Fake flowers and leaves may look nice from a distance, but for a Thanksgiving table you’ll want something naturally beautiful. There are plenty of ways to go green and incorporate Mother Nature’s elements that would otherwise be swept into the trash.
Here are ten natural ideas for your Thanksgiving table. Use one or combine your favorites!
Image credit: Martha Stewart
Instead of using an ordinary glass vase, fill a pumpkin with some flowers as a more festive fall decoration.
Simply carve out a pumpkin, making sure the insides are completely scraped out, and put a glass vase filled with water inside the pumpkin. Place your favorite fall flowers inside the vase, such as mums, aster or goldenrod, until they spread out over the pumpkin like in the picture below.
Image credit: The Frugal Homemaker
There’s a creative project waiting in the fallen leaves around your yard.
Scoop up your favorites and grab a clear candle jar. Use a hot glue gun to hold the leaves in place, and cover the jar up to about an inch from the brim. You can leave the jar as it is or tie some ribbon or string around the base.
Image credit: Style At Home
This table centerpiece is about as simple as it gets.
Look around your yard or park for acorns, walnuts or pinecones. Gather a bunch and select a few vases of various heights. Drop the nuts and cones in one by one, alternating between color and type. Frequently turn the vase to ensure that it’s picturesque from all sides. Lastly, tie some straw ribbon around the vases and put a small candle between them.
Image credit: Small Room Ideas
Here’s another thing you can do with acorns: Use them as fillers for your candle jars.
Fill about a fourth of the jar with acorns and then nestle a candle into the jar. Different sizes and shapes make an interesting table, and you can surround the jars with natural decoration like leaves or pine needles.
Image credit: BHG
Food can be just as much a part of your centerpieces as what ends up on the plate.
For a colorful pop of orange and red, fill a sealable mason jar about halfway with fresh cranberries. Slice an orange in half and remove the filling. Place the hollow half on top of the cranberries and seal the jar. You can also capsize the orange half and fill it with cranberries for a light, fresh scent of orange.
Image credit: Good Housekeeping
Here’s another way you can put those oranges to good use and avoid stocking up on store-bought scented candles.
First, you’ll need to make oven-baked citrus fruits. Thinly slice some lemons, limes or oranges and bake them at 200 degrees until they’re dry. Apply them to thick candles with a hot glue gun and garnish them with a few berries. As the candles burn, they’ll release a pleasing citrus scent.
Image credit: The Sweetest Occasion
Who would have thought a log would make such a nifty and beautiful display?
If you don’t have wood available in your backyard, ask a friend or try a local grocery store. Be sure the log is round on all sides and free of bugs. Go slowly as you saw it into smaller pieces and if the top isn’t flat or smooth enough to hold your candles, hot glue them into place.
Image credit: Making it Lovely
Don’t let the Thanksgiving decorations stop at your table centerpieces. Garnish your napkins with any natural elements you can think of.
Secure a dry leaf to each napkin with a ribbon, or tie bunches of leaves, pine needles or fall herbs together and lay them on top. Even something as simple as a small gourd on each plate brings a rustic and tasteful feel to the table.
Image credit: The Domestic Curator
This modern cornucopia is a bit more time consuming but worth the effort.
Gather an ordinary basket, a bunch of acorns, some fruit or gourds, fresh flowers, leaves and berries on stems. If you can’t find some of these items in your backyard, collect what you believe would look pretty in your basket.
Hot glue each individual acorn to the basket until it’s completely covered. Place a block of Styrofoam inside if you don’t have enough items to fill it to the top and hot glue items together to keep them from falling out. Allow the leaves, twigs and berries to stick out from under the pile of your fall harvest.
10. Leaf Placemats
Image credit: Petal Talk
Here’s something else you can do with all of those fallen leaves.
Gather up the same kind of leaf in two different colors and lay them over top one another on your Thanksgiving table. Fan them out from the center, and use vases or candles to hold them in place. Alternate the colors of your leaves with the colors of your centerpieces. Like the picture below, pair orange or red with yellow and brown.
Family and friends will be impressed with the decorations on your Thanksgiving table, and Mother Nature will thank you for recycling these classic autumn elements!
Main image credit: BHG