Thanksgiving Tabletop Tips

by Edie Wadsworth on November 24, 2009

Every year I swoon at the Pottery Barn catalogue and their many varied and luscious Thanksgiving tabletops. Have you ever calculated how much money it would cost to do a table exactly like theirs? A lot of money. An obscene amount of money. So, every year I set out to make my tables comfortable, fresh, and inviting. I took Darby’s tutorial on making Christmas stickers and made Thanksgiving ‘cards’ that I tied to pumpkins.


Then, I printed out the names of my guests {in elephant font at 36pt}, taped them to these cute Martha Stewart tags—that I found in the scrapbook section of Walmart—and tied them with twine to the pumpkins stalks.


Then, I took all my mismatched gold goblets and white dishes and set my table.


I lined the center of the table with 10 votive candles {I bought the votive holders on clearance at Pier One for $1 and then put ‘ember’ votive candles in the holders–also from Pier One. ‘Ember’ is a most wonderful combination of orange, cinnamon, and cloves.

I used different colors and words at everyones’ place setting and you can download the words in sets of two in the form of pdf files. For the words joyful and thankful, click here. For the words lovely and wishful click here. For the words merry and cheer, click here. For the words grateful and cherish, click here.
Voila! A fresh Thanksgiving table for under $30 (unless you count the printer ink)!
And because I don’t know when to stop with a good thing, I printed my Thanksgiving menu and my current ‘to-do’ in the same way. I’m pretty certain that I’m more motivated to finish my ‘to-do’ list when it looks like this.

Then, I officially declared this ‘Home-Economics’ week at Logos School and rallied the troops to help me

1)Bake the sweet potatoes {I’ll add the brown sugar, cream, and butter and then bake them again before Thursday}

2) Peel the russet potatoes—all ten pounds of them—-for the chive mashed potatoes. We’ll doctor these up later too but at least the peeling and cooking are done!


3) Bake faux-made bread. I use this Rhodes brand all the time when I need homeade bread in a pinch. You just spray a muffin tin with Pam and put two of these frozen dough balls in each tin. Let them rise for 5-6 hours and then bake them. I’ll be making my standard Parker House Rolls for Thursday too but this way, we’ll have plenty for my family to take home with their leftovers.


And then we sat down and spent a couple hours reading about the Pilgrims and their amazing journey across the Atlantic—and how they landed in a foreign country—tired, sick, hungry with no ready available food or shelter.

We are so blessed. With so many brave people for whom to be thankful.

Check over at Kimba’s DIY day for more creative solutions that are easy to do yourself.

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Donna November 24, 2009 at 10:03 pm

Beautiful table…love the name tags! I might need to enlist my kiddos is a "home ecomomic" week :) By the way, I linked you over on my blog…I purchased the "Jesse Tree" book and loved it!!! Thanks so much for all your wonderful ideas!


2 Heather November 24, 2009 at 10:04 pm

Wow, this might be one of the most gorgeous table decorations I have ever seen. Enjoy your holiday


3 Mrs. Dunbar November 24, 2009 at 10:33 pm

The table is already set?? I wish I was that far ahead of the game. Hoping your bronchitis is under control.

I've just read your Blog Friendship post and my dear, I feel like we are old friends. Perhaps one day you'll make it out to California, or I'll make it out to your neck of the woods.

Happy Thanksgiving Edie.


4 Melissa Stover November 24, 2009 at 10:50 pm

love your daughter's shirt. your table is lovely!


5 Randa November 24, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Just beautiful :)
Love perusing the pottery barn catalog…for ideas that is!


6 Molly November 24, 2009 at 10:58 pm

How beautiful!! Love your table!! I like the way you used your mismatched glasses, you've got me doing it now :) I hope you family has a blessed Thanksgiving Edie!!
~Molly P


7 Darby November 24, 2009 at 11:12 pm

Edie, I think you've put that tutorial to better use than I have! :) The table looks fabulous. I love the soft glow of the candles, the pumpkins, the tags, the menu… can I please come? And, those rolls, so glad to know about them! I'll have to keep my eyes peeled!


8 Kelly November 24, 2009 at 11:36 pm



9 Love the Decor! November 24, 2009 at 11:50 pm

Lovely table and great idea on the tags.
~Blessings to you this Thanksgiving season~


10 Karin Katherine November 25, 2009 at 12:01 am

Gorgeous! I'm pretty sure I'm more motivated to finish my to do list when its color coded and fabulous looking too. Hmmm, maybe I should spend my evening creating a gorgeous list to jump start my holiday attitude?


11 { L } November 25, 2009 at 12:02 am

Simply gorgeous! You have every detail taken care of and it looks lovely. :) I have a post up of my table too if you'd like to see:

Happy Thanksgiving! Oh…your menu looks divine too!


12 Michelle F November 25, 2009 at 12:05 am

What a beautiful tablescape. What an inspiration that it could be done on a budget too. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.


13 Julie Harward November 25, 2009 at 1:19 am

Hi there…just found your blog and I love it. We too have a blended family (8..3 his, 3 mine and 2 between us) of 27 years now..they are all married now and we have 19 grand children at this time. They are all coming for Thanksgiving, I'm so excited that I put my Christmas tree up 1 1/2 weeks ago and all the gifts are wrapped and under the tree!(that will save having to mail them)
I really love your style-flair and your love for family and faith..we are alike in many ways. Come say hi :D


14 Ami November 25, 2009 at 1:19 am

A few things…
1- I have a Pottery barn outlet less than 15 min from my house (yes, I have timed it). I can easily spend hours of time there looking for treasures at crazy discount prices. And yes, you are all invited to come visit and shop.
2- That photo of the baked sweet potatoes made my mouth water- and that's before the cream and brown sugar!
3- I covet your decorated table. We go to the boyfriend's family's house for Thanksgiving, so I will have to live vicariously through others fabulous table decor.


15 Jennifer November 25, 2009 at 1:59 am

What a beautiful, beautiful Thanksgiving table! So many great ideas… I love your variety of goblets! You are so organized… I'm sure that makes for a relaxed day! :)


16 amy November 25, 2009 at 2:07 am

gorgeous! send those troops over to alabama–lots of potatos need peelin over here too! :)


17 Robin's Nesting Place November 25, 2009 at 2:11 am

Your table is beautiful! I love all of the personal touches!

I noticed your daughter's shirt too, so cute!


18 Amanda November 25, 2009 at 3:47 am

Your table looks fabulous! I love the tags on the pumpkins.


19 Renee November 25, 2009 at 3:54 am

W-O-W!! Beautiful… and cheap. Love it!


20 Lauren November 25, 2009 at 6:02 am

table is gorgeous!!!


21 Jessica November 25, 2009 at 11:16 am

Love all your mismatched glasses. I'm doing the votiv candles this year too. Walmart has some super cute one's right now for 50-70 cents each verses the typical 5-9$. Here's a tip I got from the Rhodes roll's people at a (dough class they put on for my church)…when you double up the rolls like that, line the center where the 2 touch w/ that squeezable butter. They are delish! Beautiful table. That's my favorite part of the day. :)


22 Nina Diane November 25, 2009 at 1:43 pm

your table looks beautiful.


23 Ruth November 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm

It all looks so beautiful. I am trying to get my table settings all figured out. Thank you for the great ideas.



24 Ruth November 25, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Forgot to add~

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!!



25 Jae November 25, 2009 at 5:14 pm

I love that you put the emphasis on enjoying the day… I am determined that is what I am going to do this year – Thanks for a beautfiul blog!


26 Hoosier Homemade November 25, 2009 at 5:25 pm

What a beautiful table! I should my to-do list like that, maybe some things will get done! :)
Thanks for sharing!


27 Angie November 25, 2009 at 6:43 pm

LOVE how the table turned out!! Esp love the tiny little votive holders!!


28 carissa... brown eyed fox November 26, 2009 at 1:09 am

swinging by to send my love…
hAppY Thanksgiving to YOU and your family!

beAuTifuL table!


29 Chic Mama November 26, 2009 at 1:49 am

I've given you a blog award! Come by to pick it up!


30 Sandy November 26, 2009 at 1:55 am

Lovely and yes, I do the same. Check out what to do for far less … we're over at a cabin and no name tags or anything. Feels free and fun to just be simple.

Happy TG to you and your precious family, Edie!

Love, Sandy


31 Anne Thompson November 27, 2009 at 7:08 pm

I've never celebrated Thanksgiving, as I'm Danish. But my does your table look lovely! Happy Thanksgiving to you too :-)


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