In this #GroupChat episode, we talk all about some tips for creating an amazing Thanksgiving Table. Groupchat episodes feature designers, pros, and content creators in the home & DIY space — weighing in to bring you expert advice and answer burning questions around home design, decor, and life at home
Today we hear from 4 different decor bloggers + your host, Cara Newahrt, as they share their best tips for your Thanksgiving Table.
diy wooden sign materials:
*Tune in to the episode to learn how to make it!
Best Tip: grab some preserved wheat bundles from floral treasures. Simple + beautiful alone or add in some candles.
IN•SPO Creatives Conference — Use code NEVERSKIPBRUNCH to get $50 off either ticket type
Best Tip: Your Thanksgiving table is a focal point because of conversation and connection, not because it's gorgeous. Instead of focusing on making your table gorgeous, focus on making your table cozy and inviting.
cara newhart [host]
Best Tip: Keep your centerpiece fresh with white pumpkins and fresh greenery + dress up your everyday white plates to make them festive.
Best tip: use a wooden box for centerpiece decor — you can remove the whole thing when it's time to eat + make room for food.
Best Tip: Paper napkin hack — get them from Ikea! They're large and come in many colors.
...just in case you wanna read
Cara: 00:00 You listening to the Make Space podcast, Thanksgiving table talk, a special group chat episode group chat episodes, feature designers, pros in content creators in the home in DIY space, weighing in to bring you expert advice in answer burning questions around home design, decor and life at home. I'm your host Cara Newhart. And for each episode I pick a topic and invite amazingly brilliant guest to weigh in and share their tips and tricks. Today's episode is all about creating an amazing Thanksgiving table.
Cara: 00:52 Hello, happy Wednesday. If you've been a listener for a while, you've probably noticed that this episode is totally different than anything we've done before, which is really exciting. Basically, this is a new style of episode that I wanted to do, um, monthly. Basically a way to invite multiple guests onto the show, whether that is home and DIY bloggers or designers or any other kind of expert in the home in DIY space. Um, just to invite a bunch of guests on at once to share their expertise around a certain topic. So my plan is to do these monthly, we're starting out with a Thanksgiving themed episode and then obviously moving into the holidays. But this is just a fun way for us instead of diving deep with one guest to be able to tap into the brilliance of multiple guests in one single episode. So I'm sharing my tips on a gorgeous Thanksgiving table along with some other super amazing content creators. So let's dive in and get some advice for your Thanksgiving table.
Brenda: 02:08 Hi there. I'm Brenda Lindquist, the eccentric homemaker. I'm also the founder and creative director of inspo creatives conference for entrepreneurial women. You can find me at inspo creatives conference on Instagram as well as the eccentric homemaker. I'll be sharing my best tips on styling a Thanksgiving centerpiece. And something that I really like to do is go simple because Christmas is a little wild. So I like to keep Thanksgiving just simple and beautiful. So I have found a company called floral treasures and they sell these really beautiful preserved wheat bundles and you could get three of them, I mean at the least, and do them just right in the center. And then if you have a longer table, I'd maybe do anywhere from like five to seven, just kind of going down and they are just so beautiful and you really don't need anything else. If you want to, you can maybe space in if you candles and I would definitely put them on some candle holders or unless you have like those really cute um, like kind of farmhouse style jars like the Mason jar candles, that would be darling to kind of.in between if you kind of wanted to spread it out.
Brenda: 03:22 The other thing you can do to make a really gorgeous centerpiece, cause I like going simple with this. I would do a Garland and floral treasures also has preserved garlands and they are just so pretty because they're actual real leaves and they're preserved, they're gorgeous and you can just set them right down the center and kind of.in candles. Again, whether you do the Mason jars or you can do some beautiful candles. I like glass candlesticks and holders and I have some from anthropology. They've got some really beautiful ones and I mean you can really get them anywhere, wherever you find them. I also love vintage so I tend to do a lot of vintage on my table as well. So make it easy. I would go with some wheat bundles or do a Garland simple and gorgeous. I would also like to share some how to on some great napkin rings for your Thanksgiving table and something you can do your really quick.
Brenda: 04:21 I'm a really artsy Craftsy kind of gal and you could do something really simple and if you wanted to kind of go a little bit more farmhouse, if you're kind of already going in the week bundles, what I would do is get either some jute or some raffia and just make it really simple. Get your napkin, get it together. And then for the jute and the raffia, you're just going to need some scissors and you can tie them up. Make cute little bow, make it simple like that. If you wanted to add a little bit more touch, you could get a couple extra wheat, like little wheat straws or wheat, um, floral picks. And just add one in. Is it just a cute little touch with a bow? And that would be really darling. And if you're a little bit more of a glitzy kind of glam gal, I would do a floral pick.
Brenda: 05:09 Whether you get the ones with the berries or you get some leaves or some twigs, something really fun. I would stay away from spray paint because I hate the way it smells, but I love the Eileen's tacky glue spray and you can spray them up and just get some glitter. Dustin with glitter, depending on what color that you're using. I usually do a little standard kind of clearish kind of glitter just to give a little bit of a sparkle if you wanted to go that way and they're done super quick and then you just can do the same thing. You can use the jute or some raffia or if you want to get wild, you can use the Baker's twine. I think it just kinda depends on um, what you've got going on or just use like another pretty little ribbon from the, um, hobby store. Anyway, that's my quick tips and they're super easy fun to do and they make it just simply elegant for your dining room. Anyway, happy Thanksgiving and I hope you enjoy.
Joy: 06:07 Hi, this is joy Pitner writer and owner of the coastal cupboard, a gourmet kitchen wares and tabletop store. You can find me on Instagram at joy dot Pitner. My tip for creating a gorgeous Thanksgiving table is to actually not try to make it gorgeous at all. Let me explain. Thanksgiving is all about taking a day to stop and acknowledge our blessings. It's about gratitude, sharing memories, and really stopping to connect with family and friends. So the table becomes this focal point for the holiday, not because of its decor value, but because sharing a meal together is one of the most basic ways to connect with people. So with that said, you want your table to be this cozy, warm place, a place where walls come down and conversation is easy, where everyone knows their value and people are encouraged to slow down and linger for a while and none of that requires a gorgeous table.
Joy: 06:57 What you do need is a comfortable and inviting table and the truth is that that requires just as much thought and effort if not more. So. A couple of tips for how to approach this. First start with seating. If you want people to linger, you need to make sure they're comfortable and try adding a throw over the end of a bench or a small accent pillow on the chairs. These little touches and making sure the seats are comfortable. Go a long way. You can also use a table decor to help contour the conversation. Use place cards is icebreakers are conversation starters. One glance at Pinterest you'll have hundreds of ideas and templates. Place cards are also an easy way to put in that personal touch to show that each person is valued and wanted. When guests arrive. You can have them write something they admire or appreciate about the other guests on the inside of a tent style place card.
Joy: 07:44 Set the place cards around the table and then watches your table fills with smiles as each person reads their card and don't hesitate to use them. Verse signs, even to even small gatherings can sometimes benefit from a little strategic planning to help foster inclusive conversation and keep any conflicts apart. Okay. Onto the place settings here again, you want to incorporate warm elements and layer the textures. For example, a woven charger or place mat crisp white dinnerware that really shows off the food and then an approachable linen napkin, not to starch to impress kind, but the kind people aren't nervous to wipe their hands on. Same concept for napkin rings since they often become the focal point of the place setting. Go for a woven style over a hard metal. Adding that soft element is a subtle cue for people to sit back and relax. However, if you do go with metal or if that's just what you have on hand, an easy way to soften them up is by tucking a piece of greenery or a small Sprig of cotton into the napkin ring once you've pulled the napkin through.
Joy: 08:43 Another option if you're on a budget is to use a spool of thin burlap ribbon to create a simple bow style napkin ring, tuck in some greenery or even some small twigs, and you've got a table full of Pinterest worthy rings for under $5. As for styling the centerpiece, again, think comfort and warmth over impressive and Pinterest worthy, so nothing too tall that's going to impede conversations and something that leaves enough room for easily passing the dishes around using baskets, woven trays and wooden serving pieces, especially the reclaimed wood style, go a long way for invoking the sense of character and richness that people just want to sink down into. One of my favorite things to do is to arrange an assortment of Mason jars on a plank style cutting board. In the center of the table. You mix in a few small pumpkins or even candles to match the color palette of the table linens and then fill the jars with wildflowers, herbs, or other greenery from around the yard.
Joy: 09:37 Even weeds can look absolutely gorgeous if they're placed in the right setting. At our house. My daughter loves to be the one to fill the jars and I love that because involving the kids as this highly personal touch and even if it's not perfect, everyone who sits at that table is going to be warmed by the thought that she put the effort into it. Plus it's very budget friendly. In the end, what people are going to remember is the conversations in the laughter, the memories, the way they lingered around the table, a soak it all in and that will make the table more gorgeous than anything out of a magazine. Lastly, since I am a foodie, I have to share the highlight reel of food tips. So here we go. First, always Brian, your Turkey is a game changer. Second, use a great rub. So many people think rubs are just for barbecue, but they are magic for your Turkey. Third, don't trust that pop up. I'm done. Indicator on your Turkey. Get a good thermometer, trust me, it's worth it. And lastly, plan a menu where you can prep as much ahead of time as you can. Thanksgiving is about being with people not being stuck in the kitchen. So set the table, stage the house, make the food, but then be in the moment with your family because that's really what you're trying to encourage with all your Thanksgiving decor in the first place.
Cara: 10:52 We'll be right back with more amazing tips in just a second. But first I have a special DIY project tutorial brought to you by our amazing sponsor. This five minute Thanksgiving would sign. DIY project is brought to you by crazy glue, fast dry wood glue. I've talked about crazy glue quite a few times before, so if you've been a listener for awhile, you know it's one of my favorite products for DIY decor projects that involve wood today. I get to partner with them to bring you a podcast exclusive DIY project you can customize to help judge up your house for Thanksgiving. So you'll need some crazy glue faster. I would glue a blink wood sign. The glue works on most wood types so you don't have to worry about what kind of wood. You'll also need some wooden letters and some craft paint and you can find links in the show notes for each of products which are all available on Amazon.
Cara: 11:56 So first you're going to choose a word or a phrase. You can go with something like gather or thankful since we're creating Thanksgiving decor. And then you just want to paint the chosen letters with craft paint in the color of your choice. So once those letters are dry, you want to arrange them on your blank wooden sign, moving them around until centered or you can just position them as desired. If you want to do maybe just the corner or a little bit of off center, once you like how the letters are arranged, pick up the first letter and apply a thin line of crazy glue faster. I would glue to the back of the letter, place the letter back down onto the sign and press in place for about 15 to 20 seconds while the glue starts to dry to form a super strong bond.
Cara: 12:40 Repeat for each letter, picking them up one at a time, applying the crazy glue and pressing them back down into place. While the glue sets crazy glue faster. I would glue cures in just six minutes. So once all the letters are glued down, you don't have hours of wait time for the glue to dry. Since it cures super fast, your sign is ready to hang. The glue is also washable and sandal, which means cleanup is easy. And you've just created a sign that looks polished and professional to snag some crazy glue, fast dry wood glue and make this simple DIY decor project. Hop over to bit dot Lee slash crazy glue, wood glue. And that's crazy. Glue wood glue with all capital letters to order it off Amazon.
Cara: 13:29 Hello, it's Cara again. And if you don't follow me on social already, you can find me at never skipped brunch. Pinterest is my very favorite place, but I am also on Instagram and I'm sharing my two best tips for a gorgeous Thanksgiving table. So number one is to dress up your everyday dishes. So white dishes are literally the perfect base for creating a gorgeous Thanksgiving table. You can accent them with napkins that have like a fun pattern or a pop of color. I'm really loving mustard yellow stripes. I found these napkins on Amazon that were like really inexpensive, but they look really super nice and they are like creamy and have these bright mustard yellow stripes and they look so good. Or you could go with a less eye-catching, solid napkin and make like a festive place card. Be the focus. So a super cute place setting idea uses white plates, a creamy neutral napkin with like a gold napkin ring and then colorful fall leaves as the place cards you could use like a silver Sharpie or even just like a regular black Sharpie and write names right on the leaves.
Cara: 14:42 So that's a really good way to add color without like purchasing something that is really colorful if you usually stick more to neutrals. So you can also check out my Thanksgiving napkin ring tutorial for the how to on using polymer clay that you could actually bake in your oven at home. Um, to create some chic and festive napkin rings. I will link it in the show notes, but you are going to want to check this out because this project had a couple huge fails before I finally got it right. And at the very least it's pretty entertaining. And then if you want to make it, you'll be able to make some really chic custom napkin rings for really cheap. They honestly look like something you could buy at like anthropology, but I think I paid like $12 for the clay. So totally, totally worth it.
Cara: 15:32 And then tip number two is my idea for creating a super easy centerpiece that looks really sophisticated, like you put in a ton of effort. Um, so I will preface this by saying, if your style is like mine, you might not be in love with all things farmhouse. I am not. Um, but this can be a challenge around Thanksgiving because the farmhouse cottage vibe is super popular for fall and for Thanksgiving decor. The other thing about Thanksgiving is I don't really go all out with buying like Thanksgiving specific to core. I'm one of those overly festive people that puts my Christmas tree up essentially right after Halloween. So it doesn't really make sense for me to be dragging out decor for just literally a couple of days a year. So I don't really think I have almost anything that's like actually thinks giving specific, I have like fall decor that I transitioned to Thanksgiving.
Cara: 16:30 Um, but all that to say when it comes to like a centerpiece, it's not like I have a ton of selection to choose from and I don't really want to buy anything. So my solution for a gorgeous centerpiece that still goes all out, um, is to keep it fresh but like literally. So I love grabbing eight to 10 white pumpkins in various sizes. Placing those first in the center of the table, just kind of varying the shape and size. Um, I used real pumpkins but they can obviously also be fake if you want to buy some pieces that you can use year after year. And then next I place a couple of candles. So I have these burnt orange glass votives that I found from target that I really love because they give off like a warm glow and they're also super tall. So if you're doing like a real candle, there isn't like threat of fire as much as there is a flute with like an open flame.
Cara: 17:27 And they also really work good with flicker candles. So you could also use more simple like pillar candles or just straight up flicker candles any more. They have really good styles of those that are like real wax and look like real candles. They don't look like as fake as they used to, I think. Um, so then I use some fresh greenery and I just kind of in the gaps between the pumpkin's in the candles, I cut big branches down into smaller sprigs and then add them with the stems facing the inside of the table. So basically what you want to do is a centerpiece is like, it needs to look good from all angles. It's not just something you look at from the front. So I would walk around the table please kind of bigger bushy or pieces of your greenery down first and then kind of layer in on top of that with the more like light, um, greenery or even pieces like baby's breath, which is like tiny white flowers if you don't know what that is.
Cara: 18:28 Um, and that's a really good way to add contrast. So a lot of times grocery stores have like bundles of just greenery that you can buy, like where you would buy flowers, but it's just greenery. So that's a really good place to get it. Other ideas are like eucalyptus is a really good thing to use. It looks great with a white pumpkin's because it's a little bit ashy, it's less like bright, bright green, if that makes sense. And you could also check out my video where I made a pumpkin vase with like a little floral arrangement because I talked a lot about fall florals and some of my favorite ones to use. So if you need some ideas, I will link that in the show notes as well. So those are my two tips, really not that complicated. I like to keep it simple. Um, but the table honestly still looks super chic. If you just use white plates as your base, add some fall accent colors and then use just white pumpkin's and greenery. It's a way to keep it simple but still looks very elegant and very festive. Like you went all out for Thanksgiving, even if you're living in a Christmas season. And just like taking a break for the Turkey and pie.
Sarah: 19:35 Hi everyone. I'm Sarah Nadaraja and I have a DIY blog called Rocky Canyon Rustic. And you can find me on Instagram at Rocky Canyon rustic. Um, some of the ways that I like to go about creating a gorgeous Thanksgiving table is basically I just like to keep things really pretty basic and just let the food do the talking. But that being said, it's always fun to have a table that looks festive and more inviting. So I do like to do a few things that just judge it up a little bit. So my favorite dining table GoTo is this long wooden box that I built around holiday time last year. And I usually fill it with a little bit of greenery and some candles. My candles are mostly battery powered so I don't have to worry about the kids blowing them out or messing with them. Um, and then I like to add little pops of color.
Sarah: 20:35 So for Thanksgiving time I like colors that are a little more subdued, like some rust colored oranges and whites, Browns, gold, things like that. And it just really makes it feel so warm and inviting. So I usually start by putting a nice neutral runner on the table, which might be something like burlap or even I like using that, um, butcher block paper. And then I will lay that out and put my big wooden box on top. And at this point it's already filled with everything and it looks really nice and the best part about the wooden boxes, then it, when it comes time to actually eat the meal, you can just pick it up and move the whole thing off the table to make room for the food. So that makes it really cool because then it's really easy to decorate and move it out of the way and then put it back when you're done and everything still looks really nice.
Sarah: 21:36 Um, I also use just, I just use white plates. That's all I have really on hand. I use it for day to day and I use the same white plates for our, um, holiday meals. And then I have some oatmeal colored linen napkins that I use again for almost every holiday or nice meal. And since I use the basic oatmeal linen napkins for pretty much everything, I do like to dress them up a little bit by adding a little love in the form of a DIY napkin ring. And again, I keep these pretty basic mostly so I don't have to spend a lot of money. Um, but my favorite thing to do, which is super easy and super inexpensive, almost not even worth calling it a DIY, but I like to take a natural item, like some pretty fall leaves or pine cones or maybe some fresh herbs like Rosemary.
Sarah: 22:28 And then I just kind of arrange the napkin, put that nice natural item on the top and tie it around with some twine and it always gives it a nice rustic look. Depending on the item you choose, some times it makes it smell good and adds really some fun texture and entrust to the table. And so that's something that I'm going to play with this year. I'm thinking about maybe adding in a cinnamon stick or something fun that again has those same colors but adds a little texture. So those are some of the fun things that I'm going to be doing for my Thanksgiving table this year and I'm pretty excited to hear about all of the other fantastic suggestions.
Gladys: 23:15 I'm Gladys Kaylor from ourhappilyeverhome.com you can find me on Instagram at our happily ever home today. I'm really excited to share with you some tips for creating a beautiful Thanksgiving table. So I usually like to go through the things I already own first before I even get to creating the table because not only does it give me ideas for what I would like to reuse or repurpose, but it also helps to save money and giving me a general vision for the palette of the year. Whether I would like to do something more traditional with orange or something more neutral, which brings me to the place settings. Now this is a really fun part because this adds, it brings it all together and adds all of the different layers that make up the beautiful end results of the table. So you have your different elements like the placemats runner, chargers, dinnerware, silverware, water glosses, or gauntlets, whichever you have or prefer napkins and your centerpiece.
Gladys: 24:27 So the table we used to have, we're currently in the process of building a different table, but the one we used to have wasn't big enough to do both placemats and a runner. So I would use just the placemats, but then I would have a centerpiece that was still large enough to make it cohesive and bring it all together. So that's definitely an option. Like you don't have to use both placements and a runner. It's completely whatever you like. Whatever brings you joy and napkins as well. There's different options. You can go with cloth, you can often find them in a bulk deal or you can use paper. One of my favorite places to get paper napkins is Ikea because they have nice color options and they're also large so you can fold them up. I'm sure if you placed a ring around it, you might not even be able to tell that they were in cloth.
Gladys: 25:24 I really loved them. And yeah, you have your centerpiece. I mean there's so many options with that. Whether it's um, candlesticks using tapered candles in there, whether it's a green Garland or pumpkin's strewn around across the table. There's so many options. And the Springs me to one of my favorite parts, and I think this is something we don't even always think above, but it's just fun because you get to think about making it more personal, adding that personal touch to the place setting specifically. So some of ideas for that would be you could use decorative cookies with family members names on it or their initial, now I am not talented at all in cookie decorating, so that's not my forte. But there's definitely small shop owners or bakeries who are able to do that, right? But you could also do chocolates wrapped in a cute bag with a name tag ribbon or if you don't want to do that, you could do, um, family photos.
Gladys: 26:41 And I really love this option because it is so unique and different. So you could even take those generations back. Like if you could go through family photos there, most of those are in black and white, right? But if you don't want to go that far back, you could even take your own immediate family photos and there's like editing apps or just make it black and white. It gives it that vintage player develop them and place them on the different place settings. And I think that adds a really nice personal touch. And you know, it really brings it full circle because that's what the season is all about, right? It's being thankful. And family really is such a blessing to be able to gather around the table and have conversation. It's one of the greatest joys in life. So I think that's really, really amazing. And uh, yeah, I really hope it inspires you to create your own tablescape and I hope you enjoy this Thanksgiving season.
Cara: 28:06 Be sure to check out the show notes for more info on today's featured guests and connect with them on social. You can also send us questions you'd like answered on next month's episode where we sit down to chat about holiday home packs. Just at us on twitter @makespacepod or shoot us an email at [email protected]
Cara: 28:29 Love this episode? Be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform so you don't miss other amazing chats. Just like this. Take a second to rate and review us on iTunes so you can let us know what you love about the show. Thanks for listening and I will talk to you next week.
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