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Thanksgiving {Centerpiece & Place Card Ideas}

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

Ok, we’re back, as promised, with all the information about our Thanksgiving centerpiece and place card ideas! If you didn’t see the segment today on the Channel 69 Sunrise morning show, you’re in luck because you can watch it here!
First of all, I just have to say, that Monica and I love doing this show. It is so much fun, so laid back, and Eve Tannery is a total pro! Plus, she actually reads our blog so we know she’s legitmately a fan (thanks, Eve!)
And of course, we had to include a goofy one…
I just have to mention one funny thing that happened this morning before our segments. Monica and I were setting up the table and Mo started to light the candles in some of our centerpieces. I wasn’t sure if we were allowed to, so I caught Jaciel’s (the other anchor) eye while Eve was doing her thing and mouthed “Can we light these?” He didn’t hear what I asked, and said, “Do I like those? It looks so nice.” We were cracking up thinking about what he must think of us asking if our table looked nice as he was giving the news. Maybe not so funny to you, but stinkin’ hilarious to us that early. 🙂  Ok, now on to the good stuff:
The Gourd Vase
We like to keep it simple, bring the outdoors in, and use things you can find around your house. This centerpiece meets all of those requirements, so I’m one happy camper!
I  (Jessica) went to a local farmstore called Penn-Vermont Farms (which is fabulous by the way!) and picked up a bunch of different sized gourds. The gourd I used for the vase is a kershaw gourd, but you could also use a birdhouse gourd. You want to choose a gourd that is not top-heavy so it can hold the weight of the branches and leaves. Then, I drilled a small hole into the top.
I recommend making this centerpiece on the actual day of Thanksgiving because once you cut the branch, the leaves quickly die. Ask me how I know that.  You could easily use berries or bare branches and this centerpiece would still look amazing. (Curious about my table runner? You can check out how I made that using a dropcloth here)
The Candle Log
This centerpiece is so simple, but really pretty. Monica made this using a birch log, but any kind of wood will do. First measure the length of your tray (Mo picked this one up at Michael’s!) so you can determine the length of the piece of wood. You’ll want to leave a few inches on either end. Cut the sheet moss to the size of the bottom of the tray and lay it down lengthwise in the tray.
Place the candles on the log and mark where you want them to go.
Using a circle drill bit (this one is 1 1/2 inches), partially drill the holes until you have enough depth to place your votive candles.
Wrap the whole thing with a pretty ribbon, and voila! An easy, rustic centerpiece!
Fall Tray with Cut Log Pieces and Candles
I found a great oversized tray at ReStore, and could not wait to put it to good use! Monica had recently cut a bunch of birch logs for a project (more on that to come later!), so I used them to fill my tray.  Use a chop saw to cut your log into 1-2 inch circles.
I surrounded the birch discs with a bed of yellow and red leaves and then placed 3 orange pillar candles in the center.  You could easily do a more modern, less rustic, take on this by leaving out the leaves and adding white pillar candles for a sleek, cool look.
Place Cards
Modern Name & Menu Napkin Rings
Monica made these using regular cardstock in two fall colors. Decide on the font you want to use, type it up in a word document, and then print it out.  Layer the printed paper onto the opposite color paper and wrap around the napkin.  Mo used extra fabric she had laying around to make a napkin and laid the utensils on it, followed by the place card.  Finally, lay the whole thing onto the plate and you’re done! Remember: you don’t have to spend a million bucks to create a beautiful tablescape for Thanksgiving. Use what you have on hand!
Pair it with the candle log and you’re table practically sets itself! (BTW- do you notice the name Mo used on the place card? Greyson. She secretly wished she had named one of her children that. Now the secrets out. 🙂
Chalkboard Mason Jar Mugs & Tin Buckets
This is one that the kids will enjoy because it uses chalkboard paint.  Let them write the names of your young guests on these mason jar mugs and place them around your kid table. They’ll love being involved and will be thrilled they have their very own cup! Or for a more mature version, grab a few tin buckets and paint with chalkboard paint. Fill it with a few pinecones, or a few after-dinner treats.
Anyone can do this, and it adds instant fun to your table!
Pinecone Placecard Holders
Michael’s has loads of scented pinecones for sale right now, but you could also take a nature walk and collect them yourselves for an even less expensive way to decorate.  Enlist someone with some muscles, because cutting into a pinecone is no easy task!  Use a hack saw to create a “slot” in the top of the pinecone and then slide your placecard right in. Mo used cardstock, but you could get a little fancier if you wanted because you saved a bundle by using pinecones! 🙂
Wood Slices Card Holder
Of all the placecard holders, this just might be my favorite. Take a couple of the wood slices you cut for your centerpiece, and create a slot in the wood using a hack saw or a sharp knife.
To make the placecards shown here, find two complimentary pieces of cardstock and scrapbook paper. Cut to size and layer them. Add a tiny clothespin for interest and write the name of your guest on the card. That’s it! Use this with the fall tray centerpiece and you’re able to maintain continuity of your design throughout the entire table.
Gourd Placecard Holder
Ok, I saved the easiest for last. Make your placecard with cardstock and write the name of your guest on it. Punch a hole and tie it around the stem of your gourd. Easy peasy and adorable!
We hope you liked our table decor ideas for Thanksgiving- we had a blast coming up with them! We’ll be making another appearance on the Channel 69 News Sunrise show in December and would love to hear what YOU would like to see us create or design!  Leave us a comment with your thoughts. 🙂
T minus 16 days until Thanksgiving. Get decorating!

The comments +

  1. just watched your whole segment 🙂 Such great ideas, the candle log was by far my favorite though!!

    Man, you girls are getting to be such local celebrities!! You’ve given me some local goals to aspire towards 🙂

  2. Tiffany says:

    I recognize those morning show folks, so happy to have found a blog in PA, whoohoo!

  3. Vanessa says:

    I love what you did ladies. You rock!


  4. I thought id stop by and post a comment since im checking out some new blogs. So greetings from the Amish settlement of Lebanon ,Pa. Richard from Amish Stories.

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