A Cozy Cottage Thanksgiving Tablescape

So glad you stopped by! Today I am sharing my tips for simple Thanksgiving table decor that evokes that cozy, welcoming feeling.

If you missed my recipe for German Chocolate Rum Balls from yesterday, you will definitely want to circle back for that one!

I am also once again joining my US friends, a very talented group of table style enthusiasts, who are sharing their own tables all set and ready for Thanksgiving. You will find all the links at the end of the post!

If you are a regular visitor you may remember my cozy autumn dinner table. It was perfect for our Canadian Thanksgiving back in early October.

I have really embraced my love of all things cozy and snug lately! I think the colours of autumn are some of the coziest!

Thanksgiving tablescape with blue plaid tablecloth, magnolia leaf centerpiece, brown plates and terracotta napkins.

When styling a table, I often know exactly what I want to achieve well in advance.

Even though I was kind of flying by the seat of my pants when planning today’s table, I still stuck with my 5 tips for making the task simple and low cost. I had a general idea of how I wanted it to look, but was happy to just let it flow together as I went.

5 Tips to create simple Thanksgiving table decor

Use what you have or can borrow

Purchase only things that you know you will use enough to warrant the cost

Use natural elements foraged from outdoors

Keep the centrepiece simple by using on one or two types of flowers, or better yet use only greens (foraged if possible)

And, finally, don’t overthink it!

I will walk you through how I use all 5 of these tips to create simple Thanksgiving table decor you will not only wow your family and friends, but make them feel welcome, calm and cozy!

I always start my table decor by using things I already have or have easy access to. This saves not only money, but also time spent shopping for things I may never use again.

I do of course want my tables to look different from year to year. That is were thinking outside of the box comes in.

For example, I had these flowerpot saucers that I had tucked away and never used. They make perfect bread plates. My copper butterknives are a perfect match! And, now that I found the saucers again, I will leave them out to use as coasters!

Just a word of caution when using terracotta or clay coasters. Unless it is labelled food safe, make sure to place a piece of parchment or waxed paper between the bread or roll and the terracotta coaster. Some clays may contain lead or other heavy metals, as you do not want to have any food come into contact with it.

terra cotta pot saucer is used on a Thanksgiving table as a bread plate with a cooper butter knife set on top.

The candlesticks have been used over and over again. All purchased from yard sales or thrift stores. The distressed white pillar candles holders were a thrift store makeover, and get lots of use! They also double as cake plates with a bit of removable sticky tack.

a table set for Thanksgiving in shades of blue, terracotta and brown.

Borrowing things from family or friends is another example of how to make styling a table inexpensive.

I borrowed these dark chocolate brown plates and bowls from my sister. I knew they would work with perfectly with the blue and brown plaid tablecloth, and the dark wood charger plates.

an overhead view of a plate setting on a cozy Thanksgiving table, with brown plates and a bowl with a tiny white pumpkin inside.

Admittedly, and this is rare for me, I was stuck on what to use as a centrepiece. I wanted something different. Something simple that would last throughout the season.

My vision of using shades of brown and terracotta was coming together nicely, but I didn’t want to fuss looking for the perfect shade of flowers to compliment my color scheme.

A recent visit to the Christmas open house at a local nursery presented me with exactly what I didn’t know I was looking for. If that makes any sense!

Easy Magnolia Leaf Centerpiece

Fresh magnolia branches were out in abundance, and as soon as I saw them, I knew I had my centerpiece figured out! Two bundles of magnolia branches arranged in a simple piece of crockery, also borrowed from a friend. I love shiny the green leaves and the warm terracotta undersides. Mother nature at her finest!

I think it makes quite a statement.

A crock filled with magnolia leaf branches as a centerpiece on a cozy Thanksgiving tablescape

I tucked in a few oak leaves that I had collected on a walk for an extra bit of texture.

This magnolia centerpiece will very easily transition from autumn to winter, and I plan on using them to make a holiday wreath for the front door. Just a bit of money well spent.

oak leaves tucked into a magnolia centerpiece viewed from above.

I could have considered purchasing glassware to better match my table but keeping it simple was my goal.

My favourite hand-me-down glasses from my Nana work just fine. A dainty gold rim is in keeping with the warm metallics and compliment the cooper flatware.

I did purchase a yard of fabric (at 50% off) in a terracotta coloured fabric and literally ripped into 4 napkins. The leftover piece of fabric was just enough for a table runner that I scrunched up and pooled around the crock. I don’t have one ounce of talent when it comes to sewing, so I chose a fabric that could be torn easily and still a good weight to be used as a napkin. Win. Win!

Overhead view of candles in wood and glass candlesticks and gold rimmed wine glasses, with terracotta colored napkins.
Wood candlestick beside a gold rimmed wine glass on a table set for the autumn season

After I have established what I have or have access to, then I look to nature to inspire simple

Again, foraged oak leaves were tucked under each napkin as a nod to season. They cost nothing yet make a real impact.

An oak leave tucked under an orange napkin on a fall tablescape.

Pumpkins are quintessential and inexpensive autumnal decor. Miniature cream pumpkins provides nice contrast and another natural element to the table. They also bring out the creamy stripe in the plaid tablecloth and the ceramic crock.

Overhead view of chocolate brown plates and bowls with terracotta coloured napkin.

And, finally if you want to make setting your Thanksgiving table easy, don’t overthink it!

If you run into a snag, or get hung up on an idea like I did with my centerpiece, try to find inspiration from your surroundings. By overthinking or second guessing yourself, it easy to waste time and money. Just do your best and move on.

I hope I have given you some inspiration and food-for-thought when it comes to simple Thanksgiving table decor.

A side view of a slice of frozen apple crisp dessert that has been cut into with a fork.

And speaking of food….you might want to try my frozen apple crisp as your Thanksgiving dessert!

Simple Thanksgiving table decor in shades of blue, terracotta and brown including pumpkins, leaves and magnolia branches.

Just remember that in the end, it really doesn’t really matter what is on your table, as much as taking the time to be thankful for those around it!

Time to check out all the other fabulous ideas! Many thanks to Rita from Panoply who gathers us all together to share our ideas with all of you!

Me and My Captain – Those Were the Days and I Am Very Grateful

Pandora’s Box – Thanksgiving Brings Back Memories

Living With Thanksgiving – Thankful and Blessed

Everyday Living – Thanksgiving Traditions

My Hubbard Home – Pumpkins and Pears Thanksgiving Holiday Table

Thrifting Wonderland – Give Thanks…Thanksgiving Tablescape

Panoply – Homeland Merriment Thanksgiving

Home is Where the Boat Is – Porch Dining with Plaid & Proud Tom Turkey

Corner of Plaid and Paisley – Give Thanks

My Thrift Store Addiction – In Everything Give Thanks – Garden Tea for Two

Life and Linda – A Copper and Blue Pumpkin Table

Karins Kottage – Come set an outdoor Thanksgiving table with me

The Painted Apron – Grateful Gathering

Belle Bleu Interiors – A Time to Give Thanks

Dinner at Eight – Patterns in Blue for Thanksgiving

Red Cottage Chronicles – A Cozy Cottage Thanksgiving Tablescape

The Bookish Dilettante – Thanksgiving Table in the Breakfast Room

The Little Yellow Corner Store – A Northwoods Thanksgiving

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  1. Maureen, this table SO handsome, I love it! First of all, thank you for joining us in celebrating our US Thanksgiving. I knew yours was October 10, but the truth is, many of us could easily swap our our fall tables as our Thanksgiving tables and vice versa.
    I don’t know what I love most about this tablescape but the chestnut napkins, runner and the magnolia drew me in first. Genius of you to just purchase fabric and rip it into what you wanted, and to use the plant saucers as b/b plates! I love how you think. The tablecloth pulled me in too, and complements your sister’s brown dishware so well. The creamy accents with the crock and boos ties it all up so well.
    Just beautiful. Thanks again for joining us.
    ps I pinned those German rum balls. They look and sound decadently good!

  2. I love the rustic nature of your table. The magnolia leaves in the crock is simple, yet genius! I will definitely borrow that idea from you because we have a magnolia tree in our side yard. Your copper accents look nice with the leaves and your tablecloth. I will link over and read about your dessert. Is it served frozen? Oh, and I also like how your candlesticks are so different, yet they work well together. 😀 Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Loved the cozy feel of your table setting and a few things really spoke to me. I’m a big fan of magnolia and living in the South it is easy to find. The green and brown leaves worked really well and the glossiness was a nice addition to the table. Using terra cotta saucers as bread and butter plates is something I plan to copy…unashamedly. Great idea. Those of us who are gardeners always have extras in the shed. Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Oh Maureen the magnolia leaves are gorgeous! What a brilliant idea for a centerpiece! I have a magnolia tree in my yard so I will be borrowing this idea thank you! Aren’t you smart to find a fabric that you could tear, I adore the torn edges! I also love the way you casually scrunched in around the centerpiece and dotted it with pumpkins. The way you styled the plate stacks iwth the napkin and the leaf is so effective, and the flower pot bottom butter plates, how inventive!! This is one of my favorite tables on the hop, I love everything about it!

  5. Maureen, I love the simplicity of your magnolia leaves as a centerpiece in your crock! Your table exudes casual and cozy with the plaid tablecloth, copper flatware, dark dinnerware and fabric runner. Just a note for your readers: The clay in garden pots may contain heavy metals (such as lead) and shouldn’t come in contact with food unless they are indicated as food-safe. So happy join you at the table and hop with you again. Happy November ♥

  6. Maureen, I love your magnolia centerpiece in the perfect crock for your centerpiece. The brown side of the magnolia leaves picks up the brown or tan color in the lovely plaid tablecloth. Your chestnut napkins and scrunched runner pulled everything together. The soft, flexible fabric worked so well.
    I am pinning your post for future reference.
    Apple crisp sounds wonderful.
    It has been nice to blog hop again with you. I enjoy your commentary. Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. Maureen my dear friend, I LOVE your rustic table. And you are a gal after my own heart with your fabric and napkin/runner idea. I like the fringed edges from your talented “tearing” of the material. We recently planted a magnolia tree so I could use the leaves in wreaths, centerpieces, etc…much like your lovely centerpiece… but Hurricane Ian decided to strip the tree of it’s leaves (which would have still worked had the wind not blown the leaves hither and yon.) LOL so I have magnolia leaves envy. My crock now sits empty and barren. LOL I will be checking out your recipe for rum balls. Have a great November and looking forward to our Christmas tables that will be here before we know it. Hugs

  8. Maureen, your centerpiece is lovely. How nice to have a magnolia tree. I have always admired the magnolias trees for their stunning leaves. The dark dinnerware is so pretty with the added leaf. and napkins. What awesome fabric to rip it and use it on your tablescape. Your sister is so gracious to let you borrow the dinnerware. The candlesticks are a great addition. A pleasure joining you.

  9. I love the mix of natural and metallic elements on your table, all residing on those marvelously textural linens. The pairing of everyday dishware with lovely glass/crystal stemware and eye-catching flatware. Most of all I love the deep, deep colors you chose — they contribute the warm and the cozy atmosphere. I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving, and I’m glad you joined us for ours!

  10. Maureen, your table is both beautiful and cozy. I love the rich colors of the plaid tablecloth accented by the rust-colored napkins. The magnolia leaves make a pretty centerpiece. It is always a joy to join you on these hops.

  11. Maureen, the centerpiece of magnolia is stunning, simple, and easy for anyone to do. But, it makes a beautiful statement. I love the plaid cloth and the dark dishes, it looks quite handsome paired together. Thank you for celebrating American Thanksgiving with us. I know yours was October 10. Wishing you a beautiful November!

  12. Maureen, Love love love this table!!! Of course let’s start with the plaid table cloth!! Love it!! Love the colors and I love how your dressed it. Your dark place settings look wonderful against it. Your ripped fabric for the napkins work fabulously, giving it some texture and then adding just a single leaf adds that natural element!! It all works so well with your great centerpiece!! Just love it all! This is my kind of table!! Classy, casual!! I am thankful for my tablescaping friends!!

  13. Maureen, Oh la la……I love your plaid blue and brown tablecloth. It absolutely stole my heart. And the copper colored accent fabric really played it all up. I love this color combination. Your magnolia and oak leaf centerpiece is a striking piece for the table. It allows the beauty of the plaid to come through and the contrast of the copper fabric and white pumpkins shine. A unique and beautiful Fall table. Now for that delicious frozen apple dessert…..it is also another winner. What a treat to sit at your table. Happy Thanksgiving.