Easy Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas

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Thanksgiving centerpieces are a tradition in celebrating the season and decorating a beautiful holiday table. This year, create one of your own using the materials, colors and themes of fall.

Dessert Tray

If you have a spare tiered dessert tray, use it to create a beautiful multi-layer centerpiece. Decorate each tier of the tray with small pumpkins, squash, fall leaves, twigs, acorns, apples, in-husk corn and fall flowers. Set one tray in the center of your table or place several in a line. For added light, place small, flameless tea lights in amongst the décor. If you decide to use real candles, make sure they are tall enough for the flame to stand at least one inch above any decorations around it and avoid fire hazards.

Stuffed Pumpkin

Pumpkins aren't just for Halloween. You can easily transform any sized pumpkin into a crafty flower pot perfect for Thanksgiving centerpieces. Simply cut the top off a pumpkin and carve out the inside. Set fall flowers, twigs, small branches with fall leaves and other autumn harvest décor into the pumpkin, which acts a bright, seasonal vase. You can even use the pumpkin as a candle holder, with autumn décor surrounding the candle placed inside. Just be sure the top of the candle is at least several inches above the top of the pumpkin, and is not near any flammable décor.

Lit Leaf Garland

For long, large tables, lit garlands are a beautiful addition. Provide lighting for guests and stylish décor by creating your own leaf garland with small white lights. Wrap a white string of white lights around a leaf garland with lighter colored golden/orange leaves, or a green string of white lights around a garland with darker red, orange and green leaves. The garland looks best when wrapped around the base of a long, rectangular centerpiece, though it can be used as a centerpiece on its own. Simply plug one end into the wall on a side of the table where guests will not trip over it, and enjoy the softly lit leaves across your Thanksgiving dining table.

Ready for Planting Finished Product

Corn Husk Candle

Depending on the size of the candle you select, use either corn husks, or a full in-husk ear of corn to create a centerpiece.

For Large Candles: Purchase 5-to-10 in-husk ears of corn, depending on the size of your candle. Stand each corn on end, in a circle around the candle. Secure in place with twine or ribbon. Peel back enough of each husk to reveal the brown, yellow and white shades of the corn beneath.

For Smaller Candles: Peel the husk off several ears of corn and cut pieces to match the height of your candle. Wrap the pieces of husk around the candle itself, or a clear candle holder and secure in place with twine or ribbon.

Hurricane Candleholders

Whether you currently decorate your dining room table with large hurricane candleholders, or wish to purchase some specifically for Thanksgiving, give each a special, seasonal touch by adding several fall décor pieces beneath the candles. Fill the candleholder one quarter to half way full with acorns, fall leaves, uncooked corn kernels or berries. Create varying layers of materials within each candleholder for extra color; just be sure not to move the candleholder after pouring them in.

Thankful Tree

Beautiful, fall branches are a great way to bring fall foliage indoors, and can make gorgeous centerpieces when bundled in tall, clear vases. For a special Thanksgiving touch, have family members write what they are thankful for on small pieces of paper. Tie the papers to the branches in your centerpiece, and create a beautiful and meaningful tree to set in the center of your holiday table.

Harvest Floral Arrangements

If you normally prefer to use flowers as your dining room table centerpiece, Thanksgiving is no exception. Select bright orange, yellow and red flowers with autumn fillers for the perfect holiday floral arrangement. Try using:

  • Sunflowers
  • Daises
  • Mums
  • Orange and roses
  • Solidago
  • Oak leaves
  • Maple Leaves
  • Twigs
  • Bittersweet

Why not skip the cornucopia this year and try out one of these easy to create Thanksgiving centerpieces. Incorporating candles, lights, leaves and other fall foliage is a beautiful way to decorate your dining room table and welcome friends and family to your holiday celebration. Go as big or stay as subtle as you'd like, and make the perfect centerpiece for your home this season.

Last Updated: November 8, 2011
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About Alexandra Kerr Through Ideal Home Garden, Alexandra covers topics ranging from interior design to home improvement, gardening and cuisine. Having a passion for cooking and entertaining in her own life, she hopes to communicate her love of home design and decorating with her readers. 

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