40 Thanksgiving decorating ideas to feast your eyes on

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Nothing sets the mood for Thanksgiving like the savory aroma of turkey roasting in the oven or a fresh pumpkin pie cooling on the counter. But there’s more to hosting Thanksgiving than getting the menu just right. Bring guests into a fall wonderland this year with a table decorated with earthy autumn colors, a home bursting with seasonal warmth, and touches of modern elegance sprinkled throughout.

To help you turn your Thanksgiving feast into a feast for the eyes as well, we asked three party décor experts to weigh in on their favorite ways to decorate for Thanksgiving and what trends are taking over this year. With their tips in mind, let’s take a trip through Paperless Post Party Shop and find 40 elevated Thanksgiving decoration ideas, each carefully curated for your very special occasion. 


Thanksgiving table décor ideas

A table set with autumn leaf paper plates, tortoiseshell cutlery, and decorative birch logs.
Image courtesy of Caspari.


Aside from the Thanksgiving menu, the table settings are the main attraction of the holiday. After all, that’s where the most important parts of your Thanksgiving dinner party—the food, your guests, and sparkling conversation—take place.

“Tabletop is the first priority,” says Gaea Rich, Director of Design & Product Development at international partyware brand Caspari. “Whatever your personal style is, go all out. We’re all about maximalism; we love patterns. Play with the idea of trompe l’oeil. Mix paper in with real china and linens. They all have a place on a gorgeous table.”


Meet the experts
Anna Bacon is the founder and creator of MA FÊTE, a children’s party supplies brand.
Meredithe Stuart-Smith Meredithe Stuart-Smith is the founder and director of the leading partyware brand Meri Meri.
Gaea Rich is the Director of Design & Product Development at Caspari.


Here are even more Thanksgiving table decoration ideas that complement your feast and gobble up the compliments from your guests.


Colorful scalloped plates, a woven pumpkin napkin ring, green taper candles, turkey party crackers, turkey napkins, and a goblet.
1. Meri Meri Earthy Large Reusable Bamboo Plates and 4. Meri Meri Turkey Medium Crackers; 2. Raffia Napkin Ring by Furbish Studio; 3. Moss Dipped Candles by The Floral Society; 5. Woodland Turkey Paper Luncheon Napkins and 6. Acrylic Flared Light Rose Goblet by Caspari, all available at Party Shop.


1. Reusable plates and cups in autumn colors

Soft fall hues provide a neutral backdrop to the many colors of a Thanksgiving dinner. Washable, reusable, and durable enough for piping hot potatoes, these Meri Meri Earthy Large Reusable Bamboo Plates set a vibrant stage for Thanksgiving, year after year. 

Use the salad-sized Earthy Small Reusable Bamboo Plates for side dishes, and serve beverages in the matching Earthy Reusable Bamboo Cups for an added festive treat.


2. Turkey place cards

Meredithe Stuart-Smith, founder and director of partyware brand Meri Meri, likes to combine family-style servingware with formal place settings—and a turkey twist. 

“We usually have lots of guests, so I set up a buffet to allow them to help themselves,” she says. “I always have place cards set on the table so everyone knows where they are sitting. They save any confusion!”


3. Foliage placemats

Bring the outdoors in with paper Fall Foliage Placemats. Patterned with falling leaves in shades of brown, yellow, and green, this pad of placemats makes it easy to change out place settings in case of a spill or missed scoop of yams.


4. Mustard plates

Anna Bacon, founder and creator of children’s partyware brand MA FÊTE, thinks a pop of yellow at the table is always in style. “They work for any occasion, but for Thanksgiving, they complement all the colors on the table from the cranberry sauce to the golden skin of the turkey,” she says. Try their signature collection to mix and match mustard-colored elements with your own chargers and placemats.


5. Brown stripe runner

Red, yellow, green, orange—how can you tie the many colors of your Thanksgiving dinner together? Set serving dishes on the Kraft Brown Classic Stripe Runner, a chic touch for any holiday table. 


6. Thanksgiving drink stirrers

Add some Turkey Day whimsy to your Thanksgiving cocktails with adorable Thanksgiving Drink Stirrers. They’re suitable for both hot and cold drinks, making them the perfect final touch to that Apple Cider Margarita.


7. Thematic cocktail napkins

And while you’re choosing cocktails for the occasion, Ms. Rich offers some beverage advice. 

“I usually do something with bourbon and apple cider,” she says. “You can scatter cocktail napkins around your house so that no matter where someone wanders off to, they have a perfect place to set their drink down.”


8. Plate chargers

Is your Thanksgiving table missing that extra something? Slip a cream-colored Rattan Square Plate Charger underneath the dinner plates to bring out the colors of the centerpieces and side dishes. It’s an easy way to elevate the dining experience without adding more bulk to the table.


 Left: A table set with checkerboard tableware and a striped turkey figurine. Right: An invitation with a drawing of a turkey and the words “Let’s get basted.”
Image via MacKenzie-Childs; “Basted” by John Derian for Paperless Post.


9. Autumn candles

“I would never skip candles,” says Ms. Rich. “It’s another way to add some interest to the table. Candlelight is always a good thing.”

To add some mood lighting to your table, try these Moss Dipped Candles (also available in Miel and Clay colors) to bring a muted, end-of-season glow to your Thanksgiving table.


10. Pumpkin napkin rings

Whether you’re using cloth napkins or paper napkins this year, handmade Raffia Napkin Rings add a bit of pumpkin spice to the table. Fold napkins in your favorite pattern and add the finishing touch for oohs and aahs to follow.


11. Edible Thanksgiving centerpiece

Sometimes there’s just no room on a Thanksgiving table for anything but food. But that doesn’t mean you need to skip the centerpiece. “You can put a bowl of red and green apples as the centerpiece on the table,” says Ms. Bacon. 


12. Classic serving dishes

Punch bowls and wedding china are back on the table this year. “Maximalism is always more fun, and thank goodness, it’s on trend!” says Ms. Stuart-Smith. “Mixing silver, china, crystal, and special serving dishes is back in style. It’s so much fun.”

If you don’t have these dinner party staples—or if they’re packed up in storage—substitute crystal glasses for Acrylic Flared Light Rose Goblets.


13. Turkey dinner napkins

Pay homage to Thanksgiving’s guest of honor with gorgeous Woodland Turkey Paper Luncheon Napkins. Eco-friendly and full of fall splendor, these napkins make dining a pleasure and cleanup a breeze.


14. Fall-colored tablecloth

For a splash of color beneath the feast, lay out a Paper Linen Solid Table Cover in Leaf Green. It can highlight patterns in other serving dishes, placemats, or napkins and has the feel and absorbance of a cloth napkin. Also available in red and orange, these tablecloths are a great base for your tablescape.


15. Thanksgiving crackers

Crackers aren’t just for Christmas anymore. “It’s another way to get a party started because you’re pulling them with the person closest to you at the table,” says Ms. Rich.


Thanksgiving home décor ideas

Left: An invitation with forest animals enjoying a Thanksgiving meal. Right: A table set with blue taper candles, fall flowers, an owl dish, and a floral arrangement above.
Forest Feast” by Paperless Post; Image via Belen Aquino for Lindsay Campbell.


Thanksgiving decoration ideas don’t end at the table. So how should you decorate the rest of the house for Thanksgiving?

“Everyone’s home is different, so it’s nice to work with what you have,” says Ms. Bacon. “I keep things very simple, clean, and neutral. I skip the turkey-themed things for more natural items like birch.” 

Whether you’re hosting a casual Friendsgiving or going all out for a formal family feast, choose Thanksgiving décor ideas that fit your style.


16. Gold décor

“Gold is always a great idea,” says Ms. Bacon. “This year, it’s gold and orange.”

Bring gold into your living space with the Linen Border Paper Dinner Plates In Gold, which pair nicely with gold Annika Paper Luncheon Napkins.


17. Happy Thanksgiving garland

Featuring nearly every color in the rainbow and an array of fall imagery, this Meri Meri Felt Leaves Thanksgiving Garland greets guests the moment they walk through the door. Drape the garland above your dinner table or in the entryway to set the tone.


18. Tortoiseshell candlesticks

Use tortoiseshell candlesticks to display candles on a mantel, coffee table, or even the dinner table.“You don’t have to obsess so much about your overhead lighting versus table lamp situation,” Ms. Rich says. “Just augment everything with candles. It adds color, too.”


19. Bamboo runner

If the rest of the dining room is looking a bit bare compared to your Thanksgiving table, drape a Bamboo Lattice Runner over an empty sideboard or coffee table. For extra fall flavor, add a basket of dried corn to complement the golden-brown colors in the pattern.


20. Decorative pumpkins and gourds

Don’t stop collecting pumpkins once Halloween ends. Placing white and muted decorative pumpkins and gourds around your home—bookshelves, window sills, or china cabinets—adds autumn to every corner of the room.


Left: A fall floral arrangement in a white pumpkin on a table with glasses and gourds. Right: Sprigs of wheat lie on a scalloped dish with autumnal decorations.
Images courtesy of MA FÊTE.


21. Maize table accents

Lovely on the table or as home décor, Maize Table Accents add pops of fall color wherever your house may need it. Consider attaching them to bare walls or beneath photo displays for rustic fall vibes.


22. Pine cone baskets

If you live in an area with pine trees aplenty, decorating your home is as easy as taking a walk through the woods. Fill an empty basket with pine cones and place them on surfaces throughout the home—or if you’re especially crafty, crochet a pinecone basket yourself!


23. Botanical vases

For floral displays too large for the table, consider placing flowers in large vases around the room. 

“We forage for botanicals, so we might go and cut down a whole branch of leaves and put it in a vase,” says Ms. Rich. “It adds scale to the room, it adds drama. It’s not something you necessarily put on your table, but you could do that on either side of a fireplace or have it on an end table. It’s beautiful if it’s natural, but you can also spray paint it gold or even a wild color for a wow factor. People will definitely comment on it.”


24. Autumn-colored blankets

Last-minute and low-maintenance Thanksgiving decoration ideas don’t get easier than autumnal blankets. Drape your favorites on the back of couches—the softer and more neutral-colored, the better—to set a comfortable fall forest theme with very little effort.


25. Pumpkin vase

Fall flowers inside a pumpkin make a lovely, tasteful decoration—plus it’s a great use for those extra pumpkins from Halloween. Follow these instructions to make a pumpkin vase, and fill it with your favorite autumn flowers that brighten up any room.


Modern Thanksgiving décor ideas

Left: A happy Thanksgiving banner, green taper candles, turkey plate, and scalloped plate. Right: A square Friendsgiving potluck invitation with a gold outline of a roast turkey.
Meri Meri Felt Leaves Thanksgiving Garland, Meri Meri Earthy Large Reusable Bamboo Plates and Meri Meri Turkey Plates; Moss Dipped Candles by The Floral Society; Woodland Turkey Square Paper Dinner Plates by Caspari, all available at Party Shop; “Turkey for You” by Paperless Post.


Though Thanksgiving traditions are important, it doesn’t mean you can’t add a few modern touches. Find inspiration to change things up with some modern Thanksgiving table décor suggestions that’ll bring a little 21st century to your traditional holiday event.


26. Purples and pinks

“Rustic browns, tans, cranberry, and orange are classic, but it can be fun to throw something unexpected into the mix,” says Ms. Rich. “Mix in a deep aubergine or even a pop of fuchsia to make things feel new and different.”

Try this out and surprise guests by stringing Plum Party Fans above the woodsy hues of your Thanksgiving dinner.


27. Citrus garland

Citrus is just starting to come into season in fall, so celebrate its homecoming with a Citrus Fruit Garland. Unconventional and yet unmistakably autumnal, this modern décor idea brightens your dining room and whets appetites for that orange cranberry sauce you’re about to serve.


28. White and gold cutlery

No matter the color palette on your table, this Modern White and Gold Cutlery brings it up a notch. Set it out for salads, main dishes, and even Thanksgiving soups, then wash and reuse them another time.


29. Goodie bags

Left: A yellow gift bag filled with baby’s breath flowers and surrounded by gourd decorations.Right:A brown cloth napkin is secured with a russet velvet bow on a scalloped dish.
Images courtesy of MA FÊTE.


They’re not just for kids anymore. 

“Give a goodie bag to your friends or family who traveled,” says Ms. Bacon. “Fill them with travel-size things and a local treat, like taffy or caramel. I’m in Southampton, so I like to get little bags of Tate’s Cookies and a tea bag.”


30. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are everywhere in décor, especially at Thanksgiving,” says Ms. Stuart-Smith. “Mushrooms are a trend we’ve seen grow over the last year, infiltrating everything from fashion to interiors and their earthy playfulness feel just right for fall. I love making mushroom meringues—they are a great hit for hosts or guests.”


Thanksgiving décor ideas for kids

Left: A girl and boy wear paper turkey-shaped hats. Right: A kids’ table with Thanksgiving decorations including gourds and turkey party crackers.
Images courtesy of Meri Meri, available at Party Shop.


With its sophisticated taste profiles, long periods of sitting and talking, and breakable dishware, Thanksgiving can seem like a definitively adult affair. Add a bit of whimsy to the kids’ table to get them involved with décor ideas just for the kids. 

“Decorate your Thanksgiving table with your kids—it’s a family gathering after all!” says Ms. Bacon. “Make your own place cards or napkin rings with rocks or leaves. It’s resourceful and interactive.”


31. Turkey hats

Why should Halloween get all the dress-up fun? Add a paper Meri Meri Turkey Hat to each place setting at the kids’ table to get the gobbling started.


32. Yarn pumpkin project

If your littlest guests need something to do while dinner finishes cooking, try Yarn Pumpkins from One Little Project. They’re easy to start, fun to complete, and cute to display as bonus Thanksgiving decorations.


33. Sunflower crowns

Not every flower fades as the days get shorter. Celebrate the sunflower season with Soak Up The Sunflower Flower Crowns for kids and adults alike. Or make your own flower crown with reds, yellows, and oranges woven throughout.


34. Turkey surprise balls

The grown-ups get crackers, but the kids won’t mind once they see their Meri Meri Turkey Surprise Balls. Each comes with a paper crown, an eraser, a joke, and other prizes that’ll distract kids long enough to wait for their dinners to cool.


35. Candy corn placemats

Candy Corn Placemats are a cute—and clean—way to keep a kids’ table organized and semi-formal. Decorate with a candy-corn-themed centerpiece, and of course, some candy corn turkey cookies for dessert!


Outdoor Thanksgiving décor ideas

Left: An outdoor wooden table is set with colorful gourds, yellow candles, and a hanging floral arrangement. Right: Purple paper fans, a citrus fruit garland, and gold and white cutlery.
Image via Under a Tin Roof; 1. Plum Party Fans by Coterie; 2. Citrus Fruit Garland by Meri Meri; 3. Modern White and Gold Cutlery by Luxe, all available at Party Shop.


No matter if your guests are passing through your yard on their way inside or you’re hosting Thanksgiving outside, Thanksgiving decorations for the outdoors set a fall scene from the start. Decorate your stoop and yard with autumn-themed décor using the ideas below.


36. Autumn wreath

There’s something comforting about the way crimson, orange, and gold blend together in fall leaves. Adorn your door with an autumn leaf wreath that brings these colors together—and add a few plastic gourds, pine cones, or acorns—with a 10-minute DIY autumn wreath project.


37. Pumpkins and flowers

Ms. Rich loves to use flowers and pumpkins to make a meaningful first impression on guests. 

“Decorate the front porch with the classics—pumpkins, mums, etc.—to add ambiance for your guests as they approach your home.”


38. Patio lights

Dine under an autumn glow with soft patio lights draped over a trellis or doorway. String lights also add ambiance to an outdoor Thanksgiving dinner—or if you really want to bring those fall vibes, add some Clay Mixed Tapers to the mix. 


39. Fall planter

Orange dahlias and yellow coneflowers make a lovely accent to any autumn outdoor décor. If you have a window box, consider planting these beauties a few weeks before your dinner. 

You can also learn how to make a fall planter on your own.


40. Outdoor cornucopia

Let guests know you’re thankful to see them this year with a DIY cornucopia made with rope. Charming all November, especially on Thanksgiving Day, this decoration looks especially nice with a fresh harvest from your garden or local pumpkin patch.


Express your gratitude with Paperless Post

A russet-colored invitation for “turkey and toasts” with a gold berry border and gold envelope.
Gilded Harvest” by Rifle Paper Co. for Paperless Post.


No matter the color scheme or centerpiece style of your holiday table, Thanksgiving is all about reflecting on what—and who—you’re grateful to have in your life. Friends, family, and loved ones around the table remind us all what’s important, and decorating our space to welcome them is our way of showing how thankful we are.

Set your Thanksgiving theme as soon as your guest list is finished with our array of Thanksgiving invitations (or Friendsgiving invitations) for every occasion. Once you’ve written the perfect Thanksgiving message, it’s time for even more of the fun stuff—planning the Thanksgiving menu! Bon appétit.



Browse Thanksgiving Décor


Hero image courtesy of MA FÊTE.