Decor – Thanksgiving Table Decorations

On Thanksgiving morning Jeff is up early in the kitchen to prepare the turkey for the oven.  The smell of onions and celery cooking on the stove always brings back wonderful childhood memories – I loved waking up to the smell of my Mother fixing Thanksgiving dinner back home in California.  Another heavenly smell coming from the kitchen is the pumpkin pies baking in the oven and Jeff makes wonderfully delicious pumpkin pies but my favorite is his pumpkin cheesecake!  (Gosh, I’m suddenly hungry!)

In our house, we have an ongoing family joke – Jeff is in charge of all the cooking and I am in charge of the presentation and setting a beautiful table.  Jeff actually enjoys preparing Thanksgiving dinner so I’m lucky that I don’t have to cook! The decorations in our dining room usually start with a floral arrangement of golden roses in a lovely Tiffany crystal vase that stays on the dining room table all year. (The photo shown above was taken last year) I always add peasant feathers to the arrangement with several small pumpkins and gourds placed around to give it a fall festive look.  This Fall season I am making a Victorian inspired centerpiece with fruits and feathers, the rose floral arrangement will be moved to the family room.  I think the new Fall centerpiece looks lovely on our dining room table and adds the perfect elegant touch. (Please see last week’s Craft post for full instructions for the Fall Victorian Centerpiece shown in the photo below.) When I change the holiday decorations it allows me the chance to be creative and make something new to keep the process fresh every year!

Since Thanksgiving is a time to gather for a wonderful dinner and give thanks, I wanted to have a special decoration to honor and remember our families.  Living so far from everyone on the west coast, we rarely have the huge celebrations like we had back in California.  Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations were always the highlight of our holiday entertaining and we enjoyed having family and friends over to celebrate!  In the years since we moved to the Midwest, we have been very fortunate to spend Thanksgiving dinner with my Mother, Jeff’s Mother, Grandparents and also his Aunt and Uncle.  Many of those family members have passed away over the last few years and we miss them very much.  So, to complete the dining room decorations, there is a “Memory Tree” on the tea table.  This small tabletop pine tree is decorated with small family photo frames and golden feathers.  (Please see next week’s Craft post for directions on creating your own Memory Tree or Wreath as shown in the photo above.)


When the decorations are finished, I cover the table with an ivory tablecloth.  This year I will be using a lovely family crocheted tablecloth that I recently found in my Mother’s house.  I will set the table with our best china, vintage silverware and lovely crystal glasses.  Since my Mother recently passed away this year I will remember her when I set the table with the Noritake “Rothschild” china that she bought for our wedding.  I love the classic pattern and the colors are a lovely silver and muted blue.  For serving I will use pieces from my silver bowl and platter collection that I have loved finding in antique stores over the years.  When you take the time to set a beautiful table it honors your guests and lets them know the meal you celebrate together is special.

How do you set the table for your Thanksgiving meal?

Craft – Fall Victorian Centerpiece

Throughout the year I keep the same floral arrangement, golden roses in a Tiffany vase, on my dining room table. This year I decided to make a special centerpiece with the rich colors of fall for our Thanksgiving table. I wanted something in a Victorian Style that was elegant, but not very complicated to create. The Victorians loved to mix fruit into their arrangements and this grand style reflects the era.  I thought an arrangement using these materials and this style would be perfect for our dining room.

Fall Victorian Centerpiece – supplies

  • 2   cake stands
  • 2   foam bricks, cut into pieces
  • 8   pine boughs, cut into individual pieces
  • assortment of artificial fruits – grapes, apples, pears and pomegranates
  • 3   pheasant feather sprays

Fall Victorian Centerpiece – instructions

  1. Cut one foam brick lengthwise and use the two pieces for the bottom tier, cut the edges at an angle if needed.  Cut the other foam brick in half and use one piece on the top tier.
  2. Cut pine boughs into individual pieces and insert each piece separately into the foam bricks, evenly spaced throughout each tier.
  3. Insert toothpicks into the bottom of each individual piece of fruit.  Insert each fruit separately into the foam bricks, evenly spaced throughout each tier.  Grapes can be secured by inserting the stem into the foam brick.
  4. To finish the top tier, insert pheasant feathers.


As you can see, the completed Fall Victorian Centerpiece looks lovely on our dining room table.  For this arrangement I used “sugared” fruit, but more realistic ones would work as well.  The look is very classic and elegant and will look beautiful when the table is set with our fine china, crystal and silverware for Thanksgiving dinner.

Decor – Fall Home Decorations

FALL … the weather turns a little cooler; there is a fire in the fireplace, and steaming hot chocolate in mugs to drink!  It is now the time to change out the spring/summer decorations and replace them with fall decorations.

Due to the unpredictable Midwest weather, I usually keep the exterior decorations of the house simple.  This year I decided to embellish a simple wooden pumpkin sign I used as a front door decoration from a previous year.  Because of the shape of the sign, I choose an oval wreath to match and added some gold chrysanthemums and fall leaves that I already had.

Since the fall season has two holidays, I have two different signs for our front porch.  For Halloween I have a “Trick or Treat” wooden black cat and for Thanksgiving I have a resin Scarecrow on a wooden stick tied with a raffia bow.  To complete the porch, I set out four pumpkins.

This year, I am excited to add one of my recent Craft projects.  The Corncob Luminaries were very easy to make and a great way to use recycled water bottles. On Thanksgiving Day, these luminaries will be placed on the walkway leading to our front door and will set a festive mood to greet our Thanksgiving dinner guests.

Now, it is time to decorate the interior of our house.

In our entry, I have a low bench and I place a wooden “scarecrow” crow (funny!) with a sign that reads, “Welcome, Happy Harvest”.  On a pedestal next to the bench, I have a white rose floral arrangement and with the addition of some peasant feathers it changes to a fall festive look!  (Another idea is to add fall leaves or peacock feathers to an existing arrangement – these simple ideas can really stretch a holiday decorating budget – maybe you can buy a fabulous fall sweater with the money saved!)

In the family room, I arrange several pine sprays on the mantel over the fireplace and add several ceramic fall leaves and red berry sprays.  The pine sprays usually stay on the mantel and I will remove the Fall decorations and replace them with the Christmas decorations later – this saves time and expenses.  I also place two charming scarecrows on the fireplace mantel to complete this area.


In the library, I have a small glass front lawyer’s bookcase which displays my Boyd’s Bear Collection.  On the top shelf, I add my seasonal figurines which for Thanksgiving are a set of Pilgrim and Indians Boyd’s Bears.  On the middle shelf, I add fall leaves to my existing Bear figurine collection.  The bottom shelf holds my Boyd’s Bear Village.  I usually decorate this for every season and for fall I replace the summer/spring trees with bare branch trees.  I add a pumpkin patch and a couple of turkeys to give this display the look of a crisp fall afternoon!


In the dining room, the main decoration will be a lovely Fall Victorian Centerpiece for the table.  This is another one of my recent projects for fall.  (Please, look for this week’s Craft post for full instructions)  Since I am using this new centerpiece, I have moved the floral arrangement I use year round in the dining room to a table in the family room and add peasant feathers to give it a great fall look.  I love when my decorations are versatile, not specific to one area, and can be used in other rooms of the house.  This allows me to be creative with my holiday decorations and it keeps the process fresh every year!

In the china cabinet, I arrange three Currier and Ives porcelain house that I bought several years ago from a local craft store.  These are arranged on a mirrored silver display stand.  I add several small figurines and pine trees to create a charming display that transitions from Fall to Christmas.  I love when my holiday decorations can be used for more then one season!

To complete the dining room, I place a “memory tree” on the tea table.  During the Fall season this small tabletop pine tree is decorated with small family photo frames and golden feathers.  Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks and with this special decoration it is a wonderful way to honor and remember our families.  (Please, look for an upcoming Craft post with full instructions on creating your own Memory Tree or Wreath)

In the kitchen, I have a basket of artificial vegetables placed in the corner and it usually stays there year-round.  For the Fall season, I add a resin pumpkin carved with the words, “Harvest Welcome”.   Above the kitchen cabinets, I have a picture frame that reads, “Celebrate family, friends, traditions” which is perfect for Thanksgiving.  Normally it is displayed with a trio of decorative green plates and ceramic tea pots but I replace the teapots with two ceramic pumpkins for Fall.  Once again, I love to multi-purpose the items in the house by adding simple decorative items to an existing display and this saves both time and expenses.  (You’ve got to love that idea, right?)