How to Set An Elegant Thanksgiving Table on a Budget

Last week I shared my Simple, Casual Thanksgiving table, and today I’m going to show you version two. This was actually version one, because sometimes I’m crazy, and after spending an entire day setting and photographing a table, I get super critical of myself and decide to scrap it and start it all over. But I really love this version too, and it uses almost all of the same elements that I used on the casual table, just arranged differently. And the best part about it, is that it cost around $20 to set a beautiful (if I do say so myself) Thanksgiving table, which is pretty awesome considering the cost of a Thanksgiving feast, right? So today I’m going to show you how I set an elegant Thanksgiving table on a budget.

Natural Thanksgiving Table

First, let’s just ditch the traditional tablecloth. They can be expensive, and who wants to worry about stains on something you spent a small fortune on? I used a piece of muslin, and to give it a little bit of a rustic look, I just tore it to the size I needed so that the edges were frayed. The muslin is where I stopped for the causal table, but for this one, I added a piece of lace from Ikea. This stuff is $1.29 a yard–practically free, and adds a little bit of fancy to the muslin. (I used the same lace on last year’s table too.) Then I added some branches from the tree in my backyard–nothing beats free, right? I just cut them long and then laid them down the middle of the table.

Thanksgiving Table Decorations

Next, fruit. Lots of fruit. I didn’t even know red pears were a thing, but now they’re one of my favorite things. They’re the most amazing color. For this table I used three different kinds of pears, oranges, and pluots (it’s a plum and an apricot) and then stuck a few cotton stems in for some pops of white.

Simple Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Easy Thanksgiving Table Ideas

I used the same napkins for both tables, which really are just scraps of fabric with the edges torn and frayed like the muslin. I added more little branches, a wood slice (made by my grandpa) and candles, which are a tradition for our family. Guess where the big white plates are from? The Dollar Store!! I don’t own China because I just don’t really use it enough, and honestly, I’m not really into hand-washing all of my dishes after a big meal, so I almost always buy white dishes, which means they can be mixed and matched and will go with just about any table setting. The top plates are from Ikea and are just my everyday dishes. The silverware was my great grandma’s.

Simple Thanksgiving Table Setting

I mixed in some other napkins that I had from World Market and then dollar store wine glasses. Yup. The dollar store again.

Thanksgiving Table Ideas

Natural, Elegant Thanksgiving Table

Finally, a few candles at different sizes and heights to add a little warmth and mood. Done and done! A beautiful table that didn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Inexpensive Thanksgiving Table

Set a beautiful Thanksgiving table for under $20 using elements from your yard, the grocery store, and the dollar store.

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