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Decorating for your Thanksgiving gathering is just part of the fun. Whether you are going all out with adorned porches, mantles, and even a Thanksgiving tree involved, or you want simply a tasteful centerpiece for your dining table, there are tons of fun ways to decorate with little to no cost.

By using thrifted items, upcycled odds and ends from your home, or stuff foraged from nature, you will be able to create a festive, cozy, and inviting space to host your Thanksgiving celebration this year.

1. Pumpkin Vase Centerpiece

Source: Bloom & Wild/YouTube

Carving spooky faces in pumpkins is for Halloween, but turning a pumpkin into a gorgeous centerpiece for a dining table can be saved for Thanksgiving.

Again, as with decorating with real pumpkins for Halloween, we want to try to cut down on food wastage, so any pumpkin flesh that is dug out should be saved and made into a delicious autumnal dish.

For this craft, you are going to be turning a pumpkin into a vase. First of all, you need to carefully cut out the top of your pumpkin. Unlike with a jack-o’-lantern, you want to be able to fit a whole bunch of foliage in the opening, so you can make it a little wider.

Scoop out the innards and put them aside for later. Then, you need to find a container that will fit well inside the pumpkin to act as a water receptacle if you are using fresh flowers. This doesn’t need to be anything fancy, just an old vegan yogurt container or the bottom of a plastic bottle will do. Just make sure that it fits nicely inside without protruding out of the top.

Next, is up to you. You can fill your ‘vase’ with fall-colored fresh flowers and foliage or go for a more rustic look with branches, twigs, and berries.

2. Simple Scattering of Pinecones, Acorns, and Fall Leaves

This is a really simple and essentially free way to customize your dining table this Thanksgiving. It also involved heading out into the woods, or even just your backyard, to forage!

Collect a bunch of pinecones, acorns, and/or magnolia pods and remove any debris. Now, you can simply scatter them on your table, line them up on shelves or mantle pieces, or display them in a big autumnal-colored, decorative bowl or large glass jar.

There are also some stunning leaves on the ground this time of year. Maple leaves are especially vibrant with their scarlet and gold.

The wonderful thing about this style of decorating is that you can just toss all the natural materials back where you found them after the holiday is over.

3. Place Name Holders

thanksgiving table miniature rosemary wreath


If you want your guests to sit in a certain spot at the table, then you are going to have to direct them. Rather than just scribbling their name on a bit of folded card, things can get pretty inventive here.

  • Why not make tiny little rosemary wreaths with little tags strung onto them? This is as simple as clipping a length of fresh rosemary and securing it into a hoop with some natural twine. Cut out little tags from brown paper or cards and attach them to the wreaths with your guests’ names written on them.
  • Another super cute idea is to make a bunch of tiny pumpkin, apple, or pecan pies and set them on individual plates. Write your guests’ names onto small pieces of brown paper and stick them to lollypop or cocktail sticks. Then shove the name tag into the pie. Your guests will be super excited to get their dessert first!
  • Take a wooden crocodile-style clothes peg and simply clip your guest’s name tag in the peg. You can clip some fall leaves, too, to give it a more festive flair.

4. A Gratitude Jar

Source: Sophie and Beth’s World/YouTube

Getting an empty mason jar or another decorative glass jar to act as a ‘Gratitude Jar’ might be a really fun addition to your Thanksgiving dinner table or entryway table. You can decorate the jar with fall-colored ribbon or leaves and label it “Gratitude Jar’, or ‘Things I am Thankful For…’.

Supply your guests with a slip of paper and a writing tool, and ask them to jot down what they are thankful for. You can read them all out at the end of dinner or turn them into a game by trying to guess whose paper is whose.

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