Thanksgiving Decorations & Place Setting Crafts

Thanksgiving decorations can range from formal and elegant to casual and rustic. This year, I’ve decided to take a casual approach to my dining room decor, since only my immediate family is here for dinner. I thought it would be fun to create a rustic tablescape for them to enjoy. Homemade paper place mats, place cards and disposable napkins keep things simple and inexpensive, without sacrificing style, design and comfort. Whichever you choose, thoughtful planning from the heart will ensure your family feels loved and cared for.

Homemade table Decorations and centerpiece.

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Centerpieces come in many different forms and are a matter of personal preference. However, there are a few things you might want to consider such as, size, containment, color and texture.

Casual and Neutral Thanksgiving table

Let’s start with size and scale, since they have a big impact in the overall appearance of you table. As an illustration, you can see how this beautiful dough bowl fills out the center area. It closely resembles the oval shape of of the tabletop and the low profile allows your guests see each other without obstacle. The long runner and candlesticks fill in the extra space.

Another thing to consider is corralling items together as a unit. Gathering the pumpkins together in the dough bowl allows the table decorations to be cleared quickly at dinner time to make way for casserole dishes and food.

Cute pumpkin craft tutorial to create fall decor for your home.

When it comes to texture, the variegated wood pattern on the bowl provides interest and anchors the space. Additionally, it’s neutral color and design allows for it to be changed up seasonally, having only to replace its contents.

However, filling a dough bowl with multiple decor items can be pricey. These homemade yarn pumpkins add a pop of color while keeping the cost in check. You can find the tutorial to make these beautiful yarn pumpkins here.

The rustic wood bowl and textured yarn pumpkins set a casual tone for guests while guiding the style and colors for the rest of the table.

Casual Place Settings

DIY place mats, place cards and gratitude cards are an inexpensive and creative way to stay consistent with your color scheme and add variety. Pulling out the same table decor year after year can feel dull and tedious and I often have the desire to change things up during the holidays. Since table linens are expensive to purchase and easy to damage, paper products can be a nice alternative.

The brown paper place mats are inexpensive to make, neutral in color and offer entertainment for adults and children. Why not place some white gel pens around for guests to doodle on while the final preparations for dinner are happening?

Homemade place cards, gratitude cards and place mats adorn this simple Thanksgiving table.

DIY decorations and crafts are much easier to make if you start a few days in advance. To make the paper placemats, use a roll of shipping paper from the Dollar Tree and cut it into to 12″ by 24″ sections. Then, handwrite your sentiment on them and create a border with a ruler.

If you have a Cricut or Silhouette cutting machine, these files are available to you in my free resource library. To create them with your machine, add your paper on a 12″ X 24″ cutting mat and use the pen tool to draw a border and add words with a white Gelly Roll pen.

Casual, rustic fall table setting with DIY place mats, place cards and gratitude cards.

You’ll find over 60 free cut files, templates and PDF’s in the library. To gain access, just subscribe on the top right sidebar or at the bottom of this post. Then, in a few moments, you will receive a welcome email with the password to enter the library.

To make the gratitude cards, you will also need to have a Silhouette or Cricut machine. For the Cricut machine, use the pen tool and on the Silhouette machine the Print and Cut option works well. Then, once they are printed, the registration marks allow the design to cut perfectly. These cards make great conversation starters and help us to reflect on all of the blessings we’ve enjoyed throughout the year.

DIY Thanksgiving place setting crafts.

The paper pumpkins are also available as a free cut file in the library and you can find a full tutorial to make them here.

Layering the place settings provide a nice contrast and the white words on the place mats tie everything together. Begin with the place mats and then layer on the white plates, adding the gratitude cards and finishing it off with the white pumpkin. The stems on the pumpkins also match and the glitter name tags dress things up a tiny bit.

Lastly, to keep the informal vibe, lay out the silverware for a lunch setting. Using only one spoon, one knife, and two forks will save the extra utensils for dessert and create less dishes. 🙂 As a final touch, mason jars filled with water complete the rustic feel.

Rustic and casual table decor


Since I’ve been decorating for the holidays for many years, I’ve learned to plan things out and purchase fewer items. There was a time when I enjoyed purchasing small seasonal trinkets that made me smile, but now I prefer larger, well thought-out pieces that add character, and keep the space from feeling cluttered.

Rustic and casual table decor

It’s fun to add a few additional fall decor items in the dining room and one of my favorite places to start is my hutch. Adding some simple wreaths and a vase filled with natural wheat bring height, color and texture to the space.

Wheat as fall decor on a dining room hutch.

A homemade “Gather” sign over my hutch draws the eye up and ties in with my dark flooring. It can often be difficult to find artwork that fits my style and the size of a space, so I often opt for making my own home decor.

Fall decorations on a dining room hutch.

My coffee bar is decorated with some pumpkins and candles to tie in with the rest of the dining room. You won’t believe the before pictures of my coffee bar and you can find the DIY transformation here.

Fall Table Setting with DIY Thanksgiving table decorations,, place mats, place cards and gratitude cards.

Lastly, I added my favorite fall berry wreath to the back door for some additional color in the room.

With all of these special elements, even a casual dining area can make guests feel welcome and comfortable. Now it’s time to dig in to those homemade mash potatoes, gravy and turkey!


Don’t miss out! Subscribe on the top sidebar or bottom of this post to get my latest craft ideas and home decor projects. Join the community and gain access my free library of over 60 printables, templates and cut files; including these free mini paper pumpkin place cards.

Paper pumpkin place cards as DIY table decorations.


Do you like budget friendly decor and crafts? Follow me on PINTEREST. Did you know that you can hover over the images below and save them for later? Just click on the red Pinterest button and save it to your Thanksgiving Decor or Fall Crafts Board. It’s so helpful to Pin It now and save it for later, when your ready to start your project.

Inexpensive and rustic Thanksgiving table decorations.
Homemade Thanksgiving Decorations and crafts.
Homemade place cards, gratitude cards and place mats adorn this simple Thanksgiving table.
Homemade place mats, place cards and gratitude cards adorn this casual Thanksgiving table.
Casual, rustic Thanksgiving table with DIY place mats, place cards and gratitude cards.

What’s your preference? Do you like a more casual dining area or would you prefer to “go all out” and set the fine china?

Thanks for stopping by and hopefully our Thanksgiving decorations gave you some inspiration for your own space. From my family to yours, have a wonderful holiday gathering.


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