Everyone knows we eat with our eyes first, and the perfect table setting is the visual appetizer to the feast ahead. Fortunately, you can set the stage (or in this case, the table) with Thanksgiving décor that will wow your guests without adding hours of crafting to your turkey day to-do list. Read on for our décor ideas, and don’t worry – no hot glue guns required.

It’s all in the details

  • Tuck a few stalks of wheat into a ribbon-bedecked napkin.
  • Send the kids out to the garden to gather autumn leaves, and then arrange them down the center of your table or on the center of each dinner plate.
  • Use pinecones to hold place cards.
  • Pile dried grains or acorns into a glass vase for a striking centerpiece.
  • Arrange colorful ears of Indian corn in glass vessels.
  • Small pumpkins and gourds are easy and festive – try grouping in clusters around a few candlesticks or amongst low votives.
  • Use twine to tie nametags to mini pumpkins or even pears, and then place in the center on dinner plates.
  • A single sprig of rosemary is a fragrant pop of green against a no-frills napkin – use a bit of twine to tie it in place.

Go all out

  • A dolled-up table makes any occasion more special, so this is the time for the fancy linens, silverware and dishes.
  • Don’t be afraid to mix and match old and new or different styles. It can add an element of surprise, especially if you work in layers – something like vintage tablecloth, rustic placement, metal charger and a festive plate.

Remember the basics

  • Place silverware in the order of its use, working from the outside in. Forks go to the left, knives and spoons on the right.
  • Glassware goes at the top right of the plate – water is closest to the seat.

Think kid-friendly

  • At the kids’ table, use large sheets of craft paper as a tablecloth. You can draw placements beneath plates, and be sure to set out mini pots of crayons to keep everyone busy.
  • Prompt kids to count their blessings – write “I am thankful for” on the craft paper next to each place setting, and ask them to write their answers.
  • Mini pumpkins and small gourds make a festive (and kid-proof) centerpiece.

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