My thrifty Thanksgiving tablescape

There are few things I like better than creating something beautiful with items I already have on hand. It’s been a running theme in my holiday table decor.

Last December I used vintage sheet music found the bench of a piano we inherited to make place mats for a festive Christmas dinner tablescape. This past April I brought in spring flowers and our own brown eggs for a pretty, yet simple Easter holiday table. Both tables were decorated in a rustic way that suits our little homestead.

I gravitate toward natural elements for my holiday tables, mixing wood, textiles and metals. A touch of nature, be it fir bows, spring flowers, or seasonal produce, brings the pop of colour and contrast.

Canadian Thanksgiving is this weekend and my table is set.

A thrifty Thanksgiving tablescape | Simple Bites #decorating #thanksgving #holiday #harvest

I’ve kept it simple again. White dishes on wood. Napkins tucked into mason jar rings. A seasonal centrepiece. And a winter squash tureen, of course.

These soft Whole Wheat Buttermilk Rolls add a touch of cute, baked and served in 4-oz mason jars. They’ve been a Thanksgiving favourite for several years now.

A thrifty Thanksgiving tablescape | Simple Bites #decorating #thanksgving #holiday #harvest

The centrepiece above was assembled from produce I had on hand to work with and a few candles that were given to me. In the end I loved the colours with the wood table.

My pickling streak is over for the season, which means my leftover  flowering fresh dill heads made the super simple floral arrangement. Because I like to throw in some old metal to the mix, their ‘vase’ is the insert for my old-fashioned ice cream churn.

A thrifty Thanksgiving tablescape | Simple Bites #decorating #thanksgving #holiday #harvest

This year for Thanksgiving decor, I really blew the budget. Okay, maybe not. The only thing I bought was a $3 cheesecloth.

The cheesecloth was intended for usual purposes of course, but when I opened the package, it fell into a long, delicate sheath that reminded me of a table runner. Sure enough, it looked perfect.

A thrifty Thanksgiving tablescape | Simple Bites #decorating #thanksgving #holiday #harvest

It’s not always easy, but the trick is to keep it simple. After I set a formal table, I study everything and then usually remove one thing. This time it was a handful of adorable felted acorns that I bought on Etsy ages ago. Cute, but too much.

Holiday pickles

Lastly, homemade pickles. Under no circumstances should you go without! You can have a vegan, vegetarian, or paleo Thanksgiving, but don’t leave out the pickle platter. A few of our favourites are asparagus, dills, and fiddleheads.

dinner rolls in a jar | Simple Bites

I recently served up Butternut Squash & Leek Soup in a squash tureen and paired it with homemade whole wheat dinner rolls, soft chevre and pickles.

This simple and seasonal menu would make a delicious start to any holiday meal.

What is your decorating style?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. Robyn Peterson says

    Beautiful, LOVE THIS! I’m excited because I can start putting things on the table again… when my daughter was a toddler I pretty much gave up decorating the table since it would immediately be torn asunder. Canada has the right idea having Thanksgiving at this time of year rather than in cold, bleak November 😀

  2. I have a difficult time spending tons of money to decorate a table, only to take it down a few hours later. This is pretty, simple, and inviting!

  3. Hi Aimee!

    I love your little rolls in the mason jars- what a clever idea! I’m a huge fan of natural elements in my home, with a touch of rustic, and a splash of contemporary. We don’t own decorations, rather we decorate with the natural things that are in season (flowers, gourds, pine cones, willow, pine etc.).

    You tablescape is stunning. I might have to use your cheesecloth runner idea! Thank you for sharing and have a Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

  4. Jan @ Family Bites says

    The cheesecloth runner is a great idea – I don’t think I would have thought to do that. The table looks lovely, and I’m sure the food will be even more spectacular!

  5. I love the rustic beauty of it all. I had been putting off redecorating my mantle for Fall but seeing your pretty pictures this morning inspired me to action. I picked up a couple of white pumpkins and my boys and I are going to make it happen this week.

  6. I love the idea of using vegetables as a centrepiece – gorgeous idea!

  7. This is so inspiring! Decorating a table is really something that I feel intimidated by! So I usually do nothing at all. I just feel like it would be hard to do in a way that reflects my style, but you have done that so nicely. The cheesecloth is perfect 🙂

    • You mean your name is Autumn and you don’t decorate for the season? 😉 Kidding! Actually, I know what you mean. I never thought I had a ‘style’ (and still am not totally convinced I do) but a natural approach instead of glitter and glitz seems to work.
      I hope you pull something together and show us!

  8. Absolutely gorgeous.

    I especially like the cheesecloth thing. I’m grabbing some the next time I’m out. Good thinking.

    Have a happy, laughter-filled, joyous Thanksgiving 🙂

    Kind Blessings,
    Kate 🙂

  9. I have a similar wooden drawer on our table filled with pinecones, gourds and a candle. This is one of my favourite seasons to decorate with because it’s just a matter of going outside and going to the market. =) It’s pretty, rustic and natural. And candles fill in any gaps.

    I love seeing your tablescapes!

  10. Melina Meador says

    Love how you decorate – last Christmas I used your table as inspiration and people loved it. It was so pretty! Now you’ve done it again! 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. Love this! Do you have a recipe for the little buns in the jars? I NEED to do this!

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