Part of hosting Thanksgiving is setting a beautiful table. It seems like the least important thing compared to all of the cooking involved, but it creates such a feeling from the moment your guests walk in the door and lay eyes on the table. A beautiful table warms the moment and sets a mood for the occasion. Setting your Thanksgiving (or any-time) table need not be a costly or complicated affair. In fact, the simpler the better.
I have a few special table top items, but it’s certainly not a Pottery Barn fantasy. The simpler the table, the more able you are to accentuate a few special things, be it flowers, china, vintage linens or unique glasses. I took a tote and a pair of clippers with me on a recent walk in our neighborhood with Hazel. I kept my eye out for anything with an interesting green tone, such as juniper, eucalyptus and pine. Snip, snip, snip…in the bag you go!
You could look for interesting textures, leaf-shapes, colors…really anything at all. When I got home, I laid everything out in the back yard and gave it a good rinse. When everything is up close, you can see how the colors look next to each other and start to get some ideas.
I snipped two long, thin pine twigs and had the idea to tie them in into a circle, using regular jute twine from Home Depot.
I filled in the bare spots with other things I clipped on our walk. This looks like a wreath, and it could be, but I used it as a centerpiece for the table.
I clipped some flowers from our yard and put them in three different glass jars of different heights and sizes. You can do this with anything…rosemary, lavender, roses, single Gerber daisies…remember to go for an odd number and it’s best if the jars or vases are not the same.
Add candles, gourds, Flint corn, some mini pumpkins…even a variety of nuts in the shell. Beautiful.
As you can see, I left the twine without trimming it. I like the way it looks. Above, I used a Eucalyptus leaf and a gold pen to make the table settings. Below, I cut a leaf shape out of glassine (similar to wax paper) and used the same gold pen. I also set a bit of Juniper on the napkin for decoration.
But what if you don’t have time to craft a ‘wreath’ or you don’t want to?
Just lay the greens, or whatever you’ve collected, down the center of the table. Pro-Tip: whatever you use should have some “staying power,” meaning that it should be able to survive out of water for a few hours without totally wilting.
The simplicity of the table shows off my vintage owl salt and pepper shakers!
You could use a white pen to write your guests’ names, too. If you want to get really fancy, put a little glitter around the edge. Extra-fine glitter would be best for something like this.
I can’t decide which plates to use…these beautiful, rustic hand thrown pieces by Slug Ceramics or my vintage Limoges pictured further above.
Either way, don’t overcomplicate things. Look for what grows around where you live or work. Rosemary, Eucalyptus, or any type of sturdy leafy branch will do. Cut it, rinse it and lay it on the table. After all….it’s the people around the table that bring the shine.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!