My dining room table is festooned with a Thanksgiving Table Display from late September right up to the holiday weekend.  It’s my way of bringing the Autumn into my home every year!

fall tablescapes with candlelight


I’m a four seasons kind of gal!  So when the weather begins to cool, I create my yearly Thanksgiving Table Display that remains until right after the holiday.  I especially love the impact this focal point gives my great room throughout the holiday season.



I have a special love affair with the Fall months. That gives me ample reasons to festoon my home inside and out with spectacular swaths of nature’s bounty.  I’ve been collecting fall decorations since we moved to WNC some 15 years ago from Miami.

fall dining table decorationsI didn’t really feel the “call” to do much seasonal decorating in South Florida, the Winter holidays can be less than inspirational there.

It’s not easy getting motivated about  snowmen and sleds.   So when I was able to call a “four-season” climate home, I started collecting in earnest.

No, I don’t really have lots of space, and Yes, the hubby minds!  We’re working it out…

I know not everyone has a humongous collection of decorative Fall items.  That’s why I’ve included a FALL DECOR RESOURCE SECTION at the end of this post.

It will help you select some of your own fabulous Fall decorative items to create a glorious seasonal display. 

You can click on the item and check it out right on the spot.



You can see my “glass menagerie” pictured here.  But in my defense, I COLLECT SALT & PEPPER SHAKERS!  With that in mind (6 Fall themed sets are shown), the collection isn’t really all that big, only about 25 sets or so…

Along our travels, H.H. and I wanted to collect something that we could easily pack anywhere in the world.  So, we collect magnets together (poor man’s art!) and I do the S&P thing.

I’ll be showing you in a future post how H.H. and I display our magnets from all over the world.  Since I’m decorating our mountaintop home with a French Country vibe, I’ll show you how I created a lovely way to stay within my decor theme, yet be able to showcase our travel memories.



I’ve showcased lots of my collection in a few related Fall posts which you can take a look at here:

How to Decorate Your Fireplace and Mantle for Thanksgiving

Fabulous Fall Front Porch Decor Ideas To Inspire You! 

My collection has grown to 7 large bins of Fall decorations, among them various garlands, wreaths, silk leaves and faux squash and flowers.


fall dining table decorations

Since my collection is quite large, I decorate my front porch, the two fireplace hearths/mantels and the dining room table.

I’m going to show you today how to make a fabulous Fall/Thanksgiving table display that can remain throughout the entire season.  I always build mine by mid-October and dismantle it after all our Thanksgiving entertaining.



corn husk fall mantel garlandWhile we’re talking fireplace mantels, I wanted to take a moment to share a fabulous Fall DIY Home Decor Project!

It’s my CORN HUSK FALL MANTEL GARLAND!  My inspiration came from a bag of leftover corn husks I was tired of looking at in my cupboard.  After all, how many tamales can you eat? 

So I set about creating my own version of a lovely fireplace mantel garland I coveted at a lovely B&B last Fall.

It’s super simple, and easily customized with your own creativity and personal taste.

I even created a printable PDF set of instructions and pics to take you through it step-by-step.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE POST:  Corn Husk Fall Mantel Garland



You can go either of two ways when creating your Thanksgiving table display.  Doing your seasonal display on a foyer or sofa table gives a fabulous Fall vibe to your communal space.  Or, you can set it up right on your dining room table, like I’ve been doing for the past decade or so.

Yes grasshopper, you can have a display and still use the table to eat dinners!  


fabulous fall centerpiece ideas for your home

NOTE:  Don’t overlook the fact that Thanksgiving dinner must be served plated/buffet style with this decor plan, as there will be no room for serving dishes.

First, here’s a few tips to follow that will ensure your Thanksgiving table display will look lovely for weeks. You’ll also be able to eat dinners at your table and enjoy your Fall display too!

  • Use a tablecloth that is a solid, darker color of green, brown, gold or rust (patterns compete with the display)
  • For a foyer/sofa table you can choose a runner, doily or no cloth at all, depending on your style.
  • Set 4 places at the table with the plate/charger you’ll be using for your Thanksgiving meal. Do both ends and centered on each side.  Also include the wine/water glasses that will be part of the individual place settings. This ensures that your “design” won’t encroach on the diner’s space.
  • Include your salt & pepper shakers in your display (one set on each long side). There won’t be space to place them on the table after the fact.  (I can see you rolling your eyes! It would be a nice touch if you had cute ones…)
  • Use matching placemats for meals eaten at the table prior to the big Thanksgiving meal.  The placemats will keep your tablecloth clean. 



Now, you’ve also got to decide if you want to include live elements in your design.  A display that utilizes fresh pumpkins and squash is a lovely seasonal nod to the season’s harvest.  They’re fabulous when accentuated with faux items and candles/votives if desired. 


fabulous fall centerpiece ideas for your home

Here’s an example of a small centered composition.  This type of display lends itself to a family that uses their dining table on a regular basis.  Depending on the components, a live display will generally last up to 3 weeks.

This is a list of some live elements that will bring a fresh-harvest vibe to your dinner table:

  • Miniature pumpkins
  • White pie-size pumpkins
  • Pomegranates 
  • Assorted Nuts in Shells
  • Sugar pumpkins
  • Assorted miniature gourds
  • Assorted crook-necked squash
  • Whole Nuts in the Shell
  • Miniature Indian Corn bundles
  • Acorn squash
  • Pine cones
  • Acorns   
  • Fresh chestnuts



To have a balanced composition, choose a variety of items in various colors, patterns and sizes. 

  • First you’ll need a few larger pieces to “anchor” the grouping.
  • Then add numerous medium sized elements to establish the shape of the display.
  • Lastly, finish up with smaller items that will “fill in the gaps” to complete the basic arrangement.


You’ll want to add some fall leaves, faux mums and the like to add additional texture and color to give a “finished” look to your Thanksgiving table decorations.  In the picture above, you can see I’ve got several jumbo leaves that I use as an underpinning around the edges of the display. 

silk Fall leaves in stacks

Now, you’ve got to see what I scored this year!

Check out these fabulous Fall silk leaves I snagged on Amazon a while back. Yes, those are stacks of maple leaves.  I believe there are 100 in all.

Considering, I think I’ll be up to my ears in maple leaves for a long time to come. 



Step 1: 

We’re going for a longer rectangular or round shape, depending on the size and shape of your table.  Place your ironed table covering on the table surface.  For a foyer or sofa table, you might choose a runner, lacy doily, burlap length, etc. instead, or no covering at all.

Step 2:

RECTANGLE – Place your largest pieces at the two ends of the rectangle and one centered in a straight line. You can use two instead staggered down the center for help form the rectangle.

CIRCLE – Using the “rule of odds”, place 3 of your large pieces in a cluster, the tallest being most centered.  Work the same way with your medium and small pieces, obviously using much fewer items.

Step 3:  Use a garland to wind around your largest pieces to start forming the outline of your shape.fall dining table decorations

Step 4:  After placing your largest pieces, begin to fill in with your medium items, taking care to distribute colors, shapes and patterns in a pleasing arrangement.

Step 5:  Finish with smaller decor and fill in with silk leaves, fall decor picks, pine cones and whatever fits your locale. 



While you’re planning your Thanksgiving tablescape you don’t want to forget to decide what napkins you’ll be using and how they will be displayed. 

I generally wouldn’t use anything too “kitchy” on my table. But when H.H. and I downsized, we purchased a home that had been on the rental market in this golf and ski resort. 

The end result is that we “inherited” furniture, linens and various/sundry household items.  The turkey napkins rings “came with the house”.

I also included a first course soup place setting to show how you can layer your place settings.  These bowls/plates are simple, but pack lots of style when combined to create multi-layer place settings.    

Check out this gallery of pictures to help inspire you while planning your decorating for the fall season.


DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click a PINK link and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission.



Now it’s time to check out some of the fabulous Fall decor items available this season at some of my favorite retailers.  I’ve included lots of great pieces that are perfect for forming the foundation of your Fall Thanksgiving Table Display.

Here’s a small curated list of items I think would be lovely additions to your Fall collection:






Okay, now I think I shared all the tips and hacks you could possibly need. And then given you some fabulous choices to add to your Fall decor collections.  So, now it’s time to get out the step ladder, and pull out those dusty boxes from last Fall.

What do you have already, what do you want to add this year?  Maybe you found some great things to purchase in the Resource Section.

Either way, why not make a plan to turn on your favorite music or a Hallmark Christmas movie (yes, they’ve already started!).  Pour a nice glass of your favorite libation and have a blast creating your Fab Fall Thanksgiving Table Display! 


How about my favorite recipes for Turkey Brine and Rub?  Or what about some lovely Thanksgiving Dinner Guest Place Cards? I’ll tell you how to get them at the bottom of this post! 


fall tablescapes with candlelight

You’re a design force that is not to be stopped!

Don’t forget to show us how you created a Thanksgiving table display your way, in your personal style!  Hop over to THE FAB LIFE FACEBOOK GROUP and post your “finished” decorations.  We’re dying to see how you “Do Thanksgiving”!


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UPDATED 9/22/21






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