Centerpieces for a kids' table shouldn't be fussy; they'll need to withstand possible spills and rough-housing, so opt for heavy vessels like ironstone pitchers and small mixing bowls. Fill them with mums, pumpkins, acorn squash or gourds and embellish further with raffia, ribbons and feathers.
Although the tradition of the cornucopia is ancient, its meaning is still relevant today. Because it symbolizes the bounty of life, it can help remind us of the bounty and blessings we've received throughout the year. As a modern-day take on the horn of plenty, ask guests around the Thanksgiving table to write down something they're thankful for and tuck the notes into a cornucopia centerpiece. Before enjoying dinner, read the notes aloud to give thanks.
A classic wooden dough bowl is just begging to be filled and put on display. If you struggle with centerpieces, using a stunning dough bowl will make things easy. Simply fill it with seasonal pumpkins, squash, pinecones, berries, branches, fruit and flowers.
Sometimes centerpieces can block conversations when they are too tall and invasive on a table. Sit around the table to make sure the decor feels comfortable and elegant, but won't detract from the purpose of a friends-and-family gathering.
Think of the colors used in the dough bowl as a "jumping off" place for the color scheme of the rest of the room. There's no need to do a full makeover, but add other elements that reinforce that color scheme, then temporarily remove items that detract from it. The overall look created will be worth the extra effort
Take your Thanksgiving tablescape to the next level by flanking a dough bowl with pillar candles on plates, pedestals or candle stands. Wrap candles in a bit of twine or ribbon to add texture. Create a loose candle ring with elements from the dough bowl to tie the two decorative elements together.
These sweet little bouquets were made by tying dried wheat sprigs and solidago together with simple twine. Use hearty fresh foliage that will look nice out of water for hours, so they don't wilt on the table. When the bouquets are complete, attach tags with the guest's name, a verse, poem, or favorite saying and use them as party favors.
Flank a Thanksgiving dough bowl with pillar candles on plates, pedestals or candle stands. Wrap candles in twine or ribbon, and create a loose candle ring with elements from the dough bowl to tie the two decorative elements together.
Don't limit your decorating to the dining table. Create small, casual bouquets to display on a buffet or hutch. Repeating the natural elements from the dough bowl will add a greater impact to the entire space. Fill the bouquets with simple flowers, dried bittersweet branches, wheat sprigs and even fruit or mini pumpkins on skewers.
For an extra touch, add linens and flatware that tie into the colors and textures of the dough bowl centerpiece. Inexpensive green napkins pop against the warm wood table and serve to highlight the bright green used in the flowers and apples.
If you don't have an antique wooden dough bowl at your disposal, many reproductions can be found at chain home decor stores. This idea would also work with a metal or wood trough, a crate or even a shallow basket. Just find something with the right shape and scale for your table.
Instead of going to the pumpkin patch, head to the grocery store and see what produce inspires you. Small acorn and pattypan squash have almost the same shape as pumpkins, making them appropriate for an arrangement like this. Keep your options open. Figs, mini apples and pears, grapes and artichokes can all be used for decoration (and eaten later!).
A casual tablescape designed by Sande Beck for the Thanksgiving holiday uses brown basketweave chargers and napkin rings, green plates, a melamine botanical print dinner plate, green candleholders and a turkey decorative piece. It can be used for breakfast or serve as the kids' table.
Kids will love helping to assemble this large sailing ship centerpiece, which is reminiscent of the vessels that brought colonists to the new world. It's a cinch to make and will bring a boatload of fun to any Thanksgiving table.