30 Ideas for Easy Thanksgiving Decorating | Midwest Living

30 Ideas for Easy Thanksgiving Decorating

Decorate your home for Thanksgiving with our ideas for centerpieces, mantel displays, Thanksgiving craft projects, wreaths and more.


Small pumpkins and gourds spilling out of a cornucopia create a lush seasonal look on your tabletop.

Creative candleholders

Use repurposed candleholders for easy fall displays of small pumpkins and gourds. Look for inexpensive candleholders in varying heights at a garage sale or antiques store, then spray-paint black for a unified look.

Thankful wreath

 A "Give Thanks" wreath sets a welcoming Thanksgiving tone at your front door. Decorate a homemade or purchased evergreen wreath with roses, pinecones, hypericum berries, champagne grapes and hydrangeas (keep flower stems in water picks).

Cozy glow

Wrap glass votive holders in textural flair. Tie raffia around three or four overlapping moistened corn husks trimmed to fit. A spotted guinea fowl feather (available at crafts stores) adds a flourish. 

Stacked gourds

Bring autumn to your table or mantel by showing off gourds in cylindrical vases. Use containers of different sizes, and stack varying numbers of gourds. Add a pretty curving touch with a length of fresh pumpkin vine or another fresh or artificial vine.


Small pumpkins and gourds spilling out of a cornucopia create a lush seasonal look on your tabletop.

Hues of autumn

Footed glass containers show off ribbons, beans and nuts in fall hues. The copper tray adds shiny sophistication and makes the arrangement portable.

Moss and rocks

This table arrangement works perfectly for a quick and easy Thanksgiving decoration. Arrange rocks and bits of moss around small candles in tiny flowerpots. Switch in tiny ornaments and sprigs of evergreen to keep it on your table into December!

Thankful tree

Invite family or guests to write messages of thanks on paper ornaments. Tie ornaments to tree branches anchored in sand in a pitcher. They make a memorable keepsake if guests sign and date their ornament.

Acorn votive

Place these pretty votives on your Thanksgiving dining table, mantel or coffee table. Just gather acorns and layer in a cup around a small candle. Save a few acorns to scatter near your display.

Cuffed vases

Add Thanksgiving flavor to a tabletop or mantel with cylinder vases filled with nuts and flowers. Roll coordinating scrapbook paper into decorative cuffs that slip inside the vase. Vary the look by substituting wheat, branches or snips of any pretty leafy plant for the flowers.


Acorn tree

A coat of paint transforms acorns into tiny ornaments. Hang them from a branch with twine loops glued to the caps. The long serving tray, filled with more acorns and a bowl, visually balances the display. Adjust the colors of the paint to coordinate with your table linens.

Bountiful tabletop

Create a beautiful table display that shows off the bounty of the season. Cylindrical vases filled with birdseed provide a sturdy base for branches from which small pumpkins dangle on bits of twine. Between the vases, hollowed-out gourds hold candles as well as berries. Finish the look by arranging berries, pinecones, gourds, branches and moss around the vases.

Flower ring

Fashion flowers from corn husks for seasonal napkin rings. To create the flower, cut a freehand spiral from a soaked corn husk so it has at least four rings. Starting from the outside, roll up the spiral. This will form a rose shape. Let dry; the rose should hold its shape loosely. Secure with gel glue. Glue a circle to the base. For the ring, cut out a rectangle and fold to form a loop. Hot-glue ends. Glue flower to the top, and you’re ready!

Natural display

A pumpkin "basket" makes an imaginative centerpiece for a fall table.

 Hollow out the pumpkin, then place a block of wet floral foam inside. Position a pillar candle in the foam and surround with fall blooms and berries to complete this DIY fall decoration.

Nature's artistry wreath

Embellish a square store-bought magnolia wreath with color-coordinated real and faux materials, including twigs, seedpods, nuts, berries, wheat and leaves.

Appreciate your ancestry

Holidays are the perfect time to teach youngsters about their heritage. Make it an activity by cutting out copies of vintage baby photos and arranging them on the wall in a "family tree." Family members can guess who's who.

Bountiful bouquet

Turn a tall glass vase into a feather-filled display. Arrange wheat, green Hypericum berries and purchased feathers in a vase filled with birdseed.

Pinecone tree

Use materials from your yard and crafts store to make a display worth showing off until winter is past. Stand branches in a clear cylindrical vase, adding small pinecones and glass or plastic balls filled with greenery to support the branches. Hang small pinecones and tiny snowflake ornaments from the branches. 

Bottle display

Show off bittersweet berries in gold, green and clear bottles on a windowsill or shelf. Tiny gourds between the bottles add another shape to the seasonal mix.

Pen your thanks

Make the holiday meal more meaningful by giving each guest a personal note of appreciation. Present the notes in envelopes as place cards. Or turn them into keepsakes: Print each message on colorful paper and wrap it around a candleholder. (But don't leave lit candles unattended.)

Corks and candles

This super-easy centerpiece showcases the rustic, natural texture of wine corks inside a footed clear-glass candleholder. For more fall color, add leaves or berries among the corks. Make sure any flammable materials are protected from the candle, or use a battery-powered candle for safety.

Center of attention

For a bountiful centerpiece, cover a cake stand with fanned out corn husks. Then pile on gourds, leaves and ornamental corn.

Flowers under glass

Just flip unused flutes and wine glasses over flower buds for this easy last-minute centerpiece. Place on top of a decorative charger or tray. For a long-lasting arrangement, use artificial flowers.

Mixed-nut wreath

Turn a crafts-store wood frame into a harvest wreath. Hot-glue Brazil nuts, hazelnuts and acorns to the frame. Hang with a chocolate-hue ribbon.

Thanksgiving card tray

These simple cards send seasonal messages or identify where guests sit. Cut cardstock with pinking shears and decorate with rubber-stamp designs and handwritten messages. Choose tone-on-tone or metallic ink for a sophisticated look.

Photo display

Stems with just a few leaves or berries make natural holders for family photographs. Tie branches with twine and add evergreen tassels; insert photos in the branches, clipping them on if needed to hold in place.

Natural tones

For a wreath that lasts from fall through Christmas, try this brown and gold arrangement.

Wire dried artichokes, lotus pods and pinecones to the bottom of a grapevine wreath. Tuck brown- and gold-tinted magnolia leaves (from a crafts store) between twigs. If needed, secure leaves with hot glue. A glittery bird ornament perched on a pinecone (and secured with wire) adds shimmer.

China and roses

Rummage through your old china—or find vintage mismatched pieces at a garage sale— to create this pretty tiered display. Use a large china plate as the base, then stack teacups and smaller plates. Add fresh or artificial orange flowers on each level, and place a small amount of foliage in the top teacup.

Nature's basket

Embellish a woven basket by gluing on tiny pinecones, acorn caps and acorns. 

Rose candleholders

Dress up wood candleholders with roses and greenery. Soak florists foam until saturated, then tape to the top of candleholders. Cover with roses and hypericum. Keep the arrangement on a towel until the foam no longer drips. 

Corn and leaf wreath

Red silk leaves give a color pop to this fall wreath. Start with a premade twig wreath. Fluff husks and arrange ears around the center of the wreath (mini ears work best). Attach corn with wire or hot glue, then add silk leaves with a dab of glue.

More Thanksgiving ideas

Click below for more great Thanksgiving decorating and food ideas. 

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