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Thanksgiving Centerpiece With A Vintage Crate

By Rachel

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Last Updated on November 19, 2023 by Rachel Granholm

Adorn your harvest table by creating a Thanksgiving centerpiece with a vintage crate!

Thanksgiving is upon us and with that comes a plethora of to-do lists, am I right?! To help ease you into setting the Thanksgiving table, I’m sharing an easy and thrifty centerpiece idea. The best part about this decor piece is that you can use items that you already have around your house to make it. One less trip to the store during this busy season is a win in my book! Come along as I share, step by step, how to create a Thanksgiving centerpiece with a vintage crate.

Before we dive in, I just wanted to take a minute to say, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. It doesn’t matter if you have been here for one day, one month or one year, I am so, so grateful for you. Without you, there wouldn’t be The Antiqued Journey.

Because you show up week after week and support my little blog, I can live my dream of writing and creating content. So, as we inch ever closer to this day of giving thanks, I’m thankful for you.

A Thrifty Backstory

I was at the thrift store a few weeks ago and wasn’t finding much until I just happened to look up. There, sitting right above my head, was this wooden crate. I plucked it down from the shelf and examined it. Weathered, with old nails and green graphics?! Yes, please!!

a vintage and thrifted wooden crate with green graphics

These crates, which are popular vintage decor items, are hard to come by and can fetch a hefty sum when found. So, I held my breath as a turned it over to find the price. $2.99!! I couldn’t believe it. Holding in my excitement as I quickly walked to the register, there was a plethora of ideas racing through my head as to what I could do with this old crate.

The thrifted crate is what jumpstarted my Thanksgiving centerpiece idea and I ran with it. This approach will bring a unique and rustic charm to any table. The wood of the crate will provide warmth while its natural texture adds depth to the display.

As always, this post is meant to be a guide. Feel free to tweak it to fit your needs as well as swap decor for items that work well for you. Let’s get into it!

Items Used for a Thanksgiving Centerpiece with a Vintage Crate

Thanksgiving Centerpiece with a Vintage Crate

Choose a Table Linen.

To start, I placed an embroidered cream colored tablecloth over my table. It’s a nice neutral that won’t interfere with the centerpiece itself.

Then, I placed the empty crate in the center of my table.

an empty wooden crate for a centerpiece

Add Height Inside the Crate.

This crate is pretty deep. So that the decor could be easily seen, I knew I needed to add something inside of the crate to raise the base height up. I achieved this by placing a stack of small plates on the bottom of the crate.

Other items you could use to do this include a large bowl turned upside down, a tray, or books.

a plate stack used for height in a wooden crate

Place a Scarf Over the Base.

To cover the base, I chose to use a scarf in an olive green color. I originally thought about using a white lace linen but when I was digging through my scarves, I spotted this one. It’s the exact same color as the graphics on the crate and knew it was meant to be!

Side Note: I’m pretty sure I use scarves for decor purposes more than I actually wear them. If you find a pretty scarf at a thrift store for cheap, pick it up. I don’t know how many times I’ve reached for a scarf instead of a linen when decorating a shelf, a basket, or a vignette. They are so handy to have around!

an olive green scarf used for a Thanksgiving centerpiece

I simply folded the scarf so that it fit snuggly into the crate and then fluffed it until I was happy with how it was laying. Tug the ends and sides snuggly around the base so that it doesn’t move around.

Tip: You will want the middle part to be flat so that the vase or pitcher sits level. 

a green scarf inside a vintage wooden crate

Place a Pitcher In The Middle.

I shared all about this Ironstone pitcher a month ago in this thrifted goodies post. It’s one of my most favorite antique finds and knew it would be such a pretty accent piece to use for this centerpiece. So, that’s just what I did!

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To add the pitcher to the crate, simply place it in the center, right on top of the flat spot on the scarf.

an antique Ironstone pitcher used in a Thanksgiving centerpiece

For some texture and life-like elements, I stuck some dried eucalyptus stems inside the pitcher. The maroon and dark gold stems add beautiful movement and really bring this whole display to life.

an antique ironstone pitcher filled with dried eucalyptus stems for a Thanksgiving centerpiece

String Fairy Lights.

To place the fairy lights, wrap them gently around the base of the pitcher. Let them be loose and flow-y looking to give them a more natural feel.

a strand of battery fairy lights used in a Thanksgiving centerpiece.

To conceal the battery pack, I placed it in the back corner underneath the scarf with the on-off switch facing up so it’s easy to get to.

battery pack hidden in scarf for a Thanksgiving centerpiece

Add Small Accessories.

The last step is to add small accessories that pair with the overall harvest theme of the centerpiece.

I went through my stash of extra decor and pulled out some extra faux acorns, miniature pinecones and a few burlap Oak leaves.

After the lights were in place, I arranged two burlap Oak leaves. I wish I had three of these but it’s what I had leftover from this DIY wreath project, so I just went with it.

a burlap oak leaf in a Thanksgiving centerpiece

I arranged one leaf in the back right corner and one in the front left corner. They are fairly large so I think two is a good number of leaves in this small centerpiece.

a burlap leaf used for a Thanksgiving centerpiece

Next, I gingerly placed a handful of faux acorns and miniature pinecones around the base of the pitcher.

I didn’t want to use the same color acorns next to each other so I ended up placing them one at a time.

Tip: For maximum use of these small items, make sure to disperse them evenly throughout the display.

faux acorns used in a Thanksgiving centerpiece

After the acorns were in place, I added a few pinecones. Again, I added these onto the base one at a time, facing them in different directions, almost like they just fell off a tree and landed there.

faux pinecones and acorns used in a Thanksgiving centerpiece.

A Finished Thanksgiving Centerpiece.

With that, we have a finished Thanksgiving centerpiece with a vintage crate!

I’m truly so happy with how this display turned out. The moody colors paired with the rustic wood box exudes the harvest theme in such a lovely way.

This centerpiece can also be picked up and moved easily to make room for all of the Thanksgiving food.

a thrifted Thanksgiving centerpiece with a vintage wooden crate

I say it all the time and I’ll say it again. You truly don’t need to spend tons of money to create a beautiful and welcoming home. I spent a total of $3.00 on the crate and everything else I had on hand. It’s amazing what you can make using decor that you already have!

a finished Thanksgiving centerpiece with fairy lights and faux acorns

After I finished it, I had my hubby look at it and give me his thoughts. He said the cutest thing! He goes “it’s almost like looking down into a terrarium or aquarium because you can’t see the decor down in from a ways away, only the crate and pitcher, but then when you get up close it’s like a whole new surprise!” My husband, everyone 🙂

an antique ironstone pitcher with maroon eucalyptus leaves for a Thanksgiving centerpiece

Closing Tidbits

May this Thanksgiving centerpiece with a vintage wooden crate be inspiring for you. This Thanksgiving, make the holiday even more memorable with a one-of-a-kind rustic centerpiece that will bring warmth and charm to your extravagant meal. Through the use of thrifted finds, you can create a lovely and elegant display that will grace your Fall gathering.

May you be encouraged to keep it simple and use what you have this season. What matters, over anything else, is connecting with the humans you love most over yummy food, drinks and pie. From my home to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

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Leave me a comment. How do you set and decorate your Thanksgiving table? I love hearing from you!

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a vintage wooden crate for a Thanksgiving centerpiece

If you are new here, I’m Rachel, the writer and content creator here at The Antiqued Journey. I’m so happy to have you! I encourage you to stop by the ‘about me’ page to get to know me a little more.

Here on the blog, you will find loads of inspiration for decorating with vintage and antique decor, simple DIY crafts and many thrifting adventures. If that interests you, I invite you to sign up for my e-mail. You will receive a free digital download as a thank you!

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Other Holiday Posts to Enjoy

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Rachel from The Antiqued Journey blog

Hey! I’m Rachel!

I’m so glad you are here! Old things are my jam. Antique malls and thrift stores are my happy places.

Here on the blog I love to share my excitement, knowledge, and ideas about all things antique, vintage, and thrifted. Let’s journey together!

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