How to Set a Lovely Thanksgiving Table

Thanksgiving is so close I can almost smell the stuffing and taste mom’s pumpkin pie (my favorite)! We’re close, yes, but there’s still time to gather a few things to set a lovely Thanksgiving table for your guests.

 {Glitter + gourd = striking place card holder for your Thanksgiving table! From  mypapercrush.com }

{Glitter + gourd = striking place card holder for your Thanksgiving table! From mypapercrush.com}

First, determine your look, vibe or style. Are you casual, using mix-matched plates and creating a layered look? Or, do you bring out your fine china and set a more formal table? Or, like me, are you somewhere in the middle?

 {Black adds drama to a Thanksgiving table setting. From  Southern Living .}

{Black adds drama to a Thanksgiving table setting. From Southern Living.}

Once you know the feeling you want to create you can begin assessing what you have to create that look. Quantity is key, so make sure your plates are all in good shape and determine if you need to make any new purchases.

 {A picture is worth a thousand words and is a great keepsake. A great Thanksgiving place holder. From  Southern Living .}

{A picture is worth a thousand words and is a great keepsake. A great Thanksgiving place holder. From Southern Living.}

For a more complete look, set a full display of silverware, plates and glass ware — taking your guests through the dessert course. Thanksgiving is the perfect day to use all of your silver or serving pieces. This photo shows the full setting and this article offers tips on proper table etiquette. Follow as you like — it takes a lot of table space to make it all fit!

 {Full & proper table setting dislpay, From:  I Heart Etiquette .}

{Full & proper table setting dislpay, From: I Heart Etiquette.}

A fun way to interject your personality and get your kids involved in the table setting is to let them help with the place cards. This can be as simple as writing names on leaves you collect outside that morning (a metallic marker works well on leaves) and placing them on each plate. You can also cut a slit in the stem of a gourd and place a name card inside at each seat.

 {Leaf place card.}

{Leaf place card.}

If you are going to use a table cloth that also sets the mood for the table. Using different fabrics on your table and napkins can create a more modern vibe. Matching is more formal. The key to matching is using similar color saturations. Soft gold works well with soft greens and oranges versus soft gold with bold, bright green. Make sense? You can use a rainbow of colors if you keep that in mind.

 {Easy place card holder. Use papers that compliment your linens.}

{Easy place card holder. Use papers that compliment your linens.}

FAVORITE IDEA – for several years I’ve been using brown craft paper on top of my table linens. I use it as a long runner down the table or as individual runners across the table (running under two plates). I cut out pretty edges and let my girls color on the paper to “decorate” the table. It’s a nice contrast to my white china and fancy wine glasses, because we’re fancy, but not that fancy!

Make sure your table reflects who you are and it will be right for you. What is your favorite holiday dish? I have a hard time picking between the stuffing and pumpkin pie myself!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

April Pardoe