11.21.2008

Thanksgiving Table Tips

Thanksgiving is almost here!  This year we are traveling back to Ohio to visit family for Thanksgiving, so I am off the hook for all that cooking and planning.  Last year, however, we hosted a gathering of 12 family members at our house, and I learned a few tricks that might be helpful for those of you who are in the same spot!  (And don't forget you can click on the photos below to enlarge them!)

First, I went to Joann's and bought a few yards of fall-looking material to serve as a table runner.  I did not sew one single stitch.  Instead, I just ironed the edges of the material under so that they would lay flat, and then laid my "runner" right on top of my tablecloth.  No one ever knew the difference, and it was about $10 for the material instead of spending a fortune for a real table runner!

Next, I just bought a few simple mini-pumpkins and gourds for the center of the table, and, along with candles, they made a pretty centerpiece.  I loved the gorgeous floral arrangements that I saw in magazines, but 1) they were super-expensive and 2) people wouldn't have been able to see over the flowers to talk to each other, so it wasn't worth it!

I also didn't have enough of my fancy china (inherited from my husband's side of the family...not sure where all the pieces ended up).  No big deal, we just interspersed some of my everyday white pieces in with the fancy stuff, and I don't think anyone even noticed!

My favorite thing that we did was make little turkey cookies to use as place cards.  These were just simple sugar cookies, and then I took plastic Ziploc bags, snipped the corners off, and used them to pipe each person's name onto the cookies.  Everyone loved it!  

It was so much fun to plan and execute all these little details, but I must admit, I am happy to take a backseat this time around!  Good luck to all of you who are playing the hostess this year!

Have a great weekend!


62 comments:

Stacey said...

Wow that looks very professional.:)

Sunny said...

I'm sitting here reading all my blogs that I follow and lo and behold you have just posted! I usually get to your blog about 50 comments in. ;) Beautiful table! I love fall colors, don't you?

Monica @ Writer Chic said...

I've been hostess every year for 4, and this year, due to being in TN for the move, I think we're ordering pizza on Thursday! (I know it's sort of sacrilegious, but I'm secretly excited!) Your table is beautiful, and I think I'm going to do the turkey cookies (or maybe pumpkins?) next year.

coco said...

What a beautiful table...we think alike! I hosted my family last year and I am off the hook this year too...Enjoy!

Betsy said...

Your table looks amazing. So classy. I love Thanksgiving.

Mrs. Cup said...

Beautiful table!

Julie said...

oh that table looks wonderful and what cute turkey place cards! Have a great weekend:)
julie

duchess said...

Very beautiful. Looks like a magazine spread.

Wendy said...

What a lovely table...but then I wouldn't expect anything less from you! ;-)

Ruby Red Slippers said...

That is a beautiful table! I love the runner idea. I will do that for Christmas, since we head to husbands family for the day, and then to our cottage for the weekend of Thanksgiving!

Darlene said...

That was BEAUTIFUL!!!! You did a great job on your Thanksgiving table!

Michelle said...

I love your china! Beautiful table and the cookies are so cute.

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

Your table looks beautiful. Love the cookies. :)

Jboo said...

Beautiful table -- as usual -- you did a great job. Glad to hear that you have the day off. Maybe you can put your feet up and relax a bit. Oh, I forgot -- you have two-year old -- you're always busy, I'm sure.

Hope you and your fam have a fun weekend!

Janet

Jen r. said...

These are great ideas! I love the table runner idea!

tidymom said...

It's BEAUTIFUL!!! I don't have to play hostess either, actually I never have for Thanksgiving, but I'm making note of your ideas for when the day comes that I do!!

~Tidymom

Kelli said...

Can you come and visit me while in Ohio and help me decorate my home!!?!? :)

Ticklish Mermaids said...

I love the idea with the table runner! I am going to North Carolina this year so I am off the hook also. I am supposed to bring paper products b/c the crowd is so large. I want to make it special not just "Chinette" I am having a hard time finding cute but sturdy plates.

jennykate77 said...

What a beautiful table you prepared! I love the little personalized turkey cookies used as place cards! Very cute idea!! You deserve to have the backseat this year since your pg :)

Hope you have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend!!

asnipofgoodness said...

I am hosting this year, and perhaps I will try those cookies, what a great idea! I love that the print on your runner is subtle, i am not a fan of the big gawdy harvest prints. Your table looked terrific! Hope you have a great relaxing one, this year!

Carolina Mama said...

Oh how did you know I"m hosting this year! :) Love your name place idea much better than mine. Much more simple and tasty. :)

Sweet Simplicity said...

It looks like a picture out of a magazine! I am very impressed. Its so pretty. And I love the sugar cookie place card idea. Very fun.

Inspired Kara said...

Those cookies are the cutest!!!

Stacey @ The Blessed Nest said...

What a lovely table!! You made it look so pretty :)! I especially love the runner and the cookie place cards!

Shannon said...

I would love to be home in Ohio for Thanksgiving this year- I hope you have a great time!

I usually host Thanksgiving in our home every year- sometimes with family who are visiting or with friends of my husbands from work (like this year). If we can't be with family- we'll make surrogates ( :

The cookie namecard idea is cute- it's something my daughter could probably easily do- maybe with a food writing pen on an iced cookie?!

Crafty Niche said...

I love your table setting.

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Your table looked absolutely beautiful!!

Thanks for the tips!!

Lisa

Nancy said...

Gorgeous! I may have to try the cookie idea. I've got a cute pumpkin cutter. Thanks for the inspiration!

Our Complete Family said...

So, so, so very pretty, as always hun! The guests were very lucky to be treated to such a nice seating for Turkey day last year!
Have fun this year and safe travels. Ohio has some snow already~ is Miss Nina all set to play in it if it's in your neck of Ohio?!?
Hugs, Les

Ms. Tee said...

Very, very pretty, Carrie - you did a wonderful job! I'm glad you get to relax this year, though!
I hope you have a great Thanksgiving :)

Tara said...

Very Cute ideas! we just have our own family of 7, but i still like to make it pretty. enjoy your trip!

Shannon said...

That looked so pretty and I love that cookie idea!

My home - My life said...

Looks amaizng. How nice that you can relax a little more this year!

Jodee Leader said...

Your table was beautiful. I love all of the little details!

daniella said...

It's probably a good thing you're off the hook this year because you'd go into premature labor otherwise.

I love everything you do. The tablescape is simple yet doesn't lack one bit of charm...just the way I like it. Always looking forward to your little projects and photos. Have fun in Ohio!

Sit A Spell said...

Looked great! Have a fun and safe trip to Ohio. Enjoy not making dinner for 12.

Joanna said...

I am hosting this year, and thank you for sharing! Runners are pricey and this is a great knock off!

The Arthur Clan said...

My mom always hosts Thanksgiving at her home and I am so thankful for that! I'm sure the day will come when either my sisters or I will have to take over, but for now she seems to enjoy doing it.

Your Thanksgiving table was beautiful!

Gray Matters said...

That's a lovely table. I'm glad you'll get to take it easy this year. My sister in law does Thanksgiving (she has it catered - she's fancy that way) and I don't have to do a thing but get us all dressed and show up!

Carolyn (Harbor Hon) said...

You are always so crafty and I love stopping by to see what you've been up to. Sorry about the blister. Ugh! xxoo

Heidi Boos said...

I'll be hosting my first Thanksgiving this year. I'm a little nervous in preparing the food (thankfully the guests will be bringing some, too), but super excited for the decorating and special touches. Thanks for some great ideas. I love the table runner idea...now I'll need to be on the hunt for the perfect fabric!

Angie said...

That table looks gorgeous! You did a fabulous job!

AJ said...

I have never hosted Thanksgiving! I'm not too sad either. Seems like a lot of work. Your table looked very pretty and what a great idea to make the cookies for each person:)

AndreaLeigh said...

It looks amazing! Love the tablescape. Unfortunately my family is much for using paper plate during family dinners.

Miss(es) Canadian Pie said...

Your table looked so great! I really appreciate the tips though we celebrated Thanksgiving in October (Canada has a different date for their Thanksgiving!). The tips will be great for us next year! Really really liked the cookie placecard idea. Thanks so much!

Brittany said...

Your table looks great and those name card cookies are a great idea! It is very Sandra Lee of you!

david mcmahon said...

I live in Australia, where we don't celebrate Thanksgiving, but I think it is a wonderful gift of celebration.

Jenni @ nest to keep said...

Wow, the table you set is so gorgeous! I love all your ideas~ the table runner is beautiful, the candle arrangements, and the turkey cookies. I have never seen a turkey cookie cutter before. :) I am so glad for you, though, that this year you will get to "go" to Thanksgiving rather than host it! :)

I hope you have a great weekend! :)

XUE said...

It looks wonderful & stylish! Super job!

mamajil said...

very pretty table!!I love your place card idea using cookies!

Angela said...

Okay, when I first opened your page, I thought that the picture of your table was something from a magazine! Lovin' it!

Em @ Bunch of Scrap said...

Great table! I get off the hook this year for T-day too but I am expected to host a Christmas Eve breakfast... don't you love it when you are volunteered to have people over? When you're 9 months pregnant!

The Graves' House said...

love the tablescape! my fav is the cookies. enjoy your stress free thanksgiving:)
~nicole

Lisa & Gerald said...

Wow love your great Idea's looking great!

Wendy said...

Beautiful!

Love your blog - so many great ideas!

The Golf Widow said...

Beautiful table! Great idea with the table runner.

Davene said...

Great tips!

We are traveling, too, this year--going to Pennsylvania to my brother's house. I'm relieved to be off the hook this year, although usually I am very fond of the role of hostess. Sometimes it's just easier to take some food along and show up somewhere else though. :)

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week! (Giving thanks is so important: why should we limit it to just one day? Besides, it's always fun to stretch holidays.) ;)

Lorie said...

Why on earth didn't I think of cookies! LOVE THEM!!

Melissa said...

what a beautiful table. have a good weekend!

Elise said...

I love this idea for the turkeys!! So cute!!
Elise

Jules from "The Roost" said...

I am like you some of the huge arrangement don't work for conversation. Yours looks perfect. Great pictures!

Sandy Toes said...

What a beautiful table..love the cookie idea!
-sandy toes