DIY Thanksgiving Centerpieces and Table Settings

For many, Thanksgiving is the most important—and most elaborate—dinner they host. The table settings and centerpieces play a big role in that. But what Thanksgiving table designs are the most appropriate? Thanksgiving might be the only holiday with such a variety of interpretation – from celebrating fall to the religious aspect of the Pilgrims –  and that’s a good thing, because it makes picking your centerpieces and trappings that much more fun!

In fact, for every year, it’s easy to choose a different Thanksgiving table setting. Themes of the holiday include autumn, the Pilgrims and their first winter in America, and gratitude to fellow human beings. Within each of these centerpiece concepts, there are dozens of variations. Keep reading to see our favorites!

The First Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving centerpieces that remind us of the first time our nation gave thanks might require you to open a history book just to get some tips. Pilgrims, the Mayflower, and Plymouth Rock are only a few of the symbols of the holiday that can be adapted to make wonderful Thanksgiving table settings.

thanksgiving centerpieces

By The Spruce Crafts

The whole family can take part in making these adorable Pilgrim figures. Make a large set for your table’s centerpiece, or individual ones for each setting. If going for the latter, invite your guests to take them home as a keepsake.

thanksgiving table setting

By The Magic of Ordinary Things

It might take a bit of skill to construct this fantastic Thanksgiving centerpiece (look at the reinforced sails, for example), but it’s worth it. Don’t you just love the colored marbles to show the sea and sand, plus the miniature Plymouth rocks?

thanksgiving table ideas

By Easy Baked

Starting with some plain ice cream cones, you can make these fantastic miniature Indian teepees as a delectable centerpiece. The challenge will be to stop guests from nibbling on these edible Thanksgiving settings until it’s time for dessert.

Autumnal Thanksgiving Centerpieces

One thing you’ll notice about Thanksgiving design ideas in general: they tend to be a bit “busy”. Autumn might be the messiest time of year, but that just makes for a more interesting centerpiece. See how many fall elements you can include in yours!

thanksgiving centerpiece ideas

By Home is Where the Boat Is

Only the truly dedicated will assemble all of the features of this zealous Thanksgiving table design. Where do you even find Indian corn napkin holders? In any case, it’s easy to find gourds and pumpkins at your local supermarket this time of year, and any type of tree leaf will do (although oak is the classic choice).

fall table centerpieces

By Table Decorating Ideas

This is a nice change of pace. A few leaves and some tall vases filled with seasonal flowers in this relatively sparse Thanksgiving table actually leave room for the main event – the food! Note that all of it is in keeping with earthy seasonal colors like red and orange.

thanksgiving table setting ideas

By Country Living

Say it with plaid! Tartan-type decorations are fully in keeping with the rustic nature of the holiday. Why not go all the way? Finding a plaid tablecloth for your Thanksgiving centerpiece is a no-brainer, but those colored pumpkins are really neat.

thanksgiving table decorating ideas

By A Girl and a Glue Gun

Make this with your kids and put it in the middle of your table. It might be just a DIY craft, but it has all the elements of the holiday – the right colors, a reference to the classic Thanksgiving meal, and a simplicity that the Pilgrims would have appreciated.

 You’ll Be Thankful for Smilebox

So you’ve put lots of effort into organizing the perfect Thanksgiving centerpiece (and we also have ideas for Christmas table settings). But what about the guests for your meal? Smilebox has you covered with a range of Thanksgiving dinner invitations and Friendsgiving eCards that will make the evening complete (read this Thanksgiving card sayings guide for wording ideas). Dressed in the colors of the season and fully customizable, our free Thanksgiving products are only the start. Take a look at and find new ways to celebrate Thanksgiving and other essential occasions the whole year ‘round.