Thanksgiving is such an awesome time of year. We get to spend lots of quality time with our families and share what we are thankful for. But with all the party hosting and family meals comes a ton of stress to decorate and provide each guest with a wonderful, memorable experience.
I’m going to show you how to put together a gorgeous holiday table in just minutes!
This centerpiece uses a basic tray, found at my local Goodwill of Orange County store, and is simple but gorgeous. Plus it can be used in several ways once the party is over. I’m also sharing some tips to use other items found at the thrift store to round out the look of your holiday table.
I headed down to the OC Goodwill Boutique in Tustin, Goodwill’s shopping experience created for those looking for great deals on higher end fashion. This store is merchandised like a regular retail store and caters to those looking for designer labels at lower prices. The store also carries some new merchandise as well.
This is one of my favorite thrift stores to shop in because it’s very easy to browse. It’s super organized and very spacious. I love to take my time and go up and down the rows looking for those hidden gems. The brick wall and hardwood floors make you feel like you are in a small boutique store instead of thrifting.
As I headed to OC Goodwill, I knew I wanted to make something for Thanksgiving. But you never know what you are going to find when shopping at a thrift store. The minute I saw this tray ($7.99), I knew I had to use it. The silver finish and large oval size made me think it would be the perfect base for a centerpiece. I also found this cream knit shawl ($2.99) and women’s plaid pants ($9.99) that I knew would all work together to create a pretty table for a holiday meal.
To start, I wanted to make a few coasters out of the women’s pants. Since I am not a sewer, I simply cut squares out of the fabric and the left the edges raw. If you are tasked with cooking the holiday meal, you’ll have enough on your plate than to worry about sewing up napkins. The fabric of the pants will not fray which means that these coasters are made by just cutting a straight line. It can’t get easier than that!
I made four coasters using only part of one pant leg. This means that I have leftover fabric that I can make other projects with. I could have cut long thin scraps to tie around linen napkins or silverware; I could have cut out initials to act as a place card guiding guests where to sit for Thanksgiving dinner. Or I could have created fabric flowers with them to incorporate in to our centerpiece. There are so many crafty options. Tackle as many projects as you think you can handle!
While it is super easy, and really pretty, to use fresh flowers to create a centerpiece, the costs can add up quickly. And from my own experience, I know it can be difficult to arrange flowers. Instead, I like to use things that go right along with the season and that can also be used after the party is over. I picked up a few pumpkins, some gourds and some simple greenery to use. I also picked up a few other veggies to work in for a fall feel.
I set out all the items I had to work with and started placing them on the tray. I decided to leave the tray the color that I bought it because it had such a neat, antique feel to it. You absolutely can paint the tray if that suits the look you want. Painting just the inside of the tray in one solid color would help the tray feel more like a focal point of the centerpiece. Or I could have painted on a monogram to make the tray feel a little more formal.
I started with my largest items first and then began adding the other items around. When making a centerpiece, you want to make sure that it looks good from all sides. I filled in gaps with small gourds and used seasonal vegetables to bring in more color. While both sides are not exactly the same, the feel is the same.
You may notice the shawl hanging on the wall behind the table. I decided to use the shawl as a wall hanging, but it would work equally as well on the table, under the tray. I love to use things in new ways! With macramé and yarn hangings being so popular right now, I was able to get the same look without any of the work!
To finish up the centerpiece, I added in some fresh greenery and some small white roses. The greenery can be found around your yard or bought inexpensively from local markets. Buying one bunch of roses helps keeps the cost low and add a feminine touch to the centerpiece. I worked on one area at a time, tucking greenery or a flower where I felt like it was needed, and worked all the way around the centerpiece.
I love how the finished centerpiece came out! It’s low, so it doesn’t block anyone’s line of sight, it’s colorful, it’s unique and most of it can be used later! While some of the smaller gourds and pumpkins are mostly decorative, I can roast the two larger ones to use in recipes and roast the seeds for a quick snack (my kids love them!). I can use the purple broccoli and artichokes for a dinner side dish. I can let the kids decorate the mini gourds as a craft project. And I can use this tray, over and over again, for year’s to come. It really is true when they say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!
The centerpiece and coasters took only about 15 minutes to make but created a memorable tablescape for Thanksgiving dinner.
Don’t forget to head to Goodwill to pick up extra glassware and silverware if you need it for your meal! The housewares section is a great resource for cutlery, dishes, etc. that every hostess needs when planning a large meal or party!