Decorating for Thanksgiving adds an element of warmth and fun to your home. The best thing is that you don’t have to go overboard, or put a lot of time and effort into decorating in order to make your house or apartment look festive. If you are having Thanksgiving at your home, you will want it to be warm and inviting. Here are some of this mom’s favorite cheap and easy DIY thanksgiving decorating ideas. I am all about quick, easy, and family friendly decorations. There are many inexpensive but fun ideas the whole family can create together.
Outdoor Thanksgiving Decorating Ideas
1. Add A Door Wreath
Nothing says the holidays quite like a festive door wreath. Harvest pine cones, chestnuts, acorns and more, and glue or wire them to a foam wreath form or a wooden one. Silk leaves and flowers mean you can use the wreath year after year.
The mesh wreaths are also a popular choice, as well as bright and cute. Keep in mind that if your door faves the sun, either rising or setting, the wreath will fade. If this is the case, don’t spend a ton of money on the outside wreath, and save the more expensive one for inside the house.
2. Create an Outdoor Display
Decorate the front yard with a homemade wooden scarecrow, turkey, or Happy Thanksgiving sign. For the scarecrow, grab some old clothes and some straw. Use a burlap bag for the head and top it all off with a hat. Check your local supermarket to see if they are discarding any of these packing items once they have stocked the shelves.
You can create the sign out of wood or create a flag out of felt. For a little color, plant a few mums, either in the ground or in pots and planters around the outside of the house, or along the pathway or drive leading up to it. You can get a lot of decorating ideas at your local nursery.
Corn stalks and pumpkins are also great options. Local open air markets are a great place for cheap, unique finds. We often visit our market at the beginning of October for pumpkins and gourds of all sizes and colors.
If you don’t carve the pumpkins, they can serve double duty and flow from Halloween to Thanksgiving. Same with the corn stalks, just tie them up so they stand together and add a big, bright festive bow.
Thanksgiving Decorating Ideas by Room
3. Dining Room Table
An attractive centerpiece can set the tone of any holiday table or buffet table. If you are having Thanksgiving dinner at your home, think through how you want that to go. Do you want your centerpiece to stay throughout the entire meal? Or will you need the entire table for food? If it will be staying for dinner, remember to keep it low and unobtrusive so that people can talk over it.
4. Mantelpiece Display
The mantel over your fireplace is the perfect place to decorate for Thanksgiving. For a simple display, arrange some pumpkins or decorative gourds and/or Indian corn on the mantelpiece, along with a few candles. A fall garland or wreath is a nice touch above the mantelpiece, as well as on your front door.
The bathroom is often an overlooked room when it comes to decorating for Thanksgiving. A fall scented candle is a great start. Next I would suggest some cute turkey or corn soap and Fall themes hand towels or napkins. If you have the counter room, a cute paper turkey create by the kids or a few fall daisies in a vase would also add a nice touch.
6. Around the Home
Add some autumn-colored throw pillows or blankets to your couch. These will last for years to come. Light a pumpkin-scented candle or plug in a spicy, scented air freshener, and your whole house will have that special Thanksgiving feel to it.
Don’t forget to hang some Thanksgiving dish towels in the kitchen. You can use them or not, but if you’r like me when you cook you go through a ton of them.
Thanksgiving Decorating Ideas: The Little Touches
Many times it’s the little things that make a difference and finish off a look or feel when decorating.
7. Pumpkins, Gourds, and Indian Corn
You can make a beautiful fall display by setting out some miniature pumpkins and ears of Indian corn on your table or side table. Look for yellow, red, multicolored and purple varieties of corn for an authentic Thanksgiving feel. Scatter them across your dining table, or arrange them in a bowl for a nice centerpiece. And of course, there is nothing more gorgeous than a range of gourds. Keep them in a cool place and they can last for ages.
8. Thanksgiving Flower Arrangements
Stop by your local florist for some flowers in yellow, orange or brown, like mums. Fall daisies and chrysanthemums (mums) are long lasting, cheap and come in a large variety of colors. Arrange them in a vase along with some greenery.
Stay away from greenery that will wilt quick or shed like leather leaf or ming fern. Eucalyptus has several varieties that are long lasting, or you can ask for pitt or Italian ruskus.
If you want to be practical and budget conscious, silk flowers will last for many years. Put them in a nice basket or cornucopia. Add ribbon, and you have a lavish display for a fraction of the cost of buying flowers and plants every year.
9. Decorate or Paint a Pumpkin
Use some construction paper to dress it up as a turkey, pilgrim, Native American, and so on. The children can paint some geometrical designs, like a tulip or scallop pattern at the top, or some flowers, leaf shapes, and so on. For something a little more elegant, paint or stencil your family name or initials. You can paint one letter per pumpkin and create a nice display on a long mantel or table.
10. Candles and Festive Items
Candles always add a warm feel to a room. Pair them with displays of acorns, chestnuts and mini pumpkins. Fill up a clear glass vase with something smaller like orange gumballs or jelly beans, then place the candles on top for a festive touch. (Check out the candy here, it’s cheaper than the box stores and you can buy according to color!)
The right vases may be a larger investment, but you can swap out the inside items for each holiday and have something all year long. Be sure the candles are sitting level if you decide to actually light them. (Or am I the only one that doesn’t burn the fancy candles?)
Staying On Budget for Thanksgiving
Use these Thanksgiving decorating ideas as is, or let them inspire you create your own inexpensive fall décor. The most important thing is that you don’t stress out about it all. Creating a to do list and writing out a budget will help you stay organized and let you enjoy the upcoming holiday. For more Thanksgiving inspiration from food to budgeting, check out these other great articles: