Elegant Thanksgiving Centerpieces – Tips for making great seasonal centerpieces

Thanksgiving hollowed out pumpkin with flowers

Once you’ve invited your guests to join you for Thanksgiving and planned out the menu, it’s time to think about decorating the table. There can be a lot going on at the Thanksgiving table between the conversation and all the delicious food. Adding in an elegant centerpiece is the cherry on top of your cooking and baking efforts. Check out these creative ideas for Thanksgiving centerpieces to showcase your bountiful feast.

Thanksgiving Centerpieces

Thanksgiving hollowed out pumpkin with flowers
photo courtesy of everythingfabulous.com


A cornucopia is one of the most classic Thanksgiving centerpieces. What says Thanksgiving better than the horn of plenty on your table? Visit your local craft store to purchase a cornucopia basket. Fill it with seasonal small and medium sized gourds, dried leaves and flowers. You can throw in a few fresh pieces of fruit to add color and texture. If you’d prefer to use the cornucopia as a serving dish, set on a cloth napkin and fill with rolls. Add in small oranges adorned with whole cloves.


Were your kids sad to throw out their Halloween pumpkins? Purchase a few small pumpkins and hollow them out. Fill them with dried flowers and leaves. Line the table with them and add in some votives or tealights. Be sure to use a candle with light or no scent so you don’t overpower your food! You can also hollow out a large pumpkin and fill it with a bouquet of fresh flowers in bright fall colors.

Handpainted Pumpkins

Another fun and decorative use for pumpkins is to paint them. This is a good one for kids to help create. Small hands are the perfect template for handprint turkey. Paint your child’s hand and stamp onto the pumpkin for the body of the turkey. Use a fine tip paint brush to create the face and other details. Use your imagination! Decorate the pumpkins with other Thanksgiving and Fall inspired motifs of leaves or Pilgrim hats etc.




Use a few clear vases of varying size and shape (cylinder shape works best). Fill vases with raw cranberries. Depending on how big and how many vases you use, you may need several bags of cranberries. Add water (not too much, you want the cranberries to stay close together, not float.) You can also just fill small vases or votive holders with a bed of cranberries and set votives or tealights on top. Add in tapers in simple gold or silver candle holders or use tealights to accompany the vases along your table.

Fruit Basket

Filling a couple of beautiful basket with colorful fruit creates nice, simple, inexpensive and multi-functional Thanksgiving centerpieces. Pears, bananas, grapes and apples bunched together will look lovely on the table. Add a few clusters of fresh leaves for a nice contrast.

Place Cards

Use mini pumpkins as place cards. Use paint or a fine tipped permanent marker and write each guest’s name on them to set in front of their plate.

Trace your favorite leaf from your yard onto construction paper (fall colors or silver, gold etc). Write each guest’s name on the leaves. Gather up small pine cones or purchase from craft store. Hot glue leaves to the pine cones and place in front of each plate.

Kids’ Table

Don’t forget kids’ tables will need Thanksgiving centerpieces too! These centerpieces can be much more fun and less sophisticated. Avoid the use of candles or anything that poses a choking hazard if you’ll have any very young kids at the table. A stuffed turkey, a vase full of leaves or painted pumpkins would be perfect picks. The table in the photo below shows glass bottles filled with decorative rocks and letters that spell out “Give thanks,” which would be a hit at any Thanksgiving feast.

Give Thanks centerpiece for kids' table
photo courtesy of homeconfetti.blogspot.com

Other Thanksgiving Decoration Ideas

Your Thanksgiving centerpieces will likely be the highlight of your decor, and the rest of your decorations can be kept simple. However, adding a few other personal touches to any room in your home where your guests might gather will extend the warm, welcoming vibe past your table. Here are a few other decoration ideas:

  • If you have a fireplace, line the mantle with fresh leaves, candles and small pumpkins, or wrap strings of lights around some branches. Rather than lighting a fire, sticking a variety of large candles in the fireplace and lighting them creates a soft, intimate look.
  • Add another centerpiece or a basket of pine cones to your coffee table or any other table where guests may gather.
  • Hang a leafy wreath on your front door.
  • Hand a “Give Thanks” sign on the door or on the wall.

It doesn’t take much to turn your home into a beautifully decorated masterpiece. Between the fabulous fall colors and the smells of amazing food wafting through your home, your guests are sure to have a memorable holiday.

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