Though the word "tablescape" may sound intimidating, conjuring visions of elaborate groupings of expensive bric-a-brac, a tablescape can be as simple as a few candles and sprigs of greenery--or anything else that makes your table feel a little special. 

For a slightly less formal take on Thanksgiving table decorations, try creating a woodland-themed tablescape with items from around your house and yard.

Set the Stage

Lay a neutral tablecloth or runner on the table.  Place your largest elements first, such as a natural wooden bowl, a basket, or a log cross-section.  If your table is small, you may want to put your largest design element in the center of the table to create a strong focal point.  If you have a longer table, experiment with a series of smaller, evenly-spaced focal points to create interest the entire length of the table.

Be sure to leave room for any serving dishes you plan to keep on the table!

Lighten the Mood

Candles are a wonderful way to add charm to your decorations.  We used simple white candles in clear glass votives to give our tablescape a low profile.  You can also try weaving strands of lights in and around your table decorations.

The Finishing Touch

Head outside and harvest a few natural accents to top off your tablescape.  Dried autumn leaves, seed pods, feathers, colorful grasses, even interesting bits of bark: your only limitation is your imagination.  We used magnolia pods, sweet gumballs, dried moss, guinea feathers, and dried oak leaves.

Arrange your accents in little clumps rather than spreading them evenly across your decorations.  This gives the eye a place to rest and creates interesting pockets in your tablescape. 

Light the candles.  Bring the food to the table.  Celebrate.
Flora Michler