10 Essential Pieces of a Thanksgiving Table Setting

Have you been thinking about your Thanksgiving Table?  Well even if you haven't, I've got you.  I have the 10 most essential pieces of a Thanksgiving Table.

10 Essential Pieces of a Thanksgiving Table Setting - these 10 items will make your table perfect for Thanksgiving

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I love hosting dinner parties so I have set a bunch of tables in my time.  I especially love hosting Thanksgiving.  In the years that I have been hosting, I have found several things that are essential on my Thanksgiving Table.

10 Essential Pieces of a Thanksgiving Table Setting

Table Cloth or Runner

This is a piece that anchors the entire table.  I think fabric adds softness to a hard table.  I am not a fan of fabric on my table for every day, so when I pull it out, it's definitely for a special occasion.  For my Thanksgiving Table this year, I used a super cute buffalo check table runner that my sis in law gave to me.  Get a buffalo check table runner here or a neutral table cloth here.


When planning a centerpiece, it is important to use something that is low profile so you're guests can all see one another, no matter where they are sitting at the table.  My Farmhouse Centerpiece table riser makes a perfect base for the centerpiece of my table.  I added vases of wheat that are available in my shop.

Thanksgiving table setting - centerpiece


Lit candles add so much warmth to a table.  For my table, I used vintage spindle candlesticks that are also available in my shop.  While I usually prefer real candle light, in this centerpiece with the wheat, I would use battery operated tea lights, to keep everything safe and non flammable!  

Thanksgiving table setting - centerpiece with vase of wheat and spindle candle holders

Place Mats

I love anchoring my place settings, for special occasions, with place mats.  Round wicker place mats, available here, go with just about any table setting you could have.

White Dishes

White dishes are a staple.  Actually, I only have white dishes because they go with everything.  I keep stacks of several different styles of white dishes in my cupboard so I can mix and match them.  The white dishes went perfectly with my Halloween table and with past Thanksgiving tables.

Thanksgiving table setting - place settings, white dishes, glass


Basic glasses are another staple on any table.  I love the look of taller water glasses with straight lines.  Find similar glasses here.

Thanksgiving table setting - place settings, white dishes, glass


I don't have fancy silverware, I just have stainless steel sets.  Several different ones, actually, that I have mixed together.  I just love that eclectic look.Find similar flatware here


For Thanksgiving, I pull out the fabric napkins.  It's really the only time of year I go to the effort.  For my table this year, I placed white napkins with black trim, similar, rolled up inside the water glass.  Then I placed the flatware in the glass as well.  It sure made setting the table really easy.

Thanksgiving table setting - place settings, place cards, appetizer bowls

Decorative Dishes

Since I kept the main dishes neutral, I was able to use a decorative dish to add some pizzazz to the place setting.  I found these Eat, Drink and be Thankful plates several years ago at Home Goods.  You could find Thanksgiving glass plates here or paper plates here.  I especially like the ones that have a different shape than round.

Place Cards

Every spot at the Thanksgiving table needs a place setting.  It's just fun to see a space personalized for each guest.  See DIY instructions for making these here.  The appetizer bowls are available in my shop.

Thanksgiving table setting - gratitude book, traditions

Last but not least, our Thanksgiving table is not complete without our gratitude book.  It is one of our favorite holiday traditions.  Everyone who eats at our table, writes what they are grateful for in the book.  I love seeing what gratitude stay the same and how they change as my kids age.  And there is usually an inside joke or 2 thrown in there to remind us of our time spent as a family.

These 10 Essential Pieces of a Thanksgiving Table Setting can make a meal extraordinary! See more Thanksgiving ideas here.