10 Thanksgiving Table Decorating Ideas

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Your Thanksgiving Table the 3R Way

Thanksgiving table decorating ideas
Use natural items such as mini pumpkins and recycled glassware for an easy Thanksgiving table.

Who says you can’t decorate on a budget? You don’t have to break the bank to make your Thanksgiving table elegant and festive, while reducing waste at the same time. Let nature be your supply store- anything you need is growing or falling around you for free.

Reusing items doesn’t have to be boring. Take a small walk around the neighborhood by yourself, or with your kids or visiting little ones, to collect these items. You could even make a short scavenger hunt for the collection if you’ve got the time. First one back to the house with all the items gets the first piece of pumpkin pie!

Besides beautiful leaves in shades of orange, red and yellow, the seasonal changes bring gourds of delightful shapes and sizes. Mini pumpkins are adorable, and try some of the odd-shaped squash as an accent on your table = Gourd-geous.

Recycled Thanksgiving Table Decor

Add that Turkey Day touch to your home decor with these table decorating ideas, also great for mantels:

Baby pine cones. These are so cute and versatile. Sprinkle them around the table for a decorative fall treat. Regular-sized pine cones are cute too, but save those for next month. They look fantastic by candlelight.

Leaf this one to us. If you have beautiful falling leaves near your house, these are perfect for decoration just as they are! Use them to add color underneath serving dishes or squash arrangements or place the leaves flat on the table and top with a tea light in a glass votive holder.

Acorns. Fill old kitchen jars with acorns. Add a small piece ribbon or natural raffia around the jar. That’s it! Also very cute is just the cap of the acorn, which can be used to cover the head of a small hamster if you have one, since a squirrel is not likely to play dress up with you. Just a thought.

Thanksgiving table decorating ideasWine corks. These look nice if you filled a jar with them too! Or, make the name place card holders pictured to the right by carving a small slit in a wine cork, or just fold a small section of the paper back and pin it to the cork. Or, save some time and buy cork card holders online.

Wine bottles. Reuse a wine bottle by adding in a candelabra for a touch of class.

Light the Room

Find easy-to-make recycled lanterns in this post, and the idea is the same for DIY candles. Melt down wax using these tips for recycled candles in your reused or repurposed jam jar. A few months later, reuse the same candles again for the winter holidays.

LED tealights give off a warm orange light and are a good substitute if you don’t want to use real candles. LED lights because they use about 80% less electricity than standard mini-lights energy and last 10x longer. LED stands for light-emitting diodes, and they are mercury-free.

Thanksgiving Table Decorating Ideas

All plates featured in the main picture above are from Fire & Light, which creates beautiful recycled glassware in a unique relationship with their county’s recycling center. Read more about that in our exclusive interview.

Besides using nature’s decor, there’s always your local thrift store, which will likely carry tons of seasonal items. Remember that buying used items upholds the market for secondhand items and saves the energy it would take to make new ones.

Don’t forget to check out our feature on recycling at parties for other money saving and waste reducing tips.

Links to products featured on RecycleScene are affiliate links. We try and only feature products that close the recycling loop. Make a purchase of recommended products on our site, and we get a small percentage of affiliate commission to maintain our site. Thanks!


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