thanksgiving table decor. Most of us end up having to run to the store last minute to grab something anyway, so take the opportunity to make your tablescape beautiful at the same time.

Nothing screams “Thanksgiving!” like pumpkins. Use pumpkins, gourds, squash, nuts, or pears to spruce up your tablescape.

Your grocery store may also have candles. Tea lights are the quickest way to create ambiance. If you have a long, rectangular table, you may want to do a series of items as your centerpiece with one large item in the middle and smaller items on the sides.

2. Gather Items You Already Have

Get creative! Use things that already exist in your home. Most of us have a tray on our coffee table or a cheese platter that can absolutely be used for a centerpiece. If you have a round table, a tray is a great option, but you can also do a smaller group of items. Always work in odd numbers, so do a grouping of 3 or 5 items.

3. Use Fresh Fall Flowers and Foliage

Living in Florida, this tip is probably a little bit more difficult, but my mom always uses fall flowers and foliage from outside in her arrangements. Gorgeous fall leaves, bare branches, and pinecones serve as great statement pieces, not to mention as easy and free DIY Thanksgiving table decor!

4. Don’t Forget the Kids’ Table

Kids like fun Thanksgiving decor DIYs, too!

This fun candy turkey is perfect for little hands to make or for a to-go treat after your day of festivities ends. We found the tutorial on Pinterest!

Most of us also have sheets of drawing paper in the house. I love the idea of covering the kid’s table with drawing paper. It is a quick, easy, and creative way to make their table fun. You can add some mason jars filled with crayons in the middle. The kids will have a blast coloring, and you will get a chance to enjoy your meal and maybe a glass of wine!

Final Thoughts on DIY Thanksgiving Decor Ideas

I hope these tips will help you celebrate Thanksgiving with the perfect table decor. Have an amazing Thanksgiving! And remember, some of the best things happen last minute!

~Dr. Katie

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