Posted by Rae Lynn on 11/13/2013 to Autumn & Fall
The Thanksgiving guests have been invited, the rooms have been strewn with decorations, and the menu has been determined. All is almost well, with the exception of the dining table centerpiece. Luckily, Rae Lynn has a few Thanksgiving centerpiece ideas to remedy this worrisome conundrum.
A great fall centerpiece incorporates seasonal variety to enhance the ambiance while remaining tasteful and low-key. These variations on three centerpiece themes are budget-friendly and sophisticated, integrating both natural and man-made elements.
1. The Pumpkin Harvest
Materials: 3-5 mini pumpkins, assorted autumn squashes & fruits, Bag of Decorative Mini Striped Orange Gourds, three to five 12” Orange or Aqua Taper candles, Decorative 3.5" & 6.5" Resin "Wood" Pumpkins, silk Mini Fall Maple Leaf Scatter, Snow-Kissed Loose Pine Cones, burlap/leaves/flowers as decorative accents (optional)
Set the Stage: Autumn colors and organic shapes are the main attraction of this decorating scheme and a linen table cloth is the perfect backdrop.
Roll out a metallic satin drop cloth or runner that will enhance the atmosphere with reflected candlelight or use a white tablecloth to make the colors stand out.
Place a silk Mini Maple Leaf in the center of each plate, and fold linen or metallic napkins that match the tablecloth or runner in triangles and set under the silverware.
Centerpiece: Elegant Orange, Burgundy or Aqua 12” Taper candles set in mini pumpkins evenly spaced along the table length are the main attraction.
Easy Method: **You will need an electric drill.** Cut the stems off of 3-5 mini pumpkins as close to the body as possible. Choose a spade drill bit that is smaller than the width of your candles; if using standard 7/8" tapers from PartySwizzle.com, use a 1/2" spade bit.
Make a small hole on top of one pumpkin in the woody center by pressing down with the drill bit without rotating, or with a knife as a “starter” hole. Then, firmly holding the pumpkin with the other hand, slowly start the drill pressing downward gently.
There will be a lot of resistance at first as the drill goes through the woody material, but it will move swiftly afterwards. Work carefully so that the drill doesn't go all the way through.
Use a paring knife to make the hole slightly larger, then insert the taper in the hole. The candle should fit snugly in the pumpkin. Repeat the process with the remaining pumpkins. Decorate around the candle base if desired using synthetic or real autumn leaves, burlap bows, and synthetic flowers.
Cutting method: If you don’t possess a drill or spade bit in the size you need, then you can cut the top of the pumpkins with a knife. Mini pumpkins are harder to cut than regular pumpkins due to their small size and dense flesh, but it can be accomplished without too much difficulty.
After cutting off the stems of the pumpkins, trace around a nickel and cut holes that size. You may need to shave off a little more to get the taper to fit well.
Add two pale green Jarrahdale pumpkins to either side of the centermost taper, and arrange various autumn squashes and fruits (such as pomegranates and pears) that incorporate a variety of heights, textures, and colors. Or, use brown, white, and/or Decorative Resin "Wood" carved pumpkins in 3.5" and 6.5" sizes.
Alternatively, fill a few wide vases with the Decorative Mini Striped Orange Gourds and arrange some wheat stalks or small branches to give some height without obscuring the view across the table.
Anchor your Thanksgiving centerpiece with Dark Red or White Metal Tealight Lanterns on each end. Scatter Decorative Mini Striped Orange Gourds that look like pumpkins, silk Mini Fall Maple Leaves and Snow-Kissed Loose Pine Cones along the length of the arrangement. Add Hedgehog and Tree Stump salt and pepper shakers for a final outdoor touch.
2. Turkey-Day Dazzle
Materials: Red, Copper Orange, & Gold Glitterball Sprays and 33” Metallic Bead necklaces, 12” White Eiffel Tower Vase, 3D Fall Leaves Confetti, Large Gold & Beaded Decorative Acorns, and Metal Turkey Placecard Holders
Set the Stage: Spread a crisp white tablecloth over the dining table to set off this dazzling scene. White napkins accented by beaded napkin holders made from Red, Gold, or Orange 33” Metallic Beads will key in the glittering fall color scheme.
Centerpiece: Scatter the 3D Fall Leaves Confetti across the surface of the table. In the middle, set a fabulous bouquet of Copper, Red, and Gold Glitterball Sprays set in a 12” Clear Eiffel Tower Vase to fill the table with sparkling autumnal splendor.
Add more glitz with Large Gold & Beaded Decorative Acorns around the glitterball sprays. Place Metal Turkey Placecard Holders in the center of each charger or plate to tastefully mark the Thanksgiving occasion.
3. Nature by Candlelight
Materials: Burlap (table runner, place mats & napkin accents), Copper & Gold Mosaic Votive Candle Holders, 33” Metallic Beads in fall colors, real leaves or Glittered Orange Maple Leaf Garland, Oversized Decorative Acorns, unshelled nuts/acorns, Autumn Owls Salt & Pepper Shaker, Set of 8 Owl Woodland Creature Cutouts (optional)
Set the Stage: Fall-inspired decor takes advantage of the colors, textures, and shapes of the season. Woods and natural tones are great decorative assets.
If you have a wooden dining table, use burlap or natural fiber place mats instead of a table cloth. For added effect (and protection of the wooden surface), cut the burlap to fit over your favorite fall-colored place mats for a subtle touch of color.
Cut a strip of raw burlap to use as the table runner. This earthy, neutral backdrop will emphasize the fall colors of the display and key in the harvest theme.
Orange, red, and gold 33” Metallic Beads make superb napkin rings. Roll up the silverware in cloth napkins that are white or of autumn hues.Cut a 4-inch wide strip of burlap to insert under the beads to visually tie your table setting together.
Centerpiece: If you happen to live near a wooded area, consider gathering a variety of leaves to use in your table setting. Be sure to spread them out on towels for a day or so in a covered location (such as the basement or garage) to let them dry.
If you don’t have access to beautiful fallen leaves, or simply cringe at the thought of the tiny critters scurrying among the natural variety, opt for a Glittered Orange Maple Leaf Garland.
Synthetic leaves make great plate decorations, but Owl Woodland Creature Cutouts are also an adorable option if going natural. If desired, the garland can be snipped to produce solo or clusters of beautiful leaves without any unwelcome “guests.” Layer the leaves along the center of the runner.
Place an odd number of Gold & Copper Mosaic Votive candle holders evenly spaced along the table’s length. We suggest three votive candles for a table that seats 6-8, five for a table of 10-12, etc.
Scatter unshelled nuts of several varieties (we suggest pecans, hazelnuts, and walnuts) among the leaves. Wild acorns can also be used after being washed and thoroughly dried.
Place Oversized Decorative Acorns strategically and add Autumn Owls Salt & Pepper Shakers. This low-key but festive Thanksgiving centerpiece will allow plenty of room for dinnerware and serving dishes on the table.
Let us know some of your favorite Thanksgiving centerpiece ideas.