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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The food may traditionally be the highlight of the Thanksgiving day table, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add some beautiful decor to create an inviting atmosphere. In fact, you can have a table straight out of the pages of your favorite magazine without paying a lot of money to do so. A beautiful Thanksgiving table top doesn’t require a lot of money. Simply pay attention to the details, and you can easily craft a wonderful table setting that everyone can be thankful for. For starters, here are five ideas on how to use the things you already have around the house–or that can be easily picked up at the dollar store, or even the grocery store.
Decorate with even more food
While out picking pumpkins or shopping at the grocery store for the big day, be sure to grab a few extra small pumpkins and gourds. Those items alone on the table can add to the festive atmosphere, but if you’re feeling particularly crafty, you can carve out the pumpkin’s center and use it as a flower vase. Alternatively, if orange and green aren’t in your color scheme, use spray paint to color them white, or perhaps even gold!
Complete the look with flowers
Along with the gourd decor, spruce up the table—literally—with some small potted plants. Additionally, get the kids moving by having them collect some pine cones that can be used as decor around appetizer platters. Use mason jars and glass cups from around the house as vases for the flowers, or as a way to collect all the pine cones in a beautiful arrangement. Since flowers and tall items can get in the way of people seeing one another across the table, consider creating an end piece of sorts, with the decorations at one end of the table.
Bring some light to the table
Craft a beautiful ambiance by adding some candlelight to your setup. One way to do this simply is to use glass candle jars, fill them with popcorn or Indian corn kernels, and then tie a raffia ribbon—that you can get from the dollar store – around the outside of the jar. This decor is at once rustic but elegant, and can easily complement things such as place settings.
Create place cards
Avoid family drama by deciding who sits where before the guests even arrive. These place cards can also make your table setting come together. Put together some seasonal by cutting leaves or pumpkins out of card stock; finish the look using burlap and clothespin decorated with some festive gold glitter.
Put the final touch on your Thanksgiving table by crafting a menu and printing off the details on sturdy card stock. Not sure what design to craft? Go online and grab a template or printable to make it super easy—and quick—for you; add in what menu items you’ll be serving, print, and you’re done. Guests will appreciate knowing what comes next in the multi-course meal to make sure they save enough room for everything. Not serving courses? Menus will still be appreciated so guests know how to plan their plate—and how many servings they’ll go back for.
Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago.