Learn how to create a thrifted Thanksgiving tablescape for under $40!
Can you believe that Thanksgiving is just a few short weeks away?? It seems like, as soon as November 1 hits, life just goes so fast. This is a very busy season for many of us and along with that comes more expenses than we might like. So, to help with that, I’m sharing a thrifted Thanksgiving tablescape with you today. Creating a beautiful Thanksgiving table for your friends and family to enjoy doesn’t need to cost hundreds of dollars and I’m here to show you how! Join me as I walk you through this simple and affordable process.
I’m joined today by my friend Donna from the blog An Organized Season. Donna has created many beautiful tablescapes in the past. Her creativity and talent is incredible. I asked her to join me on this post so you could pull inspiration from her as well! Head over to her post, My Best Ideas For A Thrifted Thanksgiving Table, to learn her helpful (and pretty) decorating tips!
Items Used For A Thrifted Thanksgiving Tablescape
If you have been around for any length of time, you know my love of thrifting. I just can’t get enough of it! You can find so many amazing home decor and vintage items for your home for mere dollars. The tablescape that I’m sharing with you today is made up of items that came from the thrift store or dollar store as well as things that I already had at home.
Like I do before I create any type of vignette or tablescape in my home, I take a minute and think about what I want to convey to others. I ask myself questions like “How do I want this table to feel?” or “What colors would work well with that specific feeling?”
For me, decorating is an art and I’m always trying to tell a story through the pieces I choose to use. This table was so fun for me to put together. It’s exactly what I had pictured in my head the whole time and I hope you enjoy it just as much as I do!
The items below reflect numbers for an oval-shaped table with settings for 6 people. I have linked similar items for you at the very bottom of this post in case you are looking for anything in particular!
- 1 vintage tablecloth
- 2 cream and brown placemats
- Rust colored velvet ribbon
- 1 pre-lit leaf garland
- 1 faux eucalyptus stem
- 5 faux pillar candles
- 1 bag of mini white pumpkins and pinecones
- Brass-colored chargers
- Dinner plates
- Salad plates
- Drinking glasses
- Cloth napkins
- Brass napkin rings
A Thrifted Thanksgiving Tablescape
To make this whole process seem achievable, I’m breaking this post down into two sections. I’ll cover the centerpiece portion first then move on to the place settings. Here we go!
The first thing you want to do is clear everything off the table that you are using for Thanksgiving. I took this time to give everything a good cleaning by wiping down the top of my table as well as my chairs.
After that, I went into my linen drawer to choose which tablecloth I wanted to use.
This beautiful, vintage lace tablecloth was found at the thrift store last year for just a few dollars. Out of all the pretty linens that I’ve collected over the years, this one ended up winning for the Thanksgiving table.
I love the intricate detailing on it. It has a neutral color yet still conveys movement and texture, making it the perfect base.
Next, I started to create the centerpiece. But, I needed to know how far down I could go and how wide I could make it without interfering with each person’s place setting. So, I opted to put the chargers down first as a guide for that. These chargers were on clearance for under $2.00 per one, coming in at roughly $12 for all of them!
See? Much easier! Now I know my centerpiece boundaries.
As you can see above, I initially placed the leaf garland right on top of the tablecloth. However, I didn’t feel anchored enough to me…I felt like the garland was just floating randomly.
So, I went back to my linen drawer and rummaged around to see what I could use to fix it. I didn’t have any table runners that worked, so I opted for some matching placemats.
These placemats are perfect for this table. The creamy color of them matches with the tablecloth and the brown stripe pairs beautifully with the chargers. The frayed edges makes the table not feel too fancy or fussy either, which I love.
Do you see how, by using those as a base layer for the centerpiece itself, it creates a more cohesive look?
Now I can create the rest of the centerpiece on a much more grounded area without it all feeling so random.
I was at the dollar store a few weeks ago looking for ribbon and I walked past this pre-lit leaf garland. It really caught my eye and I knew instantly that it would look so pretty as a part of this centerpiece.
I don’t know about your dollar store but mine now has a ‘dollar store plus’ section, which is where this was, so it was priced at $5.00.
I put the batteries in, turned it on, and folded it in half. Then, I placed it right in the center of the placemats.
Then, it was time for greenery. I’m really loving olive and sage green shades for fall this year. Lucky for me, I felt like those colors would work beautifully for this tablescape.
To me, those shades of green convey a calm feeling and would help tone down the brass elements, making the whole table feel a little softer.
I had this faux eucalyptus branch in my stash. It came from Hobby Lobby and believe I paid around $4.00 for it. This branch has the most realistic looking eucalyptus leaves I think I’ve ever seen!
To use it for my centerpiece, I snipped off large sections of it from the long branch using floral cutters.
Then, I simply placed each section of stem along the base of the placemats. I fluffed the stems and moved them around until I was happy with how they looked. By incorporating greenery, whether it is faux or real, brings in texture, color, and depth.
The next step was to place 5 faux pillar candles. While I do love real candlelight, it just made more sense to use faux for this table. All of these candles were found from the thrift store on two different trips.
I added three leaf candles first.
Then, I placed two more plain white pillar candles to complete the candle portion. There is just something so re-assuring and calming about candlelight that I simply love.
Next up is the ribbon. I found this amazing rust colored velvet ribbon for $3.00 at the dollar store. I thought it would make a bold statement in this Thanksgiving centerpiece.
All I did was simply weave it in and out of the candles. I made sure the ribbon was consistent on all sides of the centerpiece because people would be seeing it from all angles.
Then, once it reached the other side, I cut the ribbon at an angle and tucked the tag end under the branches.
The last step for this Thanksgiving centerpiece is to disperse miniature faux white pumpkins and pinecones.
How cute are these?! This whole bag cost me $2.00!
By adding in these faux pumpkins, it gave me that natural element that I wanted without worrying about them rotting. The white color of these pumpkins and gourds pairs wonderfully with the other white and cream hues that I have going on throughout the table.
They also add another layer of texture and, for me, really helped to tie everything together.
I’m in love with how this Thanksgiving centerpiece turned out. Everything feels balanced and ‘just so’. The glow of the candles and the little lights in the garland add a magical feeling to this display, almost like its part of a fairy forest.
Now let’s move on to the next section of this post!
The Place Settings
This part of the tablescape is super simple, basically just adding dishes, napkins and drink ware.
Before I go any further, I will say that I’ve been looking for vintage Ironstone dishes to use on my Thanksgiving table for over a month how. I have been perusing thrift stores and online sources trying to find some that I both love and are affordable but haven’t found any.
So, my only option is to use my everyday dishes. Don’t get me wrong…I adore these dishes. They are vintage, given to me by my mother-in-law years ago. I was just hoping for something without red edges and flowers. But, I’m out of time. I’ll keep looking and maybe have a whole set of Ironstone dishes for next year!
I added a dinner plate and salad plate on top of each charger. After I had placed the plates against the brass, I actually thought it looked pretty neat!
My expectations were not high as to how well these were going to match the table. I was pleasantly surprised and felt much better about it now!
Then, I placed these vintage-inspired drinking glasses at each spot. My sister gave me a whole set of these pretty glasses for Christmas last year and I just love them!
The last item I added were cloth napkins. I have many cloth napkins in my linen drawer so I just went through and chose coordinating ones in whites and rust colors. The best part about cloth napkins is that I can use these thrifted napkin rings with them!
cI couldn’t believe my eyes when I found this whole bag of brass napkin rings for just .99 cents! Isn’t that maple leaf just SO perfect?!
They really help round out this whole table setting and add that perfect hint of harvest to each person’s seat.
So, after all that, here is what the finished table looks like!
My husband is a designer and when he’s designing a website he always says ‘it’s going to look not pretty until it doesn’t.’ That was the case for my table for awhile but I tried really hard to not let perfection get the best of me.
I worked with what I had and ended up creating a table that I’m proud of! It’s simple yet elegant and will be the quintessential background for our Thanksgiving this year.
I truly hope that this thrifted Thanksgiving tablescape is an encouragement for you! Being able to create a pleasing table for your guests is a privilege but you sincerely don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to achieve that. It’s taken me years of practice to be able to understand how to best thrift items and decor for my home that are purposeful, unique and a fair price.
My goal is that these tips and ideas that I’ve shared today are helpful for you, at least giving you a baseline for how to get started thrifting a Thanksgiving table. I urge you to give it a try, finding joy and thankfulness along the way.
Once again, thanks to Donna for joining me on this post today. Be sure to head over to her Thanksgiving table post and say hello! Leave us a comment and let us know if you have any other ideas or special traditions.
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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.
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