Today, I’m sharing not one Thanksgiving table setting, but a trio. Because three’s a charm right?
Last year, we ended up having 16 family members for a sit down Thanksgiving meal. It was served buffet style from the kitchen island.
Up until about a week before the gathering, the final number fluctuated as high as 20. So, I had to be flexible in my Thanksgiving table setting plan.
I normally keep one extension board in my dining room table, with six chairs on two sides. On either side of the china, the host and hostess chairs are against the wall. Although the mahogany table can sit 12, that would require using all three boards. There’s just not enough space in the dining room to add even a second board. But, the table does comfortably accommodate a Thanksgiving table setting for eight.
That meant at least eight more guests needed to be seated elsewhere.
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Thanksgiving Table Setting #1
If you’re coming from Bonnie’s and her alfresco fall table, welcome! Her copper container centerpiece is stunning and I’m swooning over the antique game plates. It’s all part of the annual Thanksgiving Tablescape Hop hosted by Chloe of Celebrate & Decorate. Links to all 18 seasonal tables are listed at the bottom of this post.
In planning my Thanksgiving table setting, I began with the dining room. And, I brought out a rust color, metal candlestick holder for the centerpiece.
For many fall seasons, it had decorated a rectangular farmhouse table. However, when we redecorated the kitchen — and switched to a round glass table — the elongated centerpiece no longer fit.
The original table was moved downstairs to the Ski Lodge Theme Game Room. Forgotten, the pumpkin candle holder languished in the attic. It wasn’t until I needed three Thanksgiving centerpieces, that I remembered I had it. Out of sight, out of mind lol!
Nested around the two smaller metal pumpkins and vines are several Easy to Make Sweater Pumpkins. They also did double-duty as homemade favors for guests to take home.
Years ago, I found the rustic candle holder at one of my favorite shops for distinctive decor. I’ve taken you there before on several seasonal shopping excursions.
Shop, Pack and Store Holiday Decorations, Tableware includes fall decorations found at Olde Allegheny; like this unique chocolate turkey mold I use in vignettes.
Making its debut on the Thanksgiving table setting was a find I snagged on clearance (William Sonoma) the year before. The turkey print reminds me of those depicted on brown transferware.
Flanking the pumpkin candle holder are trios of American Indians and pilgrims (Byers’ Choice).
Of all the figures in my collection, those representing the first Thanksgiving are probably my favorites.
I pull the American Indians out of storage in September, and the pilgrims the day after Halloween.
You can see my collection of holiday decorations in, Thanksgiving Figures, Pilgrims and Indians Decorate Home.
The Thanksgiving table setting in the dining room is a mix of lux china and crystal with rustic details, like the centerpiece.
Under each setting is a round leaf placemat. I’ve used them several times before, including the Thanksgiving Horn of Plenty Table.
Next I layered a leaf embossed, wood-look charger made of melamine. The chargers are helpful when carrying plates, laden with food, to and from the Thanksgiving buffet in the adjacent kitchen.
At each Thanksgiving table setting, I’ve used Waterford Kenmare Crystal (retired). Dinner plates are alternated between two complimentary Lenox patterns (Eclipse retired and Hancock).
See them featured on the Birds of a Feather Gather Together Table.
Peacocks not turkeys you ask?
They are a nod to Celebrating Patriots on Independence Day — our family’s Revolutionary War era ancestor named Peacock.
Centered above each setting is either a pilgrim or American Indian figure; personalized with the face of each family member. Learn to make your own in DIY Thanksgiving Table Family Photo Place Cards.
Pumpkin Shape Napkins
Next, each Thanksgiving table setting has a napkin folded in the shape of a pumpkin. They mirror those in the centerpiece. You know me, ever the queen of theme lol!
Wine corks served as stems, with pretty paper leaves for embellishment. Had I not made the photo figures, I would have written each guest’s name on the leaves.
Later, the corks were incorporated into Wine Cork Wreath DIY Tutorial. Just a few of the nearly 200 corks it took to craft the wreath!
I made it as a housewarming gift for our son’s “new” home, a 100-year old Philadelphia row house. It’s where we plan to spend Thanksgiving this year.
My favorite version of the pumpkin or apple fold was created using the black printed napkins.
See Napkin Folds for All Seasons, Holidays & Occasions for more simple ways to embellish a festive Thanksgiving table setting.
Hanging overhead, was a Beautifully Decorated Chandelier for Fall & Thanksgiving.
It not only extends the centerpiece and tablescape vertically, but acts as fall home decor.
Usually I embellish the traditional brass light fixture sometime in September.
Two fall garlands, as well as pinecone and acorn holiday ornaments, provide the seasonal styling.
Dimming the Lights
All the pictures of the Thanksgiving table setting were taken during the daytime. Later, I was too busy making and serving the meal.
Here’s a quick shot my sister-in-law took, right before the feast. It shows the three candles lit in the metal pumpkin centerpiece. I also had little pumpkin-scented candles at each place setting to provide a warm glow.
The other two Thanksgiving tables were set for just four each.
Table Setting #2
Although I have 12 place settings of my wedding china, there are nine of the Waterford, and eight of the flatware. So, I decided to style a unique Thanksgiving tablescape in the open kitchen for four.
However, sweater pumpkins, personalized photo figures and individual candles created a common theme across all three tables.
Set on a reversible brown and white tablecloth, the intimate Thanksgiving table setting has a more casual feel. Harvest gold dishes have scalloped edges (Bordallo Pinheiro), with embossed leaf and vine decoration.
Flanking the plates are copper twig handle flatware.
No special napkin fold here. Alternated green and burgundy fringed napkins were embellished by large turkey rings.
And, feathers from small, turkey-shape placemats peeked out from under each plate.
An antique water goblet (Cambridge Rose Point) was paired with another vintage glass (Libbey Rose Classic).
Since I only have four of the thrift store find stemware, it was the first time I used them for a Thanksgiving table setting. Although I did pair the two patterns on the Meet Me at the Eiffel Tower Table Valentine.
So, I decided to swap the glasses with more casual ones initially planned for table #3.
Set on a small woodcut, a twig hurricane with birch bark candle served as the centerpiece. It works well on the small round tabletop.
Overhead, hung another festively decorated light fixture.
See how to Decorate a Chandelier for Fall in 3 Easy Steps for ideas to style your own.
Thanksgiving Table #3
Another table was set for four more family members.
That way, eight guests were gathered together, regardless of the area they were seated in.
Earlier, hubby and my brother-in-law had moved the farm table and chairs from downstairs into the living room. All the tableware was also stacked there.
Right before serving, we moved it all into the family room and quickly set the table.
Meanwhile the antique, collapsible wallpaper table buffet spread was swapped. It went from being appetizers and snacks, to being laiden with classic holiday pies and other desserts.
First, I spread out a fall leaf print tablecloth. Large woodcuts at each place setting and a pair of. tall wooden candlesticks added to the more rustic styling.
Both tables two and three had a similar look, by using the same harvest gold dishes and twig flatware.
However, different turkey-embroidered napkins with jeweled pumpkin rings sat in the middle of the dinner plate.
Thanksgiving Table Setting Large or Small
To accommodate the large group, food was served buffet style from the nine-foot kitchen island. That meant few serving pieces crowded the tabletops.
Last year, I canvased the family, and everyone was enthusiastic about trying something new — couples and most siblings were seated at different tables. Three generations of relatives, from both sides of the family, co-mingled and celebrated together. It was a joyous occasion!
With the virus raging across the country, most of us will likely have settle for much smaller gatherings. We still hope to drive to Philly to be with our sons. It’s hard to imagine it just being dear hubby and I at home with me still in a cast. Or, leaving our youngest son to celebrate all alone with only his new puppy, Bentley.
I hope you’ve found inspiration here to set a festive table, with many reasons to be thankful — no matter how small the gathering.
How will you be celebrating Thanksgiving this year?
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Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday!
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