This Seasonal Table Runner Is Actually Edible

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a line of produce, including grapes, pears, cherries, and squash runs down the length of a table with a white cloth and gold cutlery

Give thanks in style with a swoon-worthy edible table runner that takes the cornucopia concept to the next level. While a festive floral centerpiece is always a solid choice, this year you might want to try something different for your holiday table. With an artful abundance of harvest crops, you keep the focus on the beautiful bounty of the season. Food is, after all, the star of Thanksgiving — and with a still life-inspired table runner that pulls double-duty as elements of the meal, you certainly set the scene for a fine feast with family and friends.

a line of produce, including grapes, pears, cherries, and squash runs down the length of a table with a white cloth and gold cutlery
a line of produce, including grapes, pears, cherries, and squash runs down the length of a table with a white cloth and gold cutlery

Things You'll Need

Choose a Color Palette

yellow, brown, and red dried leaves

We let the muted mustards and earthy taupes in these autumn leaves inform the color story for our table runner, opting for yellow-toned apples and squash as well as brown turkey figs and Bosc pears. To add a bit of moody contrast, we selected accent fruits with dark purple and burgundy undertones like blackberries, purple kale, and black mission figs. We tempered everything with soft pops of green from muscadine grapes and fresh herbs.

Create a blank canvas (literally).

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Skip the stuffy formality of starched linens and opt for a more casual, unpressed look. Lest you worry about the edibles staining your fancy tablecloth, do as we did and use a canvas drop cloth instead. It provides a literal blank canvas, and the wrinkly, imperfect fabric matches the natural, organic feel of the fruits and vegetables.

Start with a centerpiece.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Create a clear center for the table runner by placing a bowl of fruit in the middle of the table (we used golden delicious apples). By keeping it all the same fruit, the centerpiece offers a single burst of color, and the glass pedestal bowl adds some height to the center.

Build outwards from center.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Place a different type of fruit or vegetable with a different shape and color tone on each side of the centerpiece. The sides don't have to be mirror images, but aim for a balanced look.

large fruits and vegetables such as squash and pears form the base of an edible table runner

Vary the size, shape, and color of items as you place them down the length of the table. At this point, you'll want to use your bulkier items, so you can fill in with the smaller items later. Again, place things fairly symmetrically to keep the runner feeling balanced on both sides. You'll notice we placed the same amount of pears, butternut squash, and yellow squash on each side of the centerpiece.

Create texture and contrast.

large fruits and vegetables such as melons, squash, and pears form an edible table runner

We weaved single leaves of purple kale throughout the arrangement to fill in the blank spaces. The dark leafy roughage adds volume and texture as well as much-needed contrast to the pale, muted hues of the fruit and vegetables.

TIP: Take care not to use too much leafage here, or you risk your runner resembling a salad bar more than a chic tablescape.

a line of produce, including grapes, pears, cherries, and squash runs down the length of a table with a white cloth

Build the feeling of an abundant harvest by piling smaller fruits in between the larger ones and tucking them throughout the leafy greens. For this step, we used loose muscadine grapes, brown turkey figs, and black mission figs. Nothing should be placed too perfectly, and there are no straight lines here. We're going for a natural "just spilled out of the basket" vibe with loose, undulating lines.

a line of produce, including grapes, pears, cherries, and squash runs down the length of a table with a white cloth

Be sure to keep the colors varied and balanced throughout the length of the arrangement so there aren't any areas that feel weighted by one color.

Vary the heights.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Create some vertical interest throughout the length of the runner by using vessels of varying heights. Clear glass or metallic finishes work best to not distract from the colors of the fruits and vegetables. They are also great for displaying any particularly juicy items that are prone to stains or stickiness like long-stem cherries or blackberries.

Scatter loose herbs.

a clear bowl of apples forms the centerpiece for a table with an edible runner

To keep the table runner from feeling too neat and tidy, scatter loose herbs throughout to add a bit of wild unruliness to the scene. Plus, they perfume your tablescape with wonderfully herbaceous notes.

a line of produce, including grapes, pears, cherries, and squash runs down the length of a table with a white cloth and gold cutlery

We used fresh sprigs of thyme and loose sage leaves here, tucking them in between various fruits and softly dropping them down the length of the table.

Create glowy vibes.

a line of produce, including grapes, pears, cherries, and squash runs down the length of a table with a white cloth and gold cutlery

Dinner is so much cozier with candlelight, right? Tuck a couple of candles on each side of the table runner to create some glowing mood lighting.

a line of produce, including grapes, pears, cherries, and squash runs down the length of a table with a white cloth

We used brass candlesticks to add a metallic accent with vintage vibes and black taper candles to contrast with the cream-toned fabric.

Put a feather on it.

a table with a runner made of fruits and vegetables, gold cultery, and white plates with a single turkey feather on each one

As a plucky ode to Turkey Day, we placed a single feather on each guest's plate. To keep the color focused on the table runner, we used white plates, light linen napkins, and clear glasses. Gold flatware plays nicely with the metallic notes of the candlesticks for a modern touch.

GET THE LOOK: Canvas drop cloth (similar) | Linen napkins | Brass candle holders (similar) | Black taper candles | Plates (similar) | Flatware | Feathers | Glass centerpiece | Small pedestal bowls (similar)

a line of produce, including grapes, pears, cherries, and squash runs down the length of a table with a white cloth and gold cutlery

So easy, so elegant, and quite literally good enough to eat. Seated around such a stunning table adorned with autumn's splendor, your guests are guaranteed to feel nothing but gratitude.

a line of produce, including grapes, pears, cherries, and squash runs down the length of a table with a white cloth and gold cutlery
a table with a runner made of fruits and vegetables, gold cultery, and white plates with a single turkey feather on each one

Trisha is a writer, video producer + maker with a knack for creating modern DIY content. When her hands aren't covered in paint, she's most likely holding a camera or power drill or both.

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