Easy Thanksgiving Centerpieces | Midwest Living

Easy Thanksgiving Centerpieces

Top your Thanksgiving table with an easy-to-make centerpiece and other simple decorations.

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.

Seasonal abundance

Complete this fresh Thanksgiving centerpiece with a single trip to the grocery store and a little creativity. Carve out the center of a head of purple cabbage and fill the space with florists' foam or a small vase and water. Fill the opening with your favorite blooms, and surround the cabbage with small artichokes, spiky lettuce and colorful berries.

Fruit and greens

Place pillar candles, evergreen branches, pinecones and clementines on a beveled-edge mirror for a nature-inspired tabletop arrangement.

Nature's invite

Wood rounds give a rustic yet modern spin on traditional chargers or placemats. Sprigs of greenery and tiny pinecones on the napkin rings continue the nature theme.

Pretty in white

For a simple tabletop arrangement, place mini white or orange-stripe pumpkins on white candlesticks and dishware. A bittersweet branch in a vase adds a punch of bright color. Fill in with gourds to complete the elegant display. (The little orange-stripe gourds are called 'Lil' Pump-Ke-Mon'.)

Tiered bounty

To create this tiered Thanksgiving centerpiece, press dahlias, fruits and vegetables into water-soaked florists' foam on a tiered fruit basket or cake stand lined with plastic. Our centerpiece includes figs, pomegranates and grapes.

Orange-and-white beauty

White pumpkins encircled by bittersweet vine and set along an orange table runner create a striking table arrangement.

Edible arrangement

Everyone loves pie at Thanksgiving, so why not incorporate it into your centerpiece? Place pies on pedestals or cake stands at different heights. A birch trunk makes a pretty, natural pedestal. Fill in with leaves and fruits. Use small paper flags to label pie flavors.

Souper scene

Fill a tureen with water-soaked florists' foam and a colorful combination of fall flowers and gourds. Dahlias, mums and scabiosa centers were used here along with a few dried gourds.


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

Harvest table

An easy grouping of seasonal items and colors brings autumn to your tabletop.

Orange and white pumpkins plus yellow chrysanthemums in a sunny yellow container create an eye-catching centerpiece. Elevate some of the pumpkins for added flair.

Naturally simple

Pears, nuts, fall leaves and wheat grouped in a wire bowl form a pretty centerpiece that celebrates autumn's bounty. Accent the display with a solid-color table runner and chartreuse Hypericum berries grouped in small glass vases or cups.

Thankful tree

Decorate your table or mantel with this simple centerpiece. Spray-paint a branch white and nestle in nuts inside a tall, clear vase. Tie on construction paper or foam leaves with the names of family and friends and what they are most thankful for this year.

Soft touches

Amidst an eclectic mix of plush, wooden and glass pieces, a tall vase of deep red leaves draws the eye. The palette of the Thanksgiving table setting complements the baby blue stripes on the love seat; the soft white mini pumpkins coordinate with the rest of the surrounding furniture. 

Corn place setting

Braided ribbon holds dried corn in a cloth napkin for a simple place setting.

Harvest holder

Turn a small pumpkin into a candleholder by carving out the middle. Hot-glue mini pinecones and berries around the pumpkin top then surround with larger pinecones, gourds, mini pumpkins and moss. Corral the grouping with birch branches. To add more fall flair, hang mini pumpkins from a twig tree at each end of the table.

Small world

An old globe becomes a unique display vessel when you separate the hemispheres. To create a seasonal look, place pinecones, acorns, seedpods, small pumpkins and bittersweet inside the "bowl." Elevate it on a short candleholder, cup or vase. The centerpiece is a pretty reminder to be thankful for our world and environment.

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.

Autumn glow

To create a low centerpiece that encourages conversations even across the table, group fall-hue pillar candles of different heights on top of a wood cutting board. Finish the look with dried oranges, fall gourds and bittersweet. For coordinating place settings, top each napkin with a single fall leaf, and tie a velvety ribbon around the middle.

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.

Easy maize

Maize and wheat create a simple Thanksgiving centerpiece that harkens back to the origins of the holiday. Place dry floral foam in a galvanized pail or bucket so that it sticks up over the rim an inch or two. Insert wheat stalks into the foam. They should fan out around the edges of the container. Top with multicolor ears of maize. For festive place settings, attach a name card to an extra cob set on each plate.

Uplifting arrangement

Put white gourds on pedestals for a fun last-minute autumn table topper. Repurpose old table legs and balusters as low pedestals (shown here), or try candleholders, cake stands, goblets or clay pots. A bright table runner ties it all together.

Quiet country

A bunch of hydrangeas overflowing from a single vessel adds understated elegance to an autumn table. Emphasize fall's bounty by placing green and white gourds around the arrangement and flanking it with lanterns.

Easy fruit box

Use a wooden box to serve as a centerpiece. Fill the base with dry floral foam, then tuck mixed evergreens throughout. Attach citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons and limes, to floral picks, and tuck them into the greenery. For the clove patterns, use a pencil to draw spirals or other designs on an orange, then poke whole cloves into the skin at evenly spaced points.

Pretty place cards

Focus on each guest with a handwritten place card that's decorated with a twig of orange-red bittersweet. Holiday-shape chocolates at each place setting will sweetly draw guests' attention.

Colorful bunches

Fall-color blooms and berries in round glass vases brighten an autumn table in minutes. Try spicy-hue orange chrysanthemums, bittersweet, marigolds, poppies or zinnias.

Pumpkin vases

Turn white 'Lumina' pumpkins into pretty fall containers. Remove tops and hollow out pumpkins. Insert containers to hold floral arrangements and water. Cattails, fall leaves, seasonal berries and orange tulips create a sophisticated mix.

Color burst

Combine dried and fresh flowers for a striking display. Light pink-and-green hydrangeas form a base for bold hot-pink peonies (dried with silica gel) and red bittersweet.

Corn candle

For a last-minute Thanksgiving centerpiece, place candles inside clear-glass vases and fill with yellow corn kernels or popcorn kernels. Enjoy the simple glow.

Go nuts!

Surround a sweet arrangement of roses (or other flowers) with different kinds of nuts -- Brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts -- for an easy table topper that doubles as a snack.

Easy does it

Create a centerpiece in minutes with three pumpkins (of various sizes) arranged on a cake stand. White 'Lumina' and orange-stripe 'Lil' Pump-Ke-Mon' look simple and sophisticated.

Family tree

Make a family tree, literally, by hanging photo "ornaments" on a potted tabletop tree. Clip photos directly to tree branches or hang from twine or string. For added color, cover potting soil with red cherries or mini gourds.

Words of wisdom

A crafts-store ribbon with messages of thanks decorates a table and recalls the reason for the season. Weave the ribbon around a centerpiece of gourds and topiary trees for a pulled-together look.

Dressed-up fruits

Add sparkle to autumn colors with this easy centerpiece idea. Choose a few pears or apples and decorate with adhesive decals in silver, bronze, and gold tones. Group together in a bowl or place along a table runner.

Let loose

For a subtle fall-color display, arrange red, peach, apricot and orange flowers and berries in a footed compote. Here, orange chrysanthemums, Coreopsis 'Mango Punch' and ornamental black pepper (the red berries) mix to form a loose, casual bouquet.

Pumpkin mums

Tuck fresh mums inside a pumpkin for an easy, natural centerpiece. 

Thanksgiving warmth

Candles in fall hues set the tone for an elegant and relaxed dinner. Autumn touches of bittersweet, leaves and gourds also grace a centerpiece arrangement.

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