Can you believe that Thanksgiving is in ONE WEEK?!?! It's crazy the way this fall has flown by! Perhaps you are realizing that, in just one itty bitty week, you'll have guests descending upon your home for Thanksgiving dinner. And, just maybe, you are also realizing that you are soooo not ready.
Take heart! One of the most important things we've learned by being Babs' daughters is that graciousness trumps perfection. (Our mom is great at this. We are still learning!) If you are warm and inviting, if you are calm and collected, if you are quick to offer a smile and a glass of wine to your guests, if you are putting conversation and laughter over having a Martha Stewart-worthy bash---well, you are ready. The rest is secondary.
That being said, we have some super fast and very inexpensive ideas for you to gussy up that Thanksgiving table (just in case you are hoping to offer a pretty place for your guests to gobble down green bean casserole and pecan pie!)
Let's start with the simple stuff!
Below, you'll see a plain-jane white place setting. Notice the tablecloth! Often, Thanksgiving meals are spread out on a much larger table than you usually use. The leaves are put in, the Lifetime folding tables from Costco are set up, and then you realize that you don't have table linens to stretch across ALL THAT TABLE AREA. A really easy solution to this is to buy some inexpensive fabric. Calculate the yardage you need to cover your tables, and get a length cut to fit. You don't even need to get out the sewing machine to hem the fabric. Use Fabric-Tac to hem the ends, or better yet---leave yourself a little extra yardage to fold the unfinished ends under. Easy-peasy. The striped fabric below is from Ikea. No, it's not "traditional Thanksgiving," but you'll see how it creates a fun background for the oranges and yellows of pumpkins and squash:
Next, we show a couple different elements that are quite easy to add to each place setting. If you are doing assigned seats, consider placing a chipboard initial on top of each plate. We got our initials from Hobby Lobby for cheap! You might also do something as simple as putting a lone pumpkin at each place. If you are feeling a little more ambitious (but not too ambitious!) create individual floral arrangements. The milk glass cup we used came from Goodwill and the flowers were an inexpensive grocery store bunch to which we added fall leaves from the front yard.
Feeling a little more ambitious? Add gold dots to the chipboard initial using a metallic paint pen!
Another easy idea: mini chalkboards or frames (think Dollar Store or Hobby Lobby) with Thanksgiving sayings written in a chalk pen:
A quick trip in Goodwill often will yield fun results. Look for short candle holders and use them to perch pumpkins at each place setting. We also found cute burlap bags at Hobby Lobby that we filled with wrapped candies. Add a personalized tag, and you have a cute way to assign seating:
Jill found these adorable hedgehogs in a pack of 3 at Hobby Lobby! They were just a couple bucks for all three, and they add a sense of whimsy to each place setting:
You'll notice that we also swapped out the fabric for kraft paper. This is a great alternative to table linens! And, here's a hint: If you want rolls of kraft paper, don't EVER buy it at a craft store. Buy it at Home Depot! It's in the paint section and it's called "contractor's paper" or something like that. You get about five times the amount on the roll for about 1/3 the price. (Seriously, I buy rolls of this stuff. I use it to wrap gifts, protect the floor when I'm painting, etc. It's handy and so inexpensive!)
Another simple place setting is a pumpkin with a name tag tied to its stem:
One of my most favorite things to find at Goodwill would be brass candlesticks. I love putting mismatched candlesticks in groupings around my home. Antiqued brass is so warm and wonderful! On a Thanksgiving table, consider forgoing candles and perching pumpkins atop the candlesticks:
If you decide to use kraft paper on your Thanksgiving table, make sure to give the kids (and adults!) crayons. At Goodwill, we picked up a set of little milkglass cups for a few bucks. These cups make really sweet crayon holders. You could give each person their own crayons or you could pepper the table with these little crayon cups to share.
Remember that chalk pen I referenced above? Chalk pens looks so sweet on kraft paper. Consider drawing a border around each place setting. You can also use this to assign seats:
No chalk pen? Use a sharpie to do the same:
Or, ask each person to write their list of thanks:
Feathers are a fun autumnal touch! Below we added a few plumes to the flower arrangements and then also incorporated feathers into the individual place setting:
Or, combine a few different elements and finish each place off with a burlap ribbon bow:
From the Babs Blog, we wish you very happy Thanksgiving! There is so much for which to be thankful, isn't there?
4 hours ago