Here’s How to Set a Beautiful Thanksgiving Table on a Budget

published Nov 19, 2015
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(Image credit: Rachel Joy Barehl)

It’s one thing to do the Thanksgiving menu on a budget; it’s another thing to set a beautiful table. Can you host 10 people for dinner and set a gorgeous seasonal table while on a budget? Certainly! And you don’t even have to be particularly crafty.

For this budget Thanksgiving table, I worked with Chelsea Mohrman, the blogger and stylist behind Farm Fresh Therapy. Here’s how she cleverly set a beautiful table with just a few simple things.

(Image credit: Rachel Joy Barehl)
(Image credit: Rachel Joy Barehl)

Dishes & Glassware: Find Beauty in the Mismatched

You don’t need a full cupboard of dishes to host 10 for dinner. There are other ways to set the table beautifully.

First strategy? Borrow. Ask guests and friends if you can borrow dishes. Keep everything in one palette (white is always classic) for a blended yet beautiful look.

Second strategy? Thrift store. Chelsea hit up the local thrift store and brought back a haul of plates for just a few dollars, and they went together so beautifully.

The same applies to silverware and glassware. Or just use what you have — mismatched wine glasses are fun.

(Image credit: Rachel Joy Barehl)
(Image credit: Rachel Joy Barehl)

Greenery: Go Outside (and Go Glam)

You can find inexpensive greenery and flowers at the grocery store (we’ll come back to that), but for an even less expensive option, go outside and stroll through your neighborhood, gathering leaves and branches with fall foliage for your table.

(Image credit: Rachel Joy Barehl)

Chelsea gilded a few pine cones and baby pumpkins with a little bit of gold paint. This adds just a bit of sparkle, thanks to your craft cabinet.

(Image credit: Rachel Joy Barehl)

Skip the Tablecloth

Tablecloths are expensive. Skip them altogether and do a runner of brown paper, as we did here. Or lay a bright, pretty scarf down the center of the table for some color.

(Image credit: Rachel Joy Barehl)
(Image credit: Rachel Joy Barehl)

A Recipe for a Beautiful Budget Thanksgiving Table

For this table, here’s what Chelsea did to put it all together.

  • Brown Paper Runner from Lowe’s: Lowe’s has 12-inch-wide craft paper rolls for about $3. Chelsea laid this down the center of the table.
  • Eucalyptus from Trader Joe’s: “Trader Joe’s has bundles of eucalyptus for just $3,” she says. She bought one bundle and snipped it up and laid it down the center of the table for a fresh and modern approach to seasonal greenery.
  • Gilded Pumpkins and Pinecones: Paint little pumpkins and pinecones and pile them in a bowl from the thrift store, as Chelsea did.
  • Thrift Store Plates and Candle Holders: She stopped at the thrift store and for just a few dollars picked up plates and candle holders. The key is to look for just one color or tone, like white or cream, for a coordinated look. Look at the thrift store for taper candles, too; you’ll often find them still in the box!
  • Napkins from World Market: Chelsea likes the colorful napkins from World Market. At $10 for six, they’re a good deal.
(Image credit: Rachel Joy Barehl)

Thanks so much, Chelsea!

Visit Chelsea: Farm Fresh Therapy

(Image credit: Rachel Joy Barehl)