8 Thanksgiving Centerpieces That Just Might Be Better Than Pie

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What's the star of Thanksgiving? The turkey, the pumpkin pie, or the decor? That's up for debate, but in case the food goes awry — fingers crossed it doesn't — it's best to set yourself up for tablescape success with a stunning Thanksgiving centerpiece.

The options for fun, festive Turkey Day accents are nearly endless. Between florals, greenery, vegetables and more, there's a ton of different places to start.

Read on for eight ideas, from easy-as-pie DIYs to elaborate masterpieces.

1. Create a garland runner for the table.

If anyone can inspire you to DIY a table runner, it's Erin Francois of Francois et Moi. She breaks down the step-by-step of how to make this runner here. Erin used Israel Gold Grevillea leaves but also recommends any wide greenery, such as magnolia or bay leaves. With such a stunning, natural runner, the rest of your dining decor can be simple and understated. Try mini vases filled with just a few buds.

2. Be inspired by the colors of your menu.

Design expert Athena Calderone of EyeSwoon was inspired by her Thanksgiving dinner menu for this tablescape, so she stuck to a limited color palette of white, greens, and browns as a nod to the food. Draw inspiration from your own menu by including pumpkins (just not orange ones!), Kabocha squash, and cinnamon sticks for both a beautiful and fragrant centerpiece. Less really is more with this tablescape.

3. Give the kids’ table some effort, too.

Butcher paper + colored pencils = a parent's best friend on Thanksgiving. A collection of beautiful wood-carved pencils adds texture, color, and practicality to this kiddo table. If the little ones get antsy before (or, let's face it, during) the Turkey Day meal, encourage them to decorate their dining zone. Not only is it cute and entertaining, but clean up will be a breeze.

4. Go full fall.

Fall is fleeting, so celebrate it as soon as you can. The sister duo at Clover Lane shopped their home for decor pieces to design this full-on, autumnal centerpiece. They topped the farmhouse table with pumpkins, greenery, and fake foliage. Use faux elements to make the same arrangement year after year.

5. Arrange dried florals in a DIY vase.

This cane webbing vase DIY from Hunker contributor Sara Albers is as easy as one, two, three. Simply hot glue the caning on a glass vase, then fill it with a mix of pampas grass, bunny tails, and dried flowers in your preferred color scheme. We love the beiges and pinks that are perfect for any season but especially fall. Best yet? It's a centerpiece that will last, so no need to reinvent your decor next Thanksgiving.

6. Mix and match items for a maximalist tablescape.

Instead of one focal centerpiece, Erin Heimstra of Apartment 34 tapped into her design know-how to pull together this upscale, maximalist tablescape. Small floral arrangements are placed in a magnolia leaf garland, while persimmons on a branch add a surprise shock of color. The white pillar candles will look more fantastic with each use. And the drippier the wax, the better, according to Erin.

7. Incorporate a classic floral arrangement.

Florals are foolproof. Oversize centerpieces filled with blooms have been the stars of tablescapes for, well, ever. And your Thanksgiving dinner is no different. This one features fall tones, like mustard yellow and sprigs of green. Just be sure the arrangement doesn't block the view of your dinner guests.

8. DIY a candle holder for a minimalist centerpiece.

If your tablescape design veers more minimalist, consider DIYing this ultra-easy fresh floral candle holder, crafted by Hunker contributor Francessa Stone crafted for us. It's such a breeze to put together, so you can recreate it for holidays and events of all kinds: Valentine's Day, Mother's Day brunch, bridal parties, and baby showers.


Megan writes about design, travel and wellness – the fun stuff! – for Domino, Lonny, Wit & Delight and more. Her life rules include, but are not limited to: zipper when merging, tip in cash and contribute to your IRA.

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