HOW TO: Set Up Your Thanksgiving Table On A Budget

HOW TO: Set Up Your Thanksgiving Table On A Budget

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love having all my family and my husbands family at our house to be together. In our family there are a lot of birthdays in November so we celebrate all month long, especially on Thanksgiving. I love hosting it at our house because everyone brings a dish so we are NEVER short on good food and I don’t have to cook!

Today I am teaming up with my bestie Kelsie from to bring you two takes on a Thanksgiving table scape. Be sure to head over to her blog and check out the post!

Thanksgiving table scapeCenter piece close up

A large majority of the items in this table scape are from the Dollar Store. A few other pieces are from the dollar aisle at Target. I wasn’t kidding when I said this table scape was made on a budget. You can find so many cute pieces from the Dollar Store that don’t look cheap. This tablescape look is expensive, the feel is homey, cozy and inviting and I was able to place set 6 settings all for $26! This was indeed a challenge because the world likes to skip over Thanksgiving and move right into Christmas so I found it hard to sift through all the tinsel and holly to find the leaves and pumpkins I needed to create this look.

I really wanted to add multiple runners. At first I had them layered on top of one another but turned it perpendicular to give the turkey serving tray a true place at the table. Plus it helps break up all the brown going on. Think layers. I layered the runners, layered the leaves and candles, layered the plates and the napkins too. I didn’t have a plan for my purchases until I got home and played around with it. This does not have to be intimidating.


close up details

These pinecones are scented and add a nice aroma to the setting.

details close up

Add some height with different size pumpkins and candle holders.

me setting up plates

Add in color with leaves and candles, of different heights.

leaf close up

Layer candles over leaves. Put in glass containers to prevent fires!

lighting candles

Don’t forget to light the candles before dinner to add a cozy vibe.

I had the square plates, the burlap runner, but you can get burlap super cheap at any craft store, the large centerpiece I’ve had for years, and the green napkins I got for my wedding. You can use whatever plates you have to create a layered look. You could even add bowls here too for more layers. Even with the ‘cheap’ napkins I was able to add in some color and make the plates more visually appealing by folding the napkins around the plates and tying a small piece of twine around them. Even if you do not have cloth napkins, you can use regular napkins. The Dollar store does have placemats if you want to go that route.


me - plate settings

Layer your plates and napkins to create depth and interest.

look down at place settings

Adding different colors help to break up all the brown from the table. Fold your inexpensive napkins to create more visual interest. It adds a level of finesse to the tablescape.

plate setting view

Not all place settings at the table have to look the same.

me - table set uplook down at plate setting

plate setting

Since I didn’t go with placemats I used napkins to give the silverware a place to rest.

other plate setting


Faux leaves $1 Similar here
Leaf trays x3 $3 
Tea light candles in green, red and orange $1
Napkins in red and pattern $1
Pinecones $1 Similar here
Leaf tea light holders x3 $3
White serving tray $1
Taller tea light holders x3 $3 
White table runner $1
TOTAL: $15

Brown centerpiece tray $5 Similar here
Pumpkins x4 $6 Similar here, here and here
TOTAL: $11

Burlap Runner under $7
Large Square Plates from Bed Bath and Beyond Set of 4 $28
Small Square Plates from Bed Bath and Beyond $4.99 each
Green cloth napkins $4.99 each

Be sure to check out Kelsie’s post for her neutral Thanksgiving table setting!
Thanksgiving Table Kelsie

Thank you all so much for reading. Until next time,

How To set up a thanksgiving tablescape on a budget


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