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).
Flanking each charger is peacock flatware (Wallace). They tie-in with the peacock depicted in the brown transferware salad plates.
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.
Regular followers often read of my passion for peacocks in home decor, holiday decorations and tableware. I even built a theme around peacocks for a My Favorite Things Party.
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!
Since I only had six of the coral orange napkins, I used others in a dramatic print that brought out the black in both china patterns’ decorative rim.
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.
The first time I used the technique was for the Fall Harvest Table & Apple Napkin Fold. Next was the Pumpkin Patch Table, but with different 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.
In the candlelight picture taken before dinner, there was a change in glassware. That’s because my young nephew ended up being seated here.
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.
We placed the folding banquet table in the middle of the adjacent family room.
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
Although each tablescape was different, I wanted all three to be festive, inviting, warm and comfortable.
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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Lots of good ideas, Deb! I will sorely miss having a large celebration this Thanksgiving. But we can be festive nonetheless!
So agree with you Sandra, about the importance of celebrating and being festive! I am letting memories of last year’s large gathering sustain me.
Debbee, wow that was a feat to set up three fabulously decorated tables. I know each family member felt honored to sit at any of the three. I love the re-discovered pumpkin candle holders, isn’t that fun when we find something that we had forgotten about. I hope you get to Philly to celebrate with your sons. Wishing you a most wonderful Thanksgiving season.
To be honest Pam, I started planning and crafting way back in August for the gathering. I’m not good at winging it, and always work with lists and a calendar lol! The most challenging part is the logistics and many meals when having a houseful of out-of-town family over several days to a entire week. Fortunately, I get a huge amount of help and support from family. Everybody pitches in.
Great trio to choose from, Debbee. I really like the tablecloth with the large turkeys. I think that was from william sonoma? The brown plates with the peacocks are a beautiful transferware find, and the third setting with the fabric pumpkins would work for a halloween table too.
I’m being flexible like you, for however many end up around our table this year. You have a wonderful Thanksgiving! hugs RR
Thanks Rachelle! Yes, I was thrilled to find the tablecloth on clearance at WS, and just my table’s size too. Those peacock plates are definitely a favorite thing — they look like vintage transferware and the featured a peacock, our family’s ancestor patriot.
The photo place cards are such a fun idea! Love the pumpkin napkins, so cute! I hope you get to be with your sons. It is fun to look back on past gatherings, and enjoy the memories even though we can’t have them this years…we will have a small family gathering at the beach house, thankful it is still there after a summer full of hurricanes!
Thanks Jenna! I sent guests home with their figure, and now I wish I still had them so I could look at all their happy faces. That napkin fold is likely to become a regular on my Thanksgiving tables as it’s so easy and fun. Oh dear, hurricanes and the pandemic, what a stressful season! So glad you will be able to celebrate at your beach house.
Great tables, all, Debbee! I’m with you in liking the pumpkin fold with printed fabric the best – very rich looking in color. The rediscovered pumpkin candleholders had to be a fun find to build upon. I love it when those happy accidents occur. Each table looks terrific, and I wouldn’t mind which one I’d placed at! The wine cork wreath is fabulous. I hope you get to make the trip to Philly to enjoy Thanksgiving with your son, but even if stuck at home, I know you’ll still feel blessed beyond measure knowing you’re regaining your health and staying safe.
Dear Rita, you’d be welcome at any of my tables at any time! So delighted to rediscover the centerpiece, and relieved I even had the unique size/shape candles in the bottom of a drawer too! After all, I’m not exactly mobile these days lol! It will take a stay at home order for us not to go to Philly, or one of our sons testing positive. Everyone is planning to be super duper careful leading up to the holiday. It will also be the first holiday our older son’s girlfriend will spend with us and I’m thrilled. Plus, a puppy to cuddle!
Debbee, I love your festive tables. I am impressed with your DIY fabric pumpkins both print and solid with cork stems. Your centerpieces are clever too. The wire candle holders are great centerpieces. I love the Byers Choice, pilgrims, and Indians. They are quality workmanship. They are heirloom pieces in my book. I have a single wire turkey that I haven’t figured out how to use effectively since it has no color. Any suggestions? I guess it would show up better on a floral cloth.
The darling pilgrims and Indians with authentic pictures of your guests are amazing. That is a great way to endear your guests. I hope this year you are not sad to not get to use all of them.
You are a great hostess with so many well thought of details.
Aww, thanks so much Bonnie! That pumpkin shape napkin fold is easy. I do consider my BC collection heirlooms and feel fortunate to have them. Hard to justify their cost nowadays. I know what you mean about the wire disappearing into the background. The nice thing is that they don’t block the view of guests or conversations. Probably nice to group yours with live mini pumpkins, gourds, and indian corn? My guests absolutely loved their Thanksgiving avatars, lol! Everyone had a lot of fun finding theirs and where they were seated. So glad I went all out last year, as the memories are now precious.
I’m always so excited for your posts to see how you do your napkins! It’s so pretty and I love the plates and centerpiece! All so amazing!
Thank you Kristin. Napkin folds are such an easy way to style a festive table — just reuse napkins you already have and transform them into an interesting shape.
Debbee, your guests must feel so special and loved when they come to your house for Thanksgiving. It shows that you put a lot of thought, care, and love into your tablesettings. They all three are absolutely beautiful! Those place cards are precious! What a fun idea! I hope that your November is filled with many blessings!
Very sweet of you Shannon! If my sons remember anything, I hope it’s that their mom was kind and loving to family and friends, was generous and thoughtful to all, and celebrated occasions with style and gusto!
What a cute idea for pumpkin napkins! Great ideas, very creative options!
Hi Linda, nice to “meet” you and thanks for visiting! To be honest, many kernels of ideas are sparked by things I found on Pinterest. Have a wonderful holiday!
Debbee, You’re the hostess with the mostest! I know your family felt blessed to part of the Thanksgiving festivities, especially in light of this year, enjoying the food and fellowship. Your little Indian and Pilgrim place cards are adorable, along with your pumpkin napkin folds! I hope you are able to travel and spend the holiday with your sons this year.
So happy to be hopping with you again and join you at the table. Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving. ♥
Mary, what a generous and lovely thing to say — thank you! I am using those happy memories (including our hilarious bowling tournament) to sustain me this year. Our youngest is an excellent cook and helps prepare and clean up holiday meals. He is so excited to host this year. I’m looking forward to letting him be in charge, while I sit on the couch, casted foot propped up, and a puppy snuggled next to me.
Debbee, you are amazing to decorate 3 tables, one just as pretty as the next! I adore the pumpkin napkins you created and the place settings are too cute. You have some incredible dishes in your collection. I love, love the set you used. Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Well Michelle, I have had a lifetime to collect and make a good amount of Thanksgiving decor and seasonal tableware. One of the perks of getting older, lol! Part of the fun of setting 3 tables, was that I got to use nearly all my fall theme stuff at once while doing a few new crafts.
What pretty tables! I love the pumpkin shaped napkin rings and all the festive fall colors. My favorite thing has got to be those personalized photo figures…such an adorable idea! Great hopping with you again! Shelley
I’m pretty traditional when it comes to decorating for fall Shelley. Love all the vibrant, rich shades of the season. As much as everyone remarked about the table settings, their pilgrim and indian “avatars” caused the most excitement and laughter. I couldn’t have been more pleased.
Debbee, What a wonderful gathering it must have been! There is nothing like a houseful for a holiday! All of your tables are lovely and have so many beautiful elements! I really love that tablecloth with the turkeys on it! I hope you have a safe a happy Thanksgiving!
Oh, but it was! Everyone helped, and that meant I really got to enjoy myself visiting and hanging out. All the time and effort put into the feast, but it was the love and laughter while being together that is what everyone will remember best. Well, and maybe their avatar figures lol!
Debbee, I am so spoiled having to enjoy all three of your beautiful tables. I love them all and they all work so well for the holiday. They rich and vibrant Fall colors are stunning on each of the tables. The earthy chocolate brown color is perfect and plays up the golds, burgundy and burnt orange colors. (I think brown should be used more throughout the year, don’t you?) Your details are superb, including the pumpkin napkins and mix of textures. Not just one, but three exquisite tablescapes! Gorgeous!
You are so generous to say so Marsha — thank you! I agree about how lovely a rich brown can be, especially when paired with vibrant colors. I especially like it with teal shades too. Even with neutral, creamy shades if mixing textures too. I really enjoyed planning out the tables, which were several months in the making. The pumpkin napkin fold is also nice because they so easily open to place on your lap.
Greetings Deebee, I am savoring your blog post this afternoon. Such a treat to have you share three gorgeous tablescapes to inspire us, I am enjoying them all and I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite, although I might just pick the brown! This is unique and really speaks to me. I am an earthy sort of gal and enjoy all the beauty that nature has to offer and oh the twig silverware is wonderful! Love the name of your Harvest Gold dishes too.
I know you’ll enjoy your upcoming Thanksgiving Trip. It sounds to me like you are confidently going forward with your plans! Happy Thanksgiving
Jemma, I am so delighted that you enjoyed seeing the tables! Appreciate all your generous remarks. Other than the peacocks and color, I like that the plate pattern looks vintage. They also look great paired with the twig flatware and woodcuts. The 8 place settings of gold dishes I found at a resale shop several years ago, right before Thanksgiving, for only $20! Even though my tableware storage is maxed out, I couldn’t pass them up. Not sure we are “confident” about the holiday this year, but we are taking lots of precautions beforehand. That includes my sons getting tested for the virus to ensure they aren’t asymptomatic carriers. And, we’ll all be staying in at my son’s cooking, watching TV, playing games and just hanging out.
Debbee, each table is festive and welcoming. Love the idea of the pumpkin napkins!!!
Happy holidays ahead! Autumn is my favorite season!
Hi ya Sara, lovely to hear from you! So happy you enjoyed the tables and napkins. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. So, unlike most bloggers, I hold off until after it’s passed before decorating the house for Christmas. Of course, I leave most of my winter season decor and tableware (snowmen, polar bear and moose) up through Feb 1.
Debbee you are so talented and I always look forward to your inspiring table settings. Love the napkin folds, especially love the BC pilgrims and Indians….I also have the wire pumpkin and i painted it white to stand out a bit. LOL (if an item sits for too long, the spray paint can shows up. )
It is always a pleasure to see the clever way you make your guests feel special. Hugs my friend keep off that foot…and heal quickly. I feel your pain. LOL
She’s baaaack! Hurray! Missed our “conversations” Kari. Can’t believe you have that wire pumpkin too — great minds I guess lol! Hmm, white huh? It never even occurred to me to use spray paint. That’s a good idea to be able to update or change up things.
I can’t really complain about the foot. Pain has been minimal after the initial few days. It’s not being able to get around and discomfort in bed. I’m now one month post surgery. Today, they removed the stitches and instead of putting me back in the cast, I’m in a hard boot. Still no weight bearing for another month, but at least I can take it off to shower. Most importantly, twice a day I can flex and rotate my toes and ankle to insure I don’t build up too much scar tissue. Real PT starts a week after Thanksgiving. By Xmas I should be in shoe and walking cautiously unaided.
I love your table settings…all three. I even looked at your lovely table with apples trying to find a tutorial on how to fold the pumpkin/ apple napkins, did I miss it?
Thanks Debbie! I didn’t provide a tutorial because the fold is someone else’s invention. But, here’s the link to link to Patti’s instructions. Let me know how it turns out.
Hats off to you for styling three gorgeous tables! Each flows so well into the other and it would be a joy to have a seat at any of them. I love the pictures that you included, what a thoughtful touch. Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy!
Thanks so much Sandra! Although 3 was out of necessity to accommodate the number of guests. Would love to have you a seat at my table.
Love them all! You are such a talented tablescaper:) Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm. xo Kathleen
Thanks Kathleen, I especially enjoy bringing out family treasures to set the table — some of which have been in the family for generations and 75-100 years. Nice to think of all the other family gatherings they were a part of.
Wow Debbee! You really outdid yourself with 3 different tablescapes! They all look terrific! I’m always awed by the little details you put into your tables and all of the planning it takes. I’m sure everyone looks forward to holidays at your house, but I’m glad to hear you’re going to take it easy this year and let your son be the host. You will have a nice time cuddling the puppy :). I need to check out your pumpkin/apple napkin folding tutorial. Thanks for adding the link to the twig flatware…I’ve been wanting some since I started these tablescape hops. It was fun hopping with you again. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Delighted to hear you enjoyed the trio of tables Rebecca. It’s kinda a curse, my “need” to obsess over details lol! I feel blessed to have the memories of last year’s gathering to reflect on now. Saying my prayers that nothing derails our Thanksgiving week in Philly with the boys. My son is over the moon about his puppy and I’m longing to meet Bentley in person. Did you order the flatware? It’s probably my favorite set, not counting the family heirloom sterling.
I would love to know where you found the maple leaf black napkins.
Hi Debra, lovely to “meet” you! I found the napkins at Home Goods, but it was a few years ago. Because it was only a package of 4, I went to a second location trying to find another set — but couldn’t. I think they are quite striking and love how the black coordinates with both my china patterns.
Debbee, what fabulous tables – I can only imagine all the work that went into them! I love the WS turkey tablecloth with your re-discovered centerpiece and brown transferware. And the black napkins with the leaves are just stunning. But then the gold Bordallo Pinhiero gold plates are gorgeous too, as is the leaf tablecloth and wood slice chargers. See what I mean? Impossible to choose – love them all!
In truth, I had a lot of fun styling the trio of tables. The stress was not knowing the final number and figuring out who to seat where. In the end, everyone really enjoyed mixing up the seating of households. Delighted you enjoyed them all Kim! I had a blast pulling out all my tableware, and the opportunity to craft sweater pumpkins and the photo place cards. At this point, (after years of accumulating), I didn’t have to purchase anything new either.
Debbee, as usual, you have such creative ideas. Congratulations, you are being featured on Happiness Is Homemade Party. Hugs, Bev
Bev, want you to know how much I appreciate you featuring one of my posts. It’s a thrill each and every time!