Dressing the Thanksgiving Table

November 15, 2021  /   By Toni Scott-Daniel


The holidays are a special time for me, because this is a time when I can be really creative.  One of my favorite things to do during the holidays - since I love to cook and I love to eat -  is to set a beautiful table!  Setting a table is really fun because you can create whatever theme you like and just go crazy with making something really beautiful, whimsical or elegant.


This year I'm going with a festive shabby chic look. To set my table I'm staring with a very wide table runner.  I made this runner using four white and two cream colored runners with burlap and silver ribbon I got from Dollar Tree.  It's a perfect base for my tablescape.



I'm starting right in the center of the table - my centerpiece is a shabby chic lantern that I made using picture frames: https://youtu.be/KSIfVmKOHgY  I'm decorating inside the lantern with one large, unique looking pumpkin, some silk flowers and fall foliage - sunflowers, wild flowers, leaves and berries.


When you're doing a tablescape, you want to start with one large piece in the center and have it step down on each side. On each side of my large lantern, I have a silver candlestick holder with a candle and then a smaller lantern with a tea candle inside a glass vase. In between everything, I clustered light colored pumpkins and more foliage and flowers - making sure that I'm mimicking everything I do on one side, with what I'm doing on the other.



When you're doing a tablescape you want to make sure that the colors are balanced.  So make sure that the same colors are carried throughout each side. Since my tablescape has lots of colors in it, I want my place settings to be subtle with just a pop-up color.  I'm using silver chargers and white plates with white napkins and a simple napkin ring with an orange metallic leaf - I made these with gold ribbon and an orange metallic leaf.


To set the place setting correctly with what we have here, you start with the charger plate (the decorative plate) at the bottom.  Then your dinner plate  followed by your bowl.  Your napkin can go above the plate, on the side of the plate or wherever you would like. Your dinner knife goes on the right with the cutting side facing the plate.  Your soup spoon is next to your knife and your wine goes directly above the knife.  Your fork goes on the right of the plate.


To set a formal table with a 5 course meal, you will start with the same setup as above but below the bowl is a salad plate if you are having salad. Additional forks and spoons for each course are added on each appropriate side. A bread plate is above the forks, topped with a bread knife. Above the plate are first, the dessert fork then the dessert spoon. The first course wine glass goes above the dinner knife followed by each course glass in a line, at an angle.


To make my guests feel special, sometimes I place name cards by each place setting, but I'm sure your guests will already feel special sitting at such a beautiful and festive table.  So get creative and liven up the dinner table for your family and friends this year!