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Last Minute Thanksgiving Tablescape | Foraged From The Yard

This post is for those of you who, like me, get so busy working and food shopping and keeping your family alive and clothed in the days leading up to Thanksgiving that sometimes all the big ideas you saved on Pinterest get put on the back burner, and you find yourself with a table that looks like this an hour before guests are to arrive:

Dining Table before being set


Not to worry!!! You can still throw together a pretty Thanksgiving table!



(But first!!! The number one thing to do if you’re racing around on Thanksgiving and still have yet to set the table:  TAKE A SHOWER! Don’t save it for last and be jumping into the shower when your family is ringing the doorbell – give yourself the gift of a quick shower and THEN throw together your beautiful table 🙂 )


Okay, ready? Let’s rock this table in 30 minutes. Affliliate links included for your convenience. Read more about affiliate links here.


Check your linen supply. Horribly wrinkled tablecloth? No time for ironing.


Lay it on your table, spray the living daylights out of it with warm water, and throw it in the dryer for 10 minutes. img_8519

Still rumpled, but good enough! (PS once the table is set no one will notice – or care – that it’s not crisply ironed.)img_8521


No flowers? It’s time to forage your yard and/or pantry. If you have a yard, is there anything green that you could sneak a few clippings from? Weeds are 100% acceptable – anything but poison ivy! Here’s what I scurried up from our blessedly overgrown shrubs:



…and my favorite for clipping, cedar with berries.


I also have tons and tons of ginormous rhododendrons and I love using a few of those branches. I usually clip those from within the bush or the ones that grow close to the ground, so I still have plenty of blooms come spring.


Back inside, separate your foraged clippings into piles.


The goal is to create a natural, abundant centerpiece. I like low centerpieces that don’t prohibit you from seeing the people on the other side of the table (although at the holidays that could sometimes be a good thing 🙂 )

Working form the center, lay the greens to the right and to the left, leaving room for plates. I started with the arborvitae which is soft, feathery and lays flat.


I love using greens that have different sizes and add dimension.


Keep tucking the different greens in, balancing both sides.


Candlelight is a must!! I nestle votives with tea lights into the greens making sure nothing is hanging over them. Setting the Thanksgiving table on fire would be memorable but, yeah, no thanks!


Now you can forage through your fridge and pantry. Apples, pears, oranges, clementines, artichokes, or a whole pineapple all make for a beautiful centerpiece. No fruit or veggies? How about pinecones, or if you can’t scurry up anything au naturel, a glass hurricane or even vase with a big candle will do the trick.


I loved the apples but then I remembered the big pinecones my brother Tom gave me from his cross country travels. This one is huge and woodsy, so different from the small white pine cones that are all over our yard.



Chargers, do you have any? I have them in gold, silver and the natural woven ones I use all the time. They are an inexpensive way to make a table a little more special if you have the room (I’m loving these fluted gold chargers that are 4 for $10.)


Get out all your crystal and glassware to up the ante on your foraged table. I always mix up the glasses I use, this time I put out cocktail tumblers as water glasses.


Mini clothespins that I use to hang Christmas cards are perfect for clipping placecards to the foraged greens. Pretty scrapbook paper or cardstock make for quick placecards…..these ones with the glitter were leftover from the pinecone placecards I made a few years back.

Simple placecards attached to centerpiece with mini clothespins

Our new light is so hard to photograph, but I love the scale of it over our table!


As always, the magic really happens when the lights are dimmed, the candles are lit, and the table is surrounded by family and friends old and new.


For more easy Thanksgiving table ideas, visit these posts…..

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I am so thankful to connect with you here in this little happy place where we share our love for all things home. Thank you for being part of the Shine Your Light community here on the blog, and on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter!

Wishing you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving!

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Jennifer Griffin

Tuesday 29th of November 2016

So beautiful, Lisa! I'm jealous of all of those good cutting choices you have in your yard... hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving!


Wednesday 30th of November 2016

Thanks Jennifer, we did and I hope you did as well! I kind of make do with whatever I have that is still growing - including weeds and my neighbors' foliage :)


Saturday 26th of November 2016

This is so pretty. You are lucky to have such talent...and great greenery outside :)


Monday 28th of November 2016

You're so sweet - thank you Mary Ann. Our overgrown shrubs have come in quite handy!!


Wednesday 23rd of November 2016

Just lovely, Lisa! If only I'd done this yesterday before the snow arrived : ) May have to strap on my snow boots and give it a go, anyway!

Happy Thanksgiving, sweet friend!

xo Suzanne


Monday 28th of November 2016

Thank you Suzanne! I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Cassie Bustamante

Wednesday 23rd of November 2016

it looks beautiful, lisa! i am impressed! happy thanksgiving to you and yours.


Monday 28th of November 2016

Thank you Cassie.....I hope you and your sweeties had a great Thanksgiving!!