How to create a vintage Fall or Thanksgiving tablescape that is simple to make, budget-friendly and beautiful.
Whether you are having a Fall gathering or preparing a lovely Thanksgiving dinner for guests, I would like to share with you how to create a vintage Fall or Thanksgiving tablescape that is beautiful and inviting.
As the holiday season is approaching, it’s definitely the time of year to welcome guests over for a meal. Creating a warm, welcoming table setting is a great way to make Thanksgiving day feel festive.
The best part about creating a Fall or thanksgiving tablescape is that it’s such a great way to be creative, play around with colour palettes and even do some shopping. I promise you, it can be simple to make and budget friendly too.
What is a Tablescape?
A tablescape is an attractive and sometimes themed arrangement of decor items and place settings on a table. It’s kind of like adding home decor items to a table setting.
When Do You Use a Tablescape?
A holiday season or a special occasion are all times when you could use a tablescape. Some popular holidays where you often decorate are Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving. The seasons of spring, summer, fall or winter also make pretty tablescapes. Special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, bridal showers, or baby showers are all great table decor ideas as well.
Here is a beautiful spring tablescape that I created on this post: https://behomeinspired.com/2022/03/31/how-to-create-a-pretty-tablescape-for-spring/
Pick a colour scheme or colour palettes that will tie everything together with the Fall or Thanksgiving theme we are using today.
I like to use colours that go together well with the surrounding decor in my dining room and kitchen.
For this tablescape I am using lots of neutral fall colours like cream, white and brown tones. I have mixed in colours of copper, and pops of deep yellow and some greenery.
What Supplies are Needed
- Dinner plates
- Charger plates
- Napkin Rings
- Fall or Thanksgiving decor
I found four beautiful old vintage plates at the thrift stores several months ago. They are brown and cream with a gorgeous pattern and a ruffled edge. The plates are made in England. I paid $2.50 for the whole set and thought they’d be perfect to use at Thanksgiving or even have displayed in with my Fall decor.
All of this said to encourage you that thrift stores are a great place to find budget friendly decor for your home.
Check out garage sales, yard sales, flea markets and don’t forget about online shopping.
Dollar stores can be another place to shop for items needed for a tablescape.
I have a whole series on thrifting home decor here:
Linens for the Tablescape
There are lots of different linens that can be use when setting up a tablescape. Placemats, a tablecloth, napkins and a table runner are all great options to choose from.
Placemats are used at each individual place setting under the plates.
A tablecloth covers the whole table and this is a great option if you want to cover the table or just have the whole base layer be a different colour then your table.
Napkins are a square piece of fabric or paper for the guests to use while eating. They are generally folded fancy or placed in a cute napkin ring and displayed with the place setting.
A table runner is made from fabric and is like a giant placemat that runs down the center of the table. A centerpiece and decor sit on top of the table runner in the centre of the table.
I really wanted a cream colour, neutral linen placemat for my table setting. Unable to find anything among my home stash or borrow from my Mom, I went to the store to try find an inexpensive option. I couldn’t find any placemats to match my dinner plates but instead found some great cream linen table runners at the dollar store. I cut each table runner into two places, sewed the ends closed and had four linen placemats that went perfect on my Fall tablescape.
How to Create a Simple Place Setting
A place setting consists of the charger plate, dinner plate, cutlery and glasses. The fancy napkin and small decor piece is often an adorable touch added with the setting.
Many extra plates, bowls, drink ware and cutlery can be added into setting up a fancy table setting but for today we are going to keep things simple. Hopefully you will have all of these basic supplies. If you don’t, I’d encourage you to start out with basic white dishes. Even start with just white plates, as they go well with all seasons and decor. Don’t forget to check out a local second hand store for plates, cutlery and glasses if you don’t have any that match or you simply want to try something different.
Charger plates are probably the one item you may not have in your everyday supply of dishes. A charter plate is simply an extra decorative large plate that sits underneath the dinner plate. Chargers come in all different colours and are generally quite inexpensive. They can be bought at a dollar store, the dollar tree or Walmart.
The Center of the Table
Decorating the center of the table is the really fun part for me. I get to be creative with Fall decor to display in the middle of the table. There are many Fall or Thanksgiving tablescape ideas out there but here’s a pretty yet simple one to make.
Centerpieces often consist of a flower arrangement in the middle of the table, greenery and candles. Greenery and flowers look so pretty when they are displayed in vases, in a dough bowl or on wooden boards.
For Fall decor add in some natural elements like pine cones, wheat or white pumpkins.
I made a pretty centerpiece in a wooden tray container. I filled it up with white mini pumpkins, pretty white dahlia flowers with green leaves, sprigs of yellow florals, leaves, and one copper pumpkin. These were all collected from Fall decor I had in my home but all these items could easily be bought at a local craft store. Easy diy centerpieces can be made fairly simply and inexpensive.
I placed the centerpiece in the middle of the table and placed three white battery operated candles on either side.
This was simple but tied in well with the vintage look of the dining room table and place settings.
How to Set up the Table
Start with a totally cleared off table. Lay down the base layer of linens that you are wanting to use. This would be a tablecloth, table runner or placemats. I used just placemats for my tablescape.
Next work on creating your amazing centerpiece and adding the touches of decor to the middle of the table.
Set up the place setting at each spot next. Starting with a charger plate, dinner plate and salad plate or soup bowl if you want too. Place the cutlery next beside the plate. I just used a knife and fork but a salad fork or soup spoon can definitely be added.
Place a drinking glass or goblet above the plate to the right.
Lastly, add the napkin beside the plate or even on top of the plate. In my case, I didn’t want to cover up the pretty design on the top of my plates. I used white napkins folded into a vintage looking napkin ring. Napkins can be folded in many fancy ways if you don’t want to use a napkin ring. Just google how to fold a napkin.
Extras to Create a Lovely Table
The wonderful thing about creating a tablescape is that there are endless great ideas for decorating and adding special touches into the decor.
Here are a few more ideas if you wish to go further with your decorating.
Add place cards to each spot with the guest’s name written on it. This adds a very welcoming personal touch.
A small gift or a chocolate by each place setting is also a nice touch for a special occasion.
Sprigs of Fall greenery or flowers tucked into a folded cloth napkin or in with the napkin add a very special touch as well.
A small printed menu of the food items you will be serving at Thanksgiving dinner will certainly impress family members and guests.
Create Your Own Vintage Fall or Thanksgiving Tablescape
I hope that I have inspired you with lots of ideas on how to create your own Fall or Thanksgiving tablescape. It was my first time making one for the Fall and Thanksgiving season and I really enjoyed it.
They are easy to create, fun to decorate and will make your next Fall party table look so pretty.
Have fun being creative!