To really make an impression on your guests at Thanksgiving, you have to think about every element of the place setting. Whether this is your first time hosting the feast, or if you are looking for something a little different this year, there is always something fun that you can set up. From simple Thanksgiving table settings to some fun table setting ideas for the kids, we’ve got you covered this holiday season.
The Simple Thanksgiving Table Setting – 3 Ways
Sometimes a simple Thanksgiving place setting can make a big impression. If you have a beautiful table, take advantage of it and don’t use a tablecloth. Instead, use a fall-colored table runner and thoughtful table place settings. Then properly set out 2 forks, a knife, and a spoon. Forks go on the left with the salad fork on the outside, and the knife and soup spoon go on the right with the spoon on the outside. Just think of it like this: when it comes to setting your utensils, you want guests to be able to work from the outside in (and you eat your salad and soup before the main course). Next, place a folded cloth napkin on the plate and wrap it with a decorative napkin ring, or you can print out these free printable Thanksgiving napkin wrappers.
Set each place with a clear wine glass, a coffee mug, a water glass or all 3 to the right of your plate. If you are serving salad or an appetizer, place a small plate to the left of the glassware. Add a free printable Thanksgiving place card in front of each setting so your guests know where to sit. We’ve created these free printable Thanksgiving napkin wrappers and place cards that will match each setting perfectly. Just print them out, fold them, and write your guests’ name in the designated area. Some printables even have a place for your guests to write what they’re thankful for.
Simple Thanksgiving Table Setting #1
This Thanksgiving table setting uses the muted greens and golds of the fall season. Use a plate that features an intricately designed edge and a napkin with a seasonal print. Then go with simple silverware and a clear glass as to not overwhelm the rest of your Thanksgiving table setting. Use free printable Thanksgiving place cards to indicate where each guest is to sit and free printable napkin wrappers that let each person write what they are thankful for. Be sure to provide pens and markers with this Thanksgiving table setting.
Simple Thanksgiving Table Setting #2
This Thanksgiving table setting uses contrasting colors to make a simple, yet bold statement. A navy placemat makes the sage green plate really pop. Since we used only solid colors, we chose silverware with an interesting block design. And you can never go wrong with a classic white napkin. The free printable Thanksgiving place card and napkin wrapper that is shown here reminds guests of the reason they came to your gathering: to “eat, drink, & be thankful.”
Simple Thanksgiving Table Setting #3
This Thanksgiving table setting is perfect if you plan to use simple white plate ware and silver utensils. Use a brightly colored placemat behind your setting to make a bold and beautiful statement. Choose a pale yellow napkin and accent it with a coffee cup with the same light color on the bottom. The free printable Thanksgiving napkin wrapper shown here serves as a reminder to “Give thanks with a grateful heart,” and the free printable Thanksgiving place card lets your guests write in one thing that they are thankful for before enjoying your delicious dinner. Make sure to place some pens or markers on the table if you choose this Thanksgiving table setting.
Thanksgiving Table Setting for the Kid’s Table
If you have kids at your party, be sure to cater to their needs or you will end up disappointed with dirty tablecloths and stained napkins. You can either purchase some fun, vinyl Thanksgiving tablecloths that will be easy to wipe down or you can make your own Thanksgiving placemats. Simply print the file, laminate the pages and set up a little bucket next to each setting with dry erase markers – the kids can color while waiting for their meal. Not only will these free printable Thanksgiving placemats keep them entertained, they’ll be easy to clean up.
Don’t worry about using your best dishes. The kids will grow up fast enough. Get some heavy-duty clear plastic plates, good quality plasticware, and paper napkins. Sprinkle candy corn and candy pumpkins in the center of the table.
Elegant Thanksgiving Table Setting
For a truly formal event, you can go all out and have some fun decorating. Use either a dark table or dark table cover that will look nice and wash up well. Use your most formal dinner dishes. If you have a setting that is gold or silver trimmed, that would be the elegance you are looking for. Just make sure your dishes are stark white against the dark-colored table or tablecloth. You can also add a rustic gold tray beneath your dishes to add a little more sophisticated drama and dimension.
Set the table with the dinner and salad plate, matching formal silverware, crystal goblets or wine glasses, and a coffee cup for the dessert course. You should use your finest silver and make sure each piece is perfectly polished. Use pre-folded napkins in a coordinating gold color and carefully place them in the center of each plate setting. Scatter a few artificial leaves around each set to add a touch of the beautiful outdoors. For the center of the table, spray paint some pumpkins or artificial fall gourds to match the dishes and lay them on a table runner that coordinates with your dark-colored table. If your dishes are gold trimmed, paint all or some of the pumpkins or gourds gold to match. Place plain white candlesticks with crystal holders next to each set to add just the right amount of ambient light during dinner. Use gold ballroom chairs to further add to the fine dining experience and decorate them with faux silk chair wraps in red, green, or gold fabric. Secure each chair wrap and add seasonal swag with mini-wreaths with berries or a candle rings with greenery.
Casual Thanksgiving Table Setting Ideas
Thanksgiving table settings can be casual, too. If your family is pretty laid back and you don’t want to do too much work, go ahead and ask for help. Purchase some inexpensive cotton fabric for tablecloths and cut it to length. Use masking tape to secure the edges underneath the table so that it won’t pull when people get in and out of their seats. Ask each individual family to bring their own dishes and silverware and come early to set up their spots. In addition, ask all those attending to bring some decorations from their homes to use as centerpieces. It will be fun to see what others bring and what decorations are important to them.