Thanksgiving Table Decorating Ideas – With or Without Kids!

{image via Country Living}

With Thanksgiving around the corner, many of us are already thinking about how we will set the table to celebrate. Formal or casual, with kids or without, there are many options when it comes to decorating your Thanksgiving table. It is always good to start with the basics. I included this in last year’s article on Thanksgiving Table Setting and Decorating Ideas, but it is always good to review how to set a table. If your dinner will be on the fancy side, here is how to set a formal table:

{image courtesy of Classy & Fabulous}

If your turkey day dinner will be more casual, here is how to set an informal table:

{image courtesy of Classy & Fabulous}
eddie ross table setting quote thanksgiving

Speaking of knives, if your silver is in need of a good cleaning, here’s a non-toxic DIY way to clean silver.
And now onto the fun stuff… decorating the table! My hands down favorite tablescape this Thanksgiving is by Eddie Ross, recently featured in Lonny
{images via Lonny & design by Eddie Ross}
Eddie and his partner, Jaithan Kochar created a vintage meets modern Thanksgiving table that is high on glamour, yet easy on the pocket book. They start with a modern table linen from Quadrille and lay it with vintage flatware and an antique Imari porcelain plate.   

thanksgiving table setting modern vintage eddie ross quadrille linen

For a touch of low-cost opulence, Eddie spray painted small pumpkins gold and added watercolored craft paper with guests’ initials as place cards. The pheasants were inexpensive finds and also painted gold for a more luxurious look.

Images of birds of the season are also fun on dinnerware. This dinner plate from Pottery Barn is part of a set of four – each features a unique turkey design. The place setting includes a scroll thank you note individualized for each guest. What a lovely personal touch.


Don’t be afraid the go with a non-traditional color palette. This beautiful place setting by Martha Stewart features both cool and warm hues of blue and gold. Contemporary elements such as the dishware is mixed with contemporary flatware, while a solid linen table cloth is paired with a block-printed napkin. Martha paints a collection of mini pumpkins gold for a simple centerpiece and a place card holder.

thanksgiving table decorations metallic diy gourds hgtv

{Photo courtesy of Bobbi Fabian via HGTV}

This contemporary Thanksgiving table setting via HGTV showcases a white pumpkin, chunky pillar candles and a mixture of metallic-painted gourds. So simple and elegant.


{image via Design Public}
If you can’t find white pumpkins, you can always paint them as in the case with this table setting above. This monochromatic table was created by DwellStudio’s Christiane Lemieux. She created a simple, backdrop using DwellStudio linens. The subtle, graphic black and white palette are a great way to keep the focus on the main attraction – dinner. For a similar look, try Gate Java Napkins available now by DwellStudio.

{image via Martha Stewart}

Thanksgiving with kids? Setting a table inviting for kids is a good idea if they will not be seated at the “adult” table. What kid wouldn’t want to sit with these darling felt & pom pom turkeys by Martha Stewart? Here’s the how to.

{image via Country Living}

Weather permitting, I love this outdoors table setting via Country Living. A wool blanket is brilliantly used as a rug. The “giving tree” centerpiece is my favorite. Kids are asked to write down what they’re thankful for on decorative tags and then tie to the branches of fall foliage. This little covered stools with rustic log legs are sweet too.
{image courtesy of Country Living via CasaSugar}
Offering the children activities to keep boredom and squabbles at bay is also a good idea. Here kids are given cups of crayons and are free to draw right on the butcher paper tablecloth. The drawn placemats are such a cute idea too! So simple and budget-friendly.

thanksgiving kids placemat personalized lamentated wipeable table

These personalized modern dots placemats by Name Your Design are another great option for a Thanksgiving kids’ table. They are not only cute, but functional, fun and educational. On one side kids have a diagram on how to set the table. On the other kids can write & draw about their day with simple dry erase makers. They are laminated, study and easy to wipe clean. The colorways can also be customized to coordinate with your holiday color palette.

{image via Martha Stewart}

Love this idea from Martha Stewart too. What kid wouldn’t love this darling felt finger puppets placed atop candy sticks. Arranged in simple white containers, they make a centerpiece that will keep kids entertained for hours. Here’s the how to.
Do you need more turkey day inspiration? Here’s additional Thanksgiving Table Setting and Decorating Ideas
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23 Responses to Thanksgiving Table Decorating Ideas – With or Without Kids!

  1. eddieross November 24, 2010 at 11:52 pm #

    Thank you so much for your sweet post! Have a very Happy Thanksgiving! Eddie

  2. Megan {Honey We're Home} November 2, 2010 at 1:55 am #

    I'm especially fond of the blue and orange- really nice! Thanks:)

  3. Kiran October 21, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    Your blog is lovely!


  4. October 20, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

    Such cute ideas! My 3-mo old is the only kid in the family now, but my cousins and I sat at our own “kids” table well into adult-hood so we could catch up without the “grownups” snooping on our conversations. 🙂 I wish had had more room to store some seasonal dinner sets. I saw some really pretty pieces at HomeGoods yesterday and wanted to take them home with me!

  5. La Dolfina October 20, 2010 at 3:04 am #

    Fabulous post Cristin… you covered it all!!!
    Thank you so much for your comment today 🙂
    I know we will meet soon!!!

  6. October 20, 2010 at 2:12 am #

    If you do stop by, leave a comment (or two, as I did! oops!)

  7. October 20, 2010 at 2:11 am #

    So great! Mentioned you in a photo credit if you want to check it out. Love your blog! It's so fresh! Keep it coming!


  8. pretty pink tulips October 20, 2010 at 1:42 am #

    Wonderful ideas….completely doable yet inspiring! I'll bet your Thanksgiving table is amazing!!! I'd better start planning!!
    ~ Elizabeth

  9. Danielle Oakey Interiors October 19, 2010 at 6:43 pm #

    i love love love white pumpkins this year!

  10. Ideezine October 19, 2010 at 5:02 pm #

    It is time to plan while we ponder our lists!
    Great post!


  11. María October 19, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    thanks for the ideas…
    your blog is stunning. Congratulations!

    I follow you


  12. October 19, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    Wow, beautiful. Have to share this with our readers – might wait until Nov 1 -it just seems too early.
    I love the place setting charts. Place setting seems to be a lost art.

  13. Kristin October 19, 2010 at 1:47 pm #

    Great Ideas! Love the table where the kids can write!

  14. Janell @ Isabella and Max October 19, 2010 at 3:32 am #

    Love the table from Design Public! Gorgeous…and I seriously think I have yet to set one pretty table in my lifetime! I should really try…Janell

  15. CDS October 18, 2010 at 11:20 pm #

    too too cute! love all of it. i'm such a stickler for good table manners! xoxo

  16. name your design October 18, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    thank you so much for including my personalized placemats in your wonderful post! so glad i found you and your blog! i will definitely add you to my daily reading list…awesome content.

  17. Ashfield Hansen Design Inc. October 18, 2010 at 7:51 pm #

    It was nice to meet you as well on Saturday!
    Thank you for the “Pre-Holidy” primer! What a thorough post!
    We would love it if you added our blog to your roster!
    Let's plan on having coffee sometime!

    David @ Ashfield Hansen Design

  18. Emily Arrison October 18, 2010 at 7:12 pm #

    Wonderful! If you're looking for place cards, stop by my shop ( to see cutout autumn leaves and pumpkins! I also make menu cards and table numbers that are perfect for the upcoming holiday parties! Your taste reminds me of mine, so I thought I'd share.


  19. Wendy October 18, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    what a great post!! I love the table setting from Eddie Ross – love the white pumpkins and the kids table setting….

  20. Centsational Girl October 18, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    Stunning, all of them! Thanks for the gorgeous inspiration! Last year we did Thanksgiving here and I was fretting about the table setting. This year, it's up to my sister in law, but I have a feeling the 'table setting' job may fall into my lap, so these images are perfect for me! Looking forward to our lunch this week!

  21. Abby and Her Boys October 18, 2010 at 4:35 pm #

    Beautiful ideas! Wasn't the latest issue of Lonny the best?! I'm stealing the craft paper tablecloth for the kids this year. Thanks!

  22. Heather October 18, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

    Wow Cristin, these are really great ideas! I like the orange roses Eddie Ross used in the first photos.

  23. Ashley October 18, 2010 at 3:53 pm #

    Wondeful and practical ideas! I'm sure to incorporate a few of these on my holiday table. xoxoxo